“Do we still need land-based nukes?” That is a question we must ask ourselves. Our Air Force keeps nuclear weapons ready for immediate use on presidential command, while attempting to ensure there is never an accidental or unauthorized use – an impossible task.

Accidents have occurred, as described by Eric Schlosser in the book “Command and Control,” and we are lucky that none has caused a catastrophic nuclear explosion.

On April 27, CBS’ “60 Minutes” aired a report on the recent cheating scandal and command shake-up at one Air Force base that controls our land-based nuclear missiles.

It showed a command and control system built 50 years ago that’s still being used for 450 nuclear armed missiles, each of which could cause millions of deaths if launched. The report documented that, despite continued efforts at improvement, the potential for nuclear accidents is ongoing.

Our security is best served by removing rather than rebuilding nuclear weapons systems, especially the land-based ones, which are redundant since we have the capacity to use submarines.

Nuclear weapons played no useful role in the Iraq or Afghanistan wars, do not protect us from terrorism and are not helping to reduce conflict in Syria or Ukraine.

It’s time to adjust our spending to meet our real needs. Nuclear weapons remain an expensive problem (billions of dollars spent every year) and do not contribute to our future security.

Andrew A. Cadot


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