CESAR JARAMILLO – Make no mistake: neither North Korea’s latest nuclear weapons test nor the recent high-stakes stalemate over Iran’s nuclear program are the root of nuclear insecurity. They are but symptoms of a nuclear disarmament regime in a severe state of disrepair. While every other category of weapons of mass destruction has been specifically prohibited under international law, nuclear weapons — by far the most destructive of them all — remarkably still have not. What is needed is a global legal ban on nuclear weapons, with specific provisions for the elimination of existing arsenals and a timeline for verified implementation.
RICHARD FALK, DAVID KRIEGER (pictured) and ROBER LANEY – By their purported test of a hydrogen bomb early in 2016, North Korea reminded the world that nuclear dangers are not an abstraction, but a continuing menace that the governments and peoples of the world ignore at their peril. Even if the test were not of a hydrogen bomb but of a smaller atomic weapon, as many experts suggest, we are still reminded that we live in the Nuclear Age, an age in which accident, miscalculation, insanity or intention could lead to devastating nuclear catastrophe.
ROBERT F. DODGE, M.D. – Following the arrival of spring each year, our nation renews its commitment to our priorities on Tax Day, April 15th, from education to health care, infrastructure and national defense. Included among these expenditures are nuclear weapons programsâ€”weapons that can not and must not ever be used. The funding for these programs, while more transparent than in the past, is still quite secretive. From the beginnings of our nuclear programs in 1940 we have spent as a nation in excess of $6 trillion dollars on them. This Tax Day we will spend ~$56.3 billion more on these same programs. From Los Angeles Countyâ€™s expenditure of $1.785 billion to our nations capitol at $107 million, these are monies that we can ill afford to spend.
ABOLITION 2000 – Global coalition follows-up Vienna conference with mobilization to achieve a nuclear abolition agreement at the 2015 NPT Review Conference.
DENNIS KUCINICH – Late Thursday night [December 11], the House of Representatives unanimously passed a far-reaching Russia sanctions bill, a hydra-headed incubator of poisonous conflict. The second provocative anti-Russian legislation in a week, it further polarizes our relations with Russia, helping to cement a Russia-China alliance against Western hegemony, and undermines long-term Americaâ€™s financial and physical security by handing the national treasury over to war profiteers.
RAY ACHESON – â€œIt is in the interest of the very survival of humanity that nuclear weapons are never used again, under any circumstances.â€ This is the view of the 155 states that endorsed the joint statement delivered by Ambassador Dell Higgie of New Zealand. â€œThe only way to guarantee that nuclear weapons will never be used again is through their total elimination. The majority of states and their publics share this view. It is only a handful of states, generally among the most wealthy in the world, that have consistently resisted progress in this area.
WINSLOW MYERS – The two-in-one of climate change and nuclear abolition is not something to be addressed after supposedly more immediate brush-fires are extinguished; by viewing it instead as a single challenge, an opportunity for cooperative prevention based in planetary self-interest, success will become a model for resolving more local conflicts without violence.
ROBERT DODGE – Editor’s note: This is a follow-up op-ed on the nuclear zero lawsuits. This past Thursday, April 24th, historic lawsuits were filed against the U.S. and the eight other Nuclear Weapons States (NWS) of the world to meet their treaty obligations to disarm by the courageous tiny island nation Republic of the Marshall Islands.
RICK WAYMAN – Big news today out of The Hague and San Francisco. The Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) has filed unprecedented lawsuits against all nine nuclear-armed nations for their failure to negotiate in good faith for nuclear disarmament, as required under the Non-Proliferation Treaty. The suits were filed against all nine nations at the International Court of Justice, with an additional complaint against the United States filed in U.S. Federal District Court.
MEGAN FINCHER – [Dec. 30, 2013; Kansas City, MO.] Defense attorney Henry Stoever meekly approached the bench of Presiding Judge Ardie Bland Dec. 13, complaining that security had refused to let him bring certain pieces of evidence into the courthouse: a full-sized wooden door with a banner proclaiming, “Open the door to a nuclear weapons free world!”, as well as an array of picket signs. Stoever was representing eight nuclear protesters on this unlucky trial date, and Bland, who had sentenced other nuclear activists to jail just two years prior, was the inauspicious icing on the cake.
JOHN LAFORGE – On August 11, more than 750 people converged at Buchel Air Force Base — the largest joint U.S./German Luftwaffe air base — to condemn the retention of 20 U.S. nuclear weapons, in open violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. In a show of popular rebellion 150 hearty war resisters blockaded all nine base entrances for 24 hours.
FRANCIS A. BOYLE – â€œNuclear deterrenceâ€ is not now and has never been the Obama administrationâ€™s nuclear weapons policy from the get-go, then by default this means that offensive first-strike strategic nuclear war fighting is now and has always been the Obama administrationâ€™s nuclear weapons policy. This policy will also be pursued and augmented by means of â€œintegrated non-nuclear strike options.â€
One of the most popular muckraking American journalists of the late twentieth century, I.F. Stone, once remarked: “All governments lie.” Even a prominent government official — Andrei Gromyko, the veteran Soviet diplomat — once admitted, in a weak moment: “Governments are never sincere.” This gloomy assessment appears all too true when it comes to national security policy, and particularly so with respect to nuclear weapons.