Many peace-advocates in the Des Moines area welcome the inauguration of President Joe Biden, who repeatedly has pledged to take swift and strong action to reduce the danger of nuclear conflict -- a threat that increased dramatically over the last four years.
Biden has promised he will work to:
- Renew the “New START” strategic arms reduction treaty with Russia (even while holding Russian leaders accountable for the largest ever “hacking” of U.S. government networks.)
- Seek Iran’s re-entry and compliance with the 2015 “Nuclear Deal” that blocks Iran from developing nuclear weapons, and continue negotiations to curb missile capabilities.
- Cut planned increases in nuclear weapons spending because we do not need enhanced or new nuclear weapons. Instead, Biden says he will seek arms control with Russia and other world powers, which would free-up funds to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, restore domestic infrastructure, and tackle other crucial challenges.
We urge President Biden to follow through on these priorities – and we call on Senator Grassley, Senator Ernst and our House Members to support them, too.
We urge another priority for the new Biden Administration and Congress: the U.S. should join the many nations that declare a goal of eliminating nuclear weapons completely, worldwide. How?
Fifty-one nations of the UN General Assembly have moved to ratify the “Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons” (TPNW). The U.S. should ratify it, too. The Treaty enters into force Jan. 22, since 50+ have ratified, but it lacks ratification by nuclear-weapon nations.
We can and must negotiate worldwide reduction in nuclear warheads, in parallel, over years, until they have been eliminated from the face of the Earth. No country should ever again be able to use nuclear weapons. Maintaining any nuclear warheads is utterly wasteful and dangerous.
We invite Iowans to join us in urging President Biden to fulfill his pledge to reduce the threat of nuclear disaster – and to lead the effort to eliminate nuclear weapons completely. We need to press our elected officials, Senators Grassley and Ernst in particular, to speak out and vote for such policies when called upon. And we need to speak up to counter nuclear weapons special-interest “hawks” whenever they try to torpedo measures to rid the world of nuclear weapons. Let’s get moving toward a nuclear weapon-free world!
We share this message on behalf of Iowa peace-advocacy groups: Catholic Peace Ministry, STAR*PAC (Stop the Arms Race Political Action Cte.), Des Moines Catholic Worker Community, Iowa Peace Network, Methodist Federation for Social Action (Iowa Chapter), National Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR), and Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (Des Moines).
Submitted by Robert Brammer of Des Moines and Tom Leffler of Johnston who are retired and volunteer with central Iowa grass roots peace groups. Robert.Brammer@gmail.com, email@example.com