We are calling on President Joe Biden to take the following actions in his first 100 days.
Declare a no first use policy on nuclear weapons and take all US weapons off of hair trigger (launch on warning) alert. Despite decades of foreign requests and U.N. demands, no U.S. president has ever renounced first use of nuclear weapons to manage nonnuclear conflicts, and every modern president has publicly or privately threatened nuclear first use against at least one nation. The U.S sacrifices its credibility on the issue of nuclear disarmament and cannot successfully achieve its most basic security aims by continuing to hold a gun to the head of every nation on Earth.
Renew New START for 5 years before it expires on 2/5/21 and demonstrate leadership in the context of the NPT’s 50th anniversary by announcing plans to unilaterally reduce the US deployed strategic warheads to no more than 1,400 (below the New START ceiling of 1,550) within one year and invite Russia to make a reciprocal commitment.
Reengage in the INF and Open Skies treaties.
Sign the US onto the new global Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW)
Work for Senate ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty(CTBT), which the US signed in 1996 and still has yet to ratify.
Reiterate Barack Obama’s early commitment to living in a world free of nuclear weapons by making a major foreign policy address -and this time accompany the words with action – affirming our commitment to the goal of total global nuclear disarmament, including our own arsenal, to be pursued with all deliberate speed. “No single nation should pick and choose which nations hold nuclear weapons. That is why I strongly reaffirm America’s commitment to seek a world in which no nations hold nuclear weapons.“ – quote from Obama Cairo speech in 2009
The U.S. public is frighteningly indifferent to a weapon of species extinction whose threat many bafflingly imagine to be somehow past. Humanity arguably now faces a worse nuclear danger than it did at the height of the Cold War. The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists have set their famed “Doomsday Clock” at 100 seconds, its first time counted in seconds, rightly adjusting for the arrival of hair-trigger hypersonic nukes. Many “near-misses”, occasions during which a nuclear strike almost happened, have occurred in the last 75 years. The speed at which the new hypersonic nukes travel and their potential proximity to their targets means that there would not be an opportunity to correct such a “mistake”. The consequences could, quite literally, cause nuclear winter and the starvation of large swaths of the planet.
Yet vital international agreements to reduce and control nuclear weapons worldwide are being abandoned by the Trump administration. And rather than reduce nuclear weapons, the Obama administration launched a multi-billion dollar “modernization” of the US nuclear arsenal, which continues under Trump.
At a time when the #BlackLivesMatter movement has sparked a new public consciousness about the diversion of community resources to state violence, the federal budget for developing and producing new nuclear weapons continues to grow. Tensions among nuclear-armed nations are rising to levels not seen since the Cold War.
People created nuclear weapons and designed the systems governing their use — and people can work to eliminate them.
As residents of, by far, the biggest military power in the world, we must continually press our leaders to take the actions necessary to ensure nuclear weapons are never used again, and to negotiate in good faith the global elimination of these most devastating weapons of mass destruction.
As the only country to use nuclear weapons in conflict, the United States has a moral obligation to lead the world in ending this threat and to remember all those who were harmed in their detonation, testing and development.
And the work continues. If you would like to get involved with this work, please contact us at CAPA@ChiPeaceAction.org to learn more.
If you would like more information, to volunteer, or intern for CAPA please contact us