Global Tipping Points with the Union of Concerned Scientists
Global Tipping Points
A three-part series on today’s global challenges
Wednesday, February 6th, 6 PM-7:15 PM
The Trump Administration and Nuclear Weapons
When President Trump entered office, he inherited a nuclear arsenal of some 4,000 weapons and an ambitious plan to replace them with new, more capable versions, at a cost of $1.2 trillion over the next 30 years. He also inherited the sole authority to order a nuclear attack without consulting anyone, and a policy allowing the United States to use nuclear weapons first in a time of crisis.
The Trump administration also plans to deploy two additional types of nuclear weapons. This broadens the scenarios under which the United States could use nuclear weapons first, and it lays out a plan to more tightly integrate US nuclear and conventional forces—including training and exercising with these integrated forces—so US forces can fight even if nuclear weapons have been used.
Some of these changes can take place relatively quickly and others will take years to realize. All will have political repercussions vis-à-vis Russia, China, and the rest of the world.
At the same time, President Trump is dismissive of arms control—which is the only effective approach to nuclear security. He pulled out of the Iran deal, which places significant constraints on Iran’s nuclear power program. He is threatening to withdraw from a US-Russian treaty that eliminates one class of nuclear weapons—the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. He has complained that the 2010 New START agreement that reduces US and Russian nuclear forces is unfair to the United States. On the other hand, he deserves kudos for pursuing an agreement with North Korea—while success is far from guaranteed, it is the only viable approach to addressing the North Korean nuclear weapons program.
The Union for Concerned Scientists will lay out their case for nuclear non-proliferation in an increasingly tense international situation. They will share their views on the Trump Presidency, in regards to this issue, and where they would like to see nuclear policy go.
WACNH Members, UNH Students and Staff, Fulbright
General Public- $10
About Lisbeth Gronlund
Dr. Lisbeth Gronlund is a Senior Scientist and the Co-Director of the Global Security Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists. Her work focuses on technical and policy issues related to nuclear weapons, ballistic missile defenses, and space weapons, with an emphasis on changing US policy on these issues. She has a Ph.D. in theoretical physics from Cornell University.
History of Union of Concerned Scientists
UCS was founded in 1969 by scientists and students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. That year, the Vietnam War was at its height and Cleveland’s heavily polluted Cuyahoga River had caught fire. Appalled at how the U.S. government was misusing science, the UCS founders drafted a statement calling for scientific research to be directed away from military technologies and toward solving pressing environmental and social problems.
We remain true to that founding vision. Throughout our history, UCS has followed the example set by the scientific community: we share information, seek the truth, and let our findings guide our conclusions.
It’s a powerful formula.
By mobilizing scientists and combining their voices with those of advocates, educators, business people, and other concerned citizens, UCS has built a reputation for fairness and accuracy and amassed an impressive history of accomplishments.
Presented in partnership with UNH Manchester’s homeland security, history, humanities and politics and society programs.