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Argument: Nuclear weapons are a drain on resources

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Supporting evidence

  • David Krieger. "Ten Reasons to Abolish Nuclear Weapons". Nuclear Age Peace Foundation. Retrieved 2.11.08 - "8. Halt the Drain on Resources. Nuclear weapons have drained resources, including scientific resources, from other more productive uses. A 1998 study by the Brookings Institution found that the United States alone had spent more than $5.5 trillion on nuclear weapons programs between 1940 and 1996. The United States continues to spend some $25-$35 billion annually on research, development and maintenance of its nuclear arsenal. All of these misspent resources represent lost opportunities for improving the health, education and welfare of the people of the world."

Nuclear weapons are extraordinarily costly, and the costs continue into the indefinite future.

  • "Six Arguments for Abolishing Nuclear Weapons". Nuclear Age Peace Foundation. 1999 - "Although nuclear weapons were promoted in the 1950s with the idea that they would provide "more bang for the buck," just the opposite is true. When the costs of research, development, testing, deployment, maintenance and associated intelligence activities are combined, the price tag is hefty. When costs of damage to the land, illnesses of uranium miners, cancer deaths from nuclear pollution, and storage of nuclear waste for centuries are added, the price becomes astronomical. Since the early 1940s, the U.S. alone has spent over $4 trillion ($4,000,000,000,000) on nuclear arms. Note that this is the approximate size of the U.S. national debt! (No one knows how much it will cost to clean up leaking waste sites now and store weapons-related nuclear wastes for many thousands of years.)
If current policies are implemented, the U.S. will continue to spend some $25 - $30 billion per year on its nuclear forces. Consider the fact that the U.S. government has allocated $27 billion for education, and $17 billion for housing assistance for 1997. What is more important - educational assistance or bombs that can incinerate millions of people? As we consider the cost of nuclear weapons, we should also keep in mind that one in seven individuals in the U.S. lives below the poverty line, and some 30 million U.S. citizens are without adequate medical insurance. We have lots better things to spend our tax dollars on than gigantic weapons that are not related to any realistic estimate of our military needs."

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