News Release

Why is the U.S. Government Making Nuclear War More Likely?

The New York Times recently reported: “Hundreds of Scientists Ask Biden to Cut the U.S. Nuclear Arsenal.”

Norman Solomon recently wrote in Salon: “Some policy technocrats for the U.S. nuclear arsenal and some advocates for arms control are locked in a heated dispute over the future of ICBMs, or intercontinental ballistic missiles. It’s an argument between the ‘national security’ establishment — hell-bent on ‘modernizing’ ICBMs — and various nuclear-policy critics, who prefer to keep the current ICBMs in place. Both sides are refusing to acknowledge the profound need to get rid of them entirely.

“Elimination of ICBMs would substantially reduce the chances of a worldwide nuclear holocaust. ICBMs are uniquely vulnerable to effective attack, and thus have no deterrent value. Instead of being a ‘deterrent,’ ICBMs are actually land-based sitting ducks, and for that reason are set up for ‘launch on warning.’ …

“An enormous ICBM lobbying apparatus remains in high gear, with huge corporate profits at stake. Northrop Grumman has landed a $13.3 billion contract to proceed with developing a new ICBM system, misleadingly named the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent.” (Solomon is executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy.)

DAVE LINDORFF, dlindorff@gmail.com,

Lindorff wrote the piece “The U.S. is Set to Make Nuclear War More Likely,” which states: “The U.S. is about to move towards a far more likely first use of nuclear weapons, with word that the Air Force has ‘completed flight testing’ of the cost-and-performance-plagued F35A Lightning fighter, all units of which are being ‘upgraded’ to carry thermonuclear weapons.
“What this means, as explained in a new article in Popular Mechanics, is that the world’s most costly weapons program (at $1.7 trillion), a fifth-generation fighter, supposedly ‘invisible’ to radar (that actually cannot fight and is not invisible to advanced radars), now has a new mission to justify its existence and continued production: dropping dial-able ‘tactical’ nuclear weapons that can be as small as 0.3 kilotons or up to 50 kilotons in explosive power. …

“Bernie Sanders, the independent self-described ‘socialist’ senator from Vermont, now needs to finally end his own dogged and cynical support for the basing of 18 F-35A planes at the Burlington International Airport, where pilots of the Vermont Air National Guard are now training for exactly the kinds of bombing scenario described above. …

“Sanders has insisted that while he ‘opposes’ the ‘wasteful’ F35 program, it is a ‘done deal’ and so he wants Vermont’s Air National Guard unit to get a piece of the ‘benefits’ of having it and the ‘jobs’ it supposedly brings with it in his state. He has continued to dissemble, claiming that the Vermont F35As will not carry nuclear weapons or be used in nuclear war. In fact, his office was caught altering a document from the Pentagon to hide the fact that the Vermont Guard’s planes would in fact definitely be upgraded with the ‘block four’ alterations so they can carry nukes just like all F-35As in the Air Force fleet.”