Seventy-five years after nuclear weapons were first used, the threat of nuclear war still poses a grave threat to civilization. Carnegie Corporation of New York program officer Carl Robichaud discusses how 21st-century technological developments like cyber attacks and artificial intelligence have likely increased, rather than decreased, nuclear risks. Close calls, he argues, are not a fixable bug in the system but are instead inherent to nuclear deterrence.
Robichaud, who has devoted his career to nuclear security issues, also assesses options for reducing nuclear risk, such as a joint “no first use” pledge and an extension of the New START treaty. Speaking by video for a virtual conference for the U.K.-based Centre for Effective Altruism, Robichaud concludes, “Ultimately, the only way to reduce the risk of nuclear war to zero is to eliminate nuclear weapons.”