Press the Button


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A new episode of Press the Button is available every Tuesday.

An engaging podcast on nuclear policy and national security, Press the Button is co-hosted by defense experts Joe Cirincione and Michelle Dover of Ploughshares Fund, a global security foundation. This weekly podcast features top officials and experts discussing the latest developments on Iran, North Korea, nuclear weapons, military budgets and foreign policy. Press the Button offers diverse views on one of the most important issues of our time: preventing nuclear war.

Read articles about episodes of Press the Button and subscribe today!

  • Why the Next Shooting War Could Go Nuclear

    Nuclear expert James Acton believes that we are entering into an era of what he calls “nuclear entanglement,” one that promises to be different from anything we’ve seen before. It’s main characteristic: an increasingly blurry line between nuclear and conventional weapons. “During the Cold War,...

    September 18, 2020 - By Zack Brown
  • A Cold War with China?

    Lora Lumpe, the CEO of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, believes the United States is “sliding seamlessly into the next decades-long era of superpower competition”—this time with China. For Washington to fall into another globe-spanning military confrontation would be a strategic...

    August 31, 2020 - By Ploughshares Fund
  • The Politics of Pentagon Spending: Can the US Military Budget Be Cut?

    Three weeks after the House voted against her amendment to the FY2021 National Defense Authorization Act, Representative Barbara Lee (D-California) couldn’t help but evince a bit of residual exasperation. “It was so modest,” she said in an interview with national security podcast, Press The...

    August 12, 2020 - By Ploughshares Fund
  • How the Navajo Suffered Thanks to America's Nuclear Weapons Build Up

    Sunny Dooley’s first brush with the atomic bomb came from her father. When she was in seventh grade, her teacher asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up. Dooley, a Navajo Diné storyteller who lives in Chi Chil Tah, a small community nestled between oak-covered hills twenty miles south...

    August 5, 2020 - By Ploughshares Fund
  • How Donald Trump's Nuclear Policy is Raising Old Debates over Nuclear Control

    Former New York Times editorial board member and longtime foreign policy reporter Carol Giacomo says President Donald Trump has forced Americans to grapple with the nuclear responsibility the country has accorded to every chief executive since Harry Truman. “When I began covering the nuclear...

    July 30, 2020 - By Ploughshares Fund
  • Expert: If You Want North Korea to Give Up Nuclear Weapons, Start by Ending the Korean War

    Korea expert and Women Cross DMZ founder Christine Ahn believes the United States needs to dramatically reshape its strategy on North Korea in order to rein in Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program. For the last thirty years, Washington orthodoxy has held that the Kim regime must first...

    July 23, 2020 - By Ploughshares Fund
  • The Real Lessons of Trinity and Hiroshima

    by Zack Brown, originally published in The National Interest. Listen to the whole episode on Press the Button.Most Americans are only familiar with a symbolic history of the atomic bomb, one that can lead people “to be very supportive of policies that have been bad for the country,” argued...

    July 15, 2020 - By Ploughshares Fund
  • Reverting Back to 'Cold War' Thinking: The Real Nuclear Danger Everyone Is Missing

    American policymakers “have reverted back to Cold War thinking” on US nuclear weapons, argues former Secretary of Defense William J. Perry in his new book with Ploughshares Fund’s Tom Collina, “...

    July 9, 2020 - By Ploughshares Fund
  • A 'Post-Policy' World: Do Facts Matter?

    Do facts matter? Not to today’s Republican Party, argues Steve Benen, the Emmy Award-winning producer of The Rachel Maddow Show, in his essential new book, The Imposters: How Republicans Quit Governing and Seized American Politics. “The current iteration of the GOP is indifferent to the...

    June 23, 2020 - By Ploughshares Fund
  • How to Realize Diversity in the National Security Community

    When she saw the video of George Floyd’s murder, Ambassador Bonnie Jenkins, an arms control expert who had spent years ascending the ranks of Washington’s national security elite, felt she had to act.  With the help of her colleague, Neda Shaheen, Jenkins penned an open letter titled, “Standing...

    June 16, 2020 - By Ploughshares Fund