Press the Button

Press the Button

An engaging podcast on nuclear policy and national security, Press the Button is co-hosted by defense experts Joe Cirincione and Michelle Dover 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.... Show More

Episodes

June 29, 2020 37 min

A special episode of Press the Button features outgoing co-host and Ploughshares Fund president Joe Cirincione's final appearance on the podcast (for now). He talks with co-host Michelle Dover on the state of the national security and nuclear policy field, and why he feels optimistic about the prospect of a safer, more secure world.

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Steve Benen, Emmy award-winning producer for The Rachel Maddow Show, joins Press the Button to discuss his new book, The Impostors: How Republicans Quit Governing and Seized American Politics, in which he argues that the GOP has become a "post-policy" party. Early Warning features Matt Korda of Federation of American Scientists and Luke Schleusener of Out in National Security on the landmark Supreme Court decision regarding...

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June 15, 2020 45 min

Ambassador Bonnie Jenkins, founder and president of the Women of Color Advancing Peace, Security and Conflict Transformation (WCAPS), joins Press the Button for a discussion on her work and why the current moment of protest and awareness sweeping the country only underscores the need for systemic change. Ambassador Jenkins recently joined the Ploughshares Fund board of directors. Early Warning features Camille Stewart of New Americ...

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June 8, 2020 48 min

David Corn, chief of the Washington bureau for Mother Jones and MSNBC contributor, joins Press the Button for an in-depth look at the four big crises facing the United States at this time: the COVID-19 pandemic, economic collapse, corrupt government, and police violence. Early Warning features our Roger L. Hale fellow Akshai Vikram and Neda Shaheen of Women of Color Advancing Peace & Security on the nationwide protests against ...

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June 2, 2020 56 min

Michelle Thaller, astronomer and research scientist at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, joins Press the Button to discuss the science behind nuclear weapons, and what exactly makes them so dangerous. Early Warning discusses recent revelations that the Trump administration considered resuming US nuclear testing, which has not occurred since 1992. In the Silo features our senior program officer Cara Wagner on the Consensual Stra...

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May 25, 2020 42 min

Jeremy Ben-Ami, president of J Street, joins Press the Button for an in-depth look at the failure of the Trump administration's Iran policy, and how progressives can organize to implement a new national security strategy. Early Warning features Moritz Kütt of the University of Hamburg and Jack Brosnan of the Nuclear Threat Initiative discussing the fate and importance of the Open Skies Treaty, and the progress made by the Gende...

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May 18, 2020 47 min

David Rothkopf, professor of international relations, political scientist and journalist, provides a sobering assessment on the decline of American power in the face of three crises: the COVID-19 pandemic, economic collapse, and government corruption. Early Warning features Laicie Heeley of Inkstick Media and our senior program officer/nuclear field coordinator John Carl Baker on the urgent need to rethink US national security. Joe...

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May 11, 2020 44 min

Leilani Münter, former professional stock car racing driver and environmental activist, joins Press the Button to discuss the intersection of environmental and national security priorities, and how human activity has initiated a mass extinction of species. Early Warning features our deputy director of policy Mary Kaszynski and Harry Kazianis of the Center for the National Interest on US-North Korea relations in the midst of Kim Jon...

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Rep. Ro Khanna, US Representative for California's 17th district, returns to Press the Button for an exclusive look at his efforts to redirect Pentagon spending toward efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. High on his list of possible cuts are the massive increases for new nuclear weapons proposed by President Donald Trump, including a freeze on the new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). Early Warning features Alexand...

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Krish O'Mara Vignarajah, president and CEO of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS), joins Press the Button to discuss the intersection of immigration and national security, and how the work of LIRS makes us safer. Early Warning features our deputy policy director Mary Kaszynski and Daryl Kimball of the Arms Control Association on the veracity of reports that Russia and China have conducted nuclear tests, and the late...

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April 20, 2020 40 min

Rahna Epting, executive director of MoveOn, joins Press the Button for an exclusive look at how MoveOn is organizing during the COVID-19 pandemic, and how national security issues fit in with MoveOn's domestic priorities. Early Warning features our policy director Tom Collina and Catherine Killough of Women Cross DMZ to discuss the recent elections in South Korea and the latest updates on the $85 billion ICBM program. Joe answe...

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It's our birthday! For the 1-year anniversary of Press the Button, US Representative Jamie Raskin (D-MD) joins us for a discussion on economic relief in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and what needs to be done to repair the holes in our social contract. Early Warning features Alexandra Bell of the Center for Arms Control & Non-Proliferation and our Roger L. Hale fellow Akshai Vikram discussing US plans to withdraw from t...

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Ariane Tabatabai, Middle East expert and adjunct senior research fellow at Columbia University, joins Press the Button for a discussion on how the COVID-19 pandemic is hitting Iran hard, and growing calls for the United States to pause or ease sanctions to allow Iran to deal with the pandemic. A special Early Warning features co-hosts Joe Cirincione and Michelle Dover on how COVID-19 will permanently change the United States' a...

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March 30, 2020 35 min

Liz Watson, executive director of the Congressional Progressive Caucus Center, joins Press the Button to discuss her organization's work to lobby for key progressive measures in the $2 trillion stimulus bill recently passed by Congress in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Early Warning features our director of policy Tom Collina, senior program officer John Carl Baker, and Cecili Thompson-Williams of Beyond the Bomb discussing...

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March 23, 2020 43 min

Gretchen Hund, former Director of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory’s (PNNL) Center for Global Security and current Ploughshares Fund board member, joins Press the Button to discuss the environmental impact of nuclear technology and nuclear weapons. Early Warning features Ploughshares Fund's deputy director of policy Mary Kaszynski and Wendy Jordan of Taxpayers for Common Sense discussing Congress's failure to agree to ...

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March 16, 2020 42 min

Caroline Dorminey and Corey Greer from Women's Action for New Directions (WAND) join Press the Button for a discussion on the political and financial context of the Pentagon's latest budget, as well as how WAND's grassroots efforts are sparking a new wave of public interest in nuclear issues. A special In the Silo segment looks into the grassroots movement behind No First Use policy, featuring Women Legislators' Lob...

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March 9, 2020 41 min

Pam Hamamoto, former ambassador to the UN in Geneva under President Barack Obama, joins Press the Button for an exclusive interview on her experiences leading the US’s largest overseas multilateral diplomatic post, and her current leadership of the Women's Initiative $1 Million Campaign at Ploughshares Fund. Hamamoto co-founded International Gender Champions, a global network of leaders committed to promoting gender equality th...

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March 2, 2020 46 min

Jessica Mathews, former President of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, joins co-host Joe Cirincione for a wide-ranging conversation on how bipartisan consensus enabled an out-of-control US military spending spree that continues to this day. Early Warning features Ploughshares Fund Board Member Philip Taubman discussing the Open Skies Treaty and the state of arms control in the face of renewed nuclear modernization pro...

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February 24, 2020 39 min

Alexandra Bell, senior policy director at the Center for Arms Control & Non-Proliferation, joins co-host Joe Cirincione for a sobering assessment of the current moment in our nuclear history, and how to prevent the worst from happening during the Trump administration and beyond. Early Warning features our Roger L. Hale fellow Akshai Vikram and Catherine Killough of Women Cross DMZ assessing nuclear policy in the 2020 Democratic...

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February 17, 2020 45 min

The Trump administration's budget request for 2021 is out, and it calls for an eye-popping $75 billion in nuclear weapons spending. William Hartung of the Center for International Policy returns to Press the Button to discuss the exploding nuclear budget: why it's happening, what it means for spending on other things, and why it's so dangerous. Early Warning features our policy director Tom Collina and Erica Fein of Win...

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