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Friday, March 22 , 2019, 9:43 pm | Fair 56º


Santa Barbara Declaration Urges Rejection of Nuclear Deterrence

Conference participants draft the document as an urgent call to action

The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation hosted a conference Feb. 16-17 in Santa Barbara to address the dangers of nuclear deterrence. Participants came from across the United States and as far away as New Zealand to discuss the urgent need to reject the doctrine of nuclear deterrence.

“Most Americans and citizens of other nuclear weapon states have been misled to believe that nuclear deterrence protects them,” said David Krieger, president of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation. “But nuclear deterrence is only a theory and it has many flaws. In fact, it is an illegal and highly immoral doctrine, threatening indiscriminate mass murder, which leaves people everywhere vulnerable to nuclear catastrophe. To assure our common future, we need to recognize that nuclear deterrence is a myth and demand that nuclear-armed countries negotiate the abolition of all nuclear weapons.”

On the final day of the conference, participants drafted the “Santa Barbara Declaration,” an urgent call to action to the public to reject nuclear deterrence. The declaration — click here to view it online — highlights the major problems with nuclear deterrence, including:

» Its power to protect is a dangerous fabrication.

» It assumes all leaders will be rational at all times.

» Threatening or using nuclear weapons is illegal and criminal.

» It is deeply immoral to threaten indiscriminate death and destruction.

» It diverts resources desperately needed to meet human needs.

» It has no effect against non-state extremists.

» It is vulnerable to sabotage, cyber attack and human or technical error.

» It encourages nuclear proliferation in other countries.

The declaration ends by calling upon people everywhere “to join us in demanding that the nuclear weapon states and their allies reject nuclear deterrence and negotiate without delay a Nuclear Weapons Convention for the phased, verifiable, irreversible and transparent elimination of all nuclear weapons.”

“I was enormously encouraged by the powerful consensus rejecting nuclear deterrence that emerged from this most successful conference,” said retired Cmdr. Robert Green of the Royal Navy, author of Security Without Nuclear Deterrence. “The declaration reinforces my suspicion that nuclear deterrence is a confidence trick devised by the U.S. military-industrial complex to sustain its vested interest in these appalling terror devices.”

— Debra Roets represents the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation.


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