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Vienna Center for Disarmament
and Non-Proliferation

International platform for disarmament and non-proliferation dialogue, research, and education

VCDNP Seminar Series Features Joe Cirincione

Seminar  •  Joe Cirincione  •  17 July 2012
On July 17, 2012, VCDNP hosted a seminar by Joe Cirincione entitled "The Politics of the Current Nuclear Policy Debate in Washington."
Posted: 24 July 2012

On July 17, 2012, the Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation hosted a seminar by Joe Cirincione, President of Ploughshares Fund, entitled "The Politics of the Current Nuclear Policy Debate in Washington." Mr. Cirincione is one of the leading US nonproliferation experts whose opinion is sought after by news media, government officials, and academia. He has been following nuclear policy and disarmament in Washington for over 30 years.

At this event, Mr. Cirincione reviewed the current trends in the nuclear policy of the United States. When the Obama administration came to power, he said, it had a forward-looking ambitious action plan on nuclear disarmament, including a new treaty with Russia to reduce strategic arms, ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), and a range of other measures. Implementation of these plans, however, turned out to be a much slower process than originally anticipated and, as a result, a significant part of the agenda had to be shelved. If President Obama is reelected, opined Mr. Cirincione, there will be another window of opportunity, perhaps about 18 months long. In his view, the first priority of the administration will be ratification of the CTBT.

Mr. Cirincione also noted that stakes in the current debate on nuclear policy and nuclear disarmament in the United States are very high. In the next several years, a series of decisions will need to be made on the replacement of delivery vehicles for all "legs" of the nuclear triad — bombers, submarines, and land-based missiles. These decisions will define U.S. nuclear posture for over the next 50 years and will, by implication, affect the parameters of further reduction and elimination of nuclear weapons.

Seminar audience
Seminar audience
Audience question to Joe Cirincione and Elena Sokova
Audience question to Joe Cirincione and Elena Sokova