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Welcome to this issue of NATIONAL SECURITY SCIENCE The world remains a dangerous and unstable place. Russia is loudly rattling its conventional and nuclear sabers. North Korea appears to be striving to build its own nuclear- armed intercontinental ballistic missiles. Every declared nuclear-armed nation is increasing and/or modernizing its nuclear stockpile. More nations are debating whether to acquire their own nuclear weapons. The continuing need for the U.S. nuclear deterrent grows in direct proportion to these growing threats to U.S. national security and to the security of its allies. But the nuclear deterrent faces a challenge. The United States used to regularly shake the earth testing its nuclear weapons. These weren’t just tests, of course—they were also demonstrations for U.S. adversaries and allies alike that U.S. nuclear weapons packed a seismic punch. We have not sent that awe-inspiring message in 23 years. Since the last U.S. nuclear test in 1992, the world’s population has grown by two billion people. These generations were born after U.S. nuclear testing ceased and probably have never even seen a photograph of a test. (See “Atomic Photography—Blasts From the Past,” page 16.) So, while the importance of the U.S. nuclear deterrent is more relevant now than ever, the nation does not overtly demonstrate to the world (or to itself), consistent with Presidents Bill Clinton’s and George W. Bush’s decisions to halt nuclear testing, that its aging nuclear weapons still work. The nation’s mightiest message is muted at this most dangerous moment. How then does the nation continue to convey to its adversaries and allies—and even to its own military—that two decades later its nuclear deterrent still packs its punch? The United States promises that its warheads are safe, are secure, and will work, based upon the expertise of the scientists and engineers at the Laboratory (and other nuclear weapons labs) Los Alamos National Laboratory