"Revved" Missiles Threaten National Security

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The De-Alerting Campaign got a boost in December when a former Air Force missileer joined U.S. Rep. Edward Markey (D-MA) and 84 other Members of Congress in calling on President Clinton to take nuclear weapons off alert status, lengthening the time it takes to launch missiles. "These weapons should not sit like cars at a drag race with revved engines," Mr. Markey said at the National Press Club. The U.S. and Russia have between 2 and 30 minutes to consider a missile attack. "This is an intolerably short time," said Dr. Bruce Blair, the retired missile-control officer. Blair said that national security was "in considerable jeopardy in continuing to operate nuclear weapons as though the cold war didn't end." The Center for Defense Information has produced a short educational video on the issue called "Back From the Brink."

- New York Times, Dec. 10, 1999; De-Alerting Coalition.