Day #11: Changing the System
Nuclear weapons are inherently the stuff of national policy. Making change to how we think about nuclear weapons, then, requires changing the policies that surround them as well as addressing the socio-political roots behind them.
The United States is the largest, the first and thus the most influential nuclear state. For this reason – and because we are headquartered in the United States - Ploughshares Fund concentrates most of our policy bandwidth on the U.S. And we are well positioned to do so. With investments in academic research, grassroots advocacy, think tank expertise, investigative and innovative media and legislative advocacy, Ploughshares Fund has a broad capacity to address all parts of the system that promotes and maintains nuclear weapons policy.
In the past year, Ploughshares Fund has used these tools – along with our own expertise and high-level Washington connections – to help secure the ratification of the New START accord, insert the idea of cutting nuclear weapons budgets into the national budget debate and to support negotiations between the U.S. and Russia on further reductions of the two largest nuclear arsenals.
But we don’t just focus on policy in the United States. Through our peace and conflict prevention program, we support groups on the ground in Pakistan, Afghanistan and India to focus on policy in their own nations.
This ability to impact policy stems from careful selection of the smartest people with the best ideas and the right connections. Combined with our own strategies and leadership, it’s a recipe for systemic change that works.