Stop nuclear proliferation now

February 13, 2018

The following is an open letter to Delaware's congressional delegation, Rep. Lisa Blunt-Rochester, Sen. Tom Carper and Sen. Chris Coons, with a copy submitted to the Cape Gazette for publication.

The just-released Nuclear Project Review and the increasing nuclear threats being discussed with little concern for humanity are irresponsible. If only a small percentage of the nuclear weapons already in existence were deployed, intentionally or accidentally, millions of human beings would die instantly or die slow, excruciating deaths. There is no question that the nation against which they are deployed would respond in kind or with greater force.

The U.S. budget expands our nuclear arsenal at the cost of $1 trillion with a military directive to create "useable" nuclear weapons. This "modernization of our nuclear arsenal" was begun during the Obama presidency. We continue to test bombs designed to have lower yields and greater accuracy with the goal of minimizing collateral damage and nuclear fallout.

The nuclear-capable B61-12 is scheduled for production by 2020. The very real concern is that "smaller" will make first use of nuclear weapons more "thinkable" than at any time since WWII. The current president has said, "If we have nuclear weapons, why can't we use them?"

I am asking each of you to co-sponsor and support the bills Restrict First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017. House bill HR 669 was introduced by Congressman Lieu and Senate bill SR 200 was introduced by Sen. Markey. These bills prohibit the president from launching a nuclear first strike without a declaration of war by Congress.

These bills have been held up in committee and they need urgently to get to the full House and Senate for a vote. Congress must insist that the power and authority of Congress written into the Constitution not be bypassed by the American president who currently has the unique power to launch a nuclear weapon without congressional oversight or approval.

Please do the right and moral thing; work to support and pass HR 669 and SR 200 with urgency. Thank you for your public service and thank you for acting on this request.

Addendum: I am asking everyone who reads this to consider calling your offices to make this same ask of each of you.
Representative Lisa Blunt-Rochester 1-202-225-4165 or 302-304-6089, Senator Tom Carper 1-202-224-2441 or 302-674-3308, Senator Chris Coons 1-202-224-5042 or 302-736-5601.

Patricia Frey


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