Paul Carroll's Blog Posts

Paul directs all of Ploughshares Fund’s grantmaking efforts and provides strategic guidance to the president, executive director and the board. He works to ensure that our grants are the most effective to achieve the goal the risks from nuclear weapons. Paul is a well-regarded expert on a broad array of nuclear weapons topics, from the history and current status of US plans and programs, to international programs and treaty regimes.
It is understandable that the American public generally doesn’t know much about nuclear weapons – how many there are, how much they cost, why we still have so many. The topic has not been “news” for most of the past fifteen years or so. Media attention on security issues instead gravitates toward the major crises of the day. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the fight against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, the intermittent but predictable Israeli-Palestinian clashes. Read more »
Posted by Paul Carroll on September 23, 2014
Ploughshares Fund is sad to learn of the passing of Jonathan Schell. Jonathan was an inspiration. With his passing the nation has lost a strong voice for democracy. Read more »
Posted by Paul Carroll on March 26, 2014
December is usually a time to look forward to surprises. The year’s end, holiday events and gift giving are a time to reflect, appreciate and look forward to what the New Year may bring. But there is one surprise I’d rather not have – wondering what North Korea might do next. Read more »
Posted by Paul Carroll on December 12, 2013
Ploughshares Fund extends its most heartfelt congratulations to Zia Mian of Princeton University on receiving the 2014 Linus Pauling Legacy Award.  Read more »
Posted by Paul Carroll on December 10, 2013
Some anniversaries are bittersweet.  This week marks the seven year anniversary of North Korea’s first nuclear test. Clearly not to be celebrated, but certainly time to examine where are now with North Korea and its nuclear program, and what – if anything – we have learned since fall 2006. Read more »
Posted by Paul Carroll on October 8, 2013
North Korea
Co-authored by Paul Carroll and Ben Loehrke Star Trek: Into Darkness is the latest in the decades-old Star Trek franchise. To date the film has grossed nearly $160 million at the box office. Not bad for its first week. After all, it cost about $190 million to make, so it seems poised to break even very soon. Read more »
Posted by Paul Carroll on May 28, 2013
The debate over Syria’s possible use of chemical weapons has been dominating the headlines. Were deadly nerve agents used? If so by whom? Was the use intentional? These questions are important since President Obama has intimated that, if confirmed, the use of chemical weapons could change U.S. policy toward the Syrian civil war. The specifics of what the United States would do differently are unclear. What is clear, though, is that the use of chemical weapons characteristically changes the way we perceive the conflict. It is, as Obama stated, a “game changer.” Read more »
Posted by Paul Carroll on May 10, 2013
Some things never seem to change, sometimes to the detriment of the U.S. taxpayer. Allowing parochial interests to trump national ones is a Washington tradition that lives on. Case in point: this week Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) placed a “hold” on the nomination of Dr. Ernest Moniz, a well-respected MIT professor and former Undersecretary of Energy, to be the next head of the Department of Energy (DOE). The reason? The senator is concerned about administration plans to reduce the budget request for the plutonium fuel program at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina known as MOX. Read more »
Posted by Paul Carroll on April 30, 2013
Next week marks the second anniversary of the nuclear accident at the Fukushima reactors in Japan. Remember? The days and weeks we collectively crossed our fingers as heroic workers improvised and threw everything they could at melting reactors and damaged spent fuel pools to stave off disaster? Seems like a long time gone and Fukushima has, in our collective consciousness, faded into a historical nuclear footnote. “Close call,” we may think, “but the danger is over.” Not quite. In fact, not even close. Read more »
Posted by Paul Carroll on March 7, 2013
It will be days or weeks before the world knows much about the nuclear test conducted by North Korea mid-day Tuesday local time in Pyongyang. What was its actual yield? What did it use – plutonium or highly enriched uranium, or some combination? Did it perform as expected? What will the international response be? Is this a game changer? Read more »
Posted by Paul Carroll on February 12, 2013