The Return of Doomsday: Ernest Moniz and Sam Nunn in Foreign Affairs

NTI Board Co-Chair and CEO Ernest J. Moniz and NTI Board Co-Chair Sen. Sam Nunn have co-authored an article in the September/October issue of Foreign Affairs (“The Return of Doomsday: The New Nuclear Arms Race – and How Washington and Moscow Can Stop It”) explaining why the risk of nuclear use has become disturbingly plausible—and proposing concrete steps to reduce the risk.

In the U.S.-Russia relationship, clashing national interests, insufficient dialogue, eroding arms control structures, advancing military technologies, and new threats from cyber-space have destabilized the old equilibrium, creating a state of strategic instability where an accident or mishap could trigger a catastrophic chain of events. As the article says, “All that is needed is a spark to light the tinder.”

The United States and NATO need to engage Russia with a clear-eyed understanding of our differences, focusing on reviving and reinventing strategic stability and preventing the use of nuclear weapons. A number of steps can be taken to reduce the risk of nuclear use, including:

  • Rebuilding a relationship between the Trump administration and Congress on Russia policy through a new bipartisan executive-legislative liaison group
  • Renewing strategic stability dialogue between Washington and Moscow that includes senior military and other officials
  • Restarting crisis management dialogue and extending the New START Treaty
  • Rethinking forward-deployed U.S. and Russian nuclear weapons
  • Restraining a new “INF” arms race in Europe
  • Reestablishing transparency and predictability in the
    areas of missile defense, prompt-strike systems, cyber and space.

Read the article at Join the conversation between Sam Nunn and Ernie Moniz on Thursday, September 12, 6:30 Eastern; livestream here.

Other resources from

Statement on Termination of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, Ernest J. Moniz and Sam Nunn,
August 2, 2019

The Threat of Nuclear War is Still With Us, George P. Shultz, William J. Perry, and Sam Nunn, Op-Ed,
Wall Street Journal, April 10, 2019

The U.S. and Russia are Sleepwalking Toward Nuclear Disaster, Sam Nunn and Ernest J. Moniz, Op-Ed,
Politico, February 1, 2019

Rising Nuclear Dangers: Diverging Views of Strategic Stability, Robert E. Berls, Jr., Leon Ratz, Brian Rose, NTI Report, October 23,

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