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CISSM Global Forum | Joan Rohlfing | “FailSafe” Nuclear Security: A New Paradigm for the 21st Century

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Nuclear Deterrence, the primary strategy for preventing the use of nuclear weapons over the last 70 years, has not kept pace with the myriad political and technological changes in the global security landscape. As a result, the practice of nuclear deterrence has increased the very dangers it was designed to reduce.  Henry Kissinger noted in his 2021 book “The Age of AI” (co-authored with Eric Schmidt and Daniel Huttenlocher) that “nuclear non-use is not an inherently permanent achievement.”  Each successive generation must improve on the incomplete and fragmentary strategy for managing nuclear weapons to ensure that the taboo of nuclear use remains intact.  What might a new nuclear security paradigm look like?  And how can a new generation build a safer, more durable future for humanity by investing in the intellectual innovation needed to replace the outdated nuclear strategy of nuclear deterrence?

About Our Speaker: 

Headshot of Joan Rohlfing

Joan Rohlfing is president and chief operating officer of the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI). Prior to joining NTI, Rohlfing held senior positions with the U.S. Department of Energy and worked in New Delhi as an advisor to the U.S. Ambassador to India, in the wake of nuclear tests in India and Pakistan. Earlier, she worked as a professional staff member of the House Armed Services Committee where she oversaw nuclear programs of the Department of Defense and the Department of Energy’s national security programs. Rohlfing began her career in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, where she was awarded a presidential management internship, and later worked in the Office of Strategic Forces Policy.

Rohlfing holds a master’s degree in public management and a bachelor’s degree in political science.

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