1. Letter
  2. Nuclear Weapons

National Security Experts Warn Against Deployment of Dangerous New Nuke

September 16, 2019


Along with dozens of coalition partners and national security experts, FCNL sent Sen. Jack Reed (RI), ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, a letter urging him to support a provision in the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that bars deployment of new low-yield nuclear warheads.


Dear Senator Reed,

As leaders of organizations representing millions of Americans, and as experts with decades of experience in U.S. defense and security policy, we call on you to support the House decision to prevent deployment of the Trump administration’s unneeded and dangerous W76-2 nuclear warhead as you finalize the Fiscal Year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act.

As you know, the House legislation eliminates the $19.6 million in Navy funding for W76-2 deployment. By a vote of 201-221 on the floor, the House resoundingly defeated an attempt to restore that funding. A similar effort on the Fiscal Year 2020 Defense Appropriations bill was defeated even more soundly, by a vote of 192-236. In short, the House of Representatives has repeatedly expressed their opposition, through multiple floor votes, to this warhead.

In addition, while the Senate did not vote on the W76-2, 18 Senate Democrats—a sizable portion of the Democratic caucus—sent you a letter calling on you to support the House position in opposition to the W76-2.

Furthermore, we hope you saw the letter from more than 30 former senior officials, including former defense secretary William Perry and former secretary of state George Shultz, recommending that Congress reject the W76-2 because the weapon is “a gateway to nuclear catastrophe and should not be pursued.”

As was emphasized repeatedly in the House debate, it is illogical and dangerous to use the weapon that is the foundation of our strategic nuclear deterrent in a tactical manner. It needlessly puts that invaluable resource at risk. Congress should reject deployment of the W76-2, and we call on you to do everything in your power to achieve that outcome.

Sincerely,

Andrew Albertson, Executive Director, Foreign Policy for America

Alexandra Bell, Former senior advisor in the Office of the Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security

Dr. Joe Berkson, Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility

Carly Brooks, Coordinator, Washington Against Nuclear Weapons Coalition

Ambassador (ret) Susan F. Burk, Former special representative of the president for nuclear nonproliferation

Jay Coghlan, Executive Director, Nuclear Watch New Mexico

Tom Z. Collina, Policy Director, Ploughshares Fund

Tom Countryman, Former acting undersecretary of state for Arms Control and International Security

Philip E. Coyle, III, Former associate director for national security and international affairs, Office of Science and Technology Policy, The White House

Caroline Dorminey, Policy Director, Women's Action for New Directions

Tom Ferguson, President, Nuclear Watch South

Steve Fetter, Former principal assistant director for national security and international affairs, Office of Science and Technology Policy, The White House

Lt. General (USA, Ret.) Robert G. Gard, Jr., Former President, National Defense University

Joyce Hall, Coordinator, Pax Christi Dallas

Don Hancock, Administrator, Southwest Research and Information Center, Albuquerque, NM

Gary Hart, Former U.S. Senator (Ret.), 1975-1987

Heidi Hess and Josh Nelson, Co-Directors, CREDO

Newell Highsmith, Former deputy legal adviser, Department of State

Ambassador (ret) Bonnie Jenkins, Founder and Executive Director, Women of Color Advancing Peace, Security and Conflict Transformation, Former ambassador, special envoy and coordinator for Threat Reduction Programs in the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation, State Department

Derek Johnson, Executive Director, Global Zero

Marylia Kelley, Executive Director, Tri-Valley CAREs, Livermore, CA

Ambassador (ret) Laura E. Kennedy, Former U.S. Representative to the Conference on Disarmament

Daryl Kimball, Executive Director, Arms Control Association

John LaForge, Co-director, Nukewatch, Wisconsin

Paul Kawika Martin, Senior Director, Policy and Political Affairs, Peace Action

Stephen Miles, Executive Director, Win Without War

Robert K. Musil, President & CEO, Rachel Carson Council

Richard Nephew, Former principal deputy coordinator for sanctions policy, Department of State

Angel Padilla, National Policy Director, Indivisible

Ned Price, Former special assistant to the president and senior director, National Security Council, The White House

Henry Stover, Chairperson, Board of Directors, PeaceWorks Kansas City

John Tierney, Executive Director Center for Arms Control and Nonproliferation, Former member, U.S. House of Representatives, 1997-2015

Ellen Thomas, Coordinator, Proposition One Campaign for a Nuclear-Free Future

Cecili Thompson Williams, Director, Beyond the Bomb

Mark Udall, Former member, U.S. House of Representatives, 1998-2008, U.S. Senator, 2009-2015

Frank N. von Hippelm Former assistant director for national security, Office of Science and Technology Policy, The White House

Anthony Wier, Legislative Secretary, Nuclear Disarmament and Pentagon Spending, Friends Committee on National Legislation

Jon Wolfsthal, Former special assistant to the president and senior director for nuclear nonproliferation and arms control, National Security Council, The White House

Stephen Young, Washington Representative, Global Security Program, Union of Concerned Scientists