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.

  • Last week I had the opportunity to travel to Alaska. I went because a group of citizens wanted someone to come and speak to them about U.S. nuclear weapons policy and what they could do about it. Full disclosure: some of them are Ploughshares Fund supporters and others were members of groups that work to achieve nuclear weapons reductions and nonproliferation. I came back with an important reminder about the real-world aspects of what Ploughshares Fund works on and that everyone has the potential to make a difference.

    October 5, 2011 - By Paul Carroll
  • The following is a guest post by Steven Pifer

    In a speech to the United Russia party on Saturday, President Dmitri Medvedev announced his intention to step aside so that Prime Minister Vladimir Putin can return to the presidency next spring. The Russians still have an election to hold in March, but one can predict the outcome with assurance. While his ratings have declined since his first two terms as president, Putin remains the most popular politician in Russia. The state’s bureaucratic and financial resources will mobilize to support his candidacy, and no serious opposition candidate has emerged.

    September 29, 2011 - By admin
  • Nuclear weapons programs once enjoyed a relative sanctuary from budget pressures. But things have changed. Policymakers are looking to cut programs that do not advance our national security.

    September 28, 2011 - By Ben Loehrke
  • September 26, 2011 - By Kelly Bronk
  • The United States is projected to spend $700 billion on nuclear weapons and related programs during the next ten years. As federal budgets tighten and officials address the most pressing national security needs of the 21st century, the substantial cost of nuclear weapons must be fully examined.

    September 14, 2011 - By Joel Rubin
  • As our nation looked back ten years in remembrance of the terrorist attacks that took place on September 11, many commentators reflected on two questions: have our efforts made us safer, and how much work is left to be done?

    September 12, 2011 - By Megan Murphy
  • Whether it came from accident or malice, the likely consequences of any nuclear attack are difficult to fully comprehend. Billions – maybe trillions – of dollars in damage would result, perhaps tens of thousands of lives would be lost with even more injured or sick, not to mention supply lines cut off and massive panic across the nation.

    In a nation that spends billions of dollars on insurance each year for natural catastrophes from fires and earthquakes to flooding, one would assume that preparing for a man-made disaster of nuclear proportions would be high up on our list of budget priorities. Sadly, this is not the case.

    August 30, 2011 - By Peter Fedewa
  • The 111th Congress was one of the most productive in decades. But the lame-duck session was truly remarkable. Just a few days before the end of the session, 71 Senators voted to provide the advice and consent necessary to ratify the New START treaty, reducing the nuclear arsenals of both the US and Russia by a third, and putting arms inspectors back on the ground to verify those reductions.

    August 24, 2011 - By admin
  • Six months ago, the New START Treaty entered into force. The agreement reduced the nuclear arsenals of both nations. But importantly, it also put the former Cold War rivals back on a path of cooperation.

    August 22, 2011 - By Kelly Bronk
  • The U.S. government spends $54 billion a year on nuclear weapons and related programs. Despite the deep fiscal crisis, these budgets are about to go up — to a whopping $700 billion over the next 10 years. It is not at all clear why.

    August 11, 2011 - By Joe Cirincione