Reading Room

Congressional Leaders Weigh in on Nuclear Posture Review

Wednesday, July 19, 2017
Posted by Marylia Kelley

Shortly after taking office, President Trump announced he would undertake a new Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), undoing the one conducted by Obama in 2010. Trump’s NPR authorization memo used words like “modern, robust, flexible, resilient…” to signal its more aggressive tilt toward new wholly new weapons programs and policies. Trump Administration officials speculated openly that the NPR might eschew even the mere mention of U.S. disarmament obligations under the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Further, it is being conducted in deepest secrecy in the bowels of the Pentagon.

On July 19, led by Dianne Feinstein and Ed Markey, 22 U.S. Senators sent a letter to the Trump Administration demanding an “inclusive, transparent review process” for the NPR that includes “broad interagency input” and a “publicly-available document.” Further, the signers called for the NPR to explicitly maintain all U.S. obligations under Senate-ratified treaties including a “commitment to the eventual elimination of nuclear weapons.”

Senator Feinstein notes that the Trump NPR should “reject calls for new nuclear weapons.” Senator Markey added, “U.S. nuclear policy should focus on reducing the role of nuclear weapons.”

The Senate letter follows on a similar communication by 42 members of the U.S. House of Representatives in June. These congressional actions are a good first step in moving the NPR out of the shadows and into the public debate. However, much more needs to be done.

Are your elected officials on the letters?

To check your Senators, click here.

To check your Representative, click here.

Use the Capitol Switchboard at 202.224.3121 to connect with your Senators and Representative. Thank them if they are on the letter. Tell their office you want them to continue to act for nuclear disarmament. If your elected officials are not on the letters, tell them that you are a disappointed constituent - and that you want them to constrain nuclear weapons and preserve ratified U.S. treaty obligations in the NPR.