Tom Collina, Director of Policy at Ploughshares Fund, recently testifed before the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) at a hearing on United States nuclear deterrence policy and strategy. His remarks, prepared jointly with former Secretary of Defense William J. Perry, focused on ending the current policies of sole presidential authority to use nuclear weapons, first use of nuclear weapons, maintaining intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) on high alert, and continuing the Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent program.
“US nuclear policy has, for decades, been built on one central assumption: that Russia might launch a disarming first nuclear strike—a bolt from the blue—against the United States,” said Mr. Collina. “Yet by preparing for this unlikely threat, US policy creates a greater danger: the possibility that these forces could be used by accident, through a political or technical miscalculation. It is time to shift the focus of US nuclear policy to the greatest danger: blundering into nuclear war by mistake.”
These recommendations are based on Mr. Collina and Secretary Perry's book, The Button: The New Nuclear Arms Race and Presidential Power from Truman to Trump, published in 2020.
Mr. Collina testified alongside Dr. Sharon K. Weiner, Associate Professor at the School of International Service at American University, on the need for a safer, saner alternative to current US nuclear policy. This hearing was held by the United States Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces, one of seven subcommittees within the Senate Armed Services Committee.