The Open Letter to Presidents Biden and Putin comes at a time when there is increasing concern about the conflicts between nuclear-armed States – including Russia and the USA – and a growing global movement
calling for the adoption of No-First-Use policies in order to prevent a nuclear exchange arising from conflict escalation, miscalculation, pre-emption or accident.
This is accompanied by No-First-Use legislation
introduced in the US Congress by Senator Elizabeth Warren, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Representative Adam Smith, Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee.
“Threatening to use nuclear weapons first makes America less safe because it increases the chances of a miscalculation or an accident. There are no winners in a nuclear war, and the US should never start one,” said Senator Warren.
Also yesterday, PNND Co-President Senator Ed Markey and Representative James McGovern reintroduced the Hastening Arms Limitation Talks (HALT) Act
, calling for renewed U.S. leadership to negotiate a multilateral freeze on the testing, production, and further deployment of nuclear weapons. The reintroduction of the act takes place on the anniversary week of the historic 1 million strong nuclear disarmament protest in New York’s Central Park in 1982.
“Four decades ago, I joined the one million Americans gathered at New York’s Central Park to demand a freeze to the Cold War arms race. This rally led to the negotiations of arms control treaties and agreements that eliminated and limited entire classes of nuclear weapons,” said Senator Markey. “It’s time for a reboot with a 21st Century nuclear freeze movement adapted for our multipolar world that halts quantitative and qualitative upgrades in the stockpiles of the world’s nuclear weapons powers.”
“The HALT act is an important reminder that there is strong congressional and public support for reducing the dangerously large stockpiles of US and Russian nuclear weapons,” said William J. Perry, former U.S. Secretary of Defense (1994-1997). “When Presidents Biden and Putin meet next week in Geneva, they need to focus their energies on the greatest danger we face: nuclear war. It is time to take the next step on nuclear arms control. We thank Sen Markey for his leadership.”
“The United States and Russian nuclear arsenals are an existential threat to the entire human race and to our own citizens,” said Cole Harrison, Executive Director, Massachusetts Peace Action. “The HALT Act provides a critical roadmap to reduce the danger of nuclear war and resume serious steps to freeze development of nuclear weapons and delivery systems, reduce nuclear weapons, ratify the CTBT and kickstart diplomacy embracing all nuclear weapon states. We need to stop the new arms race and stop the rush to a new cold war with Russia and China!”