The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Contact: Contact Paul Kawika Martin at 951-217-7285, or,email Paul,.,Contact Jon Rainwater at 510-469-3700, or,email Jon,.

Peace Action Urges Quicker Nuclear Disarmament


President Obama gave a speech today in Berlin urging negotiations with Russia to reduce deployed strategic nuclear weapons by up to one-third further than required in the New START treaty.

"Military leaders and a bipartisan list of experts agree that the U.S. can be completely secure with only a few hundred nuclear warheads. While the maximum reduction to around 1,000 strategic, deployed warheads is a long overdue and a welcomed step, deeper reductions are possible without affecting American security," observed Paul Kawika Martin, the political and policy director of Peace Action -- a group founded in 1957 to abolish nuclear weapons and the largest grassroots peace organization in the U.S.

The group noted that according to the speech, the President is talking about reducing from 1-500 warheads. The U.S. is obligated by the START Treaty to be at 1,550 deployed weapons. In total, counting reserves and other weapons, the total stockpile is around 5,000-7,000 warheads.

Additionally the President announced working towards reducing nuclear weapons in Europe, securing nuclear materials around the world, ratifying the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, and negotiating a treaty that ends the production of fissile materials for nuclear weapons. While disarmament groups like Peace Action welcomed these announcements, they would like to see concrete plans and actions to accomplish these difficult goals.

"With government budget shortfalls, Americans can no longer afford to waste billions of dollars on unneeded nuclear weapons. Immediate reductions in nuclear weapons, nuclear weapon delivery systems and the nuclear weapons complex can happen now," concluded Martin.

Peace Action is 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.