Accidental Apocalypse and Nuclear War on Drugs

With existential national security threats from floods, droughts, wildfires, water pollution, sea-level rise, and peak oil,[1] the US Air Force, the Air National Guard and nuclear weapons manufacturers could do crucial defense work in the US heartland by building, installing, managing and expanding renewable (wind and solar) electric power systems — instead of polishing their 400 Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles, and preparing to welcome an astronomically expensive replacement missile dubbed Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent. Call such a switch a “Climate Defense Initiative” since it would constitute deterrence against actual threats.

But no. Congress’s “ICBM Coalition,” missile contractors Lockheed Martin, GE, Northrup-Grumman, Boeing, and United Technologies, hundreds of subcontractors, their lobbyists, and public relations departments have conjured implausible but scary sounding reasons for paying an estimated $264 billion for yet another new rocket system. Since 1955, the nuclear-armed rocket gravy train has invented reasons for Atlas missiles, Titan missiles, Minuteman I, II and III missiles, and even a few dozen Peacekeepers.

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John LaForge is a Co-director of Nukewatch, a peace and environmental justice group in Wisconsin, and edits its newsletter.

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