Open Letter to President-elect Donald Trump on Nuclear Weapons

8 Jan

[Prefatory Note: The text below is an Open Letter to the next American president urging complete nuclear disarmament as an urgent priority. The letter was prepared under the auspices of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, and its current list of signatories are listed below. It is hoped that concerns with nuclear weapons policy will rise to the top of the global policy agenda and will engage people everywhere. It is our view that the elimination of nuclear weaponry is a matter of upholding the human interest of all peoples, as well as promoting the national interest of each country.]


Open Letter to President-elect Trump: Negotiate Nuclear Zero

As president of the United States, you will have the grave responsibility of assuring that nuclear weapons are not overtly threatened or used during your term of office.

The most certain way to fulfill this responsibility is to negotiate with the other possessors of nuclear weapons for their total elimination.  The U.S. is obligated under Article VI of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to engage in such negotiations in good faith for an end to the nuclear arms race and for nuclear disarmament.


A nuclear war, any nuclear war, would be an act of insanity.  Between nuclear weapons states, it would lead to the destruction of the attacking nation as well as the attacked.  Between the U.S. and Russia, it would threaten the survival of humanity.


There are still more than 15,000 nuclear weapons in the world, of which the United States possesses more than 7,000.  Some 1,000 of these remain on hair-trigger alert.  A similar number remain on hair-trigger alert in Russia.  This is a catastrophe waiting to happen.


Even if nuclear weapons are not used intentionally, they could be used inadvertently by accident or miscalculation.  Nuclear weapons and human fallibility are a dangerous mix.

Nuclear deterrence presupposes a certain view of human behavior.  It depends on the willingness of political leaders to act rationally under all circumstances, even those of extreme stress.  It provides no guarantees or physical protection.  It could fail spectacularly and tragically.

You have suggested that more nations – such as Japan, South Korea and even Saudi Arabia – may need to develop their own nuclear arsenals because the U.S. spends too much money protecting other countries.  This nuclear proliferation would make for a far more dangerous world.  It is also worrisome that you have spoken of dismantling or reinterpreting the international agreement that places appropriate limitations on Iran’s nuclear program and has the support of all five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany.


As other presidents have had, you will have at your disposal the power to end civilization as we know it.  You will also have the opportunity, should you choose, to lead in ending the nuclear weapons era and achieving nuclear zero through negotiations on a treaty for the phased, verifiable, irreversible and transparent elimination of nuclear weapons.


We, the undersigned, urge you to choose the course of negotiations for a nuclear weapons-free world.  It would be a great gift to all humanity and all future generations.


To add your name to the open letter, click here.

Initial signers:


David Krieger

President, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation


Richard Falk

Senior Vice President, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation


Daniel Ellsberg

Distinguished Fellow, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation


Noam Chomsky

Professor Emeritus, Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Oliver Stone

Film director


Setsuko Thurlow

Hiroshima Atomic Bomb Survivor


Anders Wijkman

Co-President, Club of Rome


Helen Caldicott

Founding President, Physicians for Social Responsibility


Ben Ferencz

Former Nuremberg war crimes prosecutor


Robert Jay Lifton

Columbia University


Hon. Douglas Roche, O.C.

Former Canadian Ambassador for Disarmament


Martin Hellman

Professor Emeritus, Stanford University


Robert Laney

Chair, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation


Rick Wayman

Director of Programs, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation


Ruben Arvizu

Latin America Representative, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation


Jonathan Granoff

President, Global Security Institute


Medea Benjamin

Co-Founder, Code Pink


Peter Kuznick

Professor of History and Director of the Nuclear Studies Institute, American University


Barry Ladendorf

President, Veterans for Peace


Dr. Hafsat Abiola-Costello

Founder and President, Kudirat Initiative for Democracy


Marie Dennis

Co-President, Pax Christi International


Elaine Scarry

Professor, Harvard University


Richard Appelbaum

Board of Directors, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation



Sandy Jones

Director of Communications, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation


Joni Arends

Executive Director, Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety


Sergio Grosjean

Instituto Mexicano de Ecologia Ciencia y Cultura


John Avery

Associate, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation


Leonard Eiger

Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action


April Brown

Marshallese Educational Initiative


Jill Dexter

Board of Directors, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation


Robert Aldridge

Associate, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation


Charles Genuardi

Board of Directors, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation


Bill Wickersham

Associate, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation


John Hallam

People for Nuclear Disarmament


Mark Hamilton

Board of Directors, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation


Mary Becker

Former Board member, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation


Judith Lipton, M.D.

Security Committee, Physicians for Social Responsibility


Sherry Melchiorre

Board of Directors, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation


Elena Nicklasson

Director of Development, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation


Daniel Smith

Appellate Lawyer



Cletus Stein

The Peace Farm



Mario Fuentes

Sector Salud


Jim Knowlton

Blue Ocean Productions


Peter Low

Adjunct Senior Lecturer, University of Canterbury


Jenny Maxwell

Hereford Peace Council


Rodrigo Navarro

Comunicar para Conservar


Sergio Rimola

National Hispanic Medical Association


Julian Rodriguez


13 Responses to “Open Letter to President-elect Donald Trump on Nuclear Weapons”

  1. ray032 January 9, 2017 at 7:03 am #

    Richard, clicking on the link to sign my name leads to an obstruction when I was asked if I was signing from a Public or Private computer? If I clicked pvt, I had to conform to rules. Then I had to enter a Username and Password.

    This breaking news should be concerning to all – The US fires on an Iranian vessel approaching the US vessel in Iranian waters, just a day after a leading Iranian voice of Moderation died.

    Is this another Gulf of Tonkin type of incident, to have the incoming President already involved in a developing War?

    Watching CNN from CanaDa, in the last week, the only thing happening in the CNN world, in all programs and personalities, all day long, was the Russians hacking that helped get Trump elected.

    What I saw was non stop, anti-Russian hysteria and propaganda preparing the American People for War with Russia. Reading about more military equipment and personnel being sent to Europe it would be a reasonable supposition to see the powers of THIS world are heading for a clash.

    Personally, I see it through the lens of the Spirit of this letter in the unfolding Revelation, ‘And the nations were angry, and your wrath is come’

    The people can see that anger and wrath increasing in THIS material world, NOW, TODAY!
    How far can it/will it go? That could depend on YOU, Richard et al, and me. I totally support Richard in the good he is doing with his talents and experience.

    We all have different talents and experience, and part of mine was having THE KANSAS CITY TIMES record for Posterity, this Vision of the Future unfolding with the Revelation of the details Day by Day,

    “He came to town for the Republican National Convention and will stay until the election in November to do God’s bidding: To tell the world, from Kansas City, this country has been found wanting and its days are numbered […] He gestured toward a gleaming church dome. “The gold dome is the symbol of Babylon,” he said.”…………….He wanted to bring to the Public’s attention an “idea being put out subtly and deceptively” by the government that we have to get prepared for a war with Russia.”

    On the 1st part, Donald Trump essentially campaigned on the idea the American workers are wanting, and the Days of the US are numbered if he is not elected President. He used other words and pictures, but the same General Idea and spirit of that 1976 letter he Trumpeted.

    On the War with Russia part just read the steady diet of anti_Russia/Putin phobia the MSM and alt-Media propagates THESE DAYS.

    AS if to confirm, THE KANSAS CITY TIMES published a 2nd report after the Republicans left town on ALL SOULS DAY, November 2, 1976.

    I was probably the only human on earth to notice at the TIME of the 1983 TV movie ‘THE DAY AFTER’ Kansas City was destroyed in a Nuclear Holocaust, the movie pauses at the exact same picture frame THE KANSAS CITY TIMES used in their follow up ALL SOULS DAY report 7 years earlier.

    Only the wilfully blind will not recognize the demonization of Russia-Putin, increasing in the US media, history has always shown is a necessary prelude to war in dumbing down the population to not question the direction the leaders are leading to that could result in the death of millions of ordinary people in a Day

    If the direction is not changed the Day Before, it will be too late THE DAY AFTER.

    Sometimes it seems only those who profess Faith in the Eternal are resented in exercising their Freedom of Speech, some of your Regulars have expressed to me, but I hoped Rabbi Ira would have acknowledged and confirmed ” this country has been found wanting and its days are numbered” are the first 2 parts of the 3 part “Writing on the Wall” from Daniel 5 in the Tanach.

    In my view, the whole world saw the ‘Writing on the Wall’ for the 1st Time, at the same Time with the 2008 Global Financial Meltdown-Economic Pearl Harbour, even though the world has not recognized it as such yet.

    “Then they brought the golden vessels that were taken out of the temple of the house of God which was at Jerusalem; and the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, drank in them.
    They drank wine, and praised the gods of gold, and of silver, of brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone.”

    ‘It’s the economy, Stupid!’ as the saying goes.

    The 3rd part of the Writing on the Wall says, “Your kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.”

    This record comes from the Time 2600 years ago, when ancient Babylon was the Bible model of the 1st Nation to reach Imperial Economic-Military Superpower status.

    Ancient Babylon is now Iraq and Persia is now Iran.

    The 1976 KANSAS CITY TIMES makes it very clear about the Spiritual nature of the prophecy with the words, “He gestured toward a gleaming church dome. “The gold dome is the symbol of Babylon,” he said.”

    The US is the latest, greatest of all the Nations reaching Imperial Economic-Military Superpower status.

    The Tail struck the Head, and that 2600 Babylonian superstructure within which the Nations evolved these 2600 years is now unravelling in the Middle East and THIS MATERIAL WORLD with nothing on the Table to replace it.

    In my view watching from CanaDa, I see it is the US provoking Russia toward World War as it sees the US is loosing grip on Empire Status, and is more divided internally than ever before in recent History.

    Logically, it makes sense having that 40 year old record, I would have reason to watch and weigh all the unfolding events in this world since then more closely than the majority of people.

    Obviously I would not delude myself into thinking I had anything to do with the real world unfolding along the general lines in the 1976 record other than being a messenger in the right place and Time.

    I was totally taken by surprise when the Secret Service asked me if I was Jesus Christ in 1976. I had no illusions about that then, or now, and in a nanosecond answered, NO.I totally relate with Daniel in this from the old record, “But as for me, this secret is not revealed to me for any wisdom that I have more than any living, but for their sake that shall make known the interpretation to the king,”

    That’s where we’re at this Juncture and Time of History and the End of an Age.
    Unless you make it your purpose finding your individual talents and experience to do whatever you can, in things big and small, the Holocaust will come, so be ready one way or another.

    • ray032 January 9, 2017 at 9:03 am #

      Unless you make it your purpose finding your individual talents and experience to do whatever you can, in things big and small to prevent it, the Holocaust will come, so be ready one way or another.

  2. Gene Schulman January 15, 2017 at 7:03 am #

    This book should be required reading for Donald Trump and all those who think nuclear weapons are advantageous.

    • Gene Schulman January 15, 2017 at 8:39 am #


      Like Ray, above, I tried to add my name to the list but ran into the same obstruction. Alas.

      • Richard Falk January 15, 2017 at 1:07 pm #

        I am trying to seem if there is a way to correct this technical problem. Thanks for your support, and for Ray’s..

  3. Dr. Leo Semashko January 18, 2017 at 2:16 am #

    Dear Richard,
    I and many of the GHA members would happy to support your urgent Open letter to Trump. But we cannot overcome the difficulties with parole on your website. Please, could you help us? Thanks, Leo Semashko, Russia

    • Richard Falk January 18, 2017 at 7:27 am #

      Please go direct to the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation website, and sign directly. I have tried to fix the glitch
      but so far without success. I am sorry about this..

  4. ray032 January 18, 2017 at 7:56 am #

    I was able to add my name and comment to the Open Letter here:

    • Gene Schulman January 19, 2017 at 8:47 am #

      Thank you Ray.

  5. Mike 71 February 6, 2017 at 10:57 pm #

    On September 8, 2015, Professor Falk wrote, citing the 1996 Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice:

    “1.) Nuclear weapons were only lawfully useable, if ever, when the survival of the state is credibly at issue.”

    Thus the maintenance of a nuclear deterrent is legitimate where a state is facing threats of attack by an adversary. The “use” of nuclear weapons is not limited to the actual detonation of a warhead against an adversary, but also includes the maintenance of a nuclear arsenal as a deterrent to foreign aggression.

    Thus, it would appear that the resolution of international conflicts and tensions must be conditions precedent to nuclear disarmament.

    Other relevant citations from the United Nations Charter include the following:

    Article 2, Section 4, United Nations Charter:

    “All members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state or in any manner inconsistent with purposes of the United Nations.”

    Article 51, United Nations Charter

    “Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defense if an armed attack occurs against a member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures, necessary to maintain international peace and security.”

    Once all the nations of the international community are in compliance with these principles, as set forth in the U.N. Charter, but not before, can nuclear disarmament begin. When these conditions precedent ill be satisfied remains an open question.

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