Nuclear Weapons

Public Interest Report: August 2014

08.21.14 | 2 min read | Text by FAS

President’s Message: The Nuclear Guns of August

by Charles D. Ferguson

Today, the United States and other nuclear-armed states are not addressing the harder alternative of whether nuclear weapons provide for real security. The harder alternative, I argue, is to work toward elimination of these weapons at the same time as the security concerns of all states are being met.

JFK, One World or None and “A New Effort to Achieve World Law”

by Harris Wofford and Tad Daley

In the wake of the extraordinary media focus on the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination and on the search to define his legacy, a significant element was overlooked: the story of a young congressman joining in a legislative initiative to advance no less than the solution to the problem of war. It is an initiative Kennedy pursued again in a major address in his creative last season as president.

Feasibility of a Low-Yield Gun-Type Terrorist Fission Bomb

by B. Cameron Reed

Edward Friedman and Roger Lewis’s essay “A Scenario for Jihadist Nuclear Revenge,” published in the Spring 2014 edition of the Public Interest Report, is a sobering reminder of both the possibility of a terrorist nuclear attack based on stolen highly-enriched uranium and the depressing level of public ignorance of such threats.

UAVs: An (unexploited) Seller’s Market

by Michael Bodner

What is it about UAVs that leads to the United States’ hesitancy to fully invest in the export field?

The Need for a Comprehensive Approach to Reduce Nuclear Risks

by Irma Arguello

There is broad international consensus about reduction of nuclear risks as one of the most relevant drivers to enhance global security. However, degrees of involvement, priorities and approaches adopted to deal with the issue differ from state to state.

The Fallacy of Proven and Adaptable Defenses

by Rebecca Slayton

Defenses against nuclear weapons face a very high burden of proof because a single bomb is utterly devastating. But even if defenses achieve this level of trustworthiness in one context, this article argues that they cannot immediately be trusted when they are adapted to another context.

In Memoriam