February 2023 Mobilizer Newsletter
Feb 11, Saturday, 10 AM-11:30 AM, Cuba, the US, the UN, and Our Media, Attorney Art Heitzer, Wisconsin Coalition to Normalize Relations with Cuba, www.wicuba.org, and Co-chair of the National Lawyers Guild Cuba Subcommittee, Attend In-Person at Peace Action of Wisconsin– 1001 E. Keefe Ave – Milwaukee, WI or Virtually on Zoom (link is in the calendar on the Peace Action of WI website).
Feb 19, Sunday, Rage Against the Machine national demonstration in Washington, DC, demanding an end to the war in Ukraine.
Watch Party at 11:30 AM at the Peace Center at 1001 E Keefe Ave. Picket at Keefe and Weil St at 11 AM- 11:20 AM with Milwaukee Green Party and the End the Wars Coalition.
- Not One More Penny for War in Ukraine
- Negotiate Peace
- Stop the War Inflation
- Disband NATO
- Global Nuclear De-Escalation
- Slash the Pentagon budget
- Abolish the CIA and Military-Industrial Deep State
- Abolish War and Empire
- Restore Civil Liberties
- Free Julian Assange
Feb 7 and Feb 21, Tuesdays, at 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM join CODEPINK Congress for the next Capitol Calling Party, with special guest each week
Feb, 24, Friday, 2 PM at St, Francis of Assisi Church, 1927 Vel R. Phillips Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53212
Press Conference with speakers to mark the 1 year occupation of Ukraine by Russia. We will be calling for diplomacy and peace talks, not more years of war.
Feb 25, Wednesday, End the Wars Coalition Meeting, zoom link on Peace Action of WI website
MARCH 1, Wednesday—NATIONAL CALL-IN to Protest US-Saudi War on Yemen, Call-in from home or come over to Peace Action WI at 1 PM to make calls.
STAND FOR PEACE Saturdays Noon to 1 PM
February 11: State/Water
February 18: Sherman/North
February 25: 92nd/North
Outrageous! WI Taxpayers Dole out $1.3B for Nuclear Weapons in 2022
The U.S. Spends $76B on Nuclear Weapons in 2022, part of the 30-year, $2 trillion “Modernization Program”
Some Details on 2023 Spending:
$16.9B for Nuclear Weapons Work to the Dept. of Energy/National Nuclear Security Administration- – https://armscontrolcenter.org/final-summary-fiscal-year-2022-defense-and-energy-water-development-appropriations-bills-h-r-2471/
Production of new nuclear missiles and bombs is forging ahead. Tens of billions will be spent for Plutonium Modernization for the new Sentinel ICBM warheads. Replacing the Minuteman ICBMs with new Sentinel missiles is estimated to cost $264B.
Nuclear bomb core “pit” production for the warheads will cost at least $60 billion over 30 years and create tons of the deadliest pollution on earth.
Cost overruns, waste, fraud and abuse run rampant. For example, NNSA wasted $7 billion on constructing the Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility, which never was usable for its intended purpose! Now NNSA is “repurposing” the huge building into a Plutonium Production Facility at a possible cost of more than $20 billion, making it the second most expensive building in human history!
Weapons Dismantlement and Disposition spending comes in dead last in at only $56 Million, while hundreds of billions of dollars are shoveled into new nuclear weapons! Meanwhile, 15,000 nuclear warheads await dismantlement at the Pantex Plant near Amarillo, Texas.
$24.4B for a Missile Defeat and Destroy system (https://comptroller.defense.gov/Portals/45/Documents/defbudget/FY2022/FY2022_Budget_Request_Overview_Book.pdf pg 2-14)
$27.7B for Dept. of Defense Delivery Systems (Columbia Class Ballistic Missile Submarines, Trident II Submarine Launched Ballistic Missiles, ground Based Strategic Deterrent missiles, and the B-21 Bomber getting majority of these funds) https://armscontrolcenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/FY22-Defense-Budget.pdf
$2.9B for Nuclear Command and Control- https://comptroller.defense.gov/Portals/45/Documents/defbudget/FY2022/FY2022_Budget_Request_Overview_Book.pdf pg 2-13
$340B for Cooperative Threat Reduction- https://www.armed-services.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/FY22%20NDAA%20Agreement%20Summary.pdf
According to the Dept. of Defense Nuclear Weapons Funding, with help from L A Physicians for Social Responsibility- https://www.psr-la.org/
Also: The Pentagon's latest estimated cost to develop and procure the F-35 fighter jet, the world's most expensive weapons program, has edged up to $412 billion from $398 billion, according to the Defense Department's latest program report. Production of the F-35 has stopped due to serious design flaws.
What is Peace Action WI Doing About This?
Peace Action WI has joined with the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability, a network of organizations from frontline communities, near nuclear weapons production sites. Office Manager Pam Richard is serving on the national Board of Directors.
We are in partnership with the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN). In 2020, we convinced Northwestern Mutual to divest funds from nuclear weapons production companies, through ICANs Don’t Bank on the Bomb campaign.
We’re active in Back from the Brink of Nuclear War Campaign, getting Milwaukee County to pass a Back for the Brink Resolution with the help of Supervisor Steve Shea. We’ll be promoting the City of Milwaukee to join Mayors for Peace and to pass a Back from the Brink Resolution this spring.
We’re actively planning for the Labor Day 2023 weekend visit of the Nuclear Weapons Abolition Sailboat “The Golden Rule” to Milwaukee with Veterans for Peace MKE.
We have organized protests with the Days of Action Working Group for the “Nuclear Ban Treaty” Coalition that works to get the US to sign the UN Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
We’re allies with Madison groups: Interfaith Peace Working Group, WI Physicians for Social Responsibility and WI Network for Peace and Justice, and with Safe Skies Clean Water WI to stop the F-35 nuclear bombers from being produced or stationed in Madison, Wisconsin in May of this year.
In truth, because of nuclear weapons spending in the National Defense Authorization Act, expenditures, proliferation from hundreds of new weapons and deadly pollution will vastly increase for many decades to come. Many frontline communities will continue to suffer from uranium mining, weapons production, testing effects, and radioactive waste disposal. Much of the burden falls upon indigenous peoples in the US and around the world- environmental racism. We will continue to address these serious issues.
Peace Action of Wisconsin Mission Statement
Abolish war and nuclear weapons and power. End military intervention. Transfer military spending to human needs. Protect the environment. Oppose, racism & the exploitation of workers. Acknowledge and Respect First Nations
We are committed to non-violence as a way of life and the way to a peaceful world
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Most of her article is taken up with extensive direct quotation of the FAS report, and much of that quotes the State Department. Consequently a good deal of space is taken up with assertions that Russia is failing to adhere to the treaty, is lying, and even that its invasion of Ukraine was “unprovoked.” Nothing in the article attempts to refute any of these claims or even notes that the State Department is an unreliable source whose reports are highly political and tend to be full of propaganda supporting US foreign policy. Leaving the US government narrative go unchallenged in this way creates the impression that the US is not responsible for recent failures in arms control and that complaints should be directed to the Kremlin.
Were it not for this excessive focus on what the US has said, the article could have noted that the FAS report argues that while US arms increases are likely without a treaty, they are in fact unnecessary as a deterrent, and are anticipated to lead to other nuclear powers beyond the US and Russia expanding their arsenals. The Union of Concerned Scientists notes that such increases would in fact offend another treaty to which the US remains a party (the nuclear non-proliferation treaty).
Beyond this, the article makes various errors. The authors of the FAS report are not respected as scientists. Matt Korda, for example, has a Master’s Degree in Peace Studies; he is not an expert in any physical or natural science. The New Start Treaty cannot be renewed. Its language allows for one renewal of up to five years, which has already been exercised. It will expire in 2026. A new treaty will have to be drafted, a process which is expected to take 3-5 years, making it an urgent priority to begin now. Another error, in this case likely a typo, is that without an agreement in place, US ICBMs could increase by over 10 percent. The actual figure is over 100 percent; that is, our ICBM capacity likely would more than double.
I don’t mean to beat up on the author of the article. I agree with its conclusions and I am happy that it cites the US history of unilaterally withdrawing from arms control treaties. (I might have added the nuclear deal with Iran.) But I think the uncorrected quotation of propaganda and the various material errors undermine its credibility and its value such that the article does not represent the organization well.