Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory

Delivering science and technology to protect our nation and promote world stability

Welcome to this Issue

An introduction by Craig Leasure - Principal Associate Director, Weapons Program (acting)
July 1, 2013
Welcome to this Issue

Craig Leasure

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You’ll find each of the personal perspectives presented in this issue eye-opening.

This issue presents three very personal and timely perspectives on current national security topics.

The first perspective regards the events leading up to the birth of the Stockpile Stewardship Program and follows with a personal assessment of the program’s current health. As seen by Joe Martz, a Los Alamos scientist who’s seen it all—from the bottom up—assessing the health of the U.S. nuclear deterrent requires assessing the state of all its critical details.

Our second perspective comes from Martin White, who—before he unexpectedly passed away—was the United Kingdom’s head of Strategic Technologies for its Ministry of Defense. The United Kingdom has ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty and therefore is unable to test its aging nuclear stockpile to see how safe, secure, and effective its weapons are. The United States also no longer tests, so the two countries face similar challenges to maintaining their nuclear deterrents. Martin White wrote to explain to our NSS readers what the United Kingdom is doing to maintain its nuclear deterrent and how its approach is similar to, and different from, what the United States is doing.

Our third perspective is from Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Judith Miller. She challenges us to reflect on the tension related to keeping our society free and democratic while also keeping it safe. What is our right to know—our need to know—and what protections should we afford members of the press, who keep us informed? As she writes, “[N]o democracy can survive for long without a free, independent, and occasionally irritating and even irresponsible press.”

I hope you’ll read and ponder each of the personal, thought-provokingperspectives presented in this issue. I believe you’ll find them eye-opening.


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