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The Shadow Side of Crane

Crane is one of the best sources of skilled jobs in the region. The more we need Crane, the more committed we become to staying on good terms with the Pentagon.

I recently received an email from Senator Joe Donnelly about Defense Secretary Ashton Carter’s visit to the Crane Naval Surface Warfare Center. Senator Donnelly is proud of “the critical role that Hoosiers play in protecting our national security. Crane is one of the nation’s most important military laboratories.”

Together with Indiana University, Crane is undoubtedly the best source of skilled jobs in the region. At a time when good jobs have a way of disappearing, it is no surprise that Indiana officials, editorial writers, and citizens appreciate Crane.

The more we need Crane, the more committed we become to staying on good terms with the Pentagon – supporting everything on the military’s wish list to win its generosity to us. Senator Donnelly recently sent me a generic letter assuring me he’s doing everything he can to ensure the Pentagon receives adequate funding. The U.S. spends more on the military than the next eight nations combined.

As Chair of the Strategic Forces Subcommittee, Senator Donnelly may be the most important of all Senators in evaluating a new generation of nuclear weapons. Former Defense Secretary William Perry, Senator Diane Feinstein, and others strongly oppose a new air-launched nuclear cruise missile as seductively usable, possibly tempting a President across the fateful nuclear threshold.

If Crane leads Hoosiers to look away from the risks of new nuclear weapons, that will be a very high price to pay, not only for us but also for the world.

David Keppel

David Keppel is an activist and writer living in Bloomington. He is currently working on a book on "Creative Uncertainty".

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