Ukraine War Talking Points & Media Resources

Ukraine-specific points about nuclear weapons you might highlight in a letter to the editor or Op-Ed

  • Nuclear weapons did not prevent Russia’s invasion nor can they be used to stop the war.
  • This war and Putin’s nuclear belligerence illustrates real risks and dangers.
    • One person is holding the entire world hostage. Current US policy gives the US president – and no one else — sole authority to order a launch of US nuclear weapons.
    • War/crisis could easily escalate and lead to serious miscalculation including the use of nuclear weapons.
  • When the crisis has ended we will have no choice but to re-engage with Russia, China and other nuclear powers and get back to discussing the world’s collective self interest in getting rid of all nuclear weapons.
  • The worst response to this crisis would be more nuclear weapons, and more spending on the military, a dangerous global nuclear arms race.
  • Rather, we should fundamentally reassess the role and value of nuclear weapons as instruments of our security and conflict prevention and management.

General points about nuclear weapons and Back from the Brink you might highlight in a letter to the editor

  • Current U.S. policy assumes that the small number of people — mostly men like Vladimir Putin — who control the world’s nuclear arsenals will always act rationally and that the systems used to control nuclear weapons will never fail.
  • The foundation of current US policy, nuclear deterrence – the threat of mass murder — is immoral and unconscionable and impoverishes the human spirit and denies humanity a hopeful future
  • Nuclear weapons are profoundly undemocratic, with the power to end humanity resting in the hands of a small number of people — most of whom are men.
    The only way to truly prevent nuclear war and eliminate the risks posed by nuclear weapons is to eliminate them.
  • The world is demanding nuclear abolition — 86 countries have signed and 59 have ratified the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons which prohibits nations that have ratified the treaty from developing, testing, producing, manufacturing, transferring, possessing, stockpiling, using or threatening to use nuclear weapons, or allowing nuclear weapons to be stationed on their territory.
  • We can stigmatize, ban, and eliminate these weapons, as we have done with other indiscriminate weapons of war, but it is going to take all of us.
  • Nuclear weapons ARE a local issue:
    • 400+ organizations, 58 cities and hundreds of state and local elected officials have endorsed the national Back from the Brink campaign working to abolish nuclear weapons.
    • One cannot have a true sense of safety if one is hungry, lacks proper housing, education or health care, or is regularly subject to the threat of physical harm, gun violence or nuclear war. We believe that nuclear weapons rob us of our security.
    • The United States should make fundamental shifts in how and where our tax dollars are spent — away from nuclear weapons and toward sustained community-focused investments in housing, infrastructure, health care, poverty alleviation, community safety, education and clean air and water.
  • Calculate how much your community spends annually on nuclear weapons here.

Practical tips for LTEs & Op-Eds

  • Short and sweet is best. In fact, most newspapers require a word count of 200 words or less for LTE and 650 -750 words for Op-Eds.
  • Ideally reference a recent article, letter to the editor, op-ed or editorial.
  • In the first paragraph clearly state what issue/problem you are addressing, what the solution is, why readers should care about it.
  • Make it personal—have you been personally impacted? How? This will help you connect your message with readers and your target.
  • Embrace your personal voice and make it local. Connect it to issues of concern to your community.
  • Use short sentences and paragraphs.
  • Avoid jargon.
  • If applicable, refer to the legislator you are trying to influence by name.

Resources

We’re Here to Help! If you want help crafting an Op-Ed or LTE, please email info@preventnuclearwar.org and we will connect you with someone who can help.

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