NNSA

B61 being dropped by B-2

Why is America’s nuclear weapons enterprise — the vast array of national laboratories and other facilities that make, build and maintain our nuclear warheads — so problem-ridden? Is it because the big weapons laboratories (Los Alamos, Livermore, and Sandia) have too much autonomy, or because they have too little? Is it because the Department of… Keep reading →

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WASHINGTON: Nuclear weapon accidents should worry everyone until they are contained and proven harmless. At the same time, we have to be rational about the risks. The latest example of how well those risks have been balanced comes from the Guardian, a very fine paper that I used to write for when I lived in… Keep reading →

Reaping the Benefits of a Global Defense Industry

The U.S. defense industry, being reshaped by declining post-war budgets, globalization, and the increased pace of technological change, must work with the Pentagon and take proactive steps to maintain our historic preeminence on the battlefield. Our industry does not easily embrace change. In fact, history demonstrates that shifts in the defense industry have largely been… Keep reading →


The defense budget is going down…have you heard? The presidential campaign is shedding a lot of heat, but very little light on this reality; you won’t hear much of substance about how or where it will go down. Or much sensible or reasonable discussion about how we manage a defense build-down in a way that saves money while ensuring we continue to be as secure as we are today.

In one nook and cranny of this discussion we find America’s nuclear arsenal, almost forgotten in the age of counter-insurgency and nation building. As the administration considers next steps in the size and shape of our strategic nuclear weapons, there has been a small tempest over the question of how much we spend on our strategic nuclear forces. Keep reading →