On Monday, the Trump administration released its plan for the Fiscal Year 2019 budget. In particular, this budget includes increased military spending.
The large military budget focuses on beefing up the US’s nuclear arsenal. The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) budget, a wing of the Department of Energy that maintains and enhances the nuclear stockpile, was $15.09 billion. This is a 17% increase above the FY 2018 enacted level. Nuclear weapons got almost a $2 billion boost within this budget. Although the detailed budget has not yet been released, this budget clearly shows where the administration’s priorities lie: with violence and nuclear posturing.
It is worth noting that right at the border between Georgia and South Carolina, the Savannah River Site nuclear weapons complex is responsible for carrying out U.S. nuclear weapons missions–SRS manufactures tritium for all the U.S. deployed nuclear weapons and weapons in the “hedge” nukes. The potential of attempting to have SRS manufacture plutonium pits is also on the table. All of these processes result in environmental radiological effluent in areas nearby and down the Savannah River, including Burke County. The production of tritium could be having negative health impacts on people, in particular women, as tritium can pass through the placenta and affect a developing fetus.
Again, while considering the dangers of a government that threatens nuclear war, we must also consider the risks that nuclear weapons impose on regular people here at home. State violence results in not only people being killed across the world for the US’s imperial interests–but also the devaluing of human lives in the US, resulting in the suffering of countless people from exposure to radiation in their environment, an imposed risk which they had no choice about.
Jay Coghlan of Nuclear Watch said the following:
“The Trump budget prepares for nuclear war, in which even Ronald Reagan said there can’t be any winners. It finances a new Cold War arms race with Russia and indirectly increases the chances of a nuclear war with North Korea. It sets back nonproliferation and cleanup programs, and further hollows out our country by diverting yet more huge sums of money to the usual fat cat nuclear weapons contractors. Come November, voters should vote their conscience over how the federal government under Trump prioritizes their tax dollars for good or ill.”
Read Nuclear Watch New Mexico’s full statement here.
What would you rather pay for than nuclear weapons? Where do you see our national priorities? Join Georgia WAND in our fight for redirecting excessive military spending to unmet human and environmental needs.
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