Benjamin Loehrke

Senior Policy Analyst
Washington, D.C.

Ben is a senior policy analyst at Ploughshares Fund. With a background in nuclear and international security policy, his areas of expertise include US-Russia relations, nonstrategic nuclear weapons and US policy towards Iran.

Prior to moving to Washington, DC and joining Ploughshares Fund in 2010, Ben helped lead a volunteer organization dedicated to rebuilding the Gulf Coast. He earned his Masters of Public Policy from the University of Maryland in International Security and Economic Policy with a Certificate in Intelligence Analysis. Ben graduated with honors from Indiana University with a degree in Political Science.

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Recent content

Russia Violated the INF Treaty. Now What?

Bailout was a naval term before it was a financial term. Bailing out a ship means, essentially, to save a sinking ship by taking a bucket and heaving water overboard.

The U.S. is poised to spend $11.6 billion to upgrade a handful of nuclear bombs - with each bomb costing more than twice its weight in gold. The bombs were originally put in Europe to roll back a Soviet land invasion. With the Cold War over, the costly bomb upgrades would rack up more debt while adding no benefit to our security. 

Why are the bombs still around? What else could the U.S. buy with the money? How much gold are we talking about? See the infographic below.

In a victory for common sense, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved a bill that scales back a $10 billion nuclear bomb program. The bombs - estimated to cost more than their weight in gold - now face strong opposition as it moves toward full Senate consideration later this year.

Two years ago, when talk of “fiscal responsibility” began to dominate the political discussion, Ploughshares Fund realized that we had an unprecedented opportunity to tilt Washington’s budget axe toward the nuclear weapons complex. So we organized and funded a campaign to reduce spending on nuclear weapons.

Many in Congress fumed last year when a green energy company – Solyndra – defaulted on a $535 million government loan, resulting from some bad management decisions and the market falling out from under the company. What happens when the government spends $5 billion on a poorly managed plutonium program that has no market?

The Pentagon’s New Precision-Guided, Nuclear Budget Buster

Whether or not the nation zooms over the fiscal cliff, the Pentagon’s budget is going to get tighter. This may be a challenge for some. But it’s also an opportunity for the Pentagon to shift away from Cold War weapons and reshape the U.S. military to deal with 21st century realities.

It comes down to a simple question: Should the U.S. put its money toward a Cold War nuclear strategy? Or should those funds be spent to equip the military to address 21st century realities?

EU Tightens Sanctions on Iran

$640 Billion for Nuclear Weapons and Related Programs