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.

World powers and Iran will meet again in January in an effort to reach a comprehensive agreement that verifiably prevents an Iranian nuclear bomb.

Washington D.C. and capital cities of the other world powers are abuzz about the prospect for a comprehensive deal that closes of Iran’s pathways to a nuclear bomb.

How the United States and Iran can make history and mend their strained relationship by finally securing a nuclear deal.

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver put the spotlight on the absurdity of the US nuclear weapons complex. It was a comic spin on a very serious issue. But, it also made me angry. The fear of mutually assured destruction is supposed to be a thing of the past. I shouldn’t have to worry that one miscalculation could mean the end of life as we know it. I shouldn’t have to worry that my child will live under the same quiet fear. But I do. I do because policymakers continue to fail to recognize what John Oliver makes so evident – nuclear weapons are only good for one thing – terror.

Browsing the headlines, the world looks a dangerous place. Boko Haram is bombing its way across Nigeria, civil war in Syria, transnational terrorism and more. But the biggest danger is conspicuously absent from the headlines: the world’s 17,000 nuclear weapons.

It started with one explosion in 1945. An explosion unlike any the world had ever seen. The first nuclear weapon, detonated by the United States, launched an era of nuclear proliferation that persists to this day. With the end of the Cold War, nuclear weapons are increasingly irrelevant, but the threat they represent is still very real. The tide of proliferation has ebbed. Now we have the chance to roll it back to end the threat of nuclear weapons forever.