Blog Post

Rethinking Nuclear Policy and Presidential Power

Monday, November 02, 2020 9:53 AM | Tim Horgan (Administrator)

Former Secretary of Defense William Perry to Headline Fall Forum 2020

MANCHESTER/PORTSMOUTH – Little Rocket Man. Dotard. Fire and Fury. Nuclear Buttons. It was not that long ago that tensions between the United States and North Korea flared to the point where threats of nuclear strikes were made publicly. Fortunately, the rhetoric has cooled off for now, but this arguably was the closest the world had come to nuclear war since the Cuban Missile Crisis. On Tues., Nov. 10 at 6:00 pm, the World Affairs Council of New Hampshire will kick-off the first night of Fall Forum 2020 by hosting a virtual discussion on presidential power and nuclear weapons policy.

Former Secretary of Defense William Perry and Tom Collina, Ploughshare Fund’s policy director, will discuss the dangers of nuclear war and proliferation, the necessity for robust international legal frameworks governing nuclear weapons, and why the United States should reconsider vesting the sole power to launch a nuclear strike in the President alone. With so many hot-button issues around the world and a failing non-proliferation regime, this discussion will provide vital insights into why Americans need to be aware of the danger nuclear weapons pose.

“The outcome of the upcoming Presidential election will be crucial in deciding the future direction of U.S. global leadership,” said Tim Horgan, WACNH Executive Director. “The Council is committed to bringing insightful programs to help the public better understand issues such as the threat of nuclear war. Only one non-proliferation treaty still stands between the US and Russia and understanding the new Administration’s views on nuclear weapons will be important to understand.”

With the New START Treaty set to expire in February 2021, the next Administration will be quickly challenged on their nuclear vision for the future. A five-year extension would continue to build confidence in a non-proliferation regime and create the basis for future discussions between Russia and the US. In addition, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons will be coming into force on January 22, providing further restrictions on the production and use of nuclear weapons. A broad understanding of the challenges and advantages of non-proliferation will be important for Americans to grasp.

Fall Forum 2020 is a 2-part fundraising event by the World Affairs Council of New Hampshire, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to exploring critical international issues and promoting greater understanding of the world. Fall Forum continues on Weds., Dec. 2 at 6:00 pm and will feature Former Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel, who will speak on the future of America’s global leadership. Tickets are available for one or both events. For more information and ticket prices, please visit:

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