Readers React

There's no such thing as a safe nuclear weapon

To the editor: The vows by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to make changes so that U.S. nuclear weapons are "safe and secure" are certainly of great importance. ("Major overhaul of nuclear force planned to improve security and morale," Nov. 14)

The problem is that these weapons are so incredibly effective that they cannot and should not be used. In fact, as anti-nuclear activist Bruce Blair is quoted as saying, "The Cold War ended decades ago, and the missiles are stuck in a backwater career."

The U.S. nuclear arsenal still contains thousands of warheads. If these are ever detonated, by design or accident, we will be fortunate if any humans survive on this planet, and those who do will be living in dark ages for eons.

The best plan to keep us safe and secure, and to keep human civilization alive, is to cut the number of nuclear weapons down to zero or to as close to that as possible.

William Perkins, Pacific Palisades


To the editor: In the same news cycle as this latest revelation of scandalously poor management by our military of our nuclear arsenal, The Times also reported the following: "Growing caseloads put children's rights at risk" and "State pension funds are running dry," both on Nov. 14.

Soon after those articles were published, Hagel announced a plan to beef up spending by billions to secure these weapons that anyone with any sense knows must never be used. Says Hagel, "No other capability we have is more important."

I think protecting children from neglect and abuse and ensuring that no workers, public or private, are poverty-stricken in retirement are at least as important. I demand an announcement of well-funded plans to address these threats to our security.

Roberta Medford, Montrose


To the editor: Hagel's concern that three prep facilities for nuclear weapons had to share a single wrench sounds like Dorothy Parker's reply to the New Yorker's founder, Harold Ross, when asked why she wasn't writing: "Someone else was using the pencil."

Paul Morgan, Los Angeles


To the editor: I'll bet our enemies are quaking in their boots now that we have not one, but two wrenches in our nuclear arsenal.

Susan Harris, Glendale

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