Our Endangered Nuclear Weaponeers via The Wall Street Journal

It takes a nuclear weaponeer to stop a nuclear weaponeer. And I should know.


In the 1990s, I designed nuclear bombs at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. In the 2000s at Los Alamos, I ran one of the largest programs to reduce the threat of weapons of mass destruction, directing hundreds of professionals who had worked for decades on all aspects of nuclear weapons. The background, experience and judgment of these weaponeers were responsible for successfully mitigating and preventing various nuclear threats, details of which are still classified.


The U.S. is now in danger of forever losing this talent that keeps the nation safe. That is a disturbing development, because the threat isn’t going away. Iran is producing enriched uranium, North Korea in February detonated its third nuclear weapon since 2006, and terrorists continually seek this ultimate capability. The risk endures and is growing.


Policy luminaries such as former Defense Secretary William Perry and former Secretary of State George Shultz have called for the elimination of nuclear weapons, and the Obama administration embraces this goal. In a perfect world with complete transparency, a nuclear-free planet would be the ideal for ensuring peace.

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