Bishop Hubbard nuclear weapons posture statement timely and welcomed

Albany Bishop Howard James Hubbard has co-authored an opinion piece, supporting efforts to make sharp cuts in the U.S. nuclear weapons arsenal. The next three months are critical in U.S. efforts to set our nation on the course envisioned by President Obama, a world free of nuclear weapons. But there are many powerful invested interests that would prefer we continue to build these weapons of mass destruction -- even if they make no sense to our nation's security posture.

Here are thre points made by Hubbard in his opinion piece. We welcome this assessment and urge other U.S. bishops to enter this very important moral discussion.

Writes Hubbard:

First, this year the Senate may be asked to support ratification of both a follow on Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty with Russia and the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. Both of these treaties will include practical, verifiable steps that would make us more secure, prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and build international confidence for further progress.

The Senate should seize these opportunities to help create a safer world.

Second, when President Obama approves a new U.S. nuclear weapons policy early this year, he should establish that the only purpose of our nuclear weapons is to deter other nations from using them against us or our allies. There is no situation in which our first use of nuclear weapons would be justified — politically, militarily or morally. The threat of first use does not make us more secure.

Third, while we embark on this path to greater security, our nation will need assurances that our nuclear arsenal remains safe, secure and reliable. But that does not require building new types of nuclear weapons, which would move us further away from our ultimate goal.

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