See H.R.54 Representative Donald s. Beyer (D-VA) has introduced a resolution “reaffirming the sense of the House of Representatives that the United States must lead the world in preventing further nuclear proliferation, while also reducing and eventually eliminating all nuclear weapons.”
Play your part to help realize the first four steps of The Nuclear Playbook. At the same time, call on your elected representatives to urge the U.S. to sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) and encourage all other countries to join this effort to move toward a safer world.
The TPNW has entered into force but no nuclear-armed state has signed it.
Many nuclear experts think nuclear weapons are a necessary evil and feel the aim of eliminating them is misguided not to mention hopeless and futile. Many argue that nuclear deterrence works and has worked: since their creation seven decades ago, and use in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, no two nuclear countries have gone to war with one another and none have used a nuclear weapon anywhere.
Today, on the nuclear question, we are in a highly-polarized world. We have two main camps—nuclear abolitionists such as The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) vs. supporters of nuclear deterrence—apparently at complete odds with one another. They largely don’t talk to each other.
We need what mediation expert William Ury calls the “Third Side,” a way of looking at the conflict not just from one side or the other but from the larger perspective of the surrounding community whose lives are affected by the conflict— people, whose lives, in the case of the escalating nuclear danger, are in real jeopardy.
A “Third Side” coalition formed in the 1980s and turned the tide of the arms race. Millions of people around the world unified into a global movement of men and women, youth and children that transcended gender, racial, ethnic, religious, cultural, socio-economic and partisan divides. They formed a “Third Side,” serving one overarching common goal – preventing nuclear war.
A great coalition is forming again today. There is a movement not just to manage, but to transform the way we achieve our security. The United States — like Britain, China, France and Russia — are obligated under Article VI of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) to take concrete steps to end the arms race and achieve total nuclear disarmament. Nations that joined the NPT as non-nuclear-weapons states, pledging that they would not develop their own nuclear weapons, did so in part on the basis of this promise of disarmament. These states have become increasingly frustrated at the lack of progress among the nuclear weapons states toward meeting their treaty obligations.
If the U.S. makes progress on the previous four steps in this Playbook, it will energize and inspire people around the world. For decades, the U.S. and other nuclear powers have not taken seriously their pledge to reduce their nuclear weapons. If we are reducing our arsenals, moving toward a world that does not depend on nuclear weapons for security, not threatening other countries, then we are in position to argue that other countries forego nuclear weapons and to achieve a verifiable agreement for the elimination of nuclear weapons.