U.S. Missile Launch at Vandenberg Worsens Global Nuclear Tensions February 15, 2023

For more information, contact: Bella Javidan
ijavidan@psr.org +1 (612) 812-3231

Washington D.C. – At 11:01pm on February 9th, the United States Military resumed its saber-rattling practice of ICBM launch testing out of the Vandenburg Air Force Base outside of Santa Barbara, California. Releasing this notice in the area’s local press is likely as far as media coverage will go on the event. We believe, however, that coverage of the United States military threats should receive the same media scrutiny as the activities of countries like China and North Korea. The actions of our own country are missing from the narratives delivered to our own people, creating the impression that the actions of other countries in response are unprovoked or irrational. Previous U.S. launch tests were rightly delayed last year as global nuclear tensions rose around the Ukrainian conflict, but now launches are resuming, despite the fact that those global tensions have not improved.

The missiles’ test target of the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands raises another issue, the continued use of a sovereign territory as a shelling range, first for explosive tests of nuclear bombs and now for their delivery systems. The United States should end its assault on the Marshallese people and land, pay full restitution for the harms we’ve caused, and clean up the vast environmental damage done to the surrounding waters as a result of these activities. Communities such as the Marshallese continue to suffer disproportionate impacts from the manufacture and testing of nuclear weapons. Around the world, Black, brown, and Indigenous communities are treated as dumping grounds for radioactive pollution

Scientific climate models demonstrate that a small fraction of the world’s nuclear arsenals — if detonated on cities — would have planetary impacts on the climate, agriculture and global health. It is supremely unhealthy to continue to maintain and modernize a vast nuclear arsenal that will lead to catastrophic global famine if ever unleashed

The United States should employ common sense, and discontinue all unnecessary military exercises that escalate the possibility of a nuclear conflict. 

This is a joint statement from:

Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR)
Washington D.C., USA

PSR-Los Angeles
LA, California, USA

Oregon PSR
Portland, OR, USA

PSR Sacramento
Sacramento, California, USA

San Francisco Bay PSR
San Francisco, California, USA

Washington PSR
Seattle, Washington, USA

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