A memory of Jeremy

Jeremy Stone: If there has been a more vivid, more animated presence on the planet I have not encountered him or her. We met in our twenties when Jeremy sought me out at the RAND Corporation to argue the case for a “bomber bonfire” — his favored proposal at the time for reducing the massive nuclear forces that threatened calamity. Our acquaintance turned to lifelong kinship when we came together at the Harvard Center for International Affairs in 1965. Thereafter, for more than half a century our personal and professional lives were intertwined.

Jeremy and his beloved BJ became godparents of our son and older daughter. That was not a pro forma commitment for them; the stimulus and guidance they offered our children were precious beyond words.

The ebb and flow of our careers brought us together time and again on great issues — the anti-ballistic missile debates, war powers, nuclear testing, encouraging contact between American and Soviet leaders to relieve the dangerous hostilities afflicting their relationship, and many other policy problems. Our political views were not identical but they were usually compatible. We took turns playing big brother, one to the other. He was the spark plug on many fronts, sometimes impulsive, while I usually played the slower, take-a-second-look role on contentious questions. On Vietnam, for example, Jeremy (together with Morton Halperin in our Harvard Circle) recognized and called the disaster well before I did.

When I was serving as staff director for Senator Edward Brooke, Jeremy brought me into the study group on the book he was writing as a fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations. It was his recommendation that led to my appointments at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and the Council, my professional home ever since.

In some controversies Jeremy had my back, in others I had his. When I worked with Senator Brooke to urge action to head off MIRV deployment, some members of the anti-ABM coalition suspected that our effort was a ploy to undercut the ABM opposition. Nothing was further from the truth and Jeremy made that case in our behalf. In fact the Brooke resolution that belatedly passed the Senate by a vote of 72 to 6 called not only for a mutual pause in MIRV programs but for suspending deployment of strategic offensive and defensive weapons — the core idea of what would become the nuclear freeze initiative a decade later. Similarly, when I collaborated with Senator Bill Cohen, along with Sam Nunn, Charles Percy, Les Aspin and  Al Gore, among others, to advance the strategic build-down concept, Jeremy defended me against charges that our attempt to move the Reagan administration to a reasonable negotiating posture made us spoilers in the freeze campaign.

For my part, I cannot number the times I found myself rebutting those who portrayed Jeremy as a leftist ideologue, the son of the radical I. F. Stone, a mere gadfly. Nothing gratified me more than the growing acknowledgment by a wide circle within the policy community that Jeremy was the remarkable, serious, creative force that I knew him to be.  Even so tough a skeptic as Paul Nitze developed regard for him and they found surprising ranges of common ground. It was also my good fortune to enjoy a friendship with Jeremy’s father late in his life and to share Jeremy’s deep satisfaction that Izzy’s record of conscientious, fastidious journalism earned him a unique place in media culture. After Jeremy restored Izzy’s 1970 Ford Mustang, he passed it along to me for a nominal sum. No air-conditioning and a very loose suspension, but the most stylish car I have ever owned.

Jeremy was a polymath. His boundless curiosity and gift for digging deeply into complicated subjects marked him as his father’s son, but his engagement in public policy was more direct and intimate than Izzy’s service as a skeptical observer. For example, Jeremy actively promoted contacts between members of Congress and Soviet leaders. His efforts in that regard facilitated the first visit of William Cohen and Joseph Biden to the Soviet union, on which William Miller and I accompanied them. Our purpose was to brief Soviet leaders on the strategic build-down concept. Jeremy’s wide acquaintance among Soviet scientists and other leaders added notably to the sessions in Moscow.

I was not a member of the Federation of American Scientists. Jeremy and I implicitly agreed that our independent and separate roles in different organizations strengthened the possibilities for collaboration on major policy matters. At his invitation, however, I frequently chaired FAS-sponsored hearings on Capitol Hill. They were memorable events bringing together witnesses of varying perspectives on key topics, e.g. how Congress should exercise its war powers regarding the first Bush administration’s decision to repel Iraqi aggression.

On some occasions we worked on parallel tracks rather than together. His original analyses on the idea of eliminating long-range ballistic missiles — the notion of zero ballistic missiles or ZBM — inspired my own work on that concept. Jeremy’s establishment of Catalytic Diplomacy gave me another chance as a board member to cooperate on initiatives that blended subtlety with boldness. He was a marvel at identifying points of constructive intervention in festering conflicts, whether in cross-strait relations between China and Taiwan, or in the terrorist activities of the Shining Path movement in Peru, or in the obstructed Iranian-American stand-off.

He was a political Archimedes, forever finding new rocks on which to leverage movement toward a safer, more peaceful world.

Paul Warnke once said that he began by thinking Jeremy was too good to be true but he had concluded that in fact Jeremy was too true to be good. That turn of phrase captured something of Jeremy’s determination to find insights beyond the facts and expose them forthrightly. Those insights, recorded in his books and shorter writings, remain worth reading.

An old Latin maxim applies to Jeremy Stone: esse quame videri — “to be rather than to seem.” He was genuine, a missionary in his own way, a brilliant exemplar of high intelligence devoted to public service.

Jeremy J. Stone, 1935-2017

Jeremy J. Stone, a pioneering arms control advocate who served as president of the Federation of American Scientists (FAS) from 1970 to 2000, passed away on January 1, 2017 at his home in Carlsbad, California.

A mathematician by training, he turned to nuclear arms control in the early 1960s with a focus on preventing the development and deployment of anti-ballistic missile (ABM) systems due to their destabilizing potential. The Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, signed by the US and the USSR in 1972, was shaped in large part by Jeremy and his scientific colleagues, who collectively created the foundation for nuclear arms control in the last decades of the Cold War.

Jeremy jump-started the process of scientific exchange with China in the early 1970s. He was a prominent defender of dissident Soviet scientist Andrei Sakharov, and he instituted new mechanisms for monitoring and upholding the human rights of scientists around the globe. He discovered and helped terminate a CIA program to open U.S. mail.

All of these episodes, and many more, were vividly and insightfully described in his 1999 memoir “Every Man Should Try: Adventures of a Public Interest Activist”.

Jeremy was a chess-player, on and off the chess board. He took a strategic approach to his work and his life. He did not drift. He was always on his way towards one goal or another. He might take you with him if you were lucky.

He was a scintillating conversationalist who could successfully engage even the most tongue-tied staffer or physicist. He had a sophisticated sense of humor which he wielded skillfully — perhaps following the example of his early Hudson Institute boss, the nuclear strategist Herman Kahn — to disarm opponents and to make his own ideas more palatable to skeptical or hostile audiences.

He was lucky in love, having been married for 58 years to BJ (Yannet) Stone, a brilliant, beautiful and kind mathematician, who passed away in 2015.

He was an exceptionally capable talent-spotter, and he could see the latent potential in people that they could scarcely imagine in themselves. At the Federation of American Scientists, he gathered a group of scruffy young individuals of no particular academic pedigree or obvious distinction and he shined his peculiar light on them until they bloomed. He presented them (us) with enormously difficult problems — ballistic missile defense, nuclear proliferation, global arms sales, government secrecy — and challenged them to tackle those problems in creative new ways.

Of course, he was not without flaws. His intuitive powers, which usually made him uncommonly perceptive, occasionally hardened prematurely into convictions that proved to be unfounded. In one particularly lamentable episode, he suggested mistakenly that MIT physicist Philip Morrison, a Manhattan Project veteran and FAS founder, had once spied for the Soviet Union. Making such a false allegation could have been an unforgivable offense. But Morrison, himself a person of awesome depth and distinction, forgave him, although with some sadness.

More typically, Jeremy was a profoundly generous and thoughtful person. His intelligence and problem-solving abilities were often directed to meeting the needs of others — not just friends or employees (he once directed poorly dressed staff to buy some new clothes at his expense), but also casual acquaintances, foreigners, children and strangers. He knew how to give a gift, and he usually anticipated exactly what gift a particular person wanted or needed.

Above all, Jeremy was an institution builder, turning the Federation of American Scientists into a public interest platform of significant influence.

“FAS is a legitimate and prestigious scientific association,” wrote Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in a classified cable to the US Embassy in Japan in 1975. “Dr. Stone… is [a] highly regarded lobbyist on foreign policy and has wide contacts on the Hill. Embassy should have no reservations about facilitating his appointments in Japan,” Kissinger wrote.

By the time I showed up at FAS in 1989, the organization under Jeremy’s leadership had become a powerhouse of intelligent and effective advocacy in arms control and quite a few other areas. My own cohort included figures like John Pike, David Albright, Lora Lumpe, and the late Tom Longstreth, to name just a few. Wandering the halls of our Capitol Hill headquarters, I would sometimes run into Carl Sagan, former CIA director Bill Colby, Philip Morrison, Paul Nitze, former JFK aide Carl Kaysen, Ted Taylor, Dick Garwin, former Senator Alan Cranston, and you could never be sure who else. One day I literally collided with Hans Bethe in the hallway outside Jeremy’s office. (No particles were emitted.) Jeremy made all of that possible, providing a forum for scientists and others to participate in the national policy process and a strategic vision to guide them.

After leaving FAS, Jeremy pursued further adventures in conflict resolution as president of Catalytic Diplomacy, created a website in honor of his father, I.F. Stone, and advocated for independent journalism.

FAS Website Blocked by US Cyber Command, Then Unblocked

For at least the past six months, and perhaps longer, the Federation of American Scientists website has been blocked by U.S. Cyber Command. This week it was unblocked.

The “block” imposed by Cyber Command meant that employees throughout the Department of Defense who attempted to access the FAS website on their government computers were unable to do so. Instead, they were presented with a notice stating: “You have attempted to access a blocked website. Access to this website has been blocked for operational reasons by the DOD Enterprise-Level Protection System.”

The basis for the Cyber Command block is unclear, and official documentation of the decision that we requested has not yet been provided. In all likelihood, it is due to the presence on the FAS website of a small number of currently classified documents that were obtained in the public domain.

The basis for the removal of the block is likewise unclear, though we know that a number of DoD employees complained about the move and advised US Cyber Command that direct access to the FAS website was needed for them to perform their job.

The record of a 2015 hearing of the House Armed Services Committee on Implementing the Department of Defense Cyber Strategy was published last month.

In Closing

Last week, I was walking through Ueno Park as part of my annual cherry blossom pilgrimage. Among the trees and temples, I came across “The Flame of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.” I was deeply moved to read the story of Tatsuo Yamamoto, who went to Hiroshima in search of his uncle following the bombing and instead found a flame burning in the ruins of his uncle’s house. Yamamoto-san retrieved the flame and brought it back to his hometown of Hoshino-mura as a memorial. Over the years, the flame was preserved by the town and became a symbol of the desire to abolish nuclear weapons. In time, the flame was merged with another lit by the friction of broken roofing tiles of Nagasaki. That flame was then carried to the Third Special Session of the UN General Assembly for Disarmament. The next year, the “Association for the Flame of Hiroshima and Nagasaki Lit at Ueno Toshogu” erected “The Flame of Hiroshima and Nagasaki Memorial” to permanently enshrine the flame in Ueno Park.

Over the last year, I have been privileged to meet victims of the Hiroshima bombing and work with academics helping to preserve the stories of fallout victims from the Pacific Proving Grounds nuclear tests. Unfortunately, many victims are now reaching the end of their lives. So too are their contemporaries who lived through the great World Wars. In the short-term, decisions on international security will be inherited by the subsequent generation, who experienced firsthand the very real threat of mutually assured nuclear destruction during the Cold War. However, in the not too distant future, my generation will take over the reigns of power without the benefit of those collective memories. So, it is critical that memorials like the one in Ueno Park are maintained. They provide the best mechanism through which to inspire future generations to learn more about the risks associated with nuclear war.

As my time at the Federation of American Scientists draws to an end, I would like to take a moment to acknowledge three people in my life who have served as my inspiration.

The first was my grandfather. A veteran of both World War II and the Korean War, he never shied away from talking about war. As a former B-52 bombardier, he often talked about the firebombing of Tokyo and the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. He loved to debate on the merits of those attacks. From his perspective, they were justified by the fact that they saved hundreds of thousands of American lives and prevented a future nuclear war with the Soviet Union. When challenged, he liked to point out to his grandchildren that there was a very good chance that he himself would have been killed in the battle for the Japanese mainland – thereby eliminating his children’s and grandchildren’s prospect for life. Yet, he often struggled with the moral basis of those attacks. So, we often debated the merits of nuclear war driving down the road in his pickup truck. In retrospect, one of the most important gifts that my grandfather ever gave me was his memory of war. Without it, I would not have appreciated its true nature from my textbooks on strategic studies. Nor would I have been prepared to deal with my own experiences as part of the War on Terrorism.

The second was my father. A businessman of great character, one of his favorite sayings was, “They can take everything away from you except your education.” He lived by this mantra and ensured that his children were provided a level of education that far exceeded our economic status. This included coursework in ethics from an early age. Unfortunately, such training is largely absent in middle and high school education in the United States today. Being forced to confront the classical debates on morality as an adolescent radically shaped my worldview. It also ensured that my views on international politics, including on war, were grounded in ethical positions. Whereas my grandfather had stressed the practical need to always win wars, my education suggested that how one wins is equally important. Yet, when I went off to university, I found that my undergraduate education in International Relations failed to build on this point. Ethics and morality were largely absent from the subject as presented by my professors. Had it not been for the early education provided by my father, I would have graduated from university with a very narrow understanding of international politics grounded solely in international and domestic law. And, in my case, that would have meant that I would have gone to work at the Pentagon with a worldview that failed to account for ethics, morality, and philosophy in the conduct of war.

The third was my professor at SAIS. Professor David M. Lampton was one of the greatest teachers that I have ever come across in higher education. His lectures inspired his students to care deeply about East Asian regional security. By forcing us to confront contemporary issues like the North Korean Ballistic Missile Tests, he prepared us to make immediate policy relevant contributions to the international security discourse. Perhaps even more importantly, he always took a personal interest in our success. Unlike many other professors in foreign policy graduate programs, he was a teacher first and a policy expert second. Long after graduation, he would still support his students’ career ambitions and remained in touch with many. In my case, Professor Lampton inspired me to pursue my own PhD. He motivated me to get involved in foreign policy exchanges on East Asian security. And, he always provided a sounding board for new ideas. In short, he exemplified excellence in teaching through his actions and intentions. For this, I am very grateful.

Unfortunately, not everyone has such inspirations in their life. They may not have had a chance to meet a victim of a nuclear bombing or someone who has participated in a nuclear war. They might not have been provided an education that exposed them to ethics or prepared them to be a subject matter expert on international security. For these reasons, we must do more to preserve the memories of those who have survived nuclear attacks. We must also strengthen our education programs to teach future generations about the full risks associated with nuclear war. If we fail to do so, we cannot hope that future generations will appreciate the consequences of nuclear war to the same visceral extent as their predecessors. And, as a consequence, we cannot expect them to make the best policy decisions with respect to international peace and security.

Of course, it is my hope that this world will never experience another nuclear attack. But, I must admit that I find that to be wishful thinking. As we saw in Syria, the temptation to use whatever capabilities are at your disposal to win a conflict means the ever-present possibility of a nuclear confrontation. That is why I believe our only hope is global disarmament. I say this as a realist not as an idealist. And, I believe this goal is achievable. Yet, as Dwight D. Eisenhower famously cautioned in his 1955 Geneva Speech, “The quest for peace is the statesman’s most exacting duty. Security of the nation entrusted to his care is his greatest responsibility. Practical progress to lasting peace is his fondest hope. Yet in pursuit of his hope he must not betray the trust placed in him as guardian of the people’s security. A sound peace — with security, justice, well-being, and freedom for the people of the world — can be achieved, but only by patiently and thoughtfully following a hard and sure and tested road.” I do not believe that we will ever rid the world of war. But, we can eliminate the possibility that any one actor can unilaterally bring an end to our planet’s existence. If we are to achieve this goal, we must remain patient, vigilant, and committed to the objective of disarmament. And, we must always employ use of force while respecting ethical and social needs.

Michael Edward Walsh is the President of the Emerging Science and Technology Policy Centre. He is also the President of Plan G Consulting. Since 2012, he has served as an Adjunct Fellow for Emerging Technologies and High-end Threats at the Federation of American Scientists. He can be followed on Twitter at @aseanreporting.

Why FAS Adjunct Fellowships Matter

It is hard to believe that it has been almost two years since I accepted an Adjunct Fellow role here at FAS. To be honest, my time at FAS has far exceeded any of my expectations. So, I wanted to take a brief moment to reflect on the last two years and, in so doing, make the case for others to consider serving in similar roles in the future.

One of the most important benefits of being at FAS has been the opportunity to engage in global policy debates surrounding two specific topics: 1) emerging security; 2) regional security in East Asia. During the last two years, I was invited to join Track 1.5 and Track 2 initiatives on emerging security issues, attend off-the-record expert exchanges on the future of regional security in East Asia, and participate in next generation foreign policy leadership exchanges in Asia, Europe, and North America. I was also given the opportunity to publish numerous articles in the journals of leading think tanks and provide commentary to international media outlets.

Reflecting upon these milestones, I can assure you that these benefits were of great professional value. They not only helped build my own brand as an expert on these issues but they also: 1) Widened and deepened my knowledge about contemporary security issues; 2) Expanded my global network of contacts working on converging and space technologies; 3) Amplified the reach and impact of my insights on these topics.

But, there were also a number of indirect benefits that often get overlooked. So, I wanted to briefly jot down a few for those considering an adjunct fellowship in the future.

By far the most important was the chance to work with Mark Jansson and Charles Ferguson, who have always supported my professional ambitions within and beyond FAS. In fact, both are now involved in a nonprofit that I founded a few years ago to focus on emerging security issues beyond the domain of WMD. As a consequence, I will have the opportunity to continue to work with them for years to come. And, for this, I remain deeply grateful, as they are true champions for science diplomacy.

Another benefit of my affiliation is that it has enabled my consulting agency to expand into new subject matter areas as a direct result of the knowledge and skills gained under my FAS fellowship. There is no doubt that serving as an unpaid adjunct fellow entails certain sunk costs. These are particular burdensome for those in the private sector who find it difficult to justify the time commitment to their management. However, my experience shows that such affiliations can still benefit those in the private sector. By allowing for such affiliations, business leaders not only illustrate the firm’s commitment to corporate citizenship but also provide its employees with new opportunities to expand their knowledge about contemporary security issues. They also ensure that the business sector maintain a vocal presence on policy issues that will inevitably affect their business interest alongside their country’s national security environment.

While the list of indirect benefits is long, I will only mention one more today. And, this is the benefit for career transition. In my case, I was leaving media after working as a foreign policy commentator and foreign correspondent for the last five years. Serving as an adjunct fellow at FAS provided an opportunity to reposition myself within the global ecosystem of experts on my chosen topics. When I started my fellowship, most of my colleagues in the think tank community identified me as a journalist or commentator. However, two years later, many have come to accept me as a member of the global think tank community. This was evident when I was recently introduced as a “policy wonk” in Tokyo. I owe this new socially constructed role in the expert ecosystem solely to my affiliation with FAS.

In closing, I would like to first express my gratitude to FAS for all that my fellowship has provided, including all of friendships and professional relationships that will endure well beyond my two year fellowship. FAS is like a family and you have always made me feel welcome throughout my fellowship. I also would like to thank those who have contributed to FAS and made my fellowship possible. Finally, I would like to challenge others to consider serving as Adjunct Fellows at FAS as well. The organization provides a platform unlike any other for you to make a policy impact on nuclear and nuclear-related security issues.

From my perspective, it is so important for those with expertise on these issues to contribute to the global discourse on nuclear and nuclear-related security policy. This is especially true of scientists and business leaders whose unique perspective on these issues help to inform policymakers of the real costs and benefits of policy decisions under consideration. It is therefore critical that these actors do not abdicate their own agency on these issues. For, if they do, security at all levels of analysis will be weakened by security policy decision-making that fails to take account for the full spectrum of interests impacted by science and technology policies. I therefore urge those who support the great work of FAS to continue doing so and for those who are considering an adjunct fellowship to put their name forward. Your efforts are making a difference in the world we live in today and the world that our children will inherit tomorrow.

Michael Edward Walsh has served as an Adjunct Fellow at the Federation of American Scientists since 2012. In a few weeks, he will be leaving FAS to focus on other professional commitments. He can be followed on Twitter at @aseanreporting.

2013 FAS Accomplishments

With generous support from members and donors, FAS was able to continue its work to provide science-based analysis of and practical solutions to reduce dangers from weapons of mass destruction, as well as to promote greater accountability of government in secrecy and classification policies. A list of achievements by topic can be found below.

Nuclear Weapons

  • Examined U.S. budget plans for nuclear forces including the modernization of the B61-12 bomb to increase accuracy (at the price tag of $1 billion) and provided recommendations on how the United States can meet its security needs while cutting costs for unnecessary weapons and upgrades.

 

Iranian Nuclear Program

  • Evaluated the economic effects of Iran’s nuclear program, and policy implications of sanctions and other actions by the United States and other allies. FAS and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace published a report titled Iran’s Nuclear Odyssey: Costs and Risks, which concluded that economic sanctions nor military force cannot end this prideful program; it is imperative that a diplomatic solution is reached to ensure that Iran’s nuclear program remains peaceful.

 

Government Secrecy

  • Educated the public on U.S. government surveillance policy in the wake of leaks disclosed by Edward Snowden regarding top secret surveillance programs by the National Security Agency. Director of the Government Secrecy project Steven Aftergood provided commentary to the media and the public on issues related to whistleblowers and leaks including: the changing secrecy culture and how the Snowden leaks have shifted public opinion in regards to what should be classified, priorities for the Public Interest Declassification Board (which advises the President on classification policy), and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.
  • Provided the public with access to previously undisclosed government records that have public policy significance, along with access to Congressional Research Service Reports (CRS), which are produced for members of Congress and not available to the public.

 

Nuclear Energy

  • Co-chaired the U.S.-Japan Nuclear Working Group (with the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation and the Sasakawa Peace Foundation) to bring together American and Japanese experts and officials who represent the two countries’ nuclear energy initiatives to work together for joint energy security. In April 2013, the working group released a report on its findings and specific issues to address including a strategy for reducing Japan’s plutonium stockpile, new standards for radiation safety and environmental cleanup and treatment of spent nuclear fuel.

 

Chemical, Biological and Conventional Weapons

  • Distinguished myth from reality about Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal via media outreach and extensive publication of articles related to the removal of chemical weapons, sarin and its effects, and the Chemical Weapons Convention.

 

Outreach

  • Transformed to a more user-friendly format for the Public Interest Report, FAS’s quarterly journal, now devoted to being a venue for innovative ideas to reduce catastrophic risks.

 

We need your help to continue our important work in 2014. Please consider supporting FAS today.

Old Anti-nuclear Movie from FAS

The Federation of American Scientists was formed just a couple of months after the dawning of the nuclear age by scientists as who had worked on the Manhattan Project to develop the world’s first nuclear weapons. In the fall of 1945, there was tremendous interest in the new atomic bomb: what it was, how it worked, and its effects–and not just direct effects but the effect this invention would have on the military balance and politics of the world. FAS organized a group of its members, which it called the National Committee on Atomic Information, to talk to the public, the press, and political leaders, and to produce media materials for distribution. (Sixty two years later and we still seem to be at it…)

Jeff Aron here at FAS recently came across this amazing little film on YouTube called One World or None. It was produced by FAS and the National Committee. I have to admit, no one currently at FAS knew about it, it predates anyone’s memory here, and we are ourselves doing some research on its origins and asking our long-term members what they know. (If any of our blog readers can provide any information, please let us know.) Presumably, it was released in conjunction with the release of the first publication of the Federation, also called One World or None, a collection of essays by great scientists of the day, including Albert Einstein, that was first published in 1946. One World has recently been reprinted by the New Press in New York and is available through bookstores, Amazon, and the FAS website.

The film is clearly a bit dramatic, but the dangers of nuclear weapons are dramatic. By today’s standards, the graphics are Stone Age but the message is as important today as it ever was and doesn’t depend on fancy graphics. I can’t say you should enjoy this little film–not much to enjoy when discussing nuclear dangers–but I hope you take it to heart. The Federation is still working to reduce the global threat of nuclear weapons.

Can A Summer Intern Do The Work Of The Department of Homeland Security?

Today the Federation of American Scientists launched ReallyReady.org, a comprehensive emergency preparedness website that addresses the inaccuracies and incomplete information on the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) preparedness site, Ready.gov. ReallyReady was developed in two months by FAS intern Emily Hesaltine for the price of a domain name. In comparison, it took millions of dollars and over five months to create Ready.gov.

A thorough analysis of Ready.gov is available on the site. It is a critique of the inaccurate information, generic advice, unnecessarily lengthy descriptions, and repetitive information found throughout Ready.gov, examples of which were mentioned in a previous blog entry, Ready or Not: Ready.gov Gets a Facelift.

ReallyReady.org also includes clear and accurate information for families, businesses, and individuals with disabilities. It is important to note that ready.gov does not contain sufficient information for people with disabilities despite being told that they might be in violation of Federal law. We developed our page using information from the National Organization on Disability’s Emergency Preparedness Initiative.

We hope the information will serve as a model for the essential changes that need to be made to Ready.gov. We recommend that DHS request the assistance of scientific, military, and emergency response experts to make these alterations. The Department of Homeland Security has declared September National Preparedness Month. Before then, FAS hopes to see Ready.gov updated so that it is more useful to the public that has paid for it, especially since a 20 year-old college student was able to single-handedly complete the same task in only two months.

Welcome to the Federation of American Scientists’ Blog

Welcome to the inauguration of the Federation of American Scientists’ Web Log on national security issues. We are very excited about this new blog.

The Federation of American Scientists (FAS) was founded by scientists who worked on the Manhattan Project to develop the first atomic bombs. The birth of the atomic bomb was, or course, a turning point in history but one that had a particular significance for scientists because of their special role in its development. The founders of FAS thought that scientists should be concerned about the social, security, and political implications of their work and should strive to make the public aware of the implications of new science and technology. The founding motivations of FAS were keeping nuclear weapons and research under civilian control, minimizing the number of nuclear weapons and their salience to national security, and emphasizing international cooperation to reduce nuclear dangers. It would be nice, 60 years after the founding of FAS, to be able to say that all of these concerns have been taken care of. Unfortunately, in many ways they are as relevant today as they were then.

The six project directors of the FAS Strategic Security Project will be the regular contributors to our blog. Each of them has contributed a brief introduction as their first blog entry. I am Ivan Oelrich, the Vice President for Strategic Security, and I will cover nuclear weapons issues, including dirty bombs, and address some conventional weapons and budget questions. I will also write on nuclear energy questions when they relate to nuclear proliferation. Steve Aftergood will discuss the needed balance between secrecy and a well-informed public. Anne Fitzpatrick’s interests include technology policy, especially computers, the National Labs, and all things Russian. Hans Kristensen will discuss nuclear doctrine and force structure. Matt Schroeder will look at conventional arms control and the international trade in arms. Mike Stebbins covers biology, bio-security, and bio-terrorism. We will occasionally invite guest contributors.

Readers will be able to filter the blog by author or subject matter. The blog will include a moderated letters section. We welcome thoughtful letters but suspect we will be able to publish only a fraction of them. We think the blog is unique and fills an important niche – the first NGO blog with overall coverage of national security written by real experts in the field. We hope you enjoy the blog; we know we are looking forward to it.