Boulder, Colorado — On Tuesday, October 11th 2016, the Rocky Mountain Peace & Justice Center held a talk at CU Boulder. The talk focused on U.S. NATO conflicts with Russian and the threat of a new nuclear war hosted by Carolyn Bninski.
Kevin Martin, President of Peace Action, and Ron Forthofer, a former professor of Biostatistics at the University of Texas and member of the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center, were the two experts presenting the current problems facing a U.S. nuclear conflict with Russia. Particularly, the U.S. tensions in Syria and Ukraine are evidence of an expanding war, and the NATO expansion into Russia’s borders are problematic.
Each speaker was given 25 minutes to present their views. Ron Forthofer started the discussion outlining a timeline of U.S. foreign affairs from the CIA backed military coups in Iran in 1950’s to March 2014, when Russia took part in the annexation of Crimea. Forthofer even discussed the current Syrian War and conflict with Bashar Al-Assad has come to create insurmountable tensions between Russia and the U.S.
Kevin Martin, began his point with the yearly event on Oct. 4th, 2016, Russia’s Ministry of Emergency Situation conducted a massive civil defense drill of 40 million people nationwide. Martin believed that if such a drill were conducted in the U.S. – it would be catastrophic. However, Martin speculated the rhetoric of U.S. “Cold War Triumphalism”, has shifted our policies towards isolating China and Russia. Martin found the evidence in the U.S. military budget and policies; what Martin described as the “New Nuclear Arms Race.” Martin detailed how the U.S. has plans to spend over $1 trillion dollars in the next 30 years to modernize our weapon systems. Martin listed the amount of future military purchases: new submarines, missiles, long-range bombers, upgrades to current weapon systems. However, Martin contrasted those numbers with the U.S. problems lack of funding for crucial issues such as social benefits and climate change.
“The threat of nuclear weapons makes everybody less secure,” Martin said. The investment into nuclear weapons creates misplaced priorities. Martin said, “One person has the ability to end life on Earth; what kind of democracy is that?” Martin predicated it will take a serious change of U.S. military thought, Martin made a contradictory point, if you take away any of our tax dollars and put it towards anything but the Pentagon more jobs are created.
The solutions to the nuclear conflict are not going to fix it immediately, but action is crucial. Martin outlined the importance of humanitarian initiative to draft resolutions, outspoken community views involving our local congressmen on the issue, and prohibit the agenda of businesses that finance nuclear weapons as seen through the efforts of projects such as Dontbankonthebomb.com, a research report about finances on nuclear weapons.