Vandenberg to Launch Minuteman III Missile Test

Sunflower Newsletter: February 2017
February 1, 2017
The Nuclear Weapons Threat to Our Common Future
February 9, 2017
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Vandenberg to Launch Minuteman III Missile Test

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For Immediate Release

Contact:
Rick Wayman
(805) 696-5159; rwayman@napf.org
Sandy Jones
(805) 965-3443; sjones@napf.org

Vandenberg to Launch Minuteman III Missile Test

Santa Barbara, CA – A Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) test is scheduled for launch between 11:39 p.m. Wednesday and 5:39 a.m. Thursday of this week, from Vandenberg AFB to Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands. While it won’t carry an armed nuclear warhead, the purpose of the United States’ 450 land-based ICBMs is to deliver powerful nuclear warheads to any target on Earth in under an hour.

The U.S. Air Force tested this Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missile on February 20, 2016. Photo | U.S. Department of Defense

The U.S. Air Force tested this Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missile on February 20, 2016. Photo | U.S. Department of Defense

The scheduled test comes just days after the Trump administration imposed new sanctions on Iran to punish them for their latest ballistic missile test. President Trump tweeted that “Iran has been formally PUT ON NOTICE.” Michael T. Flynn, Trump’s national security advisor, said, “The ritual of convening a United Nations Security Council in an emergency meeting and issuing a strong statement is not enough. The Trump administration will no longer tolerate Iran’s provocations that threaten our interests.”

USAF officials regularly boast of U.S. intercontinental ballistic missile tests as “messages we send to our allies who seek protection from aggression and to adversaries who threaten peace.” Clearly, this kind of double standard cannot be lost on the rest of the world.

David Krieger, President of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, commented, “Test-firing these missiles while expressing criticism when other countries conduct missile tests is a clear double standard. Such hypocrisy encourages nuclear proliferation and nuclear arms races and makes the world a more dangerous place.”

William Perry, former defense secretary under President Bill Clinton, has stated unequivocally that his experiences have led him to believe the U.S. should remove ICBMs from its nuclear triad, which also includes strategic bombers and submarine-launched ballistic missiles.

With each missile test, the U.S. sends a clear and expensive message that it continues to be reliant on nuclear weapons. Each test costs tens of millions of dollars and contributes to the U.S. plans to spend $1 trillion modernizing its nuclear arsenal over the next thirty years.

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If you would like to interview David Krieger, please call the Foundation at (805) 965-3443.

The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation’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.


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