An amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) would prohibit funding for a demonstration nuclear test explosion being considered by senior Trump officials for political signaling purposes in future arms control talks with Russia and China.
Seventy-five years ago, on July 16, the United States detonated the world’s first nuclear weapons test explosion in the New Mexican desert. Just three weeks later, U.S. Air Force B-29 bombers executed surprise atomic bomb attacks on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing at least 214,000 people by the end of 1945, and injuring untold thousands more who died in the years afterward.
U.S. lawmakers and international officials have criticized the Trump administration’s consideration of restarting nuclear testing.
If the White House will not rule out the option of conducting new nuclear tests, Congress should step in to ensure that such testing is not an option the president may exercise unilaterally, now or in the future.
The Trump administration is now considering conducting a nuclear test for political signaling purposes, as a ploy in future arms talks with Russia and China. Worse, the Republican-led Senate Armed Services Committee authorized $10 million specifically for a nuclear test blast if ordered by President Trump. Key Senators and members of the House are pushing back but they need to hear your support for prohibiting funding for nuclear testing.
The Trump administration is weighing whether to conduct a nuclear test explosion as a negotiating standpoint as it seeks an arms control agreement with Russia and China. Making matters worse, the Senate Armed Services Committee approved an amendment to the fiscal 2021 National Defense Authorization Act to authorize $10 million to execute a nuclear test if necessary.
U.S. national security officials discussed the possibility of resuming U.S. nuclear testing for political purposes, but have made no decision so far.