Presidential candidates: Where do you stand on nuclear weapons?

Published Dec 4, 2019

A recent University of New Hampshire poll found that more than 80% of New Hampshire adults, regardless of political affiliation, think it is very or somewhat important for candidates in the 2020 presidential election to discuss their views on nuclear weapons.

We, the undersigned, agree and urge all the 2020 presidential candidates to make reducing nuclear weapons risks a top priority and lay out their plans for doing so.

Today, some 9,000 nuclear weapons remain on the planet—with over 90 percent owned by the United States and Russia. Most of these weapons have a destructive power far greater than the atomic bombs the United States dropped on Japan at the end of World War II, killing several hundred thousand people. The use of nuclear weapons anywhere in the world could have devastating human, environmental, and economic consequences—potentially affecting everyone on the planet.

Currently:

  • The United States reserves the option to start a nuclear war
  • The U.S. president—like previous presidents—has sole authority over using U.S. nuclear weapons
  • The United States keeps many hundreds of nuclear weapons on hair trigger alert, increasing the risk of mistaken launches in response to false warning of attack

These policies are left over from the Cold War and make the U.S. public less safe than it should be. The candidates should tell the public what their plans are for changing U.S. policies to reduce these dangers.

In addition, the United States has withdrawn from several nuclear arms control agreements and may be laying the groundwork to withdraw from another. And it has a trillion-dollar plan to rebuild the entire nuclear arsenal with upgraded nuclear weapons in the coming decades. These are steps in the wrong direction.

Humanity faces two existential threats—climate change and nuclear war.

The time for bold action and U.S. leadership is now. We cannot leave the solutions to future generations. Our children and grandchildren are counting on us.

Signed

  • Phillip D. Albright
    Concerned Citizen Vietnam Veteran
    Durham, NH
  • Martine Behra, Ph.D.
    Bedford, NH
  • Dr. Janet Collett
    Marlow, NH
  • Josh Denton
    Portsmouth City Councilor
    Portsmouth, NH
  • Robert Drysdale
    Professor Emeritus, Computer Science (Ret.)
    Dartmouth College
  • Judith Elliott
    Peace Activist
    Canterbury, NH
  • Dr. David J. Ellis
    Londonderry, NH
  • Will Hopkins
    Iraq War Veteran Director – NH Peace Action
    Belmont, NH
  • Phillip S. Hunt, Sc.D.
    Newfields, NH
  • Lila Kohrman-Glaser
    Co-Director, 350NH
    Dover, NH
  • Dr. Christine Kuhlman
    North Sutton, NH
  • Colonel Gary E. Lambert
    U.S. Marine Corps (Ret.)
    Nashua, NH
  • John Lamperti
    Professor of Mathematics, Emeritus
    Dartmouth College Hanover, NH
  • C. David London, M.D.
    Stratham, NH
  • David and Debra Luchsinger
    Greenland, NH
  • Richard Mark
    Former Executive Director Professionals’ Coalition for Nuclear Arms Control
    Grantham, NH
  • Elizabeth Mello
    Environmental Conservation/Education
    Kingston, NH
  • Mary Day Mordecai and Ned Hulbert
    National Advisory Board Members Union of Concerned Scientists
    Harrisville, NH
  • Ryan D. Palmer
    Former US Army Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Specialist
    3rd Battalion of 197th Field Artillery Regiment Concord, NH
  • Charles Pinkerton, M.D.
    Portsmouth, NH
  • Jason L. Rhoades, Ph.D.
    International Service Program Director, Antioch University New England
  • Mona Stephenson
    Preschool Teacher
    Stratham, NH
  • Sam Tardi
    Senior at University of New Hampshire
    Dover, NH
  • John Walter Jr., MD
    Keene, NH
  • Abigail Abrash Walton, Ph.D.
    Antioch University New England
  • Sidney H. Wanzer, M.D.
    Exeter, NH
  • Rob Werner
    Concord City Councilor
    Concord, NH
  • Dr. Sandra Yarne
    Psychologist
    Durham, NH

Organizational affiliations are for identification purposes only.

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