NUCLEAR WEAPONS CUTS IN THE MILITARY BUDGET
MEETING WITH SENATOR ANGUS KING’S STAFF
Social Action Report from Sally Breen
February 13, 2013
On February 11, two Physicians For Social Responsibility and I met with two aides to Senator Angus King to talk about nuclear weapons budget issues. The doctors outlined several nuclear programs that could easily be cut from the nuclear weapons budget without compromising US safety. My topic was what to do with the nuclear waste which continues to accumulate. Since there is no good option for disposal of as much as 70,000 metric tons of nuclear waste, I suggested that a way to cut the budget would be to not make any more nuclear weapons.,
According to the physicians, the only adequate medical response to nuclear weapons is prevention; they offered solutions that reduce risks of nuclear weapons while maintaining national security and also making significant savings in the federal budget. Their rationale: nuclear weapons serve only one purpose and that is deterrence. They emphasized this message, asking Senator King to consider the need to reshape how we plan and spend for national security to meet 21st century dangers and not perpetuate outdated Cold War strategies., which can adequately be maintained with many fewer weapons.
Several high-level military advisers have come out in favor of drastically cutting nuclear weapons programs from the budget. (They always wait until they retire before being so brave!)
The New York Times had “leaked” a headline, “Obama to Renew Drive for Cuts in Nuclear Arms.” And, in the State of the Union address, President Obama said, “….we will engage Russia to seek further reductions in our nuclear arsenals, and continue leading the global effort to secure nuclear materials that could fall into the wrong hands….”
In addition to this, the timing of the meeting was fortuitous. Senator King has been appointed to the Senate Armed Services Committee, which was scheduled to meet the following day. The aides said they would review what we had told them and provided in documents, and provide this information to the Senator with time for review prior to attending the Senate Armed Services Committee meeting.