Rethinking Nuclear Weapons

Romanticizing the Bomb: How nuclear “realists” falsely framed the nuclear weapons debate

There has never been as much dissatisfaction with the international framework governing nuclear weapons (the Non-Proliferation Treaty) as there is today. The treaty is being reviewed and debated at the United Nations in New York this month, and for the first time in 35 years there are serious concerns that it might tear apart at the seams.

Knowledge, Accessibility and Awareness of Nuclear Weapons

In the early 1980s, a number of educators and organizations sought to bring a highly controversial issue back into American classrooms: nuclear weapons. Unlike their parents’ generation, students would not be learning how to “duck and cover” in the event of a nuclear attack but would discuss the choices involved in averting nuclear warfare.

The meaning of Nayarit

On February 13th and 14th, the government of Mexico hosted the Second Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons. Representatives of 147 countries came to the beautiful coast of Nayarit, Mexico to talk about nuclear weapons.

Soviet Missiles and Persistence

I found this picture on the internet. I was searching for an image that I could use in a presentation to make people think about nuclear missiles. It’s an extraordinary picture. The caption reads, “AFP: This file picture taken on March 18, 2008 of Russian Topol ICBMs behind a barbed-wire fence during a repetition for the nation's annual May 9 Victory Day parade 50 km outside Moscow in Yushkovo.”

Cold War thinking and nuclear deterrence in the 21st century

BASIC’s This Week released on Monday July 29th focuses on the prevailing Cold War mentality that pervades strategic thinking in many of the nuclear armed states. These are the same states that continue to slow progress on global nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament efforts. With 190 states (if one includes North Korea) signed up to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), we need to get better at identifying and deconstructing the obstacles to progress.

Open Ended Working Group

Geneva saw something new this week: actual constructive conversation about nuclear weapons. The United Nations established the Conference on Disarmament (CD) in its current form in 1978, expecting it to be the main forum for disarmament negotiations for a number of different types of weapons, including nuclear weapons. But the rules of the CD--limited membership, any one member can block action--have caused its work on nuclear weapons to stagnate for 20 years.

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