The Hopkins Connection A P U B L I C F O R U M ROBOTIC WARFARE takes place on Friday, April 27 from 4 to 6 PM at Johns Hopkins University, Mergenthaler 111, HOMEWOOD CAMPUS, 3400 N. Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21218. In recent years, remotely-controlled drones have been used to launch missiles against human targets, even in countries where the
is not at war, including
where drones now routinely fly over mountain villages, adults and children live in constant fear.
The Applied Physics Laboratory at
By DR. PETER WILK
click image to enlarge
Air Force personnel await transportation to missile silos after a 1997 briefing in
1997 File Photo/The Associated Press
Where can savings be achieved?
I'm back living in
Like Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, I have to report that legislators inside the Beltway can be pretty dysfunctional sometimes. Too often, politicians put partisan politics ahead of the nation's highest priorities.
What priorities are higher than our national security?
On Jan. 5, President Obama and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta unveiled a robust new military strategy. They took into account the relatively modest reduction in defense spending over the next decade that was wisely mandated by the Congressional Budget Control Act last year.
Depending on how the debate over the 2013 budget goes this year, even deeper cuts may be needed. It's essential that a review of nuclear weapons spending be included in the upcoming budget debate.
The experienced professionals in the Pentagon charged with protecting our national security have given this challenge much thought. After months of internal deliberation, they concluded, "It is possible that our deterrence goals can be achieved with a smaller nuclear force, which would reduce the number of nuclear weapons in our inventory as well as their role in
From a medical and ethical perspective, it's simply unacceptable to continue to have a national security strategy based on mass murder of others and national suicide for ourselves.
The detonation of a single nuclear weapon in an urban area would kill hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians, perhaps millions depending on the city. A limited nuclear exchange, even if it didn't involve the
Meanwhile, some are still clinging to outdated Cold War thinking and pushing for new fleets of nuclear submarines, bombers and missiles.
Each proposed new nuclear submarine will cost $29 billion to build and operate, according to the Pentagon. And nuclear weapons boosters want 12 of them. If we cut that number to eight, it would save $116 billion over the lifetime of that program. And
The purchase price alone for the new nuclear bomber program is estimated to be $50 billion. Currently operating B-52 and B-2 bombers are designed to stay in service for at least another 25 years.
Simply delaying the start of the new bomber program for 10 years would save $18 billion in research and development costs and give us time to determine if this massive new undertaking is really needed.
As long as we maintain such huge overkill capacity,
Snowe has served
We need her common-sense approach now, as she completes her final term in the Senate. We need her to speak up for a sane nuclear weapons policy, to save billions of taxpayer dollars by reducing unneeded nuclear weapons spending while enhancing our national security.
Dr. Peter Wilk, a psychiatrist practicing in Portland, is a former executive director of the national organization Physicians for Social Responsibility and a member of its
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"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs