The Air Force Global Strike Command cancelled yesterday’s scheduled test launch of a Minuteman III nuclear intercontinental ballistic missile at the Vandenberg Air Force Base in order to finish analyzing the results of their failed July 27 launch.
The test was set to take place on the 29th annual International Day of Peace, a concurrence that prompted about 7,000 members of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation to request that President Obama halt the launch. A Vandenberg Air Force Base representative declined to comment on the launch’s indefinite postponement.
According to Nuclear Age Peace Foundation President David Krieger, the AFGSC’s decision prevented sending conflicting messages to the international community.
“It may be possible that the Obama Administration or the Air Force didn’t even realize that this was the International Day of Peace,” Krieger said. “President Obama spoke at the United Nations today — it would have been pretty embarrassing to go to the United Nations on this day and simultaneously have the United States launching a nuclear capable missile. I believe our message got through to somebody.”
In addition to stopping the missile test, the NAPF called on Obama to remove the U.S.’s nuclear weapons from high-alert status and take further steps consistent with the International Day of Peace.
Krieger said the foundation aims to prevent further development of nuclear weapons and lower the possibility of nuclear war.
“It seems to me to be inappropriate to test on a day of peace, but in the bigger picture it is also inappropriate to continue testing missiles 20 years after the Cold War any day of the year,” Krieger said. “If we want to be leaders of peace we need to lead by example.”
The University of California system is involved in the oversight and management of a number of nuclear weapon laboratories, including facilities in Los Alamos and Livermore, and manages programs for several defense contractors, Kreiger said.
“Every weapon in the U.S. arsenal has been designed in one of the labs managed by the University of California system,” Krieger said. “It seems inappropriate that such a great university is engaged in making weapons that could destroy entire communities.”