Maryland Peace Action understands that we cannot win peace without the participation of large numbers of people from every walk of life — rich and poor; black, white, Latino, Asian, and Native American; men and women; straight, gay, and transgendered; documented and undocumented.
Public opinion polls consistently show that it is Black and low-income communities that stand the most strongly against war and militarism. But the continued impact of racism and bigotry and extreme economic inequality means that large numbers of peace supporters face a struggle for community survival. In the interest of justice as well as peace, Peace Action stands with labor, community, people of color, and faith groups that work for economic and social justice. By strengthening the voice of minority, low income, and marginalized people in our society, we also strengthen the peace movement.
The Money Pit Missile
In order to get the Republican votes necessary to ratify the New Start Treaty, the Obama Administration made a Faustian bargain with the GOP: Support the treaty and we will agree to modernize the U.S. nuclear arsenal. Now the consequences of that arrangement are coming home to roost. Congress is considering $264 billion to produce a new ICBM called “Ground Based Strategic Deterrent” that would replace the current Minuteman III missiles housed in silos in several Plains and Rocky Mountain states.
Peace Action has come up with a better name for this creature: The Money Pit Missile. The thing is a relic from the Cold War. Even if you accept the notion of nuclear deterrence (and I consider it to be deadly logic), ground based missiles are an obsolete component of the nuclear triad. The number of nuclear armed missiles that the United States has positioned on its submarines has more than sufficient capacity to respond to a nuclear attack. Ground-based ICBMs, if anything, are first strike weapons. Their presence in a crisis could trigger a nuclear war.
Defenders of the Money Pit Missile are promoting it on the basis that it will create jobs. But we have heard that story before. We certainly can find many better things to do with $264 billion – programs that will create even more jobs.
Two of the peace movement’s strongest supporters on Capitol Hill, Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) and Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) have introduced the ICBM Act. It is designed to kill the Money Pit Missile. Their staff discussed the legislation on a Peace Action webinar this evening. I anticipate that Peace Action’s national organization will be making this measure a high priority, because it represents a real chance for a victory on a weapons bill. Such a campaign also would fit Maryland Peace Action’s focus on cutting the war budget. We will want to persuade our two U.S. Senators and members of our U.S. House delegation to co-sponsor this legislation.
Oh, in case you are wondering what the total price tag is for the modernization of the nuclear arsenal, the figure is $1.7 trillion –and that estimate is likely to rise.
Creating a National Insecurity State
Spending More, Seeing Less
By Mandy Smithberger
Hold on to your helmets! It’s true the White House is reporting that its proposed new Pentagon budget is only $740.5 billion, a relatively small increase from the previous year’s staggering number. In reality, however, when you also include war and security costs buried in the budgets of other agencies, the actual national security figure comes in at more than $1.2 trillion, as the Trump administration continues to give the Pentagon free reign over taxpayer dollars. Read more here.