Kevin Martin, President of Peace Action, the country’s largest grassroots peace and disarmament organization, says we’re headed towards another nuclear arms race. Martin says just last week there was a civil defense exercise in Russia to prepare people for what to do in the event of a nuclear war.
“Tensions between the US and Russia over NATO expansion towards Russia, over Ukraine, over Syria are such that both sides are talking in terms of the possibility of war which could lead to nuclear war and both countries are ramping up their nuclear arsenals and their nuclear weapons spending.”
The Obama administration plans to spend an estimated $1 trillion dollars over 30 years on rebuilding the nation’s nuclear facilities and modernizing nuclear weapons. Martin says the US has still not dealt with the legacy of the last nuclear arms race as it goes straight into a new one. “For the last couple of years they (the Obama administration) were actually cutting the budget for clean up and for non-proliferation. If we’re going to spend money on anything regarding nuclear weapons, that’s what we should spend it on, on cleaning up Rocky Flats and Hanford and the other nuclear weapons facilities that have this thousand year legacy of radioactive waste to deal with and to make sure that nuclear weapons don’t proliferate around the world. That’s what we should spend money on.”
Martin points to several reasons for the new arms race including NATO’s expansion in eastern Europe what he describes as “cold war triumphalism by the US and the West – that we just think that we can do anything and Russia will just have to eat it and take it.” Martin also points to the lobbying power of the weapons contractors like Lockheed Martin and Boeing “all of these weapons contractors, the merchants of death, they all stand to make a ton of money off our tax dollars to totally upgrade our nuclear weapons complex over the next 30 years.”
Kevin Martin, President of Peace Action and Ron Forthofer of the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center will present their views and take questions from the audience at a discussion on The U.S./NATO Conflict with Russia and the Dangers of Nuclear War. The event happens on Tuesday October 11th, 7-9 p.m. at Duane Physics G130, CU Boulder.