Walking with God toward the wholeness of Creation
Today, the danger of some sort of a nuclear catastrophe is greater than it was during the Cold War, and most people are blissfully unaware of this danger.William J. Perry
U.S. Secretary of Defense 1994-1997
Loretto’s work continues as the risk of a nuclear catastrophe grows. This risk includes a preemptive strike against nuclear silo sites across the western U.S. Four hundred loaded Minuteman III ICBM missiles stand ready for launch in silos in Colorado, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota and Wyoming (There is a plan to replace these at a cost of $100 billion.). This is in addition to the weapons the Air Force and Navy control, about 850 carried on bombers (Around 300 are kept ready for launch at bomber bases.), plus 200 weapons on submarines at sea at any given time. The U.S. also deploys nuclear weapons at sites in other countries. In total, the U.S. keeps around 6,000 nuclear warheads.
The U.S. is replacing its nuclear weapons and bombers, as well as developing new weapons which in 2010 it had agreed not to do. Since 2017, the U.S. has awarded billions of dollars in contracts to Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics and Boeing for research and upgrading nuclear weapons and components.
The expenditure on nuclear weapons is ballooning. The Congressional Budget Office’s estimate for updating and operating the nuclear program between 2019 and 2028 is $424 billion. The hundreds of billions of dollars the U.S. has spent and is spending on nuclear weapons could provide high-quality health care, clean energy, education and much more.
Has our resistance been effective? The Community has taken an institutional stance against possessing and using nuclear weapons. Many individual members continue to take actions — from written testimony to lobbying to shareholder resolutions to published articles to risking arrest. Dorothy Day said that the question is not whether our actions are effective but whether they are right. Loretto agrees. We must resist.’Mary Ann McGivern SL
Read the Loretto Magazine Winter 2021 issue in full here.