Debate: Modernization of Nuclear Weapons

Center for Strategic and International Studies, the Project on Nuclear Issues (PONI),and Ploughshares Fund

1616 Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036

June 29, 2017, 4:30 pm to 7:00 pm

The Project on Nuclear Issues (PONI) and Ploughshares Fund will host a debate, the fourth in an on-going series, on a range of nuclear challenges and policy decisions the Trump administration will face in 2017. The debate series aims to provide a forum for in-depth exploration of arguments on both sides of key nuclear policy issues.

Debate question:

Participants will be asked to address the following question:

  • Does the U.S. need new types of nuclear weapons to meet current or future deterrence needs?

As currently planned, the United States will modernize nearly every part of its nuclear arsenal, including replacement warheads, upgraded command-and-control systems, and other improvements across the strategic triad. Proposals have received rare bipartisan support from Congress, and many of them have either started or are expected to receive formal authorization to begin soon. The Defense Science Board recently suggested that the United States should consider enhancing its low-yield nuclear warheads. Yet, detractors argue that such modernization or enhancement programs could further increase tensions with adversaries. The event will focus on the future of the U.S. nuclear stockpile and whether the current approaches of life extension programs, stockpile stewardship, 3+2 warhead plans, and continued testing moratorium are sufficient – or potentially in excess or insufficient – to meet future deterrence needs.

Please RSVP here.


Debate Participants:

Ellen O'Kane Tauscher is a former U.S. Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security, a former Democratic Member of the United States House of Representatives, representing California's 10th Congressional district.

Adam Mount is a Senior Fellow at American Progress. Previously, he was a Stanton nuclear security fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.

John Harvey is the former Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear, Chemical, and Biological Defense Programs.

Dr. Kori Schake is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution and Standford University. 

View Original Invitation.