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!

  • Muck, Suck, and Truck

    The year was 1999, and Gretchen Hund, a scientist then working for Batelle Memorial Institute had walked into a radioactive ghost town. “It was almost Twilight Zone-ish,” she said. “You have this big boulevard with all these apartment buildings on each side with huge vines growing through the...

    March 23, 2020 - By Ploughshares Fund
  • The WiLL to Win

    The discussion began, as it often does, with the budget. Caroline Dorminey and Corey Greer joined Ploughshares Fund to talk about their efforts to shift the conversation on national security. Dorminey and Greer are with Women’s Action for a New Direction (WAND), an advocacy organization aimed at...

    March 16, 2020 - By Ploughshares Fund
  • The Diplomat's Big Win

    It started with an invitation to lunch. Ambassador Hamamoto had only just arrived in Switzerland as the United States’ representative to the United Nations in Geneva. She was still feeling out her new role when Kofi Annan, former UN secretary-general, asked to chat over a meal. “And I’ll never...

    March 9, 2020 - By Ploughshares Fund
  • Ending the Military Spending Spree

    Last month, the Trump administration unveiled its 2021 budget request, revealing deep reductions in federal spending for items like commerce, environmental protection, and diplomacy in favor of immigration, the military, and space exploration. It should be said upfront that this is not the final...

    February 28, 2020 - By Ploughshares Fund
  • Nuclear Insecurity

    Alexandra Bell, senior policy director at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, offered a sobering assessment of the current moment in our nuclear history. “I’d say we’re at a three [out of ten],” she said. “It’s grim.” Part of that judgement is tied in with the almost adversarial...

    February 24, 2020 - By Ploughshares Fund
  • Exploding Budgets

    Bill Hartung, the director of the arms and security project at the Center for International Policy, did not mince words when asked about the Trump administration’s new nuclear budget. “It’s an outrage,” he said. “It’s the only thing that’s going up dramatically in the entire budget. Even other...

    February 14, 2020 - By Ploughshares Fund
  • Crafting a Feminist Foreign Policy

    Being the president of a national security foundation has its perks. One of them, according to Joe Cirincione, is convincing the interesting people you meet in the conference room to join you in the podcast studio. This is precisely what happened with Lyric Thompson, the director of policy and...

    February 10, 2020 - By Ploughshares Fund
  • All Good Things

    In a special episode of Press The Button, we announce the planned retirement of Ploughshares Fund president Joe Cirincione. “I'm going to step down as the president of Ploughshares Fund effective July 1st,” Cirincione told co-host Michelle Dover. “It's been a great thirteen years here...

    February 3, 2020 - By Ploughshares Fund
  • 100 Seconds to Midnight

    “We are in a stage of total denial,” said Mary Robinson, the first female president of Ireland. “The Clock has moved nearer than ever - nearer than at the height of the Cold War.” Mary Robinson and Ban Ki-moon, former secretary-general of the United Nations, joined Press the Button for...

    January 27, 2020 - By Ploughshares Fund
  • Breaking Down Breakout

    “I’m concerned about the future of the nuclear deal,” said Kelsey Davenport, “but I’m not alarmed at this point.” Kelsey Davenport is the director for nonproliferation policy at the Arms Control Association and an expert on Iran’s nuclear and missile programs. She sat down with Ploughshares Fund...

    January 17, 2020 - By Ploughshares Fund