Rep. Lois Capps Submits Peace Foundation’s Declaration into Congressional Record

On May 31, Rep. Lois Capps of California’s 23rd Congressional District submitted the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation’s Santa Barbara Declaration to the Congressional Record. As the official record of the proceedings and debates of the United States Congress, the Congressional Record is a permanent public archive, published since 1873.

Congresswoman Capps introduced the Declaration as follows:

“Mr. Speaker, I rise to enter into the Congressional Record the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation’s Santa Barbara Declaration, drafted February 17, 2011.

“The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, a non-profit and non-partisan organization based in Santa Barbara that has worked for peace and the abolition of nuclear weapons since 1982, hosted a conference in February 2011 on the dangers of nuclear deterrence. The statement, drafted by experts from around the world, outlines many reasons to work toward the eradication of nuclear weapons.

“I urge my colleagues to read the Santa Barbara Declaration and strive to build a more peaceful world.”

Participants in the drafting of the Declaration included experts in nuclear proliferation, international law, the environment, former military personnel, and peace activists who came from across the United States and as far away as New Zealand. The Declaration, available online at, calls upon the public to reject the doctrine of nuclear deterrence and highlights its major problems, including:

  • Its power to protect is a dangerous fabrication;
  • It assumes all leaders will be rational at all times;
  • Threatening or using nuclear weapons is illegal and criminal;
  • It is deeply immoral to threaten indiscriminate death and destruction;
  • It diverts resources desperately needed to meet human needs;
  • It has no effect against non-state extremists;
  • It is vulnerable to sabotage, cyber attack and human or technical error;
  • It encourages nuclear proliferation in other countries.

For additional information on The Dangers of Nuclear Deterrence conference and the Santa

Barbara declaration, contact Debra Roets at (805) 965-3443 or



Nuclear deterrence is a doctrine that is used as a justification by nuclear weapon states and their allies for the continued possession and threatened use of nuclear weapons.

Nuclear deterrence is the threat of a nuclear strike in response to a hostile action. However, the nature of the hostile action is often not clearly defined, making possible the use of nuclear weapons in a wide range of circumstances.

Nuclear deterrence threatens the murder of many millions of innocent people, along with severe economic, climate, environmental, agricultural and health consequences beyond the area of attack.

Nuclear deterrence requires massive commitments of resources to the industrial infrastructures and organizations that make up the world’s nuclear weapons establishments, its only beneficiaries.

Despite its catastrophic potential, nuclear deterrence is widely, though wrongly, perceived to provide protection to nuclear weapon states, their allies and their citizens.

Nuclear deterrence has numerous major problems:

  1. Its power to protect is a dangerous fabrication. The threat or use of nuclear weapons provides no protection against an attack.
  2. It assumes rational leaders, but there can be irrational or paranoid leaders on any side of a conflict.
  3. Threatening or committing mass murder with nuclear weapons is illegal and criminal. It violates fundamental legal precepts of domestic and international law, threatening the indiscriminate slaughter of innocent people.
  4. It is deeply immoral for the same reasons it is illegal: it threatens indiscriminate and grossly disproportionate death and destruction.
  5. It diverts human and economic resources desperately needed to meet basic human needs around the world. Globally, approximately $100 billion is spent annually on nuclear forces.
  6. It has no effect against non-state extremists, who govern no territory or population.
  7. It is vulnerable to cyber attack, sabotage, and human or technical error, which could result in a nuclear strike.
  8. It sets an example for additional countries to pursue nuclear weapons for their own nuclear deterrent force.

Its benefits are illusory. Any use of nuclear weapons would be catastrophic.

Nuclear deterrence is discriminatory, anti-democratic and unsustainable. This doctrine must be discredited and replaced with an urgent commitment to achieve global nuclear disarmament. We must change the discourse by speaking truth to power and speaking truth to each other.

Before another nuclear weapon is used, nuclear deterrence must be replaced by humane, legal and moral security strategies. We call upon people everywhere to join us in demanding that the nuclear weapon states and their allies reject nuclear deterrence and negotiate without delay a Nuclear Weapons Convention for the phased, verifiable, irreversible and transparent elimination of all nuclear weapons.


Blase Bonpane, Ph.D.*, Director, Office of the Americas

Theresa Bonpane*, Founding Director, Office of the Americas

John Burroughs, Ph.D.*, Executive Director, Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy

Jacqueline Cabasso*, Executive Director, Western States Legal Foundation

Ben Cohen, Co-Founder, Ben & Jerry’s

Kate Dewes, Ph.D.*, Co-Director, Disarmament and Security Centre, New Zealand

Bob Dodge, M.D.*, Coordinator, Beyond War Nuclear Weapons Abolition Team

Dick Duda, Ph.D.*, founding member, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation – Silicon Valley

Denise Duffield*, Associate Director, Physicians for Social Responsibility – Los Angeles

Richard Falk, J.S.D.*, Chair, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation

Commander Robert Green (Royal Navy, ret.)*, Co-Director, Disarmament and Security Centre, New Zealand

David Krieger, Ph.D.*, President, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation

Robert Laney, J.D.*, Secretary, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation

Kayo Maeta, Chair, Women’s Peace Committee, Soka Gakkai

Kenji Shiratsuchi, Chair, Youth Peace Conference, Soka Gakkai

Diane Meyer Simon, Founder and President Emeritus, Global Green USA

Dr. Jennifer Allen Simons, C.M., Founder and President of The Simons Foundation

Steven Starr*, Senior Scientist, Physicians for Social Responsibility

Hirotsugu Terasaki, Executive Director, Peace Affairs, Soka Gakkai International

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town, South Africa

Rick Wayman*, Director of Programs, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation

Bill Wickersham, Ph.D.*, Adjunct Professor of Peace Studies, University of Missouri

*Initial signer from The Dangers of Nuclear Deterrence Conference, hosted by the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, Santa Barbara, February 16-17, 2011.


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