OAKLAND, CA – As President Obama prepares his Nuclear Posture Review, pressure to water down his vision of American leadership to reduce the threat from nuclear weapons builds within his administration. 179 national, regional, and local organizations from across the country are responding with a letter to the president asking him to continue his leadership on nuclear weapons issues. The letter outlines how the Nuclear Posture Review can best achieve the vision the president laid out in his speech in Prague.
The divisions within the Obama administration over the direction of the Nuclear Posture Review have been coming to the fore in the last several months. In the president’s speech to the U.N. General Assembly, Obama stated that the U.S. “will complete a Nuclear Posture Review that opens the door to deeper cuts and reduces the role of nuclear weapons.” However, at an Air Force Association conference in September, Secretary of Defense Gates spoke in favor of modernizing the U.S. nuclear weapons arsenal, including supporting new warhead designs.
The Campaign for a Nuclear Weapons Free World, a coalition of more than 100 organizations that strongly supports President Obama's vision of "the peace and security of a world free of nuclear weapons," is spearheading this effort. The letter's 179 signatories represent 31 states, a wide variety of arms control, peace, security, religious, and environmental organizations, and hundreds of thousands of citizens.
In the letter, organizations state that in order for the review to further progress toward a nuclear weapons free world, it must reflect the reality that:
the United States does not need and shall not pursue new nuclear warheads;
maintaining a large, ready-to-launch nuclear arsenal hurts U.S. security interests overall by encouraging similar Russian behavior, and;
only substantial reductions in those arsenals, U.S. ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, and a commitment to a world without nuclear weapons can attract the international support necessary to stop more countries from getting the bomb and terrorists from using one.
“President Obama has a unique opportunity to reject outdated Cold War thinking and officially set the U.S. on a path toward the elimination of nuclear weapons through his administration’s Nuclear Posture Review,” said Cara Bautista, coordinator for the Campaign for a Nuclear Weapons Free World. “Our letter demonstrates that there is broad-based support for a dramatic shift in U.S. nuclear weapons policy, embodied in a Nuclear Posture Review that reduces the role of nuclear weapons in our security strategy.”
A copy of the letter can be downloaded here
The Campaign for a Nuclear Weapons Free World is a consortium of more than 100 organizations promoting practical steps today to free the world from nuclear weapons tomorrow. For more information, visit www.nuclearweaponsfree.org