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To: Members of Congress (House and Senate)

"Hold the LYNE" on the New "Low-Yield" Trident Nuclear Warhead

Petition Text

We urge you to cosponsor the Hold the LYNE Act which will prevent further research, development, production and deployment of the new, “low-yield” nuclear warhead, designated as the W76-2, for the Trident submarine-launched ballistic missile.

This new warhead, which has been rushed into production, is dangerous, unjustified, and redundant, and will only increase the risk of either accidental or intentional nuclear war.

Why is this important?

The W76-2 nuclear warhead is a new “low-yield” warhead called for by the Trump administration's 2018 Nuclear Posture Review. It will be mounted on the Trident II D5 ballistic missile, which is deployed on OHIO Class “Trident” ballistic missile submarines. Trident's only mission is strategic nuclear deterrence; the W76-2 turns this stated mission on its head.

There is no “deterrence gap” that the Trump administration claims as justification for the W76-2. The United States spends approximately four times the amount as Russia each year on its nuclear arsenal—amounting to $61.3 billion for the U.S. in 2011 compared to $14.8 billion for Russia. While this immense program is excessive, adds to a new arms race with Russia, and should be scaled back, Russia cannot doubt that the United States is serious about maintaining an unambiguously strong nuclear deterrent.

The United States already deploys a variety of low-yield nuclear weapons. These include 150 B61 gravity bombs that can be set from 0.3 to 60 kilotons, and air-launched cruise missiles with yields of 5 to 150 kilotons. These weapons are being upgraded to extend their lifetimes, and are receiving improvements, including greater accuracy. For comparison, the W76-2 will be 6.5 kilotons.

Nuclear war cannot be controlled. Perhaps the biggest fallacy in the whole argument for the W76-2 is the mistaken and dangerous belief that a “small” nuclear war would remain small. There is no basis for the dubious theory that, if Russia used a “low-yield” nuclear weapon and the United States responded in kind, the conflict could stay at that level.

General James Mattis, former Secretary of Defense, has said, “I don’t think there’s any such thing as a tactical nuclear weapon. Any nuclear weapon used at any time is a strategic game changer.”

Congress must prohibit the further production and deployment of this dangerously destabilizing nuclear weapon before it can be deployed. Otherwise, the already delicate diplomatic balance with Russia will be further eroded, and nuclear war will become more likely.

How it will be delivered

When we reach 10,000 signatures, we will schedule a press conference at the Seattle Federal Building before delivering signatures to the Senate and House.




2019-03-25 17:02:10 -0400

1,000 signatures reached

2019-03-25 11:36:32 -0400

500 signatures reached

2019-03-25 10:53:28 -0400

100 signatures reached

2019-03-25 10:50:34 -0400

50 signatures reached

2019-03-25 10:48:32 -0400

25 signatures reached

2019-03-22 22:42:41 -0400

10 signatures reached