Washington (February 26, 2019) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a long-time Congressional leader on nuclear arms control and nonproliferation issues, released the following statement in response to news that the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) had manufactured the Trump administration’s first, new W76-2 “low-yield” nuclear warhead.


“This so-called low-yield W76-2 nuclear warhead marks a sad milestone in the Trump administration’s path towards a new nuclear arms race,” said Senator Markey. “The W76-2 nuclear warhead is dangerous, destabilizing, and unnecessary. Our military services did not ask for the W76-2, and the Trump administration’s Defense Department has not provided an adequate rationale to justify it. 


“As President Trump heads to Hanoi to try and convince North Korea to surrender its nuclear weapons, he has little moral authority on which to stand after pursuing his own, new nuclear weapons here at home. President Trump is throwing away decades of American leadership that has moved the world back from the nuclear brink.”


Earlier this month, Senator Markey and Representative Ted Lieu (CA-33) introduced the Hold the LYNE Act, legislation that would prohibit the research, development, production and deployment of a low-yield nuclear warheads for submarine-launched ballistic missiles. So-called low-yield nuclear weapons have the potential to lower the threshold for using nuclear weapons and increase the risk of entering the U.S. into nuclear war.