Lisbeth Gronlund, a physicist and co-director of the Global Security Program with the Union of Concerned Scientists will speak with us about "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 a policy governing the use of US nuclear weapons.
Earlier this year, the Trump administration laid out its nuclear plan. It calls for deploying two additional types of nuclear weapons. It broadens the scenarios under which the United States would 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. All will have political repercussions vis-à-vis Russia, China, and the rest of the world.
As has always been true, the president has the sole, unchecked authority to order a nuclear strike. Congressional leaders of both parties have begun to question this dangerous policy. Fortunately, there are practical alternatives that would require more than one decisionmaker to order a nuclear attack. Dr. Lisbeth Gronlund focuses on technical and policy issues related to nuclear weapons, ballistic missile defenses, and space weapons. She has authored numerous articles and reports, lectured on nuclear arms control and missile defense policy issues before lay and expert audiences, and testified before Congress. A long list of news organizations, including the New York Times and NPR, have cited Gronlund since she joined UCS in 1992.
Dr. Gronlund received her PhD in physics from Cornell University in 1989. She was a postdoctoral fellow at the MIT Defense and Arms Control Studies Program and an SSRC-MacArthur Foundation Fellow in International Peace and Security at the Center for International Security Studies at the University of Maryland. She is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Physical Society (APS), and was a recipient of the APS Joseph A. Burton Forum Award in 2001. She has been at UCS since 1992. Areas of expertise: U.S. nuclear weapons and nuclear weapons policy, nuclear terrorism and international fissile material control, ballistic missile defense.