- Withdrawing from the INF Treaty: A Massive Mistake by David Krieger
- How The New York Times Deceived the Public on North Korea by Tim Shorrock
- The Myth of the Middle by Ray Acheson
- The Fate of the Earth Depends on Women by Beatrice Fihn
U.S. Nuclear Weapons Policy
- U.S. Outlines Nuclear Weapon Production Plans for Next 25 Years
- Groups Challenge U.S. Plutonium Pit Production Plans
- U.S. Conducts Another Nuclear-Capable Missile Test
- ICAN Launches Cities Appeal
War and Peace
- U.S. Military Spending Set To Rise Even Higher
- U.S. Plans to Solve High-Level Radioactive Waste Problem by Calling It Low-Level
- Southern California Wildfire Burns Area of 1958 Nuclear Meltdown
- Responding to the Unique Challenge of Nuclear Weapons
- U.S. Strategic Nuclear Forces
- Holiday Gifts for Your Peace-Loving Friends and Family
- Peace Literacy Team at Work in Canada
- Women Waging Peace
- Letter in the Washington Times
- Congress Must Act to Save the INF Treaty
Withdrawing from the INF Treaty: A Massive Mistake
It would be a mistake of significant proportions for the U.S. to unilaterally withdraw from the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. It would end an important arms limitation treaty, one that eliminated a whole category of nuclear-armed missiles with a range from 500 km to 5,500 km.
The treaty eliminated 846 U.S. nuclear missiles and 1,846 Soviet nuclear missiles, for a combined total of 2,692 nuclear missiles. President Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev signed the treaty in 1987. It was an agreement that followed their realization, “A nuclear war cannot be won, and must never be fought.”
To read the full article, which was originally published by The Hill, click here.
How The New York Times Deceived the Public on North Korea
Like many of his North Korea stories over the years, David Sanger’s account of what he basically described as a betrayal by Kim Jong-un seemed perfectly timed to interject public skepticism of the North at a crucial moment for the U.S. negotiations with both Koreas to resolve the nuclear standoff and pave the way for a final peace settlement on the Korean Peninsula.
Over the past month, while the two Koreas have made spectacular leaps in reducing military tensions along their border, the U.S. dialogue with North Korea has stalled. The primary issues dividing them are Trump’s insistence on keeping his pressure campaign of economic sanctions in place until the North denuclearizes, and the North’s demand that Trump join the two Koreas in publicly declaring an end to the Korean War.
To read the full article in The Nation, click here.
The Myth of the Middle
Amidst all this tension [at this year’s UN First Committee], it’s no surprise that appeals for a “middle ground” are also on repeat. It sounds rational: so many cracks and fissures have begun to split wide open, and a number of delegations are keen to “build bridges.” But this impulse for the middle is misguided and dangerous.
What is the middle ground on nuclear weapons? What is in between those who categorically reject the bomb and those who say it is instrumental to (their) security and for maintaining “stability” in the world?
To read more, click here.
The Fate of the Earth Depends on Women
Recognizing the threat to humanity from climate change, ecological destruction, and nuclear weapons, we ask: “What is the fate of the earth?” I’d answer that by borrowing from former secretary of state Hillary Clinton: “The fate of women is the fate of the earth, and the fate of the earth is the fate of women.” To state this more explicitly: The survival of the human species depends on women wresting power from men. For too long, we have left foreign policy to a small number of men, and look where it has gotten us.
I should be careful here to make a distinction. I often say, “The leaders are not the problem; the weapon is.” This is a key point: While we might feel safer with Theresa May or Hillary Clinton in charge of our nuclear arsenals, we are not in fact safe. I don’t believe that having these weapons in the hands of women is a solution. That is not what I mean by wresting power from men. When you are concerned about the ease of one person’s access to world-destroying firepower, the answer is not to choose the most level-headed person; the answer is to remove the possibility that anyone could be in that position in the first place. That is the power we must wrest from men and the feminist foreign policy we need.
To read the full article in The Nation, click here.
U.S. Nuclear Weapons Policy
U.S. Outlines Nuclear Weapon Production Plans for Next 25 Years
The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) has published its fiscal 2019 Stockpile Stewardship and Management Plan, which lays out the investments that it says it will need. NNSA is part of the Department of Energy, and only deals with the development, maintenance, and “disposal” of nuclear warheads. Meanwhile, the Department of Defense manages the delivery systems, such as missiles, submarines, and bomber aircraft.
President Trump’s Nuclear Posture Review has piled on an extra load of work on top of what NNSA already had planned from President Obama’s plan to overhaul the nation’s nuclear arsenal.
Aaron Mehta, “Here’s When All of America’s New Nuclear Warhead Designs Will Be Active – and How Much They’ll Cost,” Defense News, November 2, 2018.
Groups Challenge U.S. Plutonium Pit Production Plans
Three environmental safety and nuclear watchdog groups have joined together to challenge the U.S. government’s plans to produce 80 plutonium pits per year at sites in New Mexico and South Carolina. The groups are demanding that the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) halt its plans because it is in violation of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
“NEPA clearly requires that proposed major federal actions be subject to public environmental review,” a letter from the three organizations said.
Nuclear Watch New Mexico, Savannah River Site Watch, and Tri-Valley CAREs believe that without the proper environmental analysis, plutonium pit production at these high levels cannot begin.
“Nuclear Groups Challenge Pit Program Expansion,” Los Alamos Monitor, November 5, 2018.
U.S. Conducts Another Nuclear-Capable Missile Test
On election day in the U.S., November 6, the U.S. test-fired a Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missile from Vandenberg Air Force Base. The previous test, on July 31, ended in failure when the nuclear-capable missile self-destructed over the Pacific Ocean.
While the U.S. claims that these missile tests are benign, U.S. officials regularly express outrage when countries such as North Korea or Iran conduct missile tests.
Janene Scully, “Air Force Says Minuteman III Missile Test Launch from Vandenberg AFB Hit Target,” Noozhawk, November 7, 2018.
ICAN Launches Cities Appeal
The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) launched a new appeal entitled “ICAN Save My City,” which calls on cities to take steps to support the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Cities are also urged to cease business with financial institutions that support the nuclear weapons industry.
Major cities have already signed the appeal, including Los Angeles, Toronto, Sydney, Manchester (England), and many others.
Tony Robinson, “ICAN Launches Its New Cities Appeal in Support of the Nuclear Ban Treaty in Madrid,” Pressenza, November 8, 2018.
War and Peace
U.S. Military Spending Set To Rise Even Higher
The bipartisan National Defense Strategy Commission has concluded that the nation’s astronomical spending on the military is insufficient, and that the country should slash “domestic entitlement programs” and “interest payments on the national debt” and instead funnel that additional money to weapons development.
The U.S. military budget is already ten times larger than Russia’s and four times larger than China’s.
The co-chair of the National Defense Strategy Commission, Admiral Gary Roughead, served as chief of Naval operations in 2007 and now sits on the board of Northrup Grumman, a weapons company that profits greatly from U.S. military contracts.
Matt Taibbi, “Trump’s Defense Spending Is Out of Control, and Poised to Get Worse,” Rolling Stone, November 15, 2018.
U.S. Plans to Solve High-Level Radioactive Waste Problem by Calling It Low-Level
The U.S. Department of Energy has spent billions of dollars at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington State in an attempt to clean up millions of gallons of highly-radioactive waste from the production of nuclear weapons. The liquid waste is stored in leaking underground tanks, and the government has yet to devise a solution to the environmental catastrophe.
Instead of continuing to work on a meaningful solution, the Department of Energy now proposes to simply re-classify the waste as “low-level,” which would allow them to fill the leaking tanks with grout, cover them, and leave them in place.
Ari Natter, “Plan to Leave Buried Nuclear Bomb Waste Underground Draws Fire,” Bloomberg, November 29, 2018.
Southern California Wildfire Burns Area of 1958 Nuclear Meltdown
The Woolsey Fire, which started in southern California on November 8, burned over 100,000 acres and killed three people. The fire is likely to have started on the grounds of the Santa Susana Field Laboratory, the site of a partial nuclear meltdown in 1958.
Dr. Bob Dodge, President of Physicians for Social Responsibility – Los Angeles, said, “The Woolsey Fire has most likely released and spread both radiological and chemical contamination that was in the Santa Susana Field Laboratory’s soil and vegetation via smoke and ash.”
Dahr Jamail, “California Wildfire Likely Spread Nuclear Contamination from Toxic Site,” Truthout, November 26, 2018.
Responding to the Unique Challenge of Nuclear Weapons
The Parliament of the World’s Religions has adopted a strong statement in opposition to nuclear weapons and in favor of efforts to eliminate nuclear weapons worldwide. The statement reads in part, “The destructive capacity of nuclear weapons is beyond imagination, poisoning the Earth forever. These horrific devices place before us every day the decision whether we will be the last human generation.”
The statement continues, “We thus make a passionate plea to the leaders of all religions, all people of good will, and all leaders of nations both with and without nuclear weapons to commit to work to eliminate these horrific devices forever.”
To read the full statement, click here.
U.S. Strategic Nuclear Forces
The Congressional Research Service has published a report entitled “U.S. Strategic Nuclear Forces: Background, Developments, and Issues.”
The report examines U.S. nuclear weapons force structure during the Cold War and the present day, and raises issues for Congress to consider in the future.
To read the full report, click here.
Holiday Gifts for Your Peace-Loving Friends and Family
The NAPF Peace Store has books, t-shirts, tote bags, and more. There’s something for every peace lover on your holiday shopping list.
There are original NAPF books like “Speaking of Peace,” as well as our “Nukes Are Nuts” tote bags, t-shirts, and onesies.
Click here to go to the NAPF Peace Store.
Shipping rates are automatically available for shipping within the United States. For shipping outside the United States, please contact email@example.com for a quote.
Peace Literacy Team at Work in Canada
NAPF Peace Literacy Director Paul K. Chappell, and three others who are a part of the Peace Literacy international team of educators, recently completed a week-long trip to Canada, with events in the provinces of Alberta and Manitoba. Highlights included a Peace Literacy Jumpstart Day at Olds High School, a UNESCO school in Olds, Alberta; a keynote at a Winnipeg youth summit on nuclear weapons abolition; and a day-long Peace Literacy Workshop with the Manitoba Teachers’ Society.
To read more about this action-packed trip, click here.
Women Waging Peace
The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation’s online campaign, Women Waging Peace, highlights the outstanding work of women for peace and nuclear disarmament. Though progress is made every day, women’s voices are still often ignored, their efforts stonewalled and their wisdom overlooked regarding issues of peace and security, national defense, and nuclear disarmament.
Our fourth profile features Christine Ahn, founder and international coordinator of Women Cross DMZ, and a member of the NAPF Advisory Council.
Click here to read our interview with Christine Ahn.
Letter in the Washington Times
On November 8, the conservative Washington, DC-based newspaper Washington Times published a letter to the editor written by NAPF Deputy Director Rick Wayman. His letter was in response to an op-ed that encouraged the U.S. to resume nuclear weapons testing.
Wayman wrote, “There is a good reason that no country except North Korea has conducted a
nuclear weapon test in the 21st century. It is the behavior of a rogue
nation that cares not for the hostile message that nuclear weapon tests
send, nor for the cascade of nuclear proliferation such tests could
To read the full letter, click here.
Congress Must Act to Save the INF Treaty
President Trump has announced plans to withdraw the United States from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, a key nuclear arms control pact with Russia signed by President Ronald Reagan in 1987 and approved by the U.S. Senate.
Congress must take action to keep the United States in the treaty. Click here to email your Representative and your two Senators.
“War is an invention of the human mind. The human mind can invent peace with justice.”
— Norman Cousins. This quote appears in the book Speaking of Peace: Quotations to Inspire Action, which is available to purchase in the NAPF Peace Store.
“The government has set up a religion of nuclearism. It is terrifying and dead, dead wrong. It is a form of idolatry in this culture, spoken about with a sense of awe. It’s a total contradiction to our faith. It puts trust in weapons, not trust in God.”
— Elizabeth McAlister, a member of the Kings Bay Plowshares, on trial for breaking into Naval Station Kings Bay in Georgia to non-violently protest U.S. nuclear weapons at the site. An update on the Kings Bay Plowshares case is here.
“Nuclear weapons should be understood as suicide bombs. Even the ‘successful’ use of our own nuclear weapons against an enemy that doesn’t fire back could potentially destroy the world as we know it.”
— Dr. Ira Helfand, co-President of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War and a member of the NAPF Advisory Council, writing in an op-ed for CNN.