ReThink Media conducted a national survey, on behalf of the Federation of American Scientists (FAS), to explore Americans’ opinions about US nuclear posture in general, and intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) in particular. This report is part of the ICBM Information Project. They surveyed registered voters in Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, and Wyoming to find out what people in these states think about the weapons their states are hosting.
Here is a topline summary, from FAS. The "Ground Based Strategic Deterrent" (GBSD) is the currently planned replacement for the current Minuteman III ICBMs.
- A majority of Americans support alternative policy options to the GBSD program of record, i.e. life-extending the current Minuteman III ICBMs, or eliminating the ICBM force altogether.
- A bipartisan majority of Americans support delaying the GBSD program, continuing to life-extend the Minuteman III ICBMs, and launching a review of the GBSD program.
- A majority of Americans inside and outside these states support phasing out the ICBMs, provided that the government provides economic offsets to ICBM communities.
- Americans overwhelmingly do not derive their sense of safety from government investment in nuclear or conventional weapons.
- Americans would generally prefer that the government simply give their tax dollars back to them, unless they are spending it on crucial domestic priorities like health care or social security. In reality, Americans want the government to spend taxpayer dollars—just not on the military.
As part of the ICBM Information Project, Matt Korda recently wrote a policy memo on the US ICBM force. Its key takeaway is that President Biden should immediately launch a review of the role of ICBMs in nuke strategy, and either cancel or reduce the scope of the GBSD program.
The former governor of California (twice) Jerry Brown rightly called it a "solid report" on a "hugely important subject." Ploughshares Fund is proud to support the ICBM Information Project.
Photo: An unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile launches during an operational test Oct. 2, 2019, at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. US Air Force / Staff Sgt. J.T. Armstrong