As America’s Rivalry With Russia Intensifies, How Can U.S. Nuclear Policy Make Us Safer?

As the U.S.-Russia rivalry intensifies in the wake of Moscow’s aggression against Ukraine, the upcoming Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) becomes even more critical. Will it help lower the risk of nuclear war with Russia and other nuclear states?

Unlikely, according to a new brief by Quincy Institute Distinguished Fellow Joe Cirincione. By delaying reforms, however, America is paying a price, not just in terms of resources but also enhanced risks to national security.

The Quincy Institute presents a panel discussion on these questions with Sharon Weiner, Associate Professor at American University, Christopher Preble, co-director of the New American Engagement Initiative at the Atlantic Council, and brief author Joe Cirincione to evaluate U.S. nuclear policy, including the NPR process, in light of enhanced tensions with Russia. The panel will be moderated by Sarang Shidore, Director of Studies at the Quincy Institute.


Joe Cirincione

Joseph Cirincione is a distinguished non-resident fellow at the Quincy Institute. As a national security analyst and author he has worked on nuclear-weapons issues in Washington for more than 35 years. He is the author or editor of seven books, including Nuclear Nightmares: Securing the World before It Is Too Late, and Bomb Scare: The History and Future of Nuclear Weapons. He served previously as president of the Ploughshares Fund, a global security foundation, vice-president for national security at the Center for American Progress, and director for nonproliferation at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, among other positions. He worked for over nine years on the professional staff of the Armed Services Committee and the Government Operations Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives. He served as an advisor to the presidential campaigns of Barack Obama, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Sharon Weiner

Sharon Weiner is Associate Professor at the School of International Service at American University. Her research, teaching, and policy engagement is at the intersection of organizational politics and U.S. national security. Her current work focuses on civil-military relations and on nuclear weapon programs and nonproliferation but she also pursues research and teaching interests in international security and U.S. relations with South Asia. From August 2014 through February 2017 Weiner served as a program examiner with the National Security Division of the White House Office of Management and Budget, where she had responsibility for budget and policy issues related to nuclear weapons and nonproliferation. Previously, she worked for the Armed Services Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives and has held research positions at the Los Alamos National Laboratory Center for National Security Studies and at Princeton University’s Program on Science and Global Security.

Christopher Preble

Christopher Preble serves as co-director of the New American Engagement Initiative in the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security. In this role, he leads a team of scholars who challenge prevailing assumptions surrounding US foreign policy, and who offer a range of policy options that go beyond the use of force and coercion. His own work focuses on the history of US foreign policy, contemporary US grand strategy and military force posture, alliance relations, and the intersection of trade and national security. In addition to his work at the Atlantic Council, Preble co-hosts the “Net Assessment” podcast in the War on the Rocks network, and he teaches the US Foreign Policy elective at the University of California, Washington Center. He has also taught history at St. Cloud State University and Temple University. He is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Sarang Shidore (Moderator)

Sarang Shidore is Director of Studies at the Quincy Institute and Senior Research Analyst at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin. His areas of research and analysis are geopolitical risk, grand strategy, and energy/climate security, with a special emphasis on Asia. Sarang holds a master’s in international studies and diplomacy from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, and two master’s degrees in engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M University.