Since 1947, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has monitored “how close humanity is to catastrophic destruction,” adjusting the hands of its doomsday clock closer to or farther away from midnight in response to events making “doomsday” either more or less likely. The clock has always primarily assessed the threat of nuclear weapons devastation, and presently stands at six minutes to midnight. It has been more than two decades since the end of the Cold War. However, the continued existence of thousands of nuclear weapons, and the possibility that additional countries and/or terrorists might acquire nuclear weapons, poses serious policy concerns. Jessica Varnum ’06, NTI Project Manager and Research Associate at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies addressed what the current nuclear threats are facing the world and how effectively the United States is engaging the international community to address them.
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