New Report Explains Nuclear Threats and Countermeasures

Nov 07, 2011, 00:01 ET from American Security Project

A new report by the American Security Project uses compelling visuals and facts to depict modern nuclear security challenges to encourage debate among policy makers and the American public.

WASHINGTON, Nov. 7, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, the American Security Project  (ASP), with support from the Consensus for American Security, released a new report entitled, "Nuclear Security Index: Assessing Modern Nuclear Threats and the Tools to Combat Them" (NSI). This unbiased, fact-based report describes the nuclear threats to the United States and the tools that the U.S. and its partners use to defend against such threats.

The spread of nuclear weapons continues to be an urgent national security concern for the United States. The analysis included within the NSI is intended to encourage productive, informed debate about nuclear security challenges while also encouraging broader citizen participation in that debate. The NSI was produced with the American public in mind and it distills this highly technical subject and the complex debate surrounding it.

BGen Steve Cheney, Chief Executive Officer of ASP, said: "At ASP, we are constantly exploring ways to make critical and often complex national security issues more comprehensible for the greater American public— whose tax dollars fund the national security enterprise. As our mission states: an honest public discussion of national security requires a better-informed citizenry. With the publication of the Nuclear Security Index, we demonstrate our commitment to doing just that."

Dr. Janne Nolan, Director of Nuclear Security Programs at ASP, stated: "20 years after the end of the Cold War, and ten years after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, the nuclear security debate has not fully adjusted to modern realities and threats. The United States has not yet fully articulated a strategy for dealing with Iran's questionable nuclear activities, the threat of nuclear terrorism, or the utility of nuclear deterrence in the 21st century. The Nuclear Security Index provides an excellent primer on these vital issues and will equip readers to understand the latest headlines as well as longer-term nuclear trends."

Eric Auner, Policy Analyst at ASP and co-author of the NSI, commented: "The Iranian nuclear program is in the news almost every day. It requires urgent, high-level American attention. Crafting a strategy to deal with the global spread of nuclear technologies requires an understanding of the history and evolution of nuclear proliferation as well as an appreciation of the many tools that the United States has at its disposal to contain and combat this challenge."

The NSI points to key facts about global nuclear threats: 

1) The U.S. and its allies and partners still face a wide range of nuclear threats;

2) There are many different kinds of tools to address nuclear threats, such as: military strength, nuclear deterrence, international agreements and organizations, and technological investments like ballistic missile defense;

3) A nuclear weapon cannot be compared to an ordinary bomb since the use of a single nuclear weapon would cause mass devastation and have profound effects on global stability; and

4) To date, only a small number of nations pose a near-term, urgent nuclear proliferation risk. Preventing such threats from escalating in the future will depend on careful leadership and cooperation from all like-minded states working together to enforce common norms. 

These facts are further described in the NSI. To learn more and view the illustrative charts, maps, and graphics, please click here or below to download the report:


About the American Security Project: The American Security Project is a non-profit, bipartisan public policy and research organization dedicated to fostering knowledge and understanding of a range of national security issues, promoting debate about the appropriate use of American power, and cultivating strategic responses to 21st century challenges. For more information, visit

About the Consensus for American Security: The Consensus for American Security is a non-partisan group of influential military and national security leaders who have come together to highlight growing support for a new and sustainable nuclear weapons policy. The Consensus is an initiative of the American Security Project. For more information, visit

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Janne Nolan

SOURCE American Security Project