This weekend President Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the US will drop out of the major nuclear arms agreement between the U.S. and Russia. The INF treaty (Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty) was negotiated by Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987, and has been renegotiated by every U.S. president since Reagan. The treaty also covers limits on testing, missile defense, and weapons in off-planet locations such as outer space.
Although the threat of nuclear war may seem less prevalent in these times compared to the Cold War of the 1950s through the 1980s, the presence of nuclear weapons is real, especially here in the Pacific Northwest. According to a Seattle Times article last summer, Bangor’s submarines and its related storage facility – 20 miles northwest of Seattle – is a single repository that contains up to one-third of deployed U.S. nuclear weapons, sufficient to wipe out most of humanity on the planet.
Yes, according to new reports, Russia is not in compliance with the INF, and Russia asserts that certain U.S. actions are also non-compliant. In addition, China is not even covered by current treaties, even though it is developing its own intermediate-range missile that could reach U.S. sites in the Pacific. But simply dropping out of the INF is a short-sighted, bullying action that threatens each of us in the U.S. with nuclear war, and threatens our planetary environment with wholesale nuclear destruction.
Three reasons that Trump’s decision is highly irresponsible, from a Washington Post piece by John McLaughlin, instructor at Johns Hopkins University and former deputy director of the CIA:
1) The likely consequence of walking away from treaty talks is that both countries will build more nukes, on top of the estimated 15,000 nuclear weapons already in the world.
2) Walking away from a treaty ignores the danger of accidental or miscalculated missile launches, which has nearly happened a number of times.
3) The responsible approach is to engage ALL countries developing nuclear weapons in expanded treaty talks, not just withdraw from the conversation.
ACTION: Tell your MOCs we need leadership on limiting nuclear weapons.
Senator Patty Murray: DC - 202-224-2621 Seattle - 206-553-5545
Senator Maria Cantwell: DC - 202-224-3441 Seattle - 206-220-6400
Rep. Pramila Jayapal: DC - 202-225-3106 Seattle - 206-674-0040
Rep. Adam Smith: DC - 202-225-8901 Renton - 425-793-5180
“Hello, I’m [NAME] from [CITY]. I’m outraged that Trump is threatening to drop protections from nuclear weapons by withdrawing from the INF treaty. We need your leadership to retain agreements on nuclear weapons. Not only that, we need you as a leader to work toward engaging all countries who are building nuclear weapons in weapon-limiting agreements, including testing and outer space deployment. Please take action on our behalf before it is too late.”
“The Latest: US Formally Suspends INF Arms Treaty With Russia,”
“Why aren’t more people freaking out about the nuclear warheads sitting 20 miles from downtown Seattle?”
“Why dropping the INF Treaty is a terrible idea,”
2019 Seattle Indivisible Engagement Survey – help us set priorities and actions for the coming year! https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdkW7-rKdtry_tRAYzmRDEtvom_uark7hilagwUeCGekoD8gw/viewform
Send in your ballot! Vote on Seattle Schools Levy, due Feb. 12th (this week). More information: https://www.kingcounty.gov/depts/elections/how-to-vote/
SEATTLE INDIVISIBLE EVENTS
Tuesday, Feb. 5th, 7:00 pm – Seattle Indivisible Meeting (1st & 3rd Tuesdays):
At the Washington State Labor Council in the Central District (new location!), 321 16th Avenue). This meeting venue is wheelchair-accessible, and can be reached by King County Metro buses 7, 14, 27, and 106, and the First Hill Streetcar.
Resist Trump Tuesday Rallies – 2nd & 4th Tuesdays:
Feb. 12th & Feb. 26th at the Henry M. Jackson Federal Building, 915 2nd Avenue, followed by a meeting with our MOCs’ Staffers