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David Wright

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About the author: David Wright is a physicist and the co-director of the Global Security Program. He is a nationally known expert on the technical aspects of missile defense systems, missile proliferation, and space weapons. See David's full bio.David also blogs on All Things Nuclear.

President Obama: Go to Hiroshima

On April 5, 2009, the newly elected Barack Obama gave a now-famous speech in Prague that focused on the threat of nuclear weapons. In it he gave “America’s commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.” He stated:

“The existence of thousands of nuclear weapons is the most dangerous legacy of the Cold War. … [A]s the only nuclear power to have used a nuclear weapon, the United States has a moral responsibility to act. We cannot succeed in this endeavor alone, but we can lead it, we can start it.” Read More

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How Much Is Your Life Worth?

I recently bought a new bicycle to replace the one I bought in college, which I was still riding despite its deteriorating condition. I also decided to buy a new bike lock. Since the value of my new bike was considerably higher than that of my old one, it was clearly worthwhile for me to spend the money to upgrade my security system. Read More

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UCS Webinar on Nuclear Hair-Trigger Alert and Launch-on-Warning

As the NPT Review Conference gets underway at the UN in New York, the increasingly frustrated non-nuclear weapon states will be looking for the U.S. and other nuclear weapon states to take meaningful steps to reduce nuclear risks. Read More

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U.S. and Russian Generals Call for Reducing the Risk of Inadvertent Nuclear War

In an important New York Times op-ed, retired U.S. and Russian Generals James Cartwright and Vladimir Dvorkin call for the two countries to take steps to reduce the risk of nuclear weapons being launched by mistake, particularly during a time of crisis. Read More

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UCS Webinar on the Nuclear Deal with Iran

Last week we presented a webinar discussing key points of the recent framework agreement for a nuclear deal with Iran, which was announced on April 2. In case you missed it, you can watch a recording of it here. Read More

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A First Look at the Iranian Nuclear Deal

The world got some good news yesterday. The countries involved in negotiating a nuclear deal with Iran announced they had agreed on many of the key issues they will need to formalize in a final agreement over the next three months.

So, how does that interim agreement look? So far, so good. Read More

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Nuclear War and the Science Experiment of January 25, 1995

On January 25, 1995—20 years ago Sunday—a routine scientific experiment in Norway led Russia to prepare to launch a nuclear attack on the United States.

The story of this event illustrates how coincidence, confusion, and nuclear weapons on hair-trigger alert can be a deadly mix. Read More

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Then vs Now: Progress on Nuclear Weapons since the End of the Cold War

The Cold War ended 25 years ago this month, according to many historians. On Dec. 2 and 3, 1989, Presidents Bush and Gorbachev met on a ship off the island of Malta in the Mediterranean and announced an end of hostilities between the United States and the Soviet Union.

The two presidents quickly turned to addressing the most dangerous legacy of the Cold War: the bloated nuclear arsenals in both countries. Within a few years, they cut their nuclear stockpiles in half, and have continued to cut them in the decades since. With U.S.-Russian tensions high again, it’s worth remembering what progress has been made. Read More

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Taking Nuclear Missiles off Hair-Trigger Alert

A recent New York Times editorial, Wresting with an Aging Arsenal, reiterates a key point UCS has been making about U.S. nuclear weapons policy: it’s stuck in the past—a carry-over from a different era that does not address the main threats in today’s world. Read More

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Hiroshima, Hair-Trigger, and Existential Risks

Incredibly, “existential risks”—those that could end humanity—threaten us every day.

That’s the conclusion of a recent Washington Post article. What risk tops the list? Read More

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