Joseph Cirincione

President
Washington, D.C.

Joseph Cirincione is president of Ploughshares Fund, a global security foundation. He is the author of the new book Nuclear Nightmares: Securing the World Before It Is Too LateBomb Scare: The History and Future of Nuclear Weapons and Deadly Arsenals: Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Threats. He is a member of Secretary of State John Kerry's International Security Advisory Board and the Council on Foreign Relations.

His commentary has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Financial Times, Kyodo News, Moscow Times, Foreign Policy, The Hill, Daily Beast, and Huffington Post. He has appeared on ABC News, NBC News, CBS News, PBS, MSNBC, Fox News, BBC News, Australian Broadcasting Coporation, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, NHK, Russia Today, and Al Jazeera.

Cirincione worked for nine years in the U.S. House of Representatives on the professional staff of the Committee on Armed Services and the Committee on Government Operations. He is the author of hundreds of articles on nuclear weapons issues, the producer of two DVDs, a frequent commentator in the media, and he appeared in the films, Countdown to Zero and Why We Fight. He previously served as Vice President for National Security and International Policy at the Center for American Progress and Director for Nonproliferation at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He has held positions at the Henry L. Stimson Center, the U.S. Information Agency and the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He teaches at the graduate School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.

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Recent content

The Iran nuclear debate has been derailed by an obsession over centrifuges. In my latest piece for The Atlantic, I explain why this obsession threatens the nuclear talks and our goal of preventing an Iranian nuclear bomb. 

Speaker of the House John Boehner's invitation to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hurts his own party, the policy process and Israel.

In September 2012, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stood at a United Nations' podium with a cartoon bomb warning that the world had to stop Iran before it completed “the second stage of nuclear enrichment necessary to make a bomb.”

The stakes could not be higher—or the issues tougher—as the world’s six major powers and Iran launch talks February 18 on final resolution of the Iranian nuclear crisis.

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has ordered two reviews of America's nuclear force in the wake of mounting reports of drug use, drinking, womanizing, cheating and lapsed discipline among top officers. But if the studies focus only on personnel, it will be little more than rearranging the deck chairs on a nuclear Titanic. The core problem is not the people; it's the mission.

Every president since Jimmy Carter has tried to make a deal with the Islamic Republic of Iran. None have succeeded. President Barack Obama just did. The deal to limit and begin to roll back Iran’s nuclear program may be the most important foreign policy success of his tenure.

Eisenhower wanted it; Kennedy almost got it; Clinton negotiated it; and now Obama can deliver it.  It is the longest-sought, hardest-fought for goal in the history of nuclear arms control: a global ban on nuclear weapons tests.

Standing at Berlin’s historic Brandenburg Gate, President Obama reaffirmed his commitment to end the threat of nuclear weapons. “So long as nuclear weapons exist, we are not truly safe,” he declared to waves of applause. Obama promised bold cuts in strategic and tactical nuclear weapons and pledged again to prevent more nations from acquiring nuclear weapons, ban nuclear testing, and end production of bomb materials. But the president delayed implementing any of these steps pending further reviews and discussions. It is thus unclear if the much-anticipated speech will generate the active cooperation from members of the United Nations that is needed to reduce nuclear dangers.

We are delighted to announce that the Ploughshares Fund Board of Directors on June 17, 2013 unanimously elected Mary Lloyd Estrin as the new chair. As a board member and president of the foundation, I am excited to work with her as we continue to build Ploughshares Fund as a smart, innovative and effective force for change.

June 10 marks the 50th anniversary of one of JFK's most important speeches and one of the most powerful pleas ever given by a US president for nuclear disarmament.