Have you heard the news??? The U.S. Navy has been working on plans (since 2007) to replace those aging Trident submarines with a new fleet of ballistic missile submarines. The Navy plans to replace the 14 Ohio class submarines currently in service with 12 new subs, each with 16 missile tubes (the current subs have 24), and they will initially deploy the current Trident D-5 missile. Based on construction plans coupled with the new sub's projected lifespan the last one built will be on duty until 2082!!! Government auditors have estimated the total construction cost at nearly $100 billion!
Assuming the politicians, top brass and weapons contractors behind this project get their way – and this project has substantial backing - we are destined to be stuck with Trident for decades to come, assuming we don't destroy ourselves before 2082 (70 years from now!!!). Even with only 16 missile tubes those subs will still carry a whole mess of those 100 or 475 kiloton nuclear warheads, which are good for only one thing – incinerating millions of human beings and rendering the land uninhabitable for generations.
Before we spend hundreds of billions (if not trillions) of dollars building and operating a first strike weapons system designed during the Cold War – while we cannot even afford to fund necessary social programs at home - we must consider the destabilizing effects this will have on nonproliferation and disarmament efforts. We must challenge the government’s plan on both moral and legal grounds, and Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action will be launching such an effort. Help us scuttle the Navy’s dangerous plans in 2012.
Postscript: More information on Ground Zero's plans to challenge the next generation of Trident will be shared will be shared at the January 14th Martin Luther King day of action against Trident. This article originally appeared in the January 2012 Ground Zero Newsletter.
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