Ploughshares Fund Blog

Another round of talks between Iran and the P5+1 countries (the US, UK, France, China, Russia and Germany) took place this week. Word is that all sides feel they’re on the right path to a final deal. You could almost forget that elsewhere in Europe, most of members of the P5+1 group spent the week squaring off over the powder keg of the Ukraine crisis. Read more »
Posted by Emily Hauser on March 19, 2014
Ukraine, Iran
Over the past two weeks, experts have published over two dozen articles criticizing the nuclear spending plans in President Obama's defense budget for Fiscal Year 2015, a notable increase in the level of discussion on this topic. Below, we provide, by date of publication, some of the best stories on the nuclear budget and why experts believe these plans do not match our real defense needs. Read more »
Posted by Lauren Mladenka on March 12, 2014
Nuclear Budget
As part of our commitment to ensuring that the grant application process is as efficient and grantee-focused as possible.  Ploughshares Fund has updated the grants process to be administered on an online database, Philantrack. This new database will allow us to streamline our entire grantmaking process to one system while allowing grantees to be notified of upcoming application deadlines, send in proposals and reports online, and quickly update application information. Read more »
Posted by lorely on March 12, 2014
The number of nuclear weapons in the world tops 17,000, yet none of them belong to Iran. While negotiators work for a verifiable deal that would prevent Iran from ever obtaining nuclear arms – it’s important to remember that the current negotiations also have the potential to strengthen international security, and move us forward on a path to a nuclear weapons-free tomorrow. Read more »
Posted by Emily Hauser on March 10, 2014
Nuclear Zero, Iran
Recent discoveries of fraud and cheating among U.S. nuclear personnel stand in stark contrast to the  Pentagon’s continued support for nuclear weapons programs and budgets. Why do we insist on keeping these obsolete weapons despite their fading utility? To get some answers, we reached out to our grantee, Stephen Young, a senior analyst at the Union of Concerned Scientists. Here, he gives us the expert scoop on how and why the U.S. can get rid of the weapons we don’t need and take better care of the stockpile while it remains. Read more »
Posted by Amanda Waldron on March 6, 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
No negotiation process is easy or smooth, particularly between long-time rivals. Some Westerners are worried that Iran can’t be trusted to negotiate in good faith. Some would like to demand that the country’s entire nuclear infrastructure dismantled, or feel that if earlier sanctions were good, more would be better. Read more »
Posted by Emily Hauser on February 28, 2014
Iran
Ploughshares Fund prides itself on working with some of the nation’s smartest individuals from both sides of the aisle. As news breaks, we look to our grantees to give us a ground up interpretation of events. As we watch the ongoing nuclear negotiations with Iran, we reached out to grantee Dylan Williams, Director of Government Affairs at J Street. Here, he gives us his take on the current diplomatic efforts and what a nuclear deal would mean for American and Israeli national security. Read more »
Posted by Amanda Waldron on February 27, 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
How old is Iran’s nuclear program, how did it come into being, and who’s in charge? If you want to test your own knowledge of these facts, click here to take the Ploughshares Fund quiz! But if you’d rather peek at a study guide first – we’re here to help. Read more »
Posted by Emily Hauser on February 19, 2014