10 episodes

A podcast about the dangers we face from nuclear weapons, and the stories of those who are fighting to protect us.

At the Brink William J. Perry Project

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.8 • 178 Ratings

A podcast about the dangers we face from nuclear weapons, and the stories of those who are fighting to protect us.

    Seek Immediate Shelter: Nuclear False Alarms

    Seek Immediate Shelter: Nuclear False Alarms

    There is an urgent, specific danger facing our world today: nuclear weapons. In our first episode, producer and filmmaker Cynthia Lazaroff recounts the 40 minutes of terror she experienced during Hawaii’s nuclear missile false alarm in 2018. We also explore the history of nuclear false alarms with former Secretary of Defense Bill Perry, historian Taylor Downing, and writer Peter Anthony. Understanding why we are still at risk for these false alarms that could potentially trigger World War III is the first step in mediating the immediate risk and finding a new way forward.

    • 32 min
    The Biscuit and the Football: Presidential Nuclear Authority

    The Biscuit and the Football: Presidential Nuclear Authority

    Is there anything more quintessentially American that naming the briefcase that the President uses to authorize a nuclear attack, “the football”? The authority to single-handedly decide the fate of the world with a deadly weapon is possibly one of the most important responsibilities to understand about the President’s role. In this episode, we unpack the history of this power, how it came to be, and what it is like to carry the weight of that decision according to Bill Clinton. We further discuss the dangerous Cold War hangovers of sole presidential authority and the failure of the United States to commit to no first use of nuclear weapons with Congressmen and scientific experts.

    • 35 min
    Loose Nukes: A Nuclear Success Story

    Loose Nukes: A Nuclear Success Story

    Most Americans cheered when the Soviet Union broke apart into 15 independent countries in 1991, but a few had a sobering concern: the break-up created three new nuclear states overnight: Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan. They had no resources or infrastructure to deal with their inherited nuclear weapons and fissile material, and security was woefully inadequate. Listen to the remarkable story of how a group of dedicated individuals conceived and implemented the Nunn-Lugar program, which removed over 4,000 so-called “loose nukes” from these former Soviet states, securing the remaining weapons in Russia.

    • 43 min
    Modernizing Doomsday: The True Cost of Our Nuclear Arsenal

    Modernizing Doomsday: The True Cost of Our Nuclear Arsenal

    In January 2020, the Doomsday Clock was set at 100 seconds to midnight, telling us that the world is the closest to catastrophe it has ever been during the nuclear age. A big reason is that both the U.S. and Russia are embarking upon an unprecedented expansion of nuclear arsenals, which will cost American taxpayers upwards of two trillion dollars, under the misleading heading of “modernization.” Learn about what is being planned, and why it is decreasing our security, not enhancing it.

    • 44 min
    Project Sapphire: A Secret Mission to Thwart Nuclear Terrorism

    Project Sapphire: A Secret Mission to Thwart Nuclear Terrorism

    In 1994, Andy Weber was serving at the U.S. embassy in Kazakhstan when his auto mechanic asked if he wanted to buy some uranium. This was the beginning of a story straight out of spy novels, as the U.S. executed a complicated plan to smuggle out over 600 kg of bomb-grade uranium, to avoid its seizure by terrorists bent on creating their own nuclear weapon. We learn how devastating such a result would have been, and how Andy and the team at the Pentagon implemented this daring scheme to prevent such an outcome. We also hear from experts who are continuing the work today to lower the risk of nuclear terrorism.

    • 45 min
    The Iran Deal: Blocking a Persian Bomb

    The Iran Deal: Blocking a Persian Bomb

    Was the Iran nuclear deal really “the worst deal ever negotiated”, as Donald Trump claimed? We’ll hear from Ambassador Wendy Sherman, the lead U.S. negotiator, former Obama advisor Ben Rhodes, Iranian diplomat Seyed Mousavian, and others in U.S. politics and diplomacy who supported the deal, explain what the deal actually did, why Trump was wrong, and what might happen now that the United States has walked away from it.

    • 48 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
178 Ratings

178 Ratings

Helios Hyperion ,

Vaccine for Human Stupidity

This is the best podcast I’ve ever heard confirming undeniably how moronic Homo sapiens and the human race are…absolutely amazing content! Thank you!

Ahmad Ald ,

Very biased.

While I understand that the podcast is strongly against nuclear weapons, there is no voice for the opposite argument (only one sentence per episode, and is read by the narrator as to having someone with that position present their argument).

StrawbryAwbry ,

Great Education

Even as someone who works in this field and is familiar with many of the concepts discussed, I learn something from every episode. So grateful for the Perrys’ efforts in this fight and inspired to help where I can!

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