BUILDING an Alaskan Voice

After 30 years of nuclear weapons reductions, the United States and Russia are abandoning the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. Both countries, and China are preparing to beef up their nuclear arsenal. Other nations that already possess nuclear weapons may follow suit. And others may seek to acquire them.

As they have in the past, citizens of the world must rise up and challenge the madness of a new nuclear arms race. Young Alaskans can play a vital role in this global cause.

Having been born after the end of the Cold War, few among Alaska’s next generation of civic leaders view the risk of a nuclear war as more than a historical artifact that played out on a world stage far removed from its shores. That sense of security is belied by Alaska’s precarious proximity to nuclear armed states, the state’s integral role in the US nuclear defense shield, the legacy of underground weapons testing at Amchitka, the documented health risks created by nuclear fall-out in northern Alaska from atmospheric testing, and the struggle to prevent “peaceful” uses of nuclear devices in northwestern Alaska in near total disregard of their impacts on Alaska’s indigenous peoples.

This Congress is intended to challenge young Alaskans to explore their history, examine the extent to which the existence of nuclear weapons poses a compelling threat, and take action to secure their future and their children’s future by advocating a resumption disarmament and the eventual elimination of all nuclear weapons.