Press the Button

Press the Button

An engaging podcast on nuclear policy and national security, Press the Button is co-hosted by defense experts Michelle Dover and Tom Collina of Ploughshares Fund, a global security foundation. This weekly podcast features top officials and experts discussing the latest developments on Iran, North Korea, nuclear weapons, military budgets and foreign policy. Press the Button offers diverse views on one of the most important issues of our time: preventing nuclear war. Have a question about nuclear issues that you’d like to hear answered on the podcast? Email us at pressthebutton@ploughshares.org.

Episodes

May 4, 2021 28 min

Dr. David Kang, director of the Korean Studies Institute and Maria Crutcher Professor of International Relations at University of Southern California, joins Press the Button for a discussion on how the Biden administration should approach North Korea in the wake of decades of failed policy from previous administrations and how hawkish views on China in the US government have led to increased violence against Asian Americans. A spec...

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Elizabeth Becker, journalist, author and former war correspondent for the Washington Post in Cambodia, joins Press the Button to discuss how three women journalists covering the Vietnam War changed the way the news media reports on war. Becker is the author of You Don't Belong Here: How Three Women Rewrote the Story of War. Early Warning features Allen Hester of Physicians for Social Responsibility and Diana Ohlbaum of Friends ...

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April 20, 2021 33 min

Kelsey Davenport of the Arms Control Association joins Press the Button to discuss Iran's plans to enrich uranium up to 60% following an attack on its Natanz nuclear facility, and what that means for efforts to save the Iran nuclear agreement. Early Warning features Adam Weinstein of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft on the implications of President Biden's decision to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan nearl...

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April 13, 2021 30 min

Suzanne DiMaggio, senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, joins Press the Button to discuss the recent talks between the United States and Iran, and what needs to happen for the Biden administration to keep diplomacy alive. Early Warning features Emma Claire Foley of Global Zero and our senior program officer/nuclear field coordinator John Carl Baker on efforts to cancel funding for new nuclear weapons and ...

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April 6, 2021 41 min

Skye Fitzgerald, director of the Oscar-nominated documentary Hunger Ward, speaks with Ploughshares Fund board member and actor Farshad Farahat on how the ongoing war in Yemen has caused a mass famine, labeled by the United Nations as "the worst humanitarian crisis in the world." Early Warning features Mary Kaszynski of VoteVets and Kate Kizer of Win Without War on what to expect from the planned talks between the United Sta...

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March 30, 2021 42 min

Matt Korda, research associate at the Federation of American Scientists, joins Press the Button to examine the flawed thinking behind the proposed Ground Based Strategic Deterrent program, a new nuclear missile force set to replace the United States' arsenal of intercontinental ballistic missiles. Early Warning features Donna Farvard of the National Iranian American Council discussing the lack of movement on the United States a...

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March 23, 2021 40 min

Mana Kharrazi, rapid response campaign director for MoveOn, joins Press the Button to discuss her work leading Iranian Alliances Across Borders during its legal battle against the Muslim Ban, the recent attacks against Asian Americans, and how organizing young people will play a role in efforts to restore diplomacy with Iran. Early Warning features Sebastian Brixey-Williams of British American Security Information Council (BASIC) o...

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March 16, 2021 44 min

Cynthia Lazaroff, award-winning documentary filmmaker and founder of NuclearWakeUpCall.Earth, joins Press the Button to discuss her experiences in Hawaii during the 2018 Hawaii false missile alert, and how the incident underscores the need to ultimately eliminate nuclear weapons. Early Warning features Mary Kaszynski of VoteVets and Gayatri Patel of CARE on the lack of progress made toward reentering the Iran nuclear agreement, and...

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March 9, 2021 46 min

The 100th episode of Press the Button features a special interview with Ploughshares Fund president Emma Belcher and Joe Cirincione, distinguished fellow at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft and former Ploughshares Fund president. They discuss the history behind the podcast and the challenges ahead for the nuclear field. Early Warning features Dr. Alex Stark of New America and Aria Grabowski of the International Cente...

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March 2, 2021 46 min

Michael Brenes, Associate Director of the Brady-Johnson Program in Grand Strategy and Lecturer in History at Yale University, joins Press the Button for a look at why the United States has such a large military budget compared to other countries, why there is overwhelming bipartisan support for massive military spending, and why the US relies on defense spending for jobs and growth. Early Warning features Leimamo Wase and Lilly Ada...

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February 23, 2021 41 min

Philip Taubman, consulting professor at Stanford University's Center for International Security and Cooperation and Ploughshares Fund board member, joins Press the Button to remember the late George Shultz, former Secretary of State under President Ronald Reagan and a prominent advocate for nuclear arms control. Early Warning features Kelsey Davenport of the Arms Control Association on a temporary agreement reached between Iran...

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February 16, 2021 30 min

Lisbeth Gronlund, research affiliate with the Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering at MIT, joins Press the Button to discuss why it's so dangerous that the US president has the sole authority to order the use of nuclear weapons, and how to avoid future situations where unhinged presidents have their finger on the button. Early Warning features our program officer/nuclear field coordinator John Carl Baker and Catherine ...

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February 12, 2021 23 min

A special episode of Press the Button features an exclusive interview with the filmmakers behind Nasrin, a documentary film about Iranian political prisoner Nasrin Sotoudeh. A prominent human rights lawyer and activist, Sotoudeh was arrested in June 2018 for representing women who were protesting Iran’s mandatory hijab law, and she was sentenced to 38 years in prison, plus 148 lashes. An Amnesty International petition calling for h...

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February 9, 2021 36 min

Dr. Vincent Intondi, professor of history at Montgomery College and author of the book African Americans Against the Bomb: Nuclear Weapons, Colonialism, and the Black Freedom Movement, joins Press the Button to discuss how the nuclear issue intersects with the fight for racial equality. Early Warning features Ploughshares Fund's deputy director of policy Mary Kaszynski and Matt Korda of the Federation of American Scientists dis...

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February 2, 2021 45 min

Bob Rosner and Sharon Squassoni of the Science and Security Board at the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists join Press the Button to discuss why the Doomsday Clock is still at 100 seconds to midnight, and what must happen before the time is moved backwards. Early Warning features Ploughshares Fund's deputy director of policy Mary Kaszynski on the appointment of Rob Malley as special US envoy for Iran, and the complexities behind...

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January 26, 2021 46 min

Drs. Katlyn Turner, Denia Djokic, and Aditi Verma are back on Press the Button to further explore systemic racism in the nuclear field, and how to begin rooting it out. They also discuss the production of their recently co-authored an article in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, titled "A Call for Anti-Racist Action and Accountability in the US Nuclear Community." Early Warning features Shannon Bugos of the Arms Contro...

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Terrell Jermaine Starr, nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council's Eurasia Center, senior reporter at The Root, and host of the podcast Black Diplomats, joins Press the Button for an in-depth discussion on how violence and racism's influence on US domestic policy also influences its foreign policy. Early Warning features Yasmeen Silva and Colleen Moore of Beyond the Bomb on efforts to enact No First Use nuclear pol...

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January 15, 2021 22 min

19th US Secretary of Defense William J. Perry joins a special bonus episode of Press the Button to discuss authority over America's nuclear arsenal in the final days of Donald Trump's presidency, and how there are no safeguards for preventing an unstable president from launching a nuclear strike before leaving office.

Co-host/Policy Director Tom Collina and Sec. Perry in the New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/...

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January 12, 2021 51 min

Dr. Herbert Lin, senior research scholar for cyber policy and security at the Center for International Security and Cooperation, joins Press the Button for a discussion on cyberattacks and their potential effects on nuclear weapons in the wake of the SolarWinds hack that targeted at least 18,000 government and private networks. Early Warning features Derek Johnson of Global Zero and Patrick Hiller of the Jubitz Family Foundation an...

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January 5, 2021 45 min

Drs. Katlyn Turner, Denia Djokic, and Aditi Verma join Press the Button for an in-depth discussion on how systemic racism in the nuclear field is produced and sustained, and what needs to happen in order to begin combating it. Drs. Turner, Djokic, and Verma recently co-authored an article in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists titled "A Call for Anti-Racist Action and Accountability in the US Nuclear Community." Early War...

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