Login/Logout

*
*  

ACA’s journal, Arms Control Today, remains the best in the market. Well focused. Solidly researched. Prudent.

– Hans Blix,
former IAEA Director-General

TAKE ACTION: 900 Warheads. 10 Minutes. One Decider.
Share this

 

U.S. President Donald Trump leaves CIA headquarters accompanied by the omnipresent officer carrying the nuclear "football" (Photo: REUTERS/Carlos Barria)Shortly after his inauguration, President Donald Trump shared his reaction to his new authority to launch the United States’ massive nuclear arsenal.

"I have confidence that I’ll do the right thing, the right job. But it’s a very, very scary thing."

The president has sole authority to order the launch of roughly 900 of the United States' 1,550 deployed strategic nuclear warheads within 10 minutes—no Congressional authorization is required. Still more weapons are available for him or her to launch within hours of an initial strike.

Concern about this authority is not limited to President Trump, though his cavalier approach to nuclear weapons, his confrontational style, and his disdain for experts undermines his claim that he will "do the right thing" in a nuclear crisis. 

We need to restrict the President's power to make the ultimate bad decision and to unilaterally trigger a nuclear war. Here's how: 

Thirty-three members of the House and 7 U.S. Senators have endorsed and cosponsored the "The Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017," introduced by Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.). This legislation would prohibit the president from launching a nuclear first strike without a declaration of war by Congress.

Current House cosponsors 
Current Senate cosponsors

On May 3, signatures of over 500,000 Americans were delivered to Congress in support of this legislation. Seventeen national membership and advocacy groups, including the Arms Control Association, brought the signatures in several boxes to Capitol Hill. 

But we need your name to be added to those. 

Contact your Senators and Representative and urge them to become cosponsors of this urgently needed legislation (S. 200 in the Senate, H. 669 in the House) to check the president's authority to launch nuclear weapons.

Because, as President Reagan concluded in 1984, "A nuclear war can never be won and must never be fought."

Posted: May 4, 2017