Thursday, May 04, 2017
Veritable who’s-who of “nuclear priesthood” say they have grown concerned over Trump and Putin’s rhetoric
byNadia Prupis, staff writer
“We must remind people in these different crisis situations that there is a nuclear danger and it needs to be addressed.” (File Photo)
Nuclear experts are creating a global coalition to advise President Donald Trump and other world leaders on preventing nuclear war, Politico reported Thursday.
The Nuclear Crisis Group is expected to launch in Vienna on Friday. The coalition assembled in response to Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s rhetoric, which the experts say is increasing the risk of a nuclear conflict.
One of the group’s leaders is Richard Burt, former U.S. ambassador to Germany and chief negotiator of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty. He said Thursday, “Not only is the U.S.-Russia relationship on much more shaky ground but the whole political environment has deteriorated.”
“The issue of nuclear weapons has strangely kind of receded from people’s consciousness,” Burt said. “We must remind people in these different crisis situations that there is a nuclear danger and it needs to be addressed.”
Our critical Spring fundraiser.
We rely on you.
Donate to Common Dreams
According to Politico, the coalition includes “nearly two-dozen members of the nuclear priesthood of at least eight major nations—including a former commander of the U.S. atomic arsenal; the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Pakistan; a retired admiral who was in charge of India’s nukes; the ex-heads of the Chinese military’s strategic studies and science institutes; and Russia’s former foreign minister and chief atomic weapons designer.”
The group came out of Global Zero, a disarmament campaign organization.
Global Zero’s executive director Derek Johnson said the chill in U.S.-Russia relations required the anti-nuclear movement to change its focus to “what we can do to stop one of these things from going off.”
Trump has advocated for expanding America’s nuclear stockpile and hinted that a conflict with North Korea could happen. His rhetoric, and volatile temperament, prompted lawmakers to introduce legislation that would prohibit the president from launching a nuclear strike without approval by Congress. A petition in support of the bill acquired nearly half a million signatures.