American Universities 'key supporters of Trump’s nuclear weapons expansion'

By agency reporter
November 14, 2019

A report from the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, winner of the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize, says that universities in the United States are complicit in a new nuclear arms race that is spending nearly $100,000 every minute to upgrade U.S. nuclear weapons.

Schools of Mass Destruction: American Universities in the U.S. Nuclear Weapons Complex documents how, in return for supporting the nuclear weapons complex, about 50 universities receive funding, access to research facilities, and specific career opportunities for students.

Complicating matters further, the report outlines how this research contributes to backsliding on existing U.S. treaty obligations, and will soon be illegal for other countries under international law. The report says top universities such as University of California, Texas A&M University, Johns Hopkins University, the University of New Mexico, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are implicated.

Beatrice Fihn, Executive Director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, said: "The dozens of universities helping to build US nuclear weapons largely in secret must immediately reverse course and work towards their elimination. Cities, states and members of Congress across the United States are calling on the federal government to join the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons - it's time for universities to join them," said

Report contributor Alicia Sanders-Zakre said: "In addition to directly contravening the values and mission statements of many of these universities, these activities will soon be prohibited under international law when the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons enters into force for countries that join the treaty. These universities must join the right side of history and cease developing weapons of mass murder,”

Currently, universities across the United States receive millions, and in some cases billions, of dollars in research funding to support nuclear weapons development. Universities directly manage nuclear weapons laboratories, form institutional agreements with these laboratories and related production sites, pursue research partnerships, and provide targeted workforce development for these facilities.

With 40 per cent of the National Nuclear Security Administration’s workforce eligible to retire in the next five years, the U.S. government and its contractors have turned to the nation’s universities to provide the human capital necessary to enact the planned nuclear weapons upgrades.

* Read Schools of Mass Destruction: American Universities in the U.S. Nuclear Weapons Complex here

* The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) is a coalition of non-governmental organisations in one hundred countries promoting adherence to and implementation of the United Nations nuclear weapon ban treaty. This landmark global agreement was adopted in New York on 7 July 2017. http://www.icanw.org/

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