Markey: Obama’s Nuclear Weapon Reduction Goal Gets Closer to Nuclear Free Future

Contact: Eben Burnham-Snyder, Rep. Ed Markey, 202-225-2836

Shift Away from Cold War-era Posture Can Save Billions

WASHINGTON (June 19, 2013) – Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) today applauded President Obama for making nuclear weapons reductions a significant policy goal for his second term. In a speech today in Berlin, President Obama proposed that the United States and Russia further reduce their strategic nuclear arms by a third below the levels permitted under the New START treaty signed in 2010, bringing each country’s arsenal to just over 1,000 strategic nuclear warheads.

“If the end goal is a world without nuclear weapons, this step today will get us closer to a future free from the fear of nuclear war. The United States should continue to decrease the size of U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals and I applaud the president’s efforts to negotiate a new agreement with the Russians that would help make this a reality,” said Rep. Markey. “Our current nuclear warheads and delivery systems are designed for winning the Cold War and do not reflect the threats we face today. Maintaining these outdated weapons costs hundreds of billions of dollars. When sequestration has led to a reduction in critical government services and when we hear talk of cuts to Social Security and Medicare, to education and research investment, we cannot continue to waste resources on the obsolete idea that a large nuclear arsenal keeps us safe.”

Rep. Markey recently introduced the Smarter Approach to Nuclear Expenditures (SANE) Act (H.R. 1506), which identifies about $100 billion in nuclear weapons programs that could be canceled or cut back to bring our nuclear forces better in line with 21st century needs. This legislation is co-sponsored by 41 members of Congress.

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