These are profoundly dangerous times.
Donald Trump has proposed an increase in military spending by $54 billion, slashing diplomacy and foreign aid, giving the biggest percentage increases to nuclear weapons (11%), and making enormous cuts to the State Department and USAID (28%).
Our military leaders know this is dangerous. That's why 120 high-ranking generals and admirals wrote the president opposing these cuts. A man I know and respect, Secretary of Defense James Mattis, warned the Senate a few years ago that this was foolish. "If you don’t fund the State Department fully," he said, "then I need to buy more ammunition."
Our political leaders know this is dangerous. That's why nine senators, including Dianne Feinstein, Al Franken, Bernie Sanders and Chris Van Hollen, just introduced a bill to kill the new, destabilizing nuclear cruise missile that will cost American taxpayers billions of dollars but won't make us any safer.
Never have we had a president this unpredictable in charge of the most powerful nuclear arsenal on the planet. Never have we had a president tell other countries they should get nuclear weapons. Never have we had a president this untested and uninformed confronting mounting dangers from North Korea. Never have we had a president with complicated ties to a resurgent Russia that's pushing its own nuclear build up.
We cannot stand idly by. We must resist.
Please help us by donating today. Thanks to a generous supporter, all new and increased gifts will be matched dollar for dollar up to $125,000. This doubles the power of your giving.
We know how to adapt to the demands of the moment. Nine years ago, I became president of Ploughshares Fund and helped guide us in a new direction. We revitalized and remade the organization, opened an office in Washington, DC, spearheaded major campaigns that helped secure nuclear arms reductions with Russia and peacefully resolved the Iran crisis. Together, with our supporters by our side, we won some incredible victories.
But that was then. All we achieved is now at risk. We must adapt again.
Fortunately, Ploughshares Fund has the guidance of an incredible board of directors. We just completed an inspiring meeting in San Francisco where we refocused and retooled our strategy to respond to the new challenges. We backed this new strategy with grants totaling $1 million to courageous leaders across the country. These are funds we raised from people like you all across the country. But there is much more to do.
We will expand our efforts to resist a new military buildup. We will join with and support sister organizations in the new, powerful mass movements rippling through our nation. We will begin a new initiative to empower and amplify women's leadership in these struggles.
We have now launched an emergency response fund to fight President Trump's dangerous new policies. We have already provided critical grants to some of the boldest new ideas, brightest minds and best organizations mobilizing to link the right to a safe and secure future to the growing mass movement. Indeed, mass pressure is now one of our strongest policy levers.
With your help we can prevent the worst from happening. Please donate today to support this mobilization for a more peaceful, just and secure world.
We believe this pressure could encourage the saner voices in the new administration. It may be that Trump could reduce US and Russian nuclear weapons, forge a deal with North Korea, and keep or even strengthen the deal with Iran. If so, we will be there to support these efforts. But the near-term outlook is not favorable and every step so far seems to be moving us in the opposite direction.
So, Ploughshares Fund will remain steadfast in our mission to reduce and eliminate nuclear weapons. Please donate today to help us meet these challenges. Right now every new and increased gift will be matched dollar for dollar up to $125,000.
We are very grateful to the generous donor who is providing this match. And we hope you join us today in this fight for peace, justice and security.