It’s time for Congress to finally ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) that was signed by the U.S. in 1999 but derailed under the Republican-majority Senate in 1999 when they failed to ratify it. It is also time to implement all measures of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and for the U.S. and other nuclear nations to comply with Article VI of the treaty.
In order for the U.S. to be a believable agent of change in the nuclear regimes around the world, it must lead the way in showing good faith to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and then move swiftly to eliminate nuclear weapons through taking concrete steps and encouraging other nuclear nations to follow suit.
It is time for countries to use their precious financial and natural resources for purposes other than preparing for war. Far too much money is spent on nuclear weapons and other weapons of destruction. If we spent a small percentage of the money used to fund the wars around the world, we could eliminate poverty, illiteracy and hunger.
According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), Global Military Expenditures set a new record in 2008 totalling an estimated “$1464 billion. This represents an increase of 4 percent in real terms compared to 2007, and an increase of 45 percent since 1999.”
‘The idea of the “war on terror” has encouraged many countries to see their problems through a highly militarized lens, using this to justify high military spending,’ comments Dr. Sam Perlo-Freeman, Head of the Military Expenditure Project at SIPRI. ‘Meanwhile, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have cost $903 billion in additional military spending by the USA alone.’ (SIPRI)
Nuclear Weapons are a Danger to All Humanity
Nuclear weapons are a danger to all humanity and it is time to stop refining and redesigning them. The U.S. National Ignition Facility and Stockpile Stewardship Program have been used by those wishing to continue nuclear weapons development as a means to keep the wheels of technology moving forward for the next generation of nuclear weapons.
We do not need these weapons. There are so many nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction in the nuclear-nation arsenals to annihilate the world several times over. Instead, we should be using our scientists brain power and our resources to find clean energy for every possible use and wean ourselves from polluting fossil fuels. We must solve the problem of why we need these horrible weapons of death in the first place and instead, focus on working together with other nations to solve our common problems such as the destructive effects of global warming.
President Barack Obama promised to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and work towards the elimination of all nuclear weapons. There are many level-headed scientists that support this philosophy, especially those scientists who created the first nuclear weapons through the Manhattan Project.
President Obama Calls for Elimination of Nuclear Weapons in Prague
While in Prague on April 5, 2009, President Obama said before a crowd of 30,000 people in a public address in the Czech capital:
“As the only nuclear power to have used a nuclear weapon, the United States has a moral responsibility to act. We cannot succeed in this endeavor alone, but we can lead it; we can start it,” Obama said.
“So today, I state, clearly and with conviction, America’s commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.”
Obama Presided Over Historic UN Security Council Summit on Nuclear Disarmament
At the United Nations Security Council Meeting on September 24, 2009, President Barack Obama stated:
It is the story of a world that understands that no difference or division is worth destroying all that we have built and all that we love. It is a recognition that can bring people of different nationalities, ethnicities and ideologies together. In my own country it has brought democrats and republican leaders together. Leaders like George Schultz, Bill Perry, Henry Kissinger and Sam Nunn who are with us here today.
And it was a Republican President, Ronald Reagan, who once articulated the goal we now seek in the starkest of terms: “A nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought. And no matter how great the obstacles may seem, we must never stop our efforts to reduce the weapons of war. We must never stop at all until we see the day when nuclear arms have been banished from the face of the earth.”
That is our task. That can be our destiny. And, we will leave this meeting with a renewed determination to achieve this shared goal.