The Doomsday Clock is an internationally recognized design that conveys how close we are to destroying our civilization with dangerous technologies of our own making. First and foremost among these are nuclear weapons, but the dangers include climate-changing technologies, emerging... Read More
A physicist trained at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, Podvig works on the Russian nuclear arsenal, US-Russian relations, and nonproliferation. In 1995, he headed the Russian Strategic Nuclear Forces Research Project, editing the project’s eponymous book, which provides an overview of the Soviet and Russian strategic forces and the technical capabilities of Russia's strategic weapon systems. His blog, "Russian Strategic Nuclear Forces," updates this information in real time.
In the past few months, there have been a number of provocative events between Russia and the West: Russian jets buzz US warships in the Black Sea. Turkey, a NATO member, shoots down a Russian warplane involved in the Syria conflict.
It has been 30 years since US President Ronald Reagan called for development of a missile defense system that was supposed to make nuclear weapons "impotent and obsolete." The Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) launched by Reagan's famous "Star Wars" speech in March 1983 has survived to the present day, but with ever-lower expectations. Long gone is the vision of a missile defense system that could "counter the awesome Soviet missile threat." That has been replaced with the hope that a few dozen interceptors with a spotty test record will protect the United States from an attack by a few nonexistent missiles from North Korea or Iran. What has not changed is the controversy that surrounds missile defense and its role in the nuclear age.