Resources

/The Golden Rule — Sailing for Peace06 Dec

http://www.vfpgoldenruleproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Golden-Rule-Newsletter-November-2015.pdf

Resources

Western Demon–reveals truth about ISIS Funding06 Dec

https://www.popularresistance.org/westerners-living-in-near-total-ignorance-about-isis-oil-sales/

The above link reveals a story that contradicts the narrative which neocons have constructed about Russia/Putin. They have construct it with military challenges via NATO moving East beyond Berlin, locating ABM systems on Russian borders, supporting separatist movements in Ukraine, Georgia, and the Baltic States etc. and then portrayed Russian responses to such as aggression in opposition to human rights. Why is this important to preventing Nuclear War? Cause Russia has a nuclear arsenal equal to our own.

here is another piece of this puzzle. Really Poland? Wherever did you get the idea you need nuclear weapons to defend yourself? My My.

Resources

A New Nuclear Arms Race–Suicidal squandering of National resources says Perry03 Dec

http://www.defensenews.com/story/defense/policy-budget/2015/12/03/former-secdef-perry-us-brink-new-nuclear-arms-race/76721640/
Former SecDef Perry: US on ‘Brink’ of New Nuclear Arms Race
By Aaron Mehta 12:35 p.m. EST December 3, 2015
635847413941246321-MinutemanIII-usaf.jpg

(Photo: US Air Force)

WASHINGTON — The US is on the “brink” of kicking off a new nuclear arms race that will elevate the risk of nuclear apocalypse to Cold War levels, former Secretary of Defense William Perry warned Thursday.

Perry also called for the breaking of the nuclear triad by dismantling the intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) stockpile.

“We’re now at the precipice, maybe I should say the brink, of a new nuclear arms race,” Perry said at an event hosted by the Defense Writer’s Group. “This arms race will be at least as expensive as the arms race we had during the Cold War, which is a lot of money.”

The Pentagon is starting a major overhaul of its nuclear triad, made up of bomber, submarine and ICBM nuclear options. The Air Force is starting work on its Long Range Strike-Bomber (LRS-B) program, a conventional bomber that later could be nuclear-certified; it is also planning a new version of the ICBM. Meanwhile, the Navy is figuring out funding plans for the Ohio-class submarine nuclear replacement program.

In an August assessment, the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments projects that it will cost more than $700 billion over the next 25 years to recapitalize the nuclear triad.

DEFENSE NEWS

Future US Nuclear Spending Likely to Remain Strong

Speaking on Wednesday, Pentagon acquisition chief Frank Kendall indicated the nuclear modernization programs would be protected in the fiscal 2017 budget and remain a priority for the department going forward.

To Perry, who served in a number of Pentagon positions before becoming the 19th US secretary of defense under President Bill Clinton, spending that money is foolish when the US is both short of cash for other programs and capable of a robust nuclear deterrence already.

The risk of nuclear war is exacerbated by the dismantling of the relationship between Russia and the US that had been formed after the fall of the Soviet Union. Without clear military-to-military communication between those two nations, the risk of an accidental conflict increases.

“Today, probably I would not have said this 10 years ago, but today we now face the kind of dangers of a nuclear event like we had during the Cold War, an accidental war,” he said.

“I see an imperative,” Perry added, “to stop this damn nuclear arms race from accelerating again.”

The greatest source of that danger, to Perry’s mind, are the ICBMs, which he said are simply too easy to launch on bad information and would be the most likely source of an accidental nuclear war. He referred to the ICBM as “destabilizing” in that it invites an attack from another power.

Because of that, he said, the US should look to break the nuclear triad and go down to a force of simply bombers and submarines – a major change in strategic posture, and one he openly acknowledged isn’t likely to happen due to US domestic politics.

ICBMs “aren’t necessary … they’re not needed. Any reasonable definition of deterrence will not require that third leg,” Perry concluded.

Perry did note that he supported the LRS-B and submarine programs as they can service non-nuclear missions as well.

Resources

A New Arms Race Threatens to Bring the U.S. and Russia Back to the Nuclear Brink23 Nov

Dear Colleagues,

Please find below my new piece, “A New Arms Race Threatens to Bring the U.S. and Russia Back to the Nuclear Brink.” If you like it please share it via your networks.

All my best,

Joe

Joe Cirincione
PLOUGHSHARES FUND | President
Phone: 202.783.4401 | Mobile: 202.441.9825 | Twitter: @Cirincione

Subscribe to Early Warning for the latest nuclear news | http://owl.li/7uhzC

A New Arms Race Threatens to Bring the U.S. and Russia Back to the Nuclear Brink

Joe Cirincione Become a fan
President, Ploughshares Fund; Author, ‘Nuclear Nightmares: Securing the World Before It Is Too Late’

The horror and reactions to the Paris massacre have overshadowed a troubling new twist in the U.S.-Russian rivalry that could prove even more terrifying. Russian state media recently “accidentally” revealed plans for a bizarre new nuclear torpedo. More of an underwater drone, it is designed to swim 6,000 miles — enough to span the oceans underwater just as long-range missiles do in the air.

It would detonate a huge warhead, a hydrogen bomb equal to a million tons of TNT or more but “salted” with special metals to vastly increase the amount of radiation it would pour into a U.S. port city.

The explosion would create a radioactive tsunami. The purpose, according to Russian TV, would be to devastate “the important components of the adversary’s economy in a coastal area and [inflict] unacceptable damage to a country’s territory by creating areas of wide radioactive contamination that would be unsuitable for military, economic or other activity for long periods of time.”

This is an insane, inhumane weapon that deliberately targets civilians. It deliberately seeks to turn a city into a radioactive wasteland that would last for decades. It is a throwback to the worse designs of the Cold War, long since abandoned.

Russia’s nuclear torpedo deliberately seeks to turn a city into a radioactive wasteland that would last for decades.

In the early 1950s, U.S. General Douglas MacArthur wanted to drop dozens of enhanced radiation “cobalt bombs” on the Korean border to create a poisonous barrier to advancing Chinese troops. In the 1970s, U.S. nuclear scientists designed a”neutron bomb” with intense bursts of radiation to increase the number of people killed but lessen the number of buildings destroyed by blast and heat. Then-Secretary of Defense James Schlesinger hoped it would make it more likely we would use nuclear weapons in a European war, thus theoretically adding to their deterrent value.

American presidents rejected these weapons. None were ever constructed. We thought that such grotesque concepts had been buried with the Cold War, along with notions of doomsday machines, featured in various sci-fi movies and at least one of which was actually built.

Well, they’re back. Indeed, that may have been the point of the Russian reveal. As Dr. Strangelove said in Stanley Kubrick’s epic film, “The whole point of a Doomsday Machine is lost if you keep it a secret.”

We thought that such grotesque concepts had been buried with the Cold War.

The Russians want us to know about it. The new Russian “dirty” H-bomb is the latest move in a new arms race that could bring Russia and America back to the nuclear brink.

The Russians are building new nuclear-armed missiles, bombers and submarines to replace those built in the 1980s and now reaching the end of their operational lives. They claim that they must modernize their arsenal and increase the role of nuclear weapons in their military doctrine to counter U.S. missile interceptors being deployed in Europe. These, they say, could “neutralize” their nuclear deterrent, allowing the U.S. and NATO to dominate Russia.

The U.S. is rearming as well. The Obama administration is planning to spend over $1 trillion in the next 30 years on an entire new generation of nuclear bombs, bombers, missiles and submarines to replace those built during the Reagan years. This is a staggering turn around for a president who promised “to put an end to Cold War thinking, [by reducing] the role of nuclear weapons in our national security strategy.”

The Obama administration is planning to spend over $1 trillion in the next 30 years on an entire new generation of nuclear bombs, bombers, missiles and submarines to replace those built during the Reagan years.

First up, the U.S. will deploy almost 200 new nuclear bombs in Europe. More accurate than the current bombs, proponents argue they are more usable in battles.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Navy is developing 12 new submarines to prowl the world’s oceans, carrying over 1,000 warheads on missiles that can hit any spot on earth. The U.S. Air Force is developing a new strategic bomber and wants 1,000 new cruise missiles to go with them, plus a new fleet of almost 650 intercontinental ballistic missiles.

Individually, none carry a warhead as big at the Russian nuclear torpedo, but collectively they would unleash death and destruction on a massive scale. All of these systems deliver hydrogen bombs — weapons that are 10, 20, even 30 times more powerful than the atomic bombs that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

We don’t know if the Russians think they can afford this new arms race, but we do know that there is great concern in the defense department. Pentagon Comptroller Michael McCord told Inside Defense last week that the price tag for all these new nuclear weapons “is the biggest acquisition problem that we don’t know how to solve yet.”

All of these systems deliver hydrogen bombs — weapons that are 10, 20, even 30 times more powerful than the atomic bombs that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

For example, when the Navy’s new nuclear sub goes into production, it will devour almost half of the Navy’s annual shipbuilding budget. These nuclear terror weapons threaten to siphon away funds needed for the conventional weapons actually used by troops in combat, to fight the self-described Islamic State for example.

This is a dangerous situation. In his new book, “My Journey at the Nuclear Brink,” former U.S. Secretary of Defense William Perry warns “far from continuing the nuclear disarmament that has been underway for the last two decades, we are starting a new nuclear arms race.”

What should we do about this new Russian weapon, for example? It won’t be long before someone calls for a massive new program to deploy underwater anti-torpedo drones to counter Russia’s concept.

Rather than build more weapons, Perry wants President Obama to build fewer. In a recent op-ed with former Director of the U.S. Nuclear Weapons Council Andy Weber, the two urge Obama to kill the new cruise missile. Instead, they say we should champion a new effort to ban these “extremely destabilizing” weapons.

These nuclear terror weapons threaten to siphon away funds needed for the conventional weapons actually used by troops in combat, to fight ISIS for example.

A similar push could be made to ban weapons like the Russian torpedo. The U.S. could take the lead in denouncing these weapons as inhumane and incompatible with modern civilization.

We would be in good company. Pope Francis called for a ban on all nuclear weapons at the United Nations this September, saying their “threat of mutual destruction” was “an affront to the entire framework of the United Nations.”

Analyst Jeffrey Lewis argues passionately for just such an approach. The levels of destruction in the U.S. and Russian arsenals are far beyond anything needed for deterrence. “Why not admit that nuclear weapons are awful?” he asks. “And that it would be a humanitarian catastrophe if even a single bomb were ever dropped.”

It would be a powerful move. But unless Obama acts soon, his nuclear policy legacy may be the launch of a terrifying arms race that threatens destruction far beyond the horrors committed by ISIS.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/joe-cirincione/arms-race-us-russia-nuclear_b_8557526.html

Resources

Is your city at risk of nuclear war targeting?17 Nov

Nov 13: CityMetric, Which cities are at greatest risk of nuclear war?
http://fas.us8.list-manage.com/track/click?u=33c6e6fc9f63792ebcbb7ef9d&id=3a21f4bc68&e=9b715a3b16

For example, 2 excerpts:
” India versus Pakistan, the poll suggests, is seen by far the most likely potential great power conflict with a 40 percent chance of war and a 9 percent chance of nuclear exchange.”

or

” Our PS21 panel, incidentally, estimated a 21 percent chance NATO and Russia would fight at least a limited conventional war in the next 20 years, with a 4 percent chance it might go nuclear.”

Let’s get rid of them.

Resources

Mr. President Kill the New Cruise Missile! — Washington Post Guest Editorial16 Oct

The Below editorial reveals again the fact that the US Military does not build and maintain nuclear weapons for deterrent purposes but also includes them in war fighting plans (or wants to).

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/mr-president-kill-the-new-cruise-missile/2015/10/15/e3e2807c-6ecd-11e5-9bfe-e59f5e244f92_story.html?postshare=9471444964127600

Mr. President, kill the new cruise missile
By William J. Perry and Andy Weber October 15 at 8:42 PM

William J. Perry was U.S. secretary of defense from 1994 to 1997. Andy Weber was assistant secretary of defense for nuclear, chemical and biological defense programs from 2009 to 2014.

Because they can be launched without warning and come in both nuclear and conventional variants, cruise missiles are a uniquely destabilizing type of weapon. President Obama can lead the world to a stabler and safer future by canceling plans for a new U.S. nuclear-capable cruise missile. Moreover, taking such a step — which would not diminish the formidable U.S. nuclear deterrent in the least — could lay the foundation for a global ban on these dangerous weapons.

Two years ago, when Britain decided not to pursue a sea-launched nuclear cruise missile, Philip Hammond, then-British defense secretary and now-foreign secretary, explained the problem well: “A cruise-based deterrent would carry significant risk of miscalculation and unintended escalation. At the point of firing, other states could have no way of knowing whether we had launched a conventional cruise missile or one with a nuclear warhead. Such uncertainty could risk triggering a nuclear war at a time of tension.”

Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev recognized the destabilizing nature of nuclear cruise missiles and prioritized the elimination of ground-launched versions in the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. Similarly, in 1991, President George H.W. Bush unilaterally ordered all sea-launched Tomahawk nuclear cruise missiles taken off surface ships and attack submarines and put into storage. There they sat unused until Obama formally retired and directed their dismantlement in 2011.

The Defense Department’s 2010 Nuclear Posture Review Report stated that a decision would be made “whether and (if so) how” to replace the current air-launched cruise missile. This missile will reach the end of its operational life in about 2030, and the only bomber that can deliver it — the B-52 — dates to 1955. The vastly superior B-2 stealth bomber carries not the cruise missile but two types of nuclear gravity bombs, the B61 and megaton-plus B83.

The Obama administration deserves great credit for increasing investment in B-2 sustainment, command and control, and a costly but vital program to extend the life of the B61 nuclear bomb. The extended B61 will replace four existing models, including the tactical version deployed to Europe in support of NATO, and allow for the retirement of the very high-yield B83. With these efforts, the B-2 and B61 will provide the core capability of the bomber leg of the strategic air-land-and-sea nuclear triad for decades to come. The Air Force has also prioritized procurement of 80 to 100 next-generation stealth bomber aircraft, which will be called the Long-Range Strike Bomber, or B-3.

One of us (William J. Perry) led the Defense Department’s development and procurement of the current air-launched cruise missile and the B-2 stealth bomber in the late 1970s and early 1980s. At that time, the United States needed the cruise missile to keep the aging B-52, which is quite vulnerable to enemy air defense systems, in the nuclear mission until the more effective B-2 replaced it. The B-52 could safely launch the long-range cruise missile far from Soviet air defenses. We needed large numbers of air-launched nuclear cruise missiles to be able to overwhelm Soviet air defenses and thus help offset NATO’s conventional-force inferiority in Europe, but such a posture no longer reflects the reality of today’s U.S. conventional military dominance.

With the updated B-2 and B61 expected to remain in service for many decades, and the planned deployment of new B-3 penetrating bombers with B61 bombs starting in 2025, there is scant justification for spending tens of billions of dollars on a new nuclear air-launched cruise missile and related warhead life-extension program. The old Cold War requirement for such a capability no longer exists. We can, and should, maintain an extremely effective bomber leg of the triad without it.

Some have argued that a new nuclear-capable air-launched cruise missile is needed to allow future presidents the “flexibility” to engage Russia or China in limited nuclear war. That is Cold War thinking, and it is dangerous. Such “tactical” use of nuclear weapons would be a grave mistake. As Bush told the nation in 1991 when he announced his path-breaking Presidential Nuclear Initiative: “We can enhance stability and actually reduce the risk of nuclear war. Now is the time to seize the opportunity.”

We therefore urge President Obama to cancel the current plan to develop and buy 1,000 to 1,100 new nuclear-capable air-launched cruise missiles. Such strong U.S. leadership, coupled with a challenge to the other major nuclear powers to eliminate or, in the cases of China and India, forgo deployment of this extremely destabilizing class of weapons, would reduce the risk of nuclear weapons use and be a historic practical step in the direction of a world without nuclear weapons.

Resources

Peace in Space — No! US uses space as the “High Ground” in Warfare15 Oct

Peace Train October 16, 2015

By JUDITH MOHLING

Gazing at the stars while camping in the San Luis Valley recently, I mused on the fantasy that space should be the world’s peaceful commons. It isn’t. Think of drone warfare in near space, for example.

A U.S. airstrike in the Afghan city of Kunduz killed at least 19 people at a hospital run by international medical-aid organization Doctors Without Borders early last Saturday, prompting condemnation from humanitarian groups and the United Nations, according to the Wall Street Journal. “Increasingly, this is how the United States chooses to fight its wars. Drones lead the way and dominate the fight against the several non-state actors we now engage — Al Qaeda, the Shabab in Somalia and now ISIS.”

Both US and Russian drones are surveying and dropping bombs on Syria, directed from space. Space is the navigational medium. “Denial” is the ethical medium. In an interview in GQ Magazine with former drone pilot, Brandon Bryant, Bryant recalls, “sitting in a control station on an Air Force base in Nevada, the three victims were walking on a dirt road in Afghanistan. After the Hellfire missile fired from the drone struck the three men, Bryant watched the aftermath on his infrared display.”

“The smoke clears, and there’s pieces of the two guys around the crater. And there’s this guy over here, and he’s missing his right leg above his knee. He’s holding it, and he’s rolling around, and the blood is squirting out of his leg, and it’s hitting the ground, and it’s hot. His blood is hot,” Bryant says. “But when it hits the ground, it starts to cool off; the pool cools fast. It took him a long time to die. I just watched him. I watched him become the same color as the ground he was lying on.”.

But, won’t the day of reckoning arrive? Aren’t we engendering the wrath and indignation of more and more of the world’s citizens by our unilateral, imperious behavior?

“Our violence spawns violence and never-ending configurations of enraged militants.” Chris Hedges, TruthDig. Stop drones. Stop perpetual war. Make space peaceful for all.

Resources

Republican House Military Spending Bill Madness –Fiscal Responsibility??06 Oct

US Military Spending has over the past 20 years has 8.5 Trillion dollars unaccounted for. (Hidden? Lost? Cost Overruns? Illegal spending?). Some of that “money was used to buy the weapons systems that destroyed a Doctorsw/oBorders hospital in N. Afghanistan on Sunday. The General responsible just said “Whoops”? “We are investigating”–really? Do you think the Military can be trusted to do a serious accounting of its own war crimes if it can’t be held accountable for its robbing the national wealth for $8.5 T??
http://www.forbes.com/sites/charlestiefer/2015/10/04/huge-waste-now-heads-in-the-604-billion-defense-bill-for-the-final-senate-cloture-vote/

Huge Waste In $604 Billion Defense Bill Heads For Final Senate Cloture Vote

The $604 billion defense spending bill now nears passage with many billions of dollars in rampant defense waste scattered throughout. Aircraft waste on the pricey but flawed F-35, Navy waste on a next generation of nuclear submarines, and systemic waste in unchecked new weapons, all have found their costly places aboard the defense authorization bill.

Last week the House rushed this bill from conference to passage, and now it awaits a cloture vote in the Senate. There is still a major battle ahead about the overall issue of the Congressional budget limits, but virtually no resistance, it seems, to the many billions in waste on specific matters.

Starting with the aircraft, a previous piece of mine noted that the Lockheed F-35 fighter is high on the list of cost-overruns, helping Lockheed reach its corporate level of “cost overruns on development programs” of 37 percent (Bloomberg ). Yet this defense spending bill will not only commit to spend billions on the Defense Department’s relatively balanced request of F-35 purchases, but will go far beyond that to add a “wish list” of much more.

Specifically, USNI News reports that “The bill maintained the support that both [House and Senate] committees had for six additional F-35B Joint Strike Fighters for the Marine Corps,” on top of the Administration’s already generous nine; and “funding for 12 additional FA – 18E-F Super Hornets for the Navy.” Basically, the armed forces, and Lockheed, first received billions from the Administration budget. Then the armed forces and Lockheed did an end-run around the Administration, took a “wish list” to Congress, and got wasteful billions, by definition lower-priority, in this bill. The F-35s are made in Texas, not far from the district of the House Committee Chair, Rep. Thornberry (R-TX).

For the Navy, there is the opening wedge toward an entire new class of nuclear submarines – a $90 billion plus program, a key piece of the overall strategic nuclear trial project of $1 trillion. Even the Navy knows this program is unsustainable. The Navy was caught illegally lobbing for the subs.

This bill facilitates funding this new generation of submarines in a separate big-dollar fund outside the Navy’s regular budget, named the “National Sea-Based Deterrence Fund.” A piece by William D. Hartung, a noted defense waste-hunter, exposed this wasteful charade. As he said, “If the new submarine account is funded, it will simply drain resources, from other, more urgent priorities like military readiness.”

What’s more, he noted, an envious Air Force will seek to set up a similar fund for its nuclear bombers and missiles, also off the books. This doesn’t make these one penny less costly to the taxpayer. It just conceals the enormous scale of costs. Perhaps Congressional Republicans, since they like to conceal hidden funds so much, should set up a “Veterans Administration Illness Deterrence Fund” or a “Food Stamp Hunger Deterrence Fund” to hide these, too.

Senator McCain, who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee, has wanted to take away development control from the somewhat objective and even skeptical civilian Defense Department, which has a relatively serious testing office. Instead, Senator McCain, and the defense contractors, wanted to give the authority to the individual armed services, namely, the Air Force and the Navy. The Administration vigorously fought this. It noted that the individual armed services are wildly overenthusiastic in their reviews of their own pet weapons, and do not control the rampant risks of cost overruns. Federal News Radio has an interview on this subject.

Events,News

N-8 Witness October 301 Oct

Abolish Weapons of Mass Destruction

We still have 49 nuclear missiles on ready alert in northeastern Colorado

Under the terms of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, we are obliged to get rid of our nuclear weapons. But the present administration is planning to develop new and more destructive ones. The weapons manufacturers will be richer, but we will not be safer.

Vigil October 3, 2015

12:00 noon

Missile Silo N8 in northeastern Colorado
Carpool from Denver, Boulder or Colorado Springs. For carpool locations or directions to missile silos: Judith in Boulder – 303-447-9635; Bill in Colorado Springs – 719-389-0644; Mary in Denver –303-807-2109

News

Can a person claim to be a Catholic and work to produce nuclear weapons? NO. Neither could a Buddhist25 Sep

Pope Francis Calls for the Complete Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

Santa Fe, NM – In his speech today at the United Nations Pope Francis stated:

” The Preamble and the first Article of the Charter of the United Nations set forth the foundations of the international juridical framework: peace, the pacific solution of disputes and the development of friendly relations between the nations. Strongly opposed to such statements, and in practice denying them, is the constant tendency to the proliferation of arms, especially weapons of mass distraction, such as nuclear weapons. An ethics and a law based on the threat of mutual destruction – and possibly the destruction of all mankind – are self-contradictory and an affront to the entire framework of the United Nations, which would end up as “nations united by fear and distrust”. There is urgent need to work for a world free of nuclear weapons, in full application of the non-proliferation Treaty, in letter and spirit, with the goal of a complete prohibition of these weapons.”

“Separately, the United Nations’ Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon released a statement in advance of tomorrow’s (September 26) International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons tomorrow. He said:

The norm against the use of nuclear weapons – the most destructive weapons ever created, with potentially unparalleled human costs – has stood strong for seven decades. But the only absolute guarantee that they are never used again is through their total elimination.”

The Pope’s words builds upon a December 2014 paper entitled “Nuclear Weapons: Time for Abolition” that the Vatican presented at an international conference on the “Humanitarian Impacts of Nuclear Weapons” held by the Austrian government in Vienna. In it, the Catholic Church declared that the provisional justification it once gave for possession of nuclear weapons for the sake of “deterrence” during the Cold War is no longer valid. The Vatican further stated in no uncertain terms, “Now is the time to affirm not only the immorality of the use of nuclear weapons, but the immorality of their possession, thereby clearing the road to nuclear abolition.”

Contrary to the Catholic Church’s growing push to ban nuclear weapons, the recent May 2015 NonProliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference ended in failure. The immediate reason was that the United States, United Kingdom and Canada blocked the adoption of a “Final Document” seeking to implement a previously agreed-to conference on a Middle East nuclear weapons free zone, at the behest of Israel, a non-signatory to the NPT and a non-declared nuclear weapons power. A broader, deeper reason is that the majority of non-weapons states are growing increasingly frustrated by the nuclear weapons powers’ failure to honor their NPT Article VI obligation “to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament…”, first promised in 1970. This is now exacerbated by accelerating nuclear weapons “modernization” programs, led by the United States which plans to spend a trillion dollars over thirty years completely rebuilding its nuclear weapons stockpile and infrastructure.

New Mexico plays a key role in these modernization programs, with two of the nation’s three nuclear weapons laboratories, Sandia and Los Alamos. Currently the labs’ main focus is “Life Extension Programs” that prolong the service lives of existing U.S. nuclear weapons for up to 60 years while giving them new military capabilities, despite denials at the highest levels of the U.S. government. These programs are clearly contrary to the Vatican’s push for nuclear weapons abolition.

New Mexico also has one of the highest percentages of Catholic citizens, at around 40% of the total population. The full name of its capitol Santa Fe (Holy Faith) is “The Royal City of the Holy Faith of Saint Francis of Assisi,” the saint from whom Pope Francis takes his papal name. St. Francis and Pope Francis are both known for their focus on the poor. Ironically, Los Alamos County, next to Santa Fe, is the second richest county in the USA because of nuclear weapons programs, while some of the poorest communities in the country (the San Ildefonso and Santa Clara Pueblos) are contiguous to it.

One of New Mexico’s two Catholic Archbishops, Oscar Cantú of Las Cruces, is chair of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishop’s Committee on International Justice and Peace, and is playing a leading role in the Catholic Church’s accelerating push for nuclear weapons abolition. He delivered a homily at a mass at the Nagasaki Cathedral in Japan on August 9, 2015 commemorating the 70th anniversary of the city’s destruction by a plutonium bomb designed and produced in New Mexico. He described it as a life-changing experience, and declared:

The bishops of the United States join in solidarity with the Church in Japan in advocating for global nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament in the face of the tragedies that occurred here when atomic bombs struck… the U.S. bishops committed themselves to shaping “the climate of opinion which will make it possible for our country to express profound sorrow over the atomic bombing in 1945. Without that sorrow, there is no possibility of finding a way to repudiate future use of nuclear weapons….”

New Mexico’s other archbishop, Santa Fe’s newly installed John Wester, has not yet stated his position on nuclear weapons. His diocese includes the Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratories.

Jay Coghlan, director of Nuclear Watch New Mexico, commented, “Northern New Mexico has been a Catholic stronghold for centuries, and the birthplace of nuclear weapons seventy years ago. Catholics and non-Catholics alike must examine their consciences and the Pope’s calling for the prohibition of nuclear weapons, and how that squares with the nuclear weapons industry that is so deeply embedded in our culture and economy. The choice is not easy, but clearly we must follow faith and good will toward elimination of these worst of weapons of mass destruction. I hope that Santa Fe’s new Archbishop John Wester will help guide us in following Pope Francis’ call for the complete probation of nuclear weapons.”

Pope Francis’ quote is from http://time.com/4049905/pope-francis-us-visit-united-nations-speech-transcript/

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