hair-trigger alert


Science, Religion, and Obama’s Mixed Legacy on Nuclear Weapons

, physicist & co-director, Global Security

Giving another speech on nuclear weapons is not enough. Read more >

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Hair-Trigger Alert Doesn’t Make Sense. Here’s Why

, physicist & co-director, Global Security

In talking with a young colleague recently, I realized he had no idea the U.S. and Russia keep thousands of nuclear weapons on alert, poised to launch 24 hours a day, every day. Luckily we have a video just for him… Read more >

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The Case for Ending Hair-Trigger Alert: New UCS Report

, physicist & co-director, Global Security

Twenty-five years after the end of the Cold War, the United States and Russia continue to keep nearly 2,000 nuclear weapons constantly on high alert, ready to be launched in minutes. This is commonly called “hair-trigger alert.”

I’ve written several blog posts highlighting false alarms in the past decades that brought us uncomfortably close to a nuclear launch. These were due to technical glitches and human errors, but it was hair-trigger alert that set up the conditions for those glitches and errors to lead to disaster. Read more >

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Santa, Mistakes, and Nuclear War

, physicist & co-director, Global Security

On December 1, the U.S. military started its annual tracking of Santa’s flight from the North Pole.

Really. Read more >

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A Nuclear False Alarm that Looked Exactly Like the Real Thing

, physicist & co-director, Global Security

On this day in 1979, operators at the U.S. missile warning center were shocked to see their displays light up with the ultimate horror: a full-scale Soviet  nuclear attack bearing down on the United States. Unlike previous false warnings the operators had experienced, there was no mistaking the signatures of an all-out nuclear attack designed to destroy nuclear command centers, U.S. nuclear-armed bombers, and land-based missiles. Read more >

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