Beyond the Summit: Exploring New Approaches to Nuclear Security

Beyond the Summit: New Approaches to Nuclear Security

Gov. Jerry Brown and Sec. William J. Perry at the Atlantic Council

This week marks the fourth and final Nuclear Security Summit, a first-of-its kind initiative spearheaded by President Obama shortly after he pledged to "seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons" back on April 5, 2009.

We were all inspired by his vision and by his words, but what has actually happened since he delivered that now famous speech in Prague seven years ago?

The answer: not nearly enough.

It goes without saying that President Obama made nuclear history with last July's nuclear accord that stopped Iran from building a bomb without starting another war in the Middle East. But with his blessing, we are also poised to spend $1 trillion over the next 30 years for a new generation of nuclear weapons that do nothing to protect us from the threats we face in the 21st century.

As world leaders gathered today in Washington, DC to discuss the threat of nuclear terrorism, others staged parallel events in the capital on a fuller range of nuclear dangers, including our own arsenal — a subject absent from the summit's agenda.

One of those events featured William J. Perry, former Secretary of Defense and the nation's leading critic of US plans to rebuild its nuclear arsenal, and California Governor Jerry Brown, who sat down together to discuss their concerns in "Beyond the Summit", an event organized by Ploughshares Fund and hosted by our grantee, the Atlantic Council.

Their conversation was encouraging &mdash yet alarming. In Secretary Perry's own words: "The threat is real &mdash in a sense we are living on borrowed time." I urge you to watch the video at the top of this page to find out more about the scope and scale of the problem, and what needs to be done to overcome it.

I also hope you'll read and share this compelling article on Obama's disappointing nuclear legacy written by my colleague and Ploughshares Fund President Joe Cirincione, and this Washington Post piece in which he further discusses Obama's failure to live up to his words in Prague.

At Ploughshares Fund, we continue to develop and invest in the best initiatives to end the threat of nuclear weapons, once and for all. If you haven't already, support our mission by signing up for our email list so you can stay informed and participate in making the world safer. We can't do it without you.