As we know all too well at the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, the threat of nuclear weapons is not going to decrease any time soon. For those who have been keeping up with the Department of Energy blog series, it’s clear that the United States is putting more emphasis on developing new atomic weapons or “modernizing” our nuclear arsenal, rather than phasing out or retiring existing warheads. A recent study from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) revealed that we are not alone. According to the Swedish study, “the five legally recognized nuclear weapons states, as defined by the 1968 Non-Proliferation Treaty are either deploying new nuclear weapon systems or have announced their intention to do so.” And by doing so, nuclear weapons states are only making the WMD club look that much more appealing to non-weapons states.
If there was ever a time to step back and reassess our nuclear defense policy, now would be it. Here is an alarming fact: SIPRI Director Daniel Nord revealed that Pakistan is already losing control of part of its nuclear arsenal to a terrorist group. He also found that North Korea "is believed to have produced enough plutonium to build a small number of nuclear warheads, but there is no public information to verify that it has operational nuclear weapons." I’m going to go out on a limb though and say that North Korea probably won’t be gracing the international community with a nuclear weapons courtesy call any time soon.
What does all this mean? It means that we need a nuclear reality check. We need to acknowledge that advancing our own nuclear weapons industry encourages the rest of the world to do the same. And if we want to see nuclear abolition at any point, it will be up to the United States as a world leader to pave the road to nuclear zero. We already had our “START” so now let’s go! One way we can work towards this goal is by urging our local congressmen and women to cut the Defense Budget. And it just so happens that our Action Alert Network makes doing so exceptionally easy. Check it out.