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Mark Bratlie, Fargo, Published May 17 2013

Letter: Set an example on nuclear arms

The May 12 issue of The Forum included an article regarding the “embarrassing removal” of 17 Air Force nuclear missile launch officers. This occurrence has local significance since the Minot missile wing maintains one-third of the Air Force’s ICBM force.

In response to the incident, Air Force Secretary Donley told Congress that talk of shrinking the U.S. nuclear force is having a “corrosive effect” on his troops.

It seems that Donley is arguing for keeping intact our huge nuclear arsenal because it would be good for troop morale, even though our government and military have argued for decades that the purpose of our nuclear arsenal is to maintain peace through deterrence.

The truth is that for decades we (U.S.) have been the leaders in the nuclear arms race, which has led to the proliferation of nuclear weapons and the ongoing threat of nuclear warfare.

While we like to think of ourselves as a peace-loving nation, we can hardly set a good example for nonproliferation and a reduction of worldwide nuclear weapons if we continue to resist the downsizing of our own large nuclear force.

How can we possibly persuade other nations to resist the allure of nuclear weapons if we do not continue to reduce our own deadly arsenal?

I think most of us can agree that working toward the goal of a world that is free of nuclear weapons is far more important than temporarily maintaining the morale of missile launch troops.