Congressman Adam Smith - @HASCDemocrats Chairman and Presidential candidate and Senator @ewarren have introduced a short but critical bill to help reduce the growing danger of nuclear weapons use.… 1/
The bill would establish that it is the policy of the United States not to use nuclear weapons first. No First Use would reduce the risks of a nuclear war through accident or miscommunication, while still maintaining a fearsome nuclear deterrent for us and our allies. 2/
The United States and Russia have both increased their reliance on nuclear weapons in recent years and statement from Presidents Trump and Putin threatening nuclear use have lowered the nuclear threshold. This ups the danger of first use b/c both fear the other will go first. 3/
America has worked for decades to ensure nuclear weapons are never used again. The barrier to nuclear use must remain high, and America and its allies benefit when the risks of nuclear use are low. Sadly, President Trump by action and inaction have increased this danger. 4/
No president, from either party, should have the power in a democracy to start a nuclear war. Any nuclear state attacked 1st would respond, and escalation to full scale nuclear exchanges are the most likely result. Threatening 1st use is dangerous and undermines our security. 5/
Legislating a no first use policy would make clear the US is not going first. It would not in any way reduce our ability to deter nuclear use by other or to protect our friends and allies around the world. It would also make any move by any president to launch 1st illegal. 6/
Banning 1st use would protect against a President who decides against reason or out of impulse to use a nuclear weapon 1st. It would reduce the pressure put on presidents to use nuclear weapons before an opponent can. Right now, the system pushes leader to early nuclear use. 7/
And lastly no 1st use would open up options to significantly reduce the cost and size of or own arsenal and open the door to deep, negotiated and verified reductions in Russian and other nuclear forces. It would rob the new arms race of its fuel and make us safer and stronger. 8/
There needs to be and will be a debate on what kind of nuclear strategy and forces America should have to protect us and our allies. Rebuilding the cold war arsenal is not needed and dangerous. Thanks to @RepAdamSmith @ewarren @tedlieu @SenMarkey for their leadership. end/
PS/ See @globalzero 's statement in support -…
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