Joseph Cirincione

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 the Council on Foreign Relations and was a member of Secretary of State John Kerry's International Security Advisory Board.

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 US 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 US 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

How Donald Trump Could Blow Up the World All by Himself

President Donald Trump alone controls the US nuclear arsenal. He alone decides whether to use one or one thousand nuclear weapons. He does not have to check with anyone, not even Steve Bannon. At a moment’s notice, he can launch some 900 nuclear weapons with the destructive power of 20,000...

March 29, 2017 - By Joe Cirincione
Profoundly Dangerous Times

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...

March 21, 2017 - By Joe Cirincione
Why Donald Trump's Plan to Be Leader of the Nuclear Pack is Nuts

In an interview with Reuters on Thursday, Donald Trump boasted “if countries are going to have nukes, we’re going to be at the top of the pack.” He then blasted the “one-sided” New START treaty with Russia that...

February 27, 2017 - By Joe Cirincione
Tell Congress, Stop Trump From Starting Nuclear War

Many would say that Donald Trump should be the last person authorized to launch US nuclear weapons. In fact, he is the only person that is.  As shocking as it sounds, President Trump alone has the power to launch thousands of nuclear weapons — enough to end life on Earth as we...

February 14, 2017 - By Joe Cirincione
The Trump Era Begins

This will be an inauguration like no other. Donald Trump is breaking tradition at almost every turn, which may be one reason he is the most unpopular incoming president in history. As Vice President Joe Biden recently told The New York Times, when it comes to national security and...

January 19, 2017 - By Joe Cirincione
PETITION: Keep Donald Trump’s Finger off the Nuclear Button

It’s too late to stop Donald Trump from becoming president. But it is not too late to stop him from impulsively blowing up the planet. With the stroke of a pen, President Barack Obama could take our nuclear missiles off high alert, making sure that President Trump could not launch them rashly....

December 21, 2016 - By Joe Cirincione
What President Trump Means for Nuclear Policy

Next week at a special Washington, DC event, we will release a new report, "10 Big Nuclear Ideas for the Next President."

November 10, 2016 - By Joe Cirincione
The UN Makes History on a Nuclear Weapons Ban. Does the US Care?

This is the situation confronting proponents of the process begun October 27, when—by a vote of 123 for, 38 against, and 16 abstaining—the First Committee of the UN agreed “to convene in 2017 a United Nations conference to negotiate a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons.”

November 3, 2016 - By Joe Cirincione
Historic UN Vote on Banning Nuclear Weapons

For the first time in its 71 years, the global body voted to begin negotiations on a treaty to ban nuclear weapons. All nine nations with nuclear arms (the United States, Russia, China, France, the United Kingdom, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea) opposed the resolution. However, with a...

October 27, 2016 - By Joe Cirincione
Testimony of Joseph Cirincione

While most of us have forgotten that nuclear weapons still exist today, national security leaders have not. They take seriously former Secretary of Defense Bill Perry warning that we 'are on the brink of a new nuclear arms race' with all the perils, near-misses and terrors many thought ended...

June 20, 2016 - By Joe Cirincione