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Letter: Stop the new nuclear arms race

At the Indian Point nuclear power plant in

At the Indian Point nuclear power plant in Buchanan, some 2,300 spent nuclear fuel rods are kept on site. They await transfer to permanent storage. (Photo, April 20, 2007) Credit: AP

With this month marking another anniversary of the 1945 U.S. nuclear attacks on Japan, the world still faces nuclear annihilation as the United States and Russia “modernize” their arsenals, feeding each other’s fear and paranoia [“Obama pays heed to nuclear needs,” Opinion, Aug. 8].

President Barack Obama, despite his 2009 Nobel Peace Prize speech promising to work for a world free of nuclear weapons, has put the nation on a path to spend $1 trillion in the next 30 years on new weapons, such as a nuclear cruise missile, which hawks say will be “more usable.” This causes Russia to respond in kind.

With U.S. and NATO troops on Russia’s western borders and a U.S. guided-missile warship in the Black Sea, tensions with Russia are the highest since the 1980s. Imagine how the United States would react if Russian forces were on maneuvers in Mexico and Canada, and a Russian guided-missile warship were in the Gulf of Mexico.

Former Secretary of Defense William J. Perry, as reported in Military Times, said last year, “We are facing nuclear dangers today that are in fact more likely to erupt into a nuclear conflict than during the Cold War.” Separately, he said, “I see an imperative to stop this damn nuclear race before it gets underway again.”

This threat is why the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists last year moved the hands of its Doomsday Clock to three minutes to midnight. We must pressure our government to stop this arms race before it is too late.

Ed Ciaccio, Douglaston

Editor’s note: The writer is a board member of the Long Island Alliance for Peaceful Alternatives, an advocacy group.