Washington, DC – Marking the first day of the fourth – and as of now final – Nuclear Security Summit, experts at The Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation called on Congress to show its commitment to nuclear security by boosting non-proliferation spending.
“President Obama has called nuclear terrorism the greatest threat to US national security,” said John Tierney, a former nine-term US Congressman and current Executive Director of The Center. “Yet next year’s proposed budget makes cuts to some of the key programs that could prevent a nuclear terror attack.”
The President’s Fiscal Year 2017 budget proposes a $132 million cut to the Defense Nuclear Non-Proliferation account compared to the amount enacted last year. These cuts include reductions to core non-proliferation programs – a $90 million reduction of the Global Material Security program, which works to reduce and protect vulnerable nuclear and radiological material located around the globe, and a further $25 million cut for non-proliferation research and development.
“The Nuclear Security Summits have been instrumental for achieving key global nuclear security objectives,” said Congressman Bill Foster (D-IL), the only physicist remaining in the United States Congress. “However more remains to be done. Nuclear proliferation is one of the greatest threats to U.S. and global security, and we cannot afford to short change those charged with reducing this threat.”
John Tierney added, “The President is sending a mixed signal by hosting such a critical summit while simultaneously proposing non-proliferation program cuts. He can send the right message by calling for more funding, not less.”
The Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation is a Washington, D.C.-based 501(c)3 non-profit, non-partisan research organization dedicated to enhancing international peace and security through fact-based policy analysis.