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Q: What are the implications of changes in science and technology? A: There are a lot of implications, and to help us understand them, we need a national resource such as Los Alamos or Livermore. The intelligence services pick up stuff on certain nuclear weapon designs from other countries. What do they mean for how, say, China or Pakistan thinks about its nuclear force? We need tremendous expertise to help us understand what other countries’ nuclear programs and strategies mean and how they interact with each other. And I want to have someone other than a political scientist tell me about the nuclear strategies of other countries. In the Cuban missile crisis, there was a universal belief in the U.S. political science community that the Soviet Union would never assign launch authority to a field commander. But we now know that they did just that. We know because we have the document, in Russian, that proves it. The consensus view was wrong about the Soviets’ command-and-control system. I would say that Los Alamos should start considering thought leadership on nuclear issues. In the 1940s that thought leadership was dominated by the greatest physicists of the 20th century. In the 1950s and 1960s it transitioned away from the physicists and moved to institutions like the Rand Corporation and the Hudson Institute. The leading think tank in the 1930s, the Council on Foreign Relations, was famous for having a global vision. It got us into Lend Lease and working with the allies before Pearl Harbor, but it played little role at the beginning of the Cold War because thought leadership had moved to these other institutions. I’m not saying that you should be the thought leadership. But I do think Los Alamos needs to construct the intellectual map of where the world is going, where the United States is going in terms of thought leadership, and where Los Alamos fits in. The days of putting your heads down and saying that you only do technology are over. I would have supported that position for the first 20 years after the Cold War. But those 20 years are over. You’re going to be called upon for advice. If I’m wrong—and Pakistan, China, and North Korea give up their nuclear weapons—then you can go ahead and do all the environmental studies you want. But I don’t think I’m wrong. I’m not particularly in favor of a new U.S. nuclear weapon design, but the level of conversation about nuclear weapons in this country is too low for anyone to even know what that design would look like—or why it might be needed. The debate will start, I feel certain, and you’re going to be called upon for your advice. You have to think about it now. If you wait until your advice is needed, it will be too late. On nuclear issues I think Los Alamos needs to construct the intellectual map of where the world is going, where the United States is going, and where Los Alamos fits in. 10 Los Alamos National Laboratory