Co-Founder, Co-Chair, and Strategic Advisor
The best way for our leaders to remember the dead on Armistice Day? Do everything they can to avoid a nuclear war
This weekend marks the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War, one of the world’s most horrific conflicts. One of the best accounts of how this tragedy began, by the historian Christopher Clark, details how a group of well-meaning European leaders – “The Sleepwalkers” – led their nations into a war with 40 million military and civilian casualties. Today, we face similar risks of mutual misunderstandings and unintended signals, compounded by the potential for the use of nuclear weapons – where millions could be killed in minutes rather than over four years of protracted trench warfare. Do we have the tools to prevent an incident turning into unimaginable catastrophe?
For those gripped with complacency, consider this scenario. It is 2019. Russia is conducting a large military exercise in its territory bordering Nato. A Nato observer aircraft accidentally approaches Russian airspace, and is shot down by a Russian surface to air missile. Alarmed, Nato begins to mobilise reinforcements. There is concern on both sides over recent nuclear deployments in the wake of the collapse of the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. Suddenly, both Nato and Russia issue ultimatums – each noting their respective nuclear capabilities and willingness to use them if vital interests are threatened. Europe is edging towards a conventional conflict, and the risk of escalation to nuclear use is very real.
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Possibilities for continuity and change in the 2009 U.S. Nuclear Posture Review, based on the Obama administration's stance on arms control. (CNS)
The four Nuclear Security Project principals laid out their vision for a world without nuclear weapons and outlined urgent and immediate practical steps to reduce nuclear dangers.
Ernest Moniz, chief executive officer of the Nuclear Threat Initiative and a former U.S. energy secretary, talks about the summit of President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Moniz also discusses the tensions between Indian and Pakistan with Shery Ahn and Haidi Stroud-Watts.