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Thursday, May 6th, 2021

Lawmakers reintroduce nuclear weapons use bill

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A group of lawmakers recently reintroduced the No First Use Act, which establishes that U.S. policy is not to use nuclear weapons as a means of warfare first.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, joined Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, in spearheading the reintroduction. The bill is also co-sponsored by Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), and Edward J. Markey (D-MA).

“Threatening to use nuclear weapons first makes America less safe because it increases the chances of a miscalculation or an accident,” Warren said. “There are no winners in a nuclear war, and the U.S. should never start one. I am glad to reintroduce this bill with Chairman Smith to commit the U.S. to not using nuclear weapons first.”

Proponents said the legislation would reduce the risk of miscalculation or misunderstanding by an adversary during a crisis that could lead to nuclear use; strengthen deterrence and increase strategic stability by clarifying declaratory policy; and preserving the U.S. second-strike capability to retaliate against any nuclear attack on the U.S. or its allies.

“The United States should never initiate a nuclear war,” Smith said. “Codifying that deterring nuclear use is the sole purpose of our nuclear arsenal strengthens U.S. national security and would renew U.S. leadership on nuclear nonproliferation and disbarment.”