Joseph Cirincione

Washington, D.C.

Joseph Cirincione is president of Ploughshares Fund, a global security foundation. He is also the host of Press The Button, a weekly podcast from Ploughshares Fund dedicated to nuclear policy and national security. A new episode is available every Tuesday.

Cirincione is the author of the books Nuclear Nightmares: Securing the World Before It Is Too Late, Bomb Scare: The History and Future of Nuclear Weapons and Deadly Arsenals: Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Threats. He has worked on nuclear weapons policy in Washington for over 35 years and is considered one of the top experts in the field. He served previously as vice president for national security at the Center for American Progress, director for non-proliferation at Carnegie Endowment, and senior associate at Stimson. He worked for nine years as professional staff on the U.S. House of Representatives Committees on Armed Services and Government Operations. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a former member of the International Security Advisory Board for Secretaries of State John Kerry and Hillary Clinton. He also teaches at the Georgetown University Graduate School of Foreign Service.

Cirincione's commentary has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, MSNBC, CNN, The Boston Globe, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Financial Times, Kyodo News, Moscow Times, Foreign Policy, The Hill, Daily Beast, and Huffington Post.

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Recent content

Remembering Hiroshima

Seventy-four years ago today, on August 6, 1945, a single American bomber carrying a single bomb destroyed an entire Japanese city. The atomic age had begun. A teeming wartime metropolis of a quarter million people, Hiroshima stretched over the broad, marshy flatlands of the Ota River delta, as...

August 6, 2019 - By Joe Cirincione
A new, hopeful moment for US nuclear policy

Underneath the daily, depressing headlines, five converging trends offer hope, for the first time in more than a decade, for dramatic positive change in US nuclear policy. The first trend is the growing recognition that current US nuclear security strategies have failed to make America safer....

April 17, 2019 - By Joe Cirincione
Democrats Are Pushing for a New Nuclear Policy

There is a new urgency and momentum on nuclear issues in Congress. Triggered initially by an impetuous president’s unfettered ability to launch a nuclear strike, concerns have mounted as Trump administration policies worsen already serious nuclear threats. Members are rousing to action with new...

February 13, 2019 - By Joe Cirincione
Tear up the INF Treaty, Start a New Arms Race

John Bolton and Donald Trump are shredding the nuclear safety net that Republicans and Democrats, liberals and conservatives, labored for fifty years to construct. We must stop them before it is too late. In recent days, we have received more requests for funding than we can meet. Requests from...

February 11, 2019 - By Joe Cirincione
Rising Up to the Challenge

Today, President Trump took the first step towards killing the international agreement that stops Iran from building nuclear weapons and prevents a new war in the Middle East. Ending this historic agreement puts both possibilities back in play. At his press conference this morning, Trump...

October 13, 2017 - By Joe Cirincione
A Trump-Created Crisis with Iran

President Donald Trump is creating another crisis, and this could be the worst of all. He is planning next week to begin pulling the United States out of the agreement made with the nations of the world to stop Iran’s nuclear program. He reportedly will say that the accord, approved unanimously...

October 6, 2017 - By Joe Cirincione
We Have Got to Stop This Madness

Like you, I am deeply worried. Everything we worked so hard to achieve is under attack. President Trump is overturning decades of bipartisan efforts that have blocked the spread of the deadliest weapons ever built. New policies coming out of the White House and Congress threaten the progress we...

September 22, 2017 - By Joe Cirincione
How Trump Could Start a Nuclear War and How We Can Stop Him

When King Aerys Targaryen, in the throes of madness, orders his men to ignite the stores of wildfire in the city of King’s Landing to "burn them all," Jaime Lannister, head of the Kingsguard in the Game of Thrones story, refuses to carry out the order. Rather than kill the five hundred...

August 25, 2017 - By Joe Cirincione
How Donald Trump Could Blow Up the World All by Himself

President Donald Trump alone controls the US nuclear arsenal. He alone decides whether to use one or one thousand nuclear weapons. He does not have to check with anyone, not even Steve Bannon. At a moment’s notice, he can launch some 900 nuclear weapons with the destructive power of 20,000...

March 29, 2017 - By Joe Cirincione
Profoundly Dangerous Times

Never have we had a president this unpredictable in charge of the most powerful nuclear arsenal on the planet. Never have we had a president tell other countries they should get nuclear weapons. Never have we had a president this untested and uninformed confronting mounting dangers from North...

March 21, 2017 - By Joe Cirincione