David Wright

Former co-director, Global Security

Author image
David Wright is a physicist and the former 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.David also wrote on All Things Nuclear.

Subscribe to David's posts

David's Latest Posts

Photo: Wikimedia

Trump’s Picks for Defense: What We Know About Mattis and Flynn

Donald Trump has picked James Mattis as his secretary of defense and Michael Flynn as his national security advisor. While they are both retired generals with experience in the Middle East and Afghanistan, they are otherwise very different. Read more >

Bookmark and Share

UCS Board Member Dick Garwin Wins Presidential Medal of Freedom

The White House announced this week that UCS Board member Dick Garwin will receive the Medal of Freedom from President Obama on November 22—where he’ll be joined by Michael Jordan, Diana Ross, Bruce Springsteen, Bill and Melinda Gates, Tom Hanks, and others. Read more >

Bookmark and Share

Coming Soon? An International Ban on Nuclear Weapons

In a faceoff at the United Nations yesterday, a large majority of the world’s countries voted to begin negotiations of a legal ban on the possession of nuclear weapons. The United States and the other states with nuclear weapons opposed this effort, but did not have the votes to stop it.

We applaud this vote, and the efforts that led to it. Read more >

Bookmark and Share

Nuclear Weapons and the Myth of the “Re-Alerting Race”

One of the frustrations of trying to change policy is that frequently repeated myths can short-circuit careful thinking about current policies and keep policy makers from recognizing better alternatives.

That is particularly frustrating—and dangerous—when the topic is nuclear weapons. Read more >

Bookmark and Share

How Could a Failed Computer Chip Lead to Nuclear War?

The US early warning system is on watch 24/7, looking for signs of a nuclear missile launched at the United States. As a highly complex system with links to sensors around the globe and in space, it relies heavily on computers to do its job. So, what happens if there is a glitch in the computers?

Between November 1979 and June 1980, those computers led to several false warnings of all-out nuclear attack by the Soviet Union—and a heart-stopping middle-of-the-night telephone call. Read more >

Bookmark and Share