Largest Peace Group: Signing New START Treaty is Good; More Needed to Finish

For Immediate Release:  April 7, 2010

Contact:   Paul Kawika Martin, Peace Action, 951-217-7285, pmartin@peace-action.org

Kevin Martin, Peace Action, 301-565-4050 x307, kmartin@peace-action.org

Largest Peace Group:  Signing New START Treaty is Good; More Needed to Finish

Washington, DC — In response to the signing in Prague (ceremony to occur at approximately 5:50 am Eastern Daylight Time, Thursday, April 8th) of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) between the U.S. and Russia, which would cut deployed, strategic nuclear weapons, Kevin Martin, the executive director of Peace Action — a group founded in 1957 to abolish nuclear weapons and the largest grassroots peace organization — stated:

“The New START treaty is a modest, but good step toward reducing the threat from nuclear weapons. The Senate should quickly and deliberately advise and consent to its ratification.  Fewer nuclear weapons makes Americans safer and sends the right message to the rest of the world.  President Obama should continue his push for a nuclear weapons-free world not by beginning another round of negotiations for a further incremental cut to 1,000 nuclear weapons on each side, as has been reported, but by taking executive actions to reduce the U.S. nuclear stockpile.”

Under the new treaty, which may face some opposition in the Senate where a two-thirds majority vote is necessary for ratification, both countries would maintain 1,550 such weapons, most of which are tens or hundreds of times more powerful than the Hiroshima bomb, which leveled the city and killed 140,000 people.

Martin argued that the President, who is concentrating on nuclear disarmament issues this month and next with Tuesday’s release of the Nuclear Posture Review and next week’s Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, could announce a reduction to about 300 nuclear weapons (as recently advocated by Air Force strategists and scholars) without harming U.S. security, and he could challenge Russia to do the same.  Martin proposed speeding up the dismantlement of retired U.S. weapons, taking U.S. nuclear forces off “hair-trigger alert,” removing tactical (short-range) nukes from Europe, and cancelling plans to upgrade the nuclear weapons production complex. These steps, he urged, would send a strong leadership message to the rest of the world before the crucial Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference at the United Nations next month.  The group is helping organize tens of thousands of people from around the world to attend events surrounding the conference in order to demonstrate global civil society support for eliminating nuclear weapons.

Martin concluded, “the President should initiate multi-lateral talks for the verifiable, global abolition of nuclear weapons.  Why wait to initiate this process until further rounds of incremental reductions are negotiated and ratified, which could take years?  The President’s bold vision of a nuclear weapons-free world demands bold action.”

###

Founded in 1957, Peace Action (formerly SANE/Freeze), the United States’ largest peace and disarmament organization, with over 100,000 paid members and nearly 100 chapters in 34 states, works to abolish nuclear weapons, promote government spending priorities that support human needs, encourage real security through international cooperation and human rights and support nonmilitary solutions to the conflicts with Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq. The public may learn more and take action athttp://www.Peace-Action.org. For more up-to-date peace insider information, follow Peace Action’s political director on Twitter. http://twitter.com/PaulKawika

Notes to Editors:

The NPR can be found at:

http://www.defense.gov/npr/docs/2010%20Nuclear%20Posture%20Review%20Report.pdf

More information on the upcoming NPT activities at:

http://peaceandjusticenow.org

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One Response to Largest Peace Group: Signing New START Treaty is Good; More Needed to Finish

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