Information in this blog post came from a page 8-9 article in the April 2019 issue of the Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action (www.gzcenter.org), the 4 decades-old peace group located immediately next to the Trident nuclear weapons base in Kitsap County WA. The article was written by Elizabeth Murray based on information provided by Bruce Gagnon, the coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space (www.space4peace.org), an amazingly informative non-profit organization and website.
First I lay out THE PROBLEM. Then I lay out SOME REMEDIES:
Elizabeth Murray reported that at a recent event in California, Gagnon “said the US is actively preparing for war with Russia and China and has been scuttling treaties that might complicate its plans for nuclear buildups and space-based ballistic missile systems.”
NATO keeps pushing right up against Russia. This prevents Russia and China from seriously considering nuclear disarmament. So also does the US’s refusal to give up its first-strike nuclear policy.
The US’s dangerous withdrawal from major nuclear treaties started in 2002 when George W. Bush abandoned the 30-year-old Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty that the U.S. and USSR had signed in 1972 to slow the nuclear arms race and prevent “missile defense” systems designed to stop long-range ballistic missiles. The ABM Treaty was very sensible because it recognized that — in Elizabeth Murray’s words — “if either superpower constructed a strategic defense, the other would build up its offensive nuclear forces to offset the defense. The superpowers would therefore quickly spiral into a never-ending offensive-defensive arms race as each tried to balance its counterpart’s action.”
Recently Trump abrogated the U.S.’s 2015 nuclear treaty with Iran and several other nations (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action — JCPOA) and also the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty with the USSR. The INF Treaty was “the first time the superpowers had agreed to reduce their nuclear arsenals, eliminate an entire category of nuclear weapons, and utilize extensive on-site inspections for verifications.” The U.S. and USSR destroyed a total of 2,692 missiles by June 1, 1991.
But Gagnon said the U.S. has persisted to seek global domination through nuclear weapons and other methods. He quoted a Rumsfeld aide who laid out the plan boldly, including overthrowing and occupying other countries. (This is what the U.S. did in Afghanistan and Iraq.)
The article’s author (Elizabeth Murray) wrote that Bruce Gagnon said “it is still possible for the US to pull back from its path to almost certain nuclear disaster. He said the US could take several confidence-building measures that would create a suitable climate for nuclear disarmament negotiations with other major nuclear powers.” She said he include these remedies:
- Saying “no” to first use of nuclear weapons. (Russia and China have declared their adherence to this policy, but Washington refuses to do likewise.)
- Ending the President’s unchecked nuclear launch authority.
- Saying “no” to endless renewal and replacements of the US nuclear arsenal (which Washington is now doing to the tune of about $1.6 trillion over three decades).
- Saying “yes” to an abolition agreement among nuclear-armed states.
Her article ends by saying, “Gagnon said the US must first end its encirclement of Russia and China with its “Missile Defense” and stop expanding NATO bases. he also pointed out that both Russia and China have consistently stated for more than a decade that nuclear disarmament negotiations are “dead in the water” as long as the Pentagon is developing its space-based Missile Defense Shield.”
- Why don’t politicians consider the information above? Why don’t they talk with the American people about these issues?
- Mainstream media seems only to mimic the government’s propaganda. Why don’t mainstream media consider or report on these issues from a peace perspective?
- How could peace-oriented individuals and organizations effectively raise these issues and stimulate informed, thoughtful public discussions about these issues?
- How could we build a strong grassroots movement to reverse the current policies and push effectively for peace?