The Obamaadministration is weighing cuts in U.S. nuclear forces. Within weeks, the President will be making
important, once-in-a-decade decisions on the Presidential nuclear weapons
guidance affects everything from war plans to the size, structure and cost of
the nuclear arsenal. It will help determine whether we continue to live with
the threat of nuclear annihilation by accident or by design--or move closer to
a world free of the danger of nuclear war.
At a time of
fiscal restraints, our nation is currently planning to spend about $210 billion
over the next ten years to maintain our Cold War-based nuclear force
structure.We could save tens of
billions of dollars for other needs.As
the Second Vatican Council taught:"[T]he arms race is an utterly treacherous trap for humanity, and one
which ensnares the poor to an intolerable degree."
2010 debate on a treaty to reduce the numbers of U.S. and Russian nuclear
weapons, Cardinal Francis George, OMI, then President of the U.S. Conference of
Catholic Bishops, wrote:"The horribly
destructive capacity of nuclear arms makes them disproportionate and
indiscriminate weapons that endanger human life and dignity like no other
armaments. Their use as a weapon of war is rejected in Church teaching based on
just war norms. Although we cannot anticipate every step on the path humanity
must walk, we can point with moral clarity to a destination that moves beyond
deterrence to a world free of the nuclear threat."
possession of a minimal nuclear capability may deter the use of nuclear weapons
by others, the Church urges that nuclear deterrence be replaced with concrete
measures of disarmament based on dialogue and multilateral negotiations.As Pope Benedict XVI stated in in his 2010
World Day of Peace Message, "I firmly hope that … concrete decisions will be
made towards progressive disarmament, with a view to freeing our planet from
We made our voices heard by pressing President Obama to make good
on his commitment to "put an end to Cold War thinking" and pursue further,
dramatic steps that would make us all safer from the threat of nuclear weapons.
The deadline for the following petition to the
President was March 31, 2012:
President Obama, move us closer to a
world free of nuclear weapons
for supporting the vision of a world free of nuclear weapons and for pledging
to "put an end to outdated Cold War thinking." In the 21st century,
nuclear weapons are a global security liability, not an asset. You must act now
to reduce the nuclear danger and the role of nuclear weapons.
coming weeks, I urge you to end outdated U.S. nuclear war-fighting strategy,
dramatically reduce the number of U.S. nuclear weapons and the number of
submarines, missiles, and bombers that carry those weapons, and take U.S.
nuclear weapons off high alert. Maintaining large numbers of nuclear forces on
alert increases the risk of accident or miscalculation.
these steps, you will facilitate reductions in Russia's nuclear arsenal, encourage
other nuclear-armed countries to join in reductions, and move us closer to a
world free of nuclear weapons.