Shirley Williams Honors British Deterrence Expert

NTI Board Member Shirley Williams, a member of the UK House of Lords, gave a speech titled, "The Ultimate Weapon: Deterrent or Dinosaur?" in memory of  Sir Michael Quinlan, former permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Defence and a world expert on nuclear deterrence. The lecture was given in the State Rooms of the Speaker of the House of Commons, John  Bercow M.P. and was attended by several former Ministers, MPs and nuclear experts, as well as the Quinlan family. 

In the February 26th lecture, Williams posed hard questions on nuclear deterrence in the 21st century, including whether it "makes sense to spend billions of dollars and the energies of skilled men and women on a nuclear deterrent that cannot deter the new adversaries."

Closing her remarks, Williams notes, "Nor indeed, in a now intensely globalised and interlocked world, could our deterrent ever conceivably be used–not even after a serious hostile incident which it had presumably failed to deter–without making the whole situation in the world infinitely worse for ourselves as well as for everybody else."

Read the lecture.

Stay Informed

Sign up for our newsletter to get the latest on nuclear and biological threats.

Sign Up

Resources on Russia


Resources on Russia

Resources on Russia’s nuclear program, disarmament treaties, and recommendations for preventing nuclear confrontation between Russia and the U.S.

See All News


My Resources