FAS Joins Arms Controls Groups to Save Threat Reduction and Nonproliferation Programs

On October 27, 2011, FAS has joined the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) and other arms control groups to send a letter to the Obama administration asking for stronger action to support its budget goals for nuclear nonproliferation programs. Please find the letter below.

 

2011 November 1: Foreign Policy, “Arms Control Groups Appeal to Obama for Help With Congress”


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October 27, 2011

 

The President of the United States

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

Washington, D.C. 20500

 

Dear Mr. President:

 

We strongly urge you to make every effort to ensure that threat reduction and nonproliferation programs are funded at the Senate Appropriations Committee-approved level in the Fiscal Year 2012 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill.

 

Based on reports from Hill staff, we are concerned that while the final funding level remains unresolved, the Administration is not forcefully making the case for the Senate version of the bill, which in key respects is identical to your request. Put together with bipartisan agreement by Chair Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and ranking member Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and supported by Senators from both parties who want to help the Administration attain its anti-terrorism objectives, the levels in this bill need your active support to be enacted.

 

In a challenging fiscal environment when so many issues are bitterly partisan, the Senate Committee made difficult choices on a bi-partisan basis while protecting the key non-proliferation programs.

 

The disparity between the Senate and House levels for two particular programs stands out. The Senate approved the Administration’s request of $508.3 million for the Global Threat Reduction Initiative while the House cut the program by $85 million.

 

The Senate also approved the Administration’s request of $571.6 million for the International Nuclear Materials Protection and Cooperation program while the House cut that amount by $75.2 million.

 

In both cases, the House appropriation is less than the Fiscal Year 2011 levels, damaging the programs.

 

We highly commend your personal commitment to preventing nuclear terrorism, which has led the global community to take unprecedented action to secure and eliminate weapon-usable nuclear materials around the world.

 

Thanks to your leadership, the April 2010 Nuclear Security Summit in Washington D.C. was an unprecedented event during which the leaders of 47 nations pledged their support to secure vulnerable nuclear materials on their soil and to work in tandem to decrease threat levels.

 

As you noted in your State of the Union address, “Because we rallied the world, nuclear materials are being locked down on every continent so they never fall into the hands of terrorists.”

 

Failure to approve the Senate-passed levels would significantly hamper U.S. efforts to secure vulnerable weapons and materials around the world. For example, NNSA’s Global Threat Reduction Initiative could face delays in converting dozens of reactors around the world that use bomb-grade highly enriched uranium to use low enriched uranium, compromise our ability to protect and eliminate radioactive materials at universities and hospitals that could be used in a dirty bomb, and hold up efforts to remove dangerous highly enriched uranium from sites around the globe.

 

Nuclear terrorism is the ultimate preventable catastrophe.  If highly enriched uranium and plutonium are adequately secured or eliminated, they cannot be stolen for use in a nuclear device.

 

We urge you to ensure that threat reduction and nonproliferation programs in the Energy and Water Appropriations bill are funded at the FY 2012 requested level. No less than America’s national security is at stake.

 

Sincerely,*

 

Ambassador Kenneth C. Brill

Former Ambassador to the IAEA

 

David Culp, Legislative Representative

Friends Committee on National Legislation (Quakers)

 

Jenefer Ellingston, Delegate

Green Party

 

Charles D. Ferguson, President

Federation of American Scientists

 

Lt. General (USA, Ret.) Robert G. Gard, Jr.

Chair, Center for Arms Control & Non-Proliferation

 

Howard L. Hall, Ph.D.,

Director of Global Security Programs at the Howard Baker Jr Center

The University of Tennessee

 

William D. Hartung, Director, Arms and Security Project

Center for International Policy

 

Katie Heald, Coordinator

Campaign for a Nuclear Weapons Free World

 

Paul Ingram, Executive Director

British American Security Information Council (BASIC)

 

John Isaacs, Executive Director

Council for a Livable World

 

William W. Keller, Director

Center for International Trade & Security

 

Daryl G. Kimball, Executive Director

Arms Control Association

 

Robert K. Musil, Ph.D., M.P.H.

Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies, American University

 

Christopher Paine, Nuclear Program Director

Natural Resources Defense Council

 

Jon Rainwater, Executive Director

Peace Action West

 

Patricia Taft, Senior Associate

The Fund for Peace

 

Paul F. Walker, Ph.D., Director, Security and Sustainability

Global Green USA

 

Dr. Jim Walsh, Research Associate

MIT Security Studies Program

 

Peter Wilk, MD, Executive Director

Physicians for Social Responsibility

 

Michael J. Wilson, National Director

Americans For Democratic Action

 

James E. Winkler, General Secretary

General Board of Church and Society

The United Methodist Church

 

Stephen Young, Senior Analyst, Global Security Program

Union of Concerned Scientists

 

 

*Organization listed for affiliation purposes only

 

0 thoughts on “FAS Joins Arms Controls Groups to Save Threat Reduction and Nonproliferation Programs

  1. I support this initiative.

    Believe it or not nuclear weapons could be removed from the affairs of humankind by 2025 if the right moves were made at the right time. A Rubik’s cube can always be solved in 26 moves no matter what the configuration. The nuclear question is a two faced genie. Nuclear power is a boon for humankind. Nuclear weapons need to be phased out over the next thirteen years. They are a by-product of certain past geo-political moves. Like nine poker players all with various stacks returning dangerous chips to the house one by one, the risk needs to be reduced over time and in a way that builds trust. A core group of people could oversee and facilitate this process. Call it the “Committee to Oversee the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons by 2025.” I’m sure some clever person can come up with an appropriate acronym.

    The threat reduction and non-proliferation programs must be adequately funded at the Senate Appropriations Committee-approved level.

    This is the time in human history when the arc of tension policy must yield to the Isaiah “Swords into ploughshares” dynamic. The current tension like all communication is both a message and a command. There exists right now on Planet Earth the potential for great evil alongside great trust building. Nothing could be more important than the need to create a world where children will grow up without the existential threat of nuclear weapons hanging over the heads. A major catalyst would be if the stalled NPT conference was convened in Jerusalem on April 23rd, 2012. The London Olympics are three months later and the collective international goodwill should be strong by then. Invitations for the conference could be issued by Dec. 1st with an RSVP of Jan. 10th. This would leave ample time for the conference to proceed. The cost of a conference would be a fraction of the potential benefits so the cost/benefit ratio would be excellent.

    Where there is a will there is a way. All it requires now for nuclear weapons to go the way of the dinosaurs is the will. There are many timetables. Christian/Gregorian 2011; Jewish 5772; Muslim 1432; Iranian nuclear enrichment red line soon ? The divine timetable will trump all others.

    http://www.wp2050.com
    Founded April 2000

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