Senator Markey: Obama Must Scale Back His Nuclear Weapons Expansion Plan
In new op-ed, lawmaker calls for President to cancel plans for new, destabilizing nuclear cruise missile
Washington (May 27, 2016) – As President Obama today became the first sitting U.S. president to visit Hiroshima, Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and founder of the Congressional Nonproliferation Caucus, authored an op-ed in today’s Boston Globe that called on President Obama to scale back his nuclear “modernization plan, in particular urging him to cancel a dangerous new nuclear air-launched cruise missile that would cost taxpayers more than $20 billion over the next 20 years and could trigger a new nuclear arms race.
Below are excerpts from the op-ed. The full opinion piece can be found HERE.
“The devastation wrought on the Japanese city of Hiroshima seven decades ago will always be a powerful reminder of America’s responsibility to work toward a world free of nuclear weapons. President Obama’s historic trip to Japan this week reminds us that the horror of nuclear war remains as potent a concern as it was nearly 71 years ago, when the Enola Gay dropped its atomic payload on Hiroshima, killing 140,000 people.
“We have made important progress in the past several years. The United States and Russia have slowed the nuclear arms race by reducing the size of their nuclear arsenals. Beginning in 2018, each country will have no more than 1,550 deployed strategic warheads after implementation of the New START treaty.
“But that progress came about as a result of a Faustian bargain. In exchange for Republican support for passage of New START in 2010, Obama promised to fund major upgrades to our nuclear arsenal. Since then, the extent of these upgrades and their cost has ballooned. Today, it is estimated that Obama’s so-called nuclear modernization plan will end up costing US taxpayers nearly $1 trillion over 30 years.”
“If Obama wants to keep the pledge he made in 2009 to ‘reduce the role of nuclear weapons in our national security,’ he must rein in this nuclear spending insanity. The lesson of Hiroshima is clear: Nuclear weapons must never be used again.
“If the United States wants other countries to reduce their nuclear arsenals and restrain their nuclear war plans, it must take the lead. It cannot preach nuclear temperance from a bar stool. Instead of wasting billions of dollars on dangerous new nuclear weapons that do nothing to keep our nation safe, Obama should scale back his nuclear weapons expansion plan. The United States already has the world’s most powerful military capabilities; it does not need any new nuclear weapons.”