WHY ACT NOW
The Current State of Affairs
Now more than ever, we need to change our nuclear weapons policies. In January 2023, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists set the Doomsday Clock to 90 seconds to midnight – the closest it has ever been. But instead of fulfilling obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) to move in good faith toward eliminating our nuclear arsenal, the U.S. and other nuclear nations are building new, enhanced nuclear weapons. Meanwhile, climate chaos is heightening global tensions and increasing the likelihood of armed conflicts escalating to nuclear war. It’s going to take all of us to ensure critical policy reforms are enacted, including pursuing a verifiable agreement among nuclear-armed nations to eliminate their arsenals.
Key Problems with U.S. Nuclear Weapons Policy
The United States retains the right to use nuclear weapons first, thus instigating a nuclear war. The U.S. president has the sole, unchecked authority over the decision to launch a U.S. nuclear weapon, without needing to consult with anyone else. Hundreds of the nuclear weapons within the U.S. arsenal are constantly kept on hair-trigger alert, compounding the likelihood of an accidental or unauthorized launch. Plans are underway to spend $1.7 trillion to create a new set of enhanced nuclear weapons. And despite a global movement calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons and the entry into force of the U.N. Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) on January 22, 2021, no nuclear armed nations have agreed to endorse such a call. Our five policy solutions are a response to these problems.
A Critical Moment for Change
There are tangible steps that the U.S. government can take right now to reform our nuclear weapons policy and reduce the threat of nuclear war. When everyday Americans, municipalities, and organizations speak out about these issues, our elected representatives must listen. We are speaking out loud and clear – enough is enough, it is time to leave behind our antiquated Cold War approach to nuclear weapons and usher in a new era of real security.
Now it is the time to act – join Back from the Brink today!
“Since the height of the Cold War, the United States and Russia have dismantled more than 50,000 nuclear warheads, but 15,000 of these weapons still exist and pose an intolerable risk to human survival.”
Back from the Brink resolution adopted August 2018