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Public Policy and Nuclear Threats 2019 Readings

with links to selected materials

The Background Reading should be completed prior to arriving at PPNT.

The readings listed at the top of each day-by-day session are strongly recommended. Additional resources are provided for your reference. 

Links are provided as a courtesy. Your access to resources will vary, depending on your academic institution's library policies and subscriptions. Items without links are not available online. Links to books and book chapters are to publishers if the book is not available for free.

Technical issues or difficulty finding a resource? Email us.


Einstein, Albert. Albert Einstein Letter to President Franklin D. Roosevelt Regarding Uranium. August 2, 1939. 2 pages.

Eisenhower, Dwight D. Atoms for Peace. Speech before the United Nations General Assembly, December 8, 1953.

Aftergood, Steven. DoD Doctrine on Nuclear Operations Published, Taken Offline. Federation of American Scientists, June 19, 2019.

International Atomic Energy Agency. Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. IAEA Information Circular 140, April 22, 1970. PDF, 5 pages. 

US Department of Defense. Report on Nuclear Employment Strategy of the United States Specified in Section 491 of 10 U.S.C., June 2013.

Office of the Secretary of Defense. Trump Nuclear Posture Review 2018.  PDF, 100 pages.

Day by Day

Sunday, July 28           

Keynote Address (Hecker)

Monday, July 29        

Nuclear Strategy (Brad Roberts)

Prospects for Renewed Nuclear Cooperation with Russia (Sig Hecker)

Nuclear Devices & Effects (John Scott)

  • Los Alamos National Laboratory. The Los Alamos Primer. 1943.

Proliferation: Causes & Consequences (Scott Sagan)

Monday, July 29

Russia Today (Kristin ven Bruusgaard)

Nuclear Ban Treaty (Heather Williams)

Current US Nuclear Security Policy and Extended Deterrence (Elaine Bunn)

Wednesday, July 31

National Security Implications of the Emerging Threat Environment (Rebecca Hersmann)

Reconciling Nuclear Deterrence and the Law of Armed Conflict (Panel: Newell Highsmith & Nina Tannenwald)

  • Highsmith, Newell L. On the Legality of Nuclear Deterrence. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Center for Global Security Research, April 2019. PDF. (Read Introduction, Footnote 18 on page 31, Footnote 42 on page 33 and Pages 56-84).

Uses of Intelligence (John Lauder)

International Nuclear Security (Will Tobey)

Thursday, Aug 1

US Nuclear Command and Control (Gen Robert Wheeler)

Trump Nuclear Posture Review (Greg Weaver)

The Impact of Cyber Technology on Nuclear Deterrence (Herb Lin)

Overview of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle (Max Fratoni)

Friday, Aug 2

The International Nuclear Nonproliferation Regime (Laura Rockwood) 

State-Level Safeguards Approach (Olli Heinonen)  

Nuclear Terrorism (Rolf Mowatt-Larssen)

Science-based stockpile stewardship (Marv Adams)

Sunday, Aug 4

Ballistic Missile Defense (Dean Wilkening)

Nuclear Forensics (Panel: Kim Knight & Kevin Swearingen)

IAEA Fuel Cycle Verification & Monitoring – Lecture (Mark Schanfein)

Tuesday, Aug 6

China (Chris Twomey)

  • Heginbotham, Eric, et al. China’s Evolving Nuclear Deterrent. RR-1628-AF (Santa Monica, Calif.: RAND Corporation, 2017).  (Brief summary material available on the web page and in the Summary section in the actual (PDF or ePUB) report; comprehensive material in the long report itself.

India & Pakistan (Toby Dalton)

Experimental Wargaming (Andrew Reddie)

North Korea (John Warden)

Iran (Panel: Richard Nephew & Matt Kroenig)