As a global pandemic wreaks havoc on human health and economy, it seems like the right time to consider our country’s priorities, huh?
No, it turns out, for a war machine. US is ready for that spend at least a trillion, and perhaps several trillion, of our tax dollars to completely overhaul and upgrade our entire nuclear arsenal over the next three decades. Predictably, eight other nuclear weapons nations – Russia, China, France, Britain, Pakistan, India, Israel and North Korea – have followed suit, so like it or not, we are in a new arms race. It’s hard to imagine a more colossal waste of money, energy, and human intelligence, especially with the pandemic and climate chaos beating us, so hard.
The really chilling part of this insane scheme is the new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) to replace the Minuteman III missiles stationed in Montana, North Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska, and Colorado. Bureaucratically dubbed the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD), the Pentagon or prime contractor Northrop Grumman might immediately give him a ridiculous name meant to convey his destructive power (previous missile monikers include Atlas, Titan, and ridiculously, Keeper of the Peacekeeping).
Let’s beat them up and call it what they are, Omnicider, because a nuclear war involving such a missile, which would carry a warhead tens or hundreds of times more powerful than the Hiroshima bomb that killed more than 140,000 people, could end all lives. in this world. And more importantly, let’s leave it behind, eliminate the entire ICBM leg of the nuclear weapons triad (its most unsafe and unstable leg, nuclear submarines and long-range bombers being the other two legs), and move on to get rid of this cursed planet. weapons, including the signing Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
There are myriad reasons why Omnicider is such a bad idea – its exorbitant price tag, the opportunity cost of investing our tax money in missiles and warheads instead of human and environmental well-being, and its contribution to a new arms race that threatens global peace and security.GBSD has a starting price tag of $ 100 billion, with an entire life cycle cost of $ 264 billion, and that possibility is too low. When was the last time a major weapons system was under budget? Chirp, chirp, chirp of crickets.
Great article by Elisabeth Eaves in the Atomic Scientist Bulletin dig deep into the various aspects of this ignorance. He noted that canceling the program would not be easy, with economic and political support entrenched behind the leg of the ICBM triad. In addition to the states mentioned above, where the missile silos are located, Utah is the site of Northrop Grumman’s new headquarters building for the program, and plans to test the missile’s solid fuel system nearby. Also add California to the list, as the missile’s test flight was launched from Vandenburg Air Force Base, which was targeted to land on Kwajelein Island in the Marshall Islands (or in the Pacific Ocean).
People in the state are subject to nuclear attack simply because these facilities are located there, so local opposition is expected. Of course, we all retreated, even a limited nuclear war could because nuclear winter, wiping out nearly all life on Earth.
There are myriad reasons why Omnicider is such a bad idea – the exorbitant price tag, the opportunity cost of investing our tax money in missiles and warheads instead of human and environmental well-being, and its contribution to a new arms race that threatens global peace and security are few. . It seems difficult to make an affirmative case for the program.
How did we get here? As the Eaves article chronicles, President Barack Obama has, in a dubious bargain, agreed to conservative senatorial demands to spend large sums of money to “modernize” (aka remodel and upgrade) the entire US nuclear weapons complex in exchange for ratifying a simple New START treaty with Russia. Recently extended for five years by Russia and the Biden government, New START allows each country to deploy 1,550 nuclear weapons; The US and Russia’s nuclear arsenal comprises more than 90% of the global nuclear arsenal.
Even though Biden was Vice President at the time, he was not at all bound by this previous decision. He and Congress can and should decide to cancel Omnicider and other nuclear weapons programs for better and more life-affirming priorities – tackling the pandemic, reviving the economy, building affordable housing, providing universal health care, canceling student debt, enduring climate chaos – whatever we decide to be a government. Even some conservatives argue that there are more pressing priorities in the Pentagon’s budget – increasing conventional power and dealing with cyber threats, for example – that cost more money than new nukes.
As a bureaucratic checkbox for the program, the Army has rumored a Finding of No Significant Impact, or FONSI (Heyyyy !!! Does Henry Winkler agree with the acronym?), which states that testing various aspects of GBSD will not harm the environment. Because the US military is among the largest polluter on this planet, I am skeptical of this “finding.”
While this may seem like a small step, anyone can email the government your concerns about GBSD to [email protected].
Hopefully this will help trigger national and regional movements to stop these false programs, such as campaigns stop the MX missiles decades ago. Let’s vote for humanity, another species that has no say in nuclear policy, and Earth, over the omnicide.