Steps To Reduce Nuclear Weapons Dangers

● First and foremost: decide that the current U.S. nuclear arsenal is plenty “modern” and that there is no need to spend additional billions of dollars to replace every part of it. Or any part of it. (United States weaponry is the gold standard for nuclear arsenals. No other nation has tested as many nuclear weapons as the United States.)
● Declare that the United States will support a treaty to ban nuclear weapons. (Eminently sensible and consistent with Obama’s pledge at Prague to “pursue the security of a world without nuclear weapons.” but… this would be a very significant reversal and not something we should expect anytime soon. U.S. representatives including Rose Gottemoeller have been very clear in their opposition to the ban treaty.)
● Convene Nuclear Disarmament Summits at which the US and other nuclear-armed nations can discuss action steps. (This was proposed to the U.S. representatives to the Vienna conference.)
● Remove ICBMs (intercontinental ballistic missiles – land based Minuteman III missiles in silos on the Great Plains) from prompt launch status (take them off hairtrigger alert status).
● Lead efforts to create a Mideast Nuclear Weapons Free Zone. (Many NPT nations are clamoring for this, and the U.S. govt. has supported meetings to at least discuss it.)
● Support full U.S. funding for nuclear nonproliferation (Nunn-Lugar) programs (cut by millions in the last Obama budget)
● Get a head-start on START: take forces off line now that are scheduled to be removed by 2018 to meet New START treaty requirements. (for more info, see )
● Reduce deployed nuclear weapons by an additional third beyond New START limits. (Obama expressed that his national security experts indicated the U.S. could do this without impacting national security. To his credit, he challenged Russia to agree to reciprocate. But Obama could do it first and then re-issue the challenge. Both George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush announced significant reductions regardless of Russian reaction.)
● Explain how current U.S. nuclear weapons doctrines are consistent with international humanitarian law and the rules of war.
● Direct the U.S. government to research, publish and publicly release a state by state report on the humanitarian impact to U.S. citizens of various nuclear warfighting scenarios that are in the U.S. playbook.
● Remove 1,000 to 2,000 nuclear weapons from the “hedge” stockpile (non-deployed but kept in reserve).
● Change U.S. military doctrine to de-emphasize nuclear weapons.
● Convince the United States Senate to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, signed by the U.S. in 1996 and awaiting ratification. (Rose Gottemoeller has been on a national speaking tour promoting CTBT. But we have every reason to doubt that the current U.S. Senate would ratify CTBT without a lot of convincing.)
For many more action steps the United States not only should take, but has committed to take, see the 64 items in the 2010 NPT Review Conference Action Plan. The 64 steps begin on page 25 of this pdf:

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