Hidden deep in next year’s $717 billion national defense authorization bill was congressional approval and $65 million to fund a new submarine-launched nuclear warhead.
FCNL lobbied hard against this provision in the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 5515) for fiscal year 2019. However, it passed both houses of Congress and was signed into law in early August.
The Trump administration sought this unprecedented submarine-launched long-range weapon to, in its words, “correct” a “mistaken” perception that the United States would shy from nuclear use.
However, this supposedly more usable, “low-yield” nuclear warhead is still several hundred times more destructive than any conventional weapon. If the bomb was detonated in Manhattan, it could easily kill 100,000 people in an instant.
“We already have too many nuclear bombs to blow up our planet. We do not need new ones,” said Diane Randall, Executive Secretary for FCNL. “As Quakers, we believe that peace is attainable by not building or developing new bombs. True security comes from a culture of peace, not with bombs.”
National security leaders from both parties, like former Secretary of State George Shultz, former Secretary of Defense William Perry, and former Senator Richard Lugar, have labelled the new warhead “dangerous, unjustified and redundant.”