ON NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT
Current world events reveal the nuclear threat to the planet to be growing ever larger.
We applaud Archbishop Gallagher, Vatican Secretary for Relations with States, in his recent address to the United Nations General Assembly High-Level Plenary session.
Commemorating and promoting the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons on September 26th, Archbishop Gallagher noted that the global observance of this day “is an occasion to impress on the world, and particularly the leaders of nuclear-weapon states, humanity’s insistent demand for the elimination of nuclear weapons”. He pointed out that nuclear deterrence is a fallacy and that the money spent on these weapons is desperately needed for social betterment and the elimination of hunger.
We in the Kings Bay Plowshares sound the alarm, that US nuclear policy,continues to move in the opposite direction from disarmament. Our government spends $100,000 per minute in upgrading our nuclear arsenal. With the new trilateral military partnership between Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States, AUKUS, the US has agreed to help Australia build a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines. China has denounced the deal, saying the countries are “severely damaging regional peace and stability, intensifying an arms race, and damaging international nuclear non-proliferation efforts.”
We call on fellow US Catholics to join the global efforts for nuclear disarmament by encouraging our country to sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and by divesting from nuclear weapons.
Since the 4th century Christians have used St. Augustine’s Just War criteria as a means to legitimize war as morally acceptable.
The modern introduction of indiscriminate weapons of mass destruction to warfare has rendered all war-making morally untenable.
In fact, the prospect of the use of indiscriminate weapons violates all elements of the Just War criteria, especially the condition that calls for the protection of noncombatants, which is impossible in today’s world in which the human experiment itself is under threat of nuclear doom.
The U.S. Navy conducted a test launch of two Trident submarine-based missiles September 17 off the coast of Cape Canaveral, Florida. (https://www.navy.mil/Press-Office/News-Stories/Article/2780845/uss-wyoming-successfully-tests-trident-ii-d5le-missiles/)
The show of force came five weeks after the August 11 Air Force test launch of one of its long-range, missiles known as Minuteman III from the Vandenberg Space Force Base, in California. (https://www.airforcemag.com/air-force-global-strike-command-successfully-test-launches-icbm/)
On August 9th, the 76th anniversary of the United States bombing of the Japanese city of Nagasaki, Representative Adam Smith, Chairman of the House Armed Services committee, expressed in a letter to President Biden addressing nuclear deterrence as opposed to domination; “This requires your national security leadership to ensure the nuclear deterrent is safe, secure, reliable, affordable…” US government and Washington DC interests continue to speak in terms of nuclear deterrence as if it is safe and affordable, obscuring the true motive of domination.
Robert Dodge also commemorates the International Day for Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons on September 26th at the UN General Assembly; “Citizens around the world are calling on their governments to ratify the Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty. In the United States, a national grassroots campaign called “Back from the Brink” is garnering a groundswell of public support as it seeks the abolition of nuclear weapons and fundamental change in U.S. nuclear policy.”
In the last twenty years we have waged a so-called “war on terror” that has caused 4.5 million casualties by some estimates, and cost 8 to 20 trillion dollars. The US has 750 bases around the globe in 80 countries and colonies. We have turned to permanent warfare rather than any kind of diplomatic peace making. The sordid arms deal race is based on debt and yet there seems to be limitless funds for war and little for human and social needs. Six hundred and thirty four billion dollars are now allocated for expanding the US nuclear program through the year 2030.
We continue to make a personalist stance, not waiting for the power brokers of the world to bring change, we take our own personal responsibility seriously, to self-empty in our own moment of history, knowing we are to fulfill God’s love for all of humankind.