The war in Ukraine has raised the chances of nuclear war, intentional or accidental. We call on the two largest nuclear powers, the United States and Russia, to make sure this never happens. Here’s what each can do:
1. Declare a No First Strike policy: we should announce that US will not be the first to use nuclear weapons! Period. Of course, this would apply in the Russia-Ukraine war.
2. Halt nuclear arsenal modernization, with its projected cost of $1T over 30 years – it’s a waste of money, it’s unnecessary for deterrence and it fuels the global arms race. It puts us in greater danger.
3. End the Russia-Ukraine war. Don’t accept the idea of endless war. Concessions must be made on both sides. Negotiate peace.
4. We must sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, joining 122 other nations, none which have nuclear weapons.
On August 6, 1945, a small nuclear weapon was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan. Three days later, a second bomb exploded over Nagasaki. At least 129,000 to 226,000 people were killed, with half dying slow deaths from burns, radiation, other injuries, and malnutrition*. Hibakusha, the remaining survivors, still suffer the effects. Targeting Asian civilians in 1945 has echoes today as racism still plagues our nation.
The U.S. government is now modernizing its nuclear arsenal at a cost of more than $1 trillion**. While our tax dollars support unthinkable war, remedies to economic and racial inequity and efforts to rebuild infrastructure are severely underfunded.
Cleveland Peace Action has been working for a world free of nuclear weapons since 1981.
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