Global Security

We’ve worked to reduce the risk of nuclear war for more than fifty years.

Since its founding, nuclear weapons issues have been central to the mission of the Union of Concerned Scientists. The organization’s Global Security program includes leading physicists, analysts, political scientists, and advocates, working together to reduce the risk of nuclear use by changing US policy. Our work includes analyses of US missile defenses, new nuclear weapon systems, nuclear terrorism, and the risks posed by US nuclear policies.

In the 1960s and 70s, UCS shed light on the Nixon’s administration’s nuclear-tipped missile defense system and built support for the US-Soviet Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty limiting missile defense systems. In the 1980s, UCS sponsored teach-ins on the threat of nuclear war at 150 campuses, rallying 100,000 students and supporters. In the following years, the program demonstrated the vulnerability of the US missile defense system to countermeasures, helped stop the development of space-based missile defense interceptors and several new types of nuclear weapons, and built support for critical international agreements—including New START, the most recent and important US-Russian nuclear arms reduction treaty.

The program’s experts regularly appear in national media, testify before Congress, meet with policymakers, and organize the International Summer Symposium on Science and Global Security.

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