Angela Canterbury, Executive Director at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, signed onto a letter urging congressional Armed Service Committees to consider changes to nuclear-weapons related provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act.
Sep 30, 2014
Dear House and Senate Armed Services Committee Members:
We are writing to make the following recommendations on provisions related to nuclear weapons issues in the pre-conferenced National Defense Authorization Act:
Nuclear Nonproliferation We urge you to strike House bill Secs. 1303, 3120, and 3121, provisions that restrict cooperation with Russia on nonproliferation and nuclear materials security. It is in the national interest of the United States to continue collaborating with Russia on safeguarding nuclear materials. This is not, as some argue, a favor to Russia, but an enhancement to U.S. security. The United States has made substantial investments to Russian nuclear security systems to ensure that Russian nuclear weapons and materials are kept out of the hands of terrorists, and those efforts should be continued.
Force Structure We urge you to strike House bill Sec. 1634, which would require Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBM) silos to be kept warm in perpetuity. The provision needlessly ties the hand of this and future presidents and the U.S. military. Moreover, the provision as drafted could prevent the Pentagon from conducting necessary testing and maintenance of ICBM silos.
Treaty Compliance We urge you to strike House bill Sec. 1230A which would block the use of funds for implementing the New START arms control agreement until a certification is made that the Russian Federation is respecting Ukrainian sovereignty and is no longer violating the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty or Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty. New START continues to strengthen US security. The treaty and its verification and monitoring provisions put a cap on Russia’s nuclear forces and provide information about these forces that the U.S. military has no other way of obtaining. Steps to block implementation of the treaty could prevent the United States from verifying the size and composition of the Russian nuclear stockpile. The crisis in Ukraine is not a good reason to undermine New START, which makes the world safer. In fact, the treaty is now more valuable than ever. Nuclear Budget Transparency We urge you to keep House bill Sec. 1640, which requires an annual update to the Congressional Budget Office study required by P.L. 112-239 on the cost of fielding and maintaining current nuclear weapons over 10 years. The CBO study found that maintaining the U.S. nuclear weapons arsenal will cost $355 billion from 2014 to 2023, and $570 billion including associated costs, such as environmental cleanup and missile defense. During consideration of the NDAA, the House passed (224-199) Rep. Earl Blumenauer’s amendment requiring an update to the CBO study every year. This is especially important because costs past the CBO’s current 10-year time horizon are expected to increase substantially as major weapons platform replacements and modernizations come due. In order to inform the debate on the future of the arsenal, we must have accurate and official figures.
Thank you for your consideration of these recommendations. Should you have any questions, please contact Erica Fein with Women’s Action for New Directions at firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 544-5055 x 2605.
Alliance for Nuclear Accountability
Arms Control Association
Director, Arms and Security Project
Center for International Policy.
Citizens for Global Solutions
Council for a Livable World
Friends Committee on National Legislation
Paul F. Walker, Ph.D.
Director, Environmental Security and Sustainability
Green Cross International (Mikhail Gorbachev, Founding Chairman)
National Green Party
Catherine M. Kelleher, Ph.D.
College Park Professor of Public Policy
University of Maryland, College Park
Paul Kawika Martin
Political and Communications Director
Catherine Thomasson, MD
Physicians for Social Responsibility
Director of Policy
Robert K. Musil, Ph.D., M.P.H.
President and CEO
The Rachel Carson Council, Inc
Lisbeth Gronlund, Ph.D.
Co-Director and Senior Scientist, Global Security Program
Union of Concerned Scientists
Women’s Action for New Directions
Executive Director Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety Santa Fe, NM
The Colorado Coalition for Prevention of Nuclear War
Nuclear Watch New Mexico
Nuclear Watch South
Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance
Director Peace Action West
Ann Suellentrop M.S.R.N.
Physicians for Social Responsibility – Kansas City
Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center
Tri-Valley CAREs, Livermore, Ca