by Nuclear Age Peace Foundation
An unarmed Minuteman III ICBM missile test is scheduled for launch early Wednesday morning, Feb. 6, from Vandenberg AFB. The missile will travel some 4,200 miles to a predetermined target in the central Pacific Ocean’s Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands.
David Krieger, President of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation stated, “The Marshall Islanders take the brunt of America’s nuclear testing program, and they have already suffered enough from such tests. It’s time for Americans to wake up. These tests don’t make us safer, they make the world more dangerous. Rather than continuing to test nuclear weapons, we should be leading negotiations to rid the world of these weapons of indiscriminate mass annihilation.”
While Global Strike Command representatives assert that missile tests are scheduled months or years in advance, this test comes just four short days after the Trump administration suspended from the U.S. from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, a crucial landmark Treaty between the U.S. and Russia that eliminated entire categories of nuclear weapons.
Rick Wayman, Deputy Director at the Foundation commented on the approaching launch, saying “Just four days ago, the Trump administration suspended the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, one of the most important arms control treaties ever achieved between the United States and Russia. The very same week, both of these countries now appear set to test-launch Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles. While ICBMs would not have violated the INF Treaty, it is alarming that this extraordinary tension is coming to a head with major nuclear-capable missile tests just hours or days apart.”
Wayman went on to say, “The U.S. and Russia together possess over 90% of the approximately 14,500 nuclear weapons in the world. The Air Force always seeks to explain away ICBM tests as routine and disconnected from current geopolitical events. But there is nothing routine about rehearsing the annihilation of millions of people. President Trump’s reckless decision to torch the INF Treaty has put us all at even higher risk of nuclear catastrophe, and the United States’ ongoing testing of ICBMs must be viewed in this light.”
Putting an end to the nuclear age need not be a partisan issue. The freshly-discarded INF Treaty was negotiated by President Reagan, who famously said, “Why wait until the end of the (20th) century for a world free of nuclear weapons?”