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!

  • How Blocking Immigration Hurts US National Security

    President Donald Trump’s new executive order barring broad categories of immigrants from entering the country may bring real harm to US national security. “The pandemic has highlighted for us that national security also involves the assets that we can harness and put against an invisible enemy...

    April 27, 2020 - By Ploughshares Fund
  • Happy 1st Birthday Press the Button!

    Press the Button began as the 21st Century nuclear arms race was losing its brakes, with the ambitious goal of trying to make sense of the big military, corporate and  government forces that were moving the world to the nuclear brink in real time. In April 2019, Ploughshares Fund...

    April 13, 2020 - By Ploughshares Fund
  • COVID-19, Iran and US National Security

    The pandemic has hit Iran hard, a combination of government incompetence and US sanctions that block Iran’s access to medicine and medical supplies.  “Iran is one of the epicenters for the [COVID-19] disease,” said Ariane Tabatabai, a Middle East expert and adjunct senior research fellow at...

    April 6, 2020 - By Zack Brown
  • We're All In This Together

    If there was one thing Liz Watson emphasized, it was the need for urgency. “We need ventilators. We need masks. We need personal protective equipment,” she said. Without these basic necessities, the US runs the risk of a healthcare worker shortage as those on the front lines fall prey to the...

    March 30, 2020 - By Zack Brown
  • 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 Zack Brown
  • 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 Zack Brown
  • 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 Zack Brown
  • 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 Zack Brown
  • 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 Zack Brown
  • 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 Zack Brown