Senator Markey: President Obama cannot preach temperance from a bar stool

Markey highlights Obama's Hiroshima visit, but says that the President must scale back the U.S. nuclear weapons program. Proposed new nuclear weapons are especially risky.

Senator Ed Markey, PNND Co-President and a strong supporter of President Obama's Prague Vision for a nuclear-weapon-free world, released a statement welcoming the visit of President Obama to Hiroshima on May 27, but called on the President to follow-up this historic visit with action to slash the nuclear weapons budget.

'I personally witnessed the solemn 1985 commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima,' said Markey. 'The devastation at Hiroshima will always be a profound reminder that we must do everything we can to ensure that nuclear weapons are never used again.' 

Senator Ed Markey with President Obama. Time to 'wave goodbye to nuclear weapons'?

Markey, who has introduced draft legislation in the U.S. Senate to cut $100 billion from the bloated nuclear weapons budget over ten years, recognized the importance of President Obama’s decision to be the first sitting President to visit Hiroshima.

'His visit provides an historic opportunity to exercise American leadership around the globe by committing to cut our own spending on outdated and unnecessary nuclear weapons that we no longer need to keep us safe... Our ultimate goal today, tomorrow and always should be a nuclear weapons-free future.'

Markey also published an opinion piece in the Boston Globe entitled 'Obama must scale back his nuclear weapons expansion plan'.

Markey recognised that the United States and Russia have slowed the nuclear arms race by reducing the size of their nuclear arsenals.

'But that progress came about as a result of a Faustian bargain. In exchange for Republican support for passage of New START in 2010, Obama promised to fund major upgrades to our nuclear arsenal.'

'This alleged modernization plan is better described as a nuclear weapons expansion plan' says Markey. 'It would create new nuclear weapons, including a dangerous new nuclear air-launched cruise missile at the cost of more than $20 billion over 20 years.'

Markey is leading an effort in the U.S. Congress to prevent development of the new cruise missile.

'Nuclear-armed cruise missiles are especially destabilizing because they are difficult to distinguish from non-nuclear versions, and their deployment could lead to accidental nuclear escalation in a conflict with Russia or China.'

'If the United States wants other countries to reduce their nuclear arsenals and restrain their nuclear war plans, it must take the lead. It cannot preach nuclear temperance from a bar stool.'