For Immediate Release
(805) 965-3443 or (805) 696-5159
Santa Barbara – The U.S. is set to launch a Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missile from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California to Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands. The launch is scheduled to take place in the early morning hours of Tuesday, September 23.
The launch comes at a time of heightened tension between the U.S. and Russia over Ukraine and NATO expansion. It also comes two days after the International Day of Peace (Sept. 21) and three days before the official UN Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons (Sept. 26). Clearly this timing is meant to send a message and it is not a message of peace.
Though the Air Force Global Strike Command contends that the ICBM test launch program is to validate and verify the effectiveness, readiness and accuracy of the weapon system, this test is yet another example of the continuation of decades of psychological and physical terror the U.S. has imposed upon the people of the Marshall Islands.
Between the years of 1946 and 1958, the United States tested 67 nuclear weapons in the Marshall Islands resulting in immeasurable suffering and emotional physical trauma to the islanders. In April of this year, the Marshall Islands filed the Nuclear Zero Lawsuits against the U.S. and the eight other nuclear-armed nations, challenging them to fulfill their moral and legal obligations to begin negotiations to reach nuclear zero. For more information on the Nuclear Zero Lawsuits visit nuclearzero.org.
David Krieger, President of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation (NAPF) and a consultant to the Marshall Islands on the Nuclear Zero Lawsuits, commented, “The officials at Vandenberg say the purpose of the test is to ‘validate and verify the effectiveness, readiness and accuracy of the weapons system.’ This means the effectiveness, readiness and accuracy of a weapons system capable of destroying civilization. The Air Force is only doing its job: practicing for the destruction of the human species. Instead of launching missiles we should be leading negotiations to rid the world of weapons of mass annihilation.”
Further, Rick Wayman, Director of Peace Operations at NAPF stated, “That the U.S. has chosen this week to test – at a time of heightened tensions with Russia and the one day of the year dedicated to the total abolition of nuclear weapons – says it all. Instead of taking seriously its international legal obligations to negotiate for nuclear disarmament, the U.S. seems content to engage in a tit-for-tat nuclear arms race with Russia. This Minuteman III test is nothing more than the flexing of a horribly dangerous, unusable and totally unnecessary muscle.”
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For further information, or if you would like to interview David Krieger, contact Rick Wayman at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (805) 696-5159.
The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation – NAPF’s mission is to educate and advocate for peace and a world free of nuclear weapons and to empower peace leaders. Founded in 1982, the Foundation is comprised of individuals and organizations worldwide who realize the imperative for peace in the Nuclear Age. The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation is a non-partisan, non-profit organization with consultative status to the United Nations. For more information, visit www.wagingpeace.org.