The National Security Forum presents
“US Dependence on Strategic Nuclear Weapons”
Does shifting to “zero” make sense?
With Keith Hansen
Former National Intelligence Officer for Strategic Forces and Proliferation
The Ramada, 9 am, Friday, June 15
For the past seven decades the U.S. National security has been based largely on our stockpile of nuclear weapons systems. Is this still necessary in today’s world? Despite pledges to move the US toward zero, the Obama admin remains committed to a safe and effective nuclear deterrence much to the disappointment of those who advocate the elimination of nuclear weapons. Moreover, NATO has recently reiterated its dependence on nuclear weapons for deterrence.
Why are the US and NATO still committed to their nuclear arsenals twenty years after the end of the Cold War? Which security, economic, and political realities keep the administration from eliminating US dependencies on nuclear weapons? Does the retention of nuclear weapons actually reduce US security by stimulating further nuclear proliferation, such as North Korea, Iran, and possibly international terrorists, as some believe?
Keith will review the history of US dependence on nuclear weapons, efforts to reduce them, and the challenges currently facing policymakers, as they strive to maintain and modernize our nuclear arsenal in a time of severe economic constraints. He will then facilitate a discussion on the following questions: (1) Is the possession of nuclear weapons still required for our national security? (2) If so, what nuclear force posture makes for the most sense and is affordable in today’s world? (3) Will any president give up our nuclear deterrent and go to zero? And finally, (4) How would you advise the President?
Keith Hansen, a resident of Incline Village, culminated his 35-year government career as the National Intelligence Officer of Strategic Forces and Proliferation. Keith had numerous assignments both with the State Department and the intelligence community, with a primary focus on Soviet Strategic Nuclear Forces and Nuclear Proliferation. He participated in bilateral US-Soviet nuclear arms negotiation (SALT II, INF, and START) and in the nuclear test ban negotiations (CTBT) all of which put him in the middle of US deliberations on US nuclear policy. Hansen taught national security and global issues at Stanford University (2003-2008) and Sierra Nevada College (2010-2011), and has published three books on national security issues. He is a frequent guest speaker and serves as a volunteer in various developing countries of Africa, the South Pacifica, and South Asia.
Attendees are encourages to arrive by 8:30 to enjoy pre-meeting coffee and conversations. A full breakfast will be served and the cost is $15 ($10 for students with ID), payable at the door. Please RSVP (attendees only!) through the website (nationalsecurityforum.org). If you are finding any difficulties in RSVPing, please contact our webmaster under the contact page.