No More Nuclear Weapons Testing!

It goes without saying that the United States should not be involved in doing what we denounce in other nations: like, say, testing nuclear weapons. And yet I and many other denouncers of nuclear weapons now must speak out against the Trump administration reportedly considering resuming some nuclear testing. ICAN, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, has made it quite clear that the U.S. should not resume testing of nuclear weapons for obvious reasons. Here is the ICAN press release that includes a statement by the Executive Director of ICAN, Beatrice Fihn:

Beatrice Fihn, Executive Director of the Nobel Peace Prize winning International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, released the following statement condemning reported U.S. consideration of resuming nuclear testing:

“A Trump nuclear test would cross a line no nation thought the US would ever cross again, and is threatening the health and safety of all people. Testing poisons environments, food and lives – Americans are still dying from the original nuclear weapons tests. It would also blow up any chance of avoiding a dangerous new nuclear arms race. It would complete the erosion of the global arms control framework and plunge us back into a new Cold War. Only a multilateral solution can shore up these bilateral treaties Trump is ripping up. The TPNW is that solution.”

ICAN condemns U.S. consideration of resuming nuclear testing

The TPNW is the Treaty to Ban Nuclear Weapons, which has been signed by 81 nations around the world. Nations that have not signed the treaty include the United States and all eight other nations that currently possess nuclear weapons, which is not surprising.

Any nuclear-armed nation can join the TPNW if it promises to destroy its nuclear weapons in a timely manner. Being the only nation that has actually used a nuclear weapon and the world’s largest democracy (however tainted by the current administration and Republican Party), the U.S., it seems to me, should be the first of the “nuclear club” nations to sign the TPNW and destroy its nuclear weapons. Perhaps a deal can be reached with Russia, China, North Korea, etc. for a mutually gradual, verifiable elimination of all nuclear weapons. However it may be accomplished, the United States should lead by example and act unilaterally if need be.

Test launch of LGM-118 Peacekeeper Intercontinental ballistic missile by United States Air Force 2002. Photo By United States Air Force [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Meanwhile, Sen. Ed Markey, a Democrat from Massachusetts, has stated that he will introduce legislation “to prohibit any new nuclear testing and bring the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) into force. A verifiable prohibition on nuclear-weapons testing would restrict the emergence of new nuclear-weapon countries and stop those who already have nuclear weapons from perfecting new, even more lethal weapon designs.” Sen. Markey also wrote to President Trump to explain to him why resuming testing is such an awful idea:

“Lifting our testing moratorium would severely harm our reputation on the world stage,undermine our leadership, and make it difficult to hold states such as Iran and North Korea accountable for violations of Security Council resolutions.”

Sen. Markey is right. Will the Trump administration heed him? Will Congress pass his anti-nuclear testing bill?

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