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Public Statements

Issue Position: Nuclear Weapons

Issue Position

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Ed Markey believes that it should be a paramount concern of the nations of the world that we reduce and ultimately eliminate nuclear weapons from the face of the planet.

Early in his career he objected to the Carter Administration's sale of nuclear technology to India, he has tried to prevent the transfer of nuclear technology from China to Pakistan, he has authored legislation to prohibit the transfer of nuclear materials to North Korea, and he has constantly sought to prevent the development of new nuclear weapons by our own government.

Ed has frequently observed in this regard that "you can't preach temperance from a bar stool," or at least not successfully. Ed's lifetime legislative commitment to stopping the nuclear arms race and preventing the spread of weapons of mass destruction earned him the first "Pathfinder Award" from a coalition of national peace and arms control organizations.

President Bush's famous declaration that Iraq, Iran, and North Korea formed an "axis of evil" presaged a horribly misguided and ultimately failed strategy towards halting the spread of nuclear weapons around the globe. President Bush invaded Iraq to disarm Saddam Hussein's imaginary weapons of mass destruction programs. All the while, he completely ignored Iran and North Korea, the two countries actually racing towards building nuclear weapons. Now, because of President Bush's historic foreign policy failures, the United States has been set back a generation in the strategically crucial Middle East, North Korea has tested its nuclear weapons, and America's ability to halt Iran's nuclear quest are severely constrained.

Ed has also been the leading opponent in the House of Representatives to President Bush's proposal to make sweeping changes to U.S. and international nonproliferation laws to allow nuclear trade for the first time in over three decades with India. India has never signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty and used U.S. and Canadian peaceful nuclear aid to develop nuclear weapons. India still refuses comprehensive inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency, and the nuclear trade envisioned by President Bush would allow New Delhi to expand its production of nuclear materials from 7 bombs-worth a year to 40 or 50 bombs-worth.

In July 2006, Ed introduced legislation to block the sale of advanced American F-16 jets to nuclear-armed Pakistan unless that country halts construction on a massive new plutonium-production reactor. These aircraft are capable of delivering nuclear weapons, and their delivery to Pakistan will only further inflame the regional arms race between Pakistan and India.


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