The Outlook for Avoiding Catastrophe

a new Ploughshares Fund report on stopping the new nuclear arms race between the United States and Russia

This article is based on an August 6, 2020 press release, available here.

On the 75th anniversary of the US atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Ploughshares Fund today released a new report calling on the next US president to stop the new nuclear arms race between the United States and Russia. The report assesses that the superpowers have allowed the robust arms control framework designed to reduce the risk of nuclear war to wither, and both sides are investing in new nuclear weapons that we do not need and make us less safe.

“The world only narrowly survived the last nuclear arms race. The US and Russia are on the brink of a new one, and it must be stopped now – before it is too late,” said report author Akshai Vikram, Roger L. Hale Fellow at Ploughshares Fund. “There is still time to avert this crisis, if the next president acts decisively, purposefully, and quickly.”

To avert the new nuclear arms race, the report asserts that the next president must take three crucial steps: extend the New START Treaty; reduce the risk of accidental launch by adopting a No First Use declaratory policy, ending launch-on-warning for ground-based missiles, and cancelling the new ICBM; and work with Russia to roll back weapons that exacerbate the risk of nuclear conflict.

“The next president will, unfortunately, have to confront multiple nuclear challenges immediately upon taking office,” said Tom Collina, Ploughshares Fund Director of Policy. “This report offers a practical roadmap for how the next president can defuse the new arms race and roll back a dangerous nuclear buildup that threatens not only the US and Russia, but the entire world.”

The report is available here: The New Nuclear Arms Race: The Outlook for Avoiding Catastrophe, August 2020

Photo: An unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile launches during an operational test at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., April 26, 2017. Air Force Senior Airman Ian Dudley