Senator Ed Markey, a Co-President of a program of the Global Security Institute, Parliamentarians for Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament, with hundreds of legislative leaders in over 80 nations, has correctly identified the need to bring the office of the President of the United States under appropriate checks and balances to guard against the unthinkable. 

S. 200 “Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017” is a bill he has introduced in the US Senate that prohibits the first use of a nuclear weapon without a declaration of war by the Congress. It is unacceptable to allow one person without oversight to place the entire future of humanity in such peril. 

Former US Secretary of Defense, William J. Perry, a very wise statesman, said regarding the need to prevent the first use of a nuclear weapon: “During my period as Secretary of Defense, I never confronted a situation, or could even imagine a situation, in which I would recommend that the President make a first strike with nuclear weapons-understanding that such an action, whatever the provocation, would likely bring about the end of civilization. I believe that the legislation […] recognizes that terrible reality. Certainly a decision that momentous for all of civilization should have the kind of checks and balances on Executive powers called for by our Constitution.”

While we work diligently to eliminate nuclear weapons entirely, we believe that reasonable constraints to ensure that precipitous actions by fallible human beings in high offices do not end civilization are both necessary and good. That is why we work so hard to preserve the commitments of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, advance international work to obtain a treaty to eliminate nuclear weapons, and build networks of influential leaders to create international security based on cooperation and shared interests. Please be generous in helping the critically important work of the Global Security Institute succeed. The prospect of failure is simply too dire to consider. #NoRedButton

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