REVIEW | Nuclear Heartland : A guide to the 450 land-based missiles of the United States (Nukewatch, 2015) revised edition

Nuclear Heartland, revised edition: A guide to the 450 land-based missiles of the United States chronicles the history of these weapons as well as the decades of efforts by peace activists toward their removal.

WomenAgainstMilitaryMadnessNewsletter  Spring I 2016

See below for upcoming book talks and signings in Minnesota.

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Missile System Still on Alert in the Midwest

Is there a nuclear missile lurking under your backyard? For many people in the Great Plains, living next door to a land-based nuclear weapon is a daily reality. This is a frightening book everyone should read. It raises the question of who the real terrorists of our age are and demands that we know where the 450 missiles are, insists on the necessity of dismantling them and ridding ourselves of the mentality that clings to the idea that these weapons increase our security.

Newly released by the Wisconsin-based nuclear watchdog group Nukewatch, the book is an updated version of the original Nuclear Heartland, published by the same group in 1988 when the land-based nuclear arsenal numbered 1,000. The updated book—co-edited by Nukewatch staffers John LaForge and Arianne Peterson with a foreword by former Progressive editor Matthew Rothschild and an afterword by antinuclear activist Bonnie Urfer— reminds readers that 26 years after the end of the Cold War, the intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) system, now at less than half its former size, remains on alert with its missiles ready to launch—even though it has been declared useless, dangerous and ripe for elimination by high-ranking military and political officials.


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Three missile “fields,” each containing 150 nuclear-armed Minuteman III missiles deployed in underground silos and 15 corresponding Launch Control Centers, are in western North Dakota near Minot; near Great Falls, Montana; and spread across the shared corner of Colorado, Nebraska and Wyoming. The U.S. Air Force missile system still costs taxpayers roughly $2.6 billion per year to operate.

LaForge was involved in the publication of the original Nuclear Heartland, traveling 30,000 miles with a partner to check the location of each missile site. The 1988 edition provided the first publicly available guide to the missile fields and was utilized extensively by peace activists who held protests at the sites. Now, these unguarded and remote locations can be easily viewed online with Google Earth.

On December 29, former Secretary of Defense William J. Perry called for the full decommissioning of the missile system, saying in part, “[N]uclear weapons no longer provide for our security—they now endanger it.” Nuclear Heartland, revised edition, recounts a series of recent scandals and accidents that the editors blame on the futility and relentless tedium of work without a mission.

“Generals and Secretaries of Defense are now making the same warning we are: ICBMs are useless, don’t protect anything, and present a danger to ourselves,” said co-editor John LaForge. “We urge everyone to listen to these voices, find out why the weapons should be scrapped, and help get the job done.”

Helen Caldicott, antinuclear activist and co-founder of Physicians for Social Responsibility, calls Nuclear Heartland, revised edition, “one of the most frightening books that I have ever read”—one that “every American should read.”

BUY THE BOOK: Nuclear Heartland, revised edition is available from Nukewatch for $25 per copy plus $5 each for postage and handling. Order using PayPal at http://www.nukewatchinfo.org; or send payment to: Nukewatch, 740A Round Lake Road, Luck, WI 54853.

BOOK TALK, Nuclear Heartland: On April 7th, at 7:00 p.m. Common Ground Books, 38 Snelling Ave. South, St. Paul MN, will host the editors Nukewatch activists John LaForge and Arianne Peterson for a book talk and signing. The event is co-sponsored by the End War Committee of Women Against Military Madness and the Veterans for Peace- Chapter 27.

© 2016 Women Against Military Madness.

SPRING I Index  

Other book signings and talks in Minnesota for Nuclear Heartland:

Sunday, April 10, UNDERWOOD, MN
Unitarian Universalist Church: 10:00 a.m.
206 N. Main St., Underwood MN

Thursday, April 28, MINNEAPOLIS MN
Boneshaker Books, 7:00 p.m.

2002 23rd Ave S.,  (Franklin and 23rd Ave.)

 

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