Testimony of John M Repp (9802 45th Ave SW, Seattle, WA, 98136) of the coalition Washington Against Nuclear Weapons (https://www.wanwcoalition.org/) to the Senate Joint Memorial #8006 on February 22, 2019 in Olympia, Washington.
The movement to abolish nuclear weapons faces two governments that have two doomsday machines. These doomsday machines are immoral, threaten the world and should be dismantled. Our conventional military forces can protect us.
So today, I want to focus on the five steps the Joint Memorial mentions where the United States could lead a global effort to prevent a nuclear war. These are concrete actions that our politicians can take now.
1) Renouncing the option of using nuclear weapons first.
2) Ending the President’s sole, unchecked authority to launch a nuclear attack.
3) Taking the United States nuclear weapons off hair-trigger alert.
4) Canceling the plan to replace our entire arsenal with next generation nuclear weapons.
5) Actively pursuing a verifiable, multilateral agreement among nuclear-armed states to eliminate their nuclear arsenals.
Both United States and the Soviet Union, now Russia, at one time possessed many more nuclear weapons that they do today. The progress in eliminating the large number of nuclear weapons came through negotiations and agreements between the two, the START Treaties. This can be done again.
There have also been multilateral or international efforts to eliminate nuclear weapons. I will mention just two of the most important.
- In 1970, the then 5 nuclear weapons possessing states agreed that the proliferation of nuclear weapons was a serious problem (it still is!) and they pledged to pursue negotiations in good faith to totally eliminate nuclear weapons. The Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT)of 1970 remains the supreme law of our land. Unfortunately, it is being ignored.
- In 2017, the United Nations passed the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. If you have not heard about this treaty, it is because the United States worked against it and our corporate media has ignored it. The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) is a coalition of non-governmental organizations in one hundred countries promoting adherence to and implementation of the treaty. ICAN won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2017.