United States

The United States invented nuclear weapons, operates the second largest nuclear force in the world and holds the dubious distinction of being the only country to use these weapons in combat. As a result, the U.S. has a special responsibility to lead the way in reducing its own nuclear weapons stockpile and calling for other nuclear armed nations to follow suite. Following is analysis and opinion from Ploughshares Fund staff, grantees and guests on the ongoing struggle to deal with nuclear weapons in the United States.
No one likes tax day. The paperwork. The anticipation of a return. The shock of owing more. None of it is fun. Least of all paying for wasteful programs that do little to nothing to keep the American people safe. Like upgrading bombs that cost more than their weight in gold. Or building new nuclear weapons that will never be used. It turns out, on average, each of us paid about $81.50 in nuclear weapons taxes in 2013. Read more »
Posted by admin on April 15, 2014
On April 5th 2009, Barack Obama gave an unprecedented speech in Prague, in which he dedicated his presidency to laying the ground work for a world without nuclear weapons. “As the only nuclear power to have ever used a nuclear weapon,” he said, “the United States has a moral responsibility to act.” Today, an out-of-control nuclear weapons budget threatens that vision. Read more »
Posted by Amanda Waldron on April 7, 2014
On March 1, 1954, the U.S. conducted its largest nuclear test. The Castle Bravo nuclear test on Bikini Atoll unexpectedly unleashed 15 megatons of explosive force on the tiny island. At 1,000 times the strength of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Castle Bravo’s devastating effects where widely felt across the western Pacific. Read more »
Posted by Peter Fedewa on March 3, 2014
On Wednesday night, Joe Cirincione was “in the Crossfire” with Bill Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard and Van Jones and Newt Gingrich, hosts of the primetime CNN show. The question of the debate: “Is climate change the biggest threat we face?” In an address delivered in Jakarta, Indonesia, Secretary of State John Kerry referred to climate change as “the greatest challenge of our generation.” He stated that this issues ranks among some of the most serious threats we face today: proliferation of WMDs, disease, terrorism and poverty. Read more »
Posted by Rebecca Remy on February 21, 2014
As Iran and six of the world's major powers reconvene in Geneva to negotiate a final resolution of the nuclear crisis, it is clear that Iranian hardliners and Israeli skepticism are not the only stumbling blocks. There is another entity threatening to upend the negotiations: the legacy of American neoconservatives. Read more »
Posted by Lisa Bergstrom on February 13, 2014
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. Read more »
Posted by Joe Cirincione on February 10, 2014
Sitting at the Chicago airport, snow swirling outside, salt covering my shoes, eagerly waiting for my delayed flight to take me back to San Francisco, I contemplate the previous month of travel with Joe Cirincione. Read more »
Posted by Elizabeth Rogers on February 7, 2014
It is hard to turn on a TV, crack open a newspaper or turn on the radio without hearing something about the Iran nuclear deal. This deal represents the first step in negotiating an end to the threat of an Iranian nuclear weapon as well as an historical rapprochement after 30 years of misunderstanding. Among the fray, you’re likely to find more than a few Ploughshares Fund grantees. Read more »
Posted by admin on January 27, 2014
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. Read more »
Posted by Joe Cirincione on January 24, 2014
The recent first-step nuclear deal with Iran will strengthen U.S. security by verifiably halting Iran’s program and setting a path for rolling it back through comprehensive nuclear negotiations.  So why are some in Congress opposing the deal, and what outcome do they expect if they scuttle diplomacy? It’s important to remember what the U.S. gets with this deal, versus the alternative. Read more »
Posted by Joel Rubin on January 15, 2014