For Immediate Release
START is Good Start; More Needed to Finish
WASHINGTON - In response to today’s announcement of the new START agreement between
the U.S. and Russia, which would cut deployed, strategic nuclear
weapons, Peace Action’s — a group founded in 1957 to abolish nuclear
weapons and the largest grassroots peace organization — executive
director, Kevin Martin, stated the following:
“The START treaty is a good step towards reducing the threat from
nuclear weapons. The Senate should quickly and deliberately advise and
consent to its ratification. Fewer nuclear weapons makes Americans
safer and sends the right message to the rest of the world. President
Obama should continue his push for a nuclear weapons-free world not by
beginning another round of negotiations for a further incremental cut to
1,000 nuclear weapons on each side, as has been reported, but by taking
executive actions to reduce the U.S. nuclear stockpile.”
Under the new treaty, which may face some opposition in the Senate where
a two-thirds majority vote is necessary for treaty ratification, both
countries would maintain over 1,500 such weapons, most of which are tens
or hundreds of times more powerful than the Hiroshima bomb, which
leveled the city and killed 140,000 people.
Martin argued that the President could announce a reduction to about 300
nuclear weapons (as recently advocated by Air Force strategists and
scholars) without harming U.S. security, and he could challenge Russia
to do the same. Martin proposed the speeding up of the dismantlement of
retired U.S. weapons, taking U.S. nuclear forces off "hair-trigger
alert," removing tactical (short-range) nukes from Europe, and
cancelling plans to upgrade the nuclear weapons production complex.
These steps, he urged, would send a strong leadership message to the
rest of the world before the crucial Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty
Review Conference at the United Nations this May. The group is helping
organize tens of thousands of people from around the world to be at the
Martin concluded, “the President should initiate multi-lateral talks for
the verifiable, global abolition of nuclear weapons. Why wait to
initiate this process until further rounds of incremental reductions are
negotiated and ratified?”
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Founded in 1957, Peace Action, the United States' largest peace and disarmament organization with over 100,000 members and nearly 100 chapters in 34 states, works to achieve the abolition of nuclear weapons, promote government spending priorities that support human needs and encourage real security through international cooperation and human rights.