Press the Button

Press the Button

pressthebutton.libsyn.com/website
An engaging podcast on nuclear policy and national security, Press the Button is co-hosted by defense experts Joe Cirincione and Michelle Dover of Ploughshares Fund, a global security foundation. This weekly podcast features top officials and experts discussing the latest developments on Iran, North Korea, nuclear weapons, military budgets and foreign policy. Press the Button offers diverse views on one of the most important issues of our time: preventing nuclear war. Have a question about nuclear issues that you’d like to hear answered on the podcast? Email us at pressthebutton@ploughshares.org.


The Science of Nuclear Explosions
Jun 2 • 56 min
Michelle Thaller, astronomer and research scientist at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, joins Press the Button to discuss the science behind nuclear weapons, and what exactly makes them so dangerous. Early Warning discusses recent revelations that…
A New National Security Strategy
May 25 • 42 min
Jeremy Ben-Ami, president of J Street, joins Press the Button for an in-depth look at the failure of the Trump administration’s Iran policy, and how progressives can organize to implement a new national security strategy. Early Warning features Moritz…
The End of the World as We Know It
May 18 • 47 min
David Rothkopf, professor of international relations, political scientist and journalist, provides a sobering assessment on the decline of American power in the face of three crises: the COVID-19 pandemic, economic collapse, and government corruption.…
The Anthropocene Pandemic
May 11 • 44 min
Leilani Münter, former professional stock car racing driver and environmental activist, joins Press the Button to discuss the intersection of environmental and national security priorities, and how human activity has initiated a mass extinction of…
Masks Over Missiles: New Rules for Pentagon Funding
May 4 • 43 min
Rep. Ro Khanna returns to Press the Button for an exclusive look at his efforts to redirect Pentagon spending toward efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. High on his list of possible cuts are the massive increases for new nuclear weapons proposed by…
How Blocking Immigration Hurts US National Security
Apr 27 • 40 min
Krish O’Mara Vignarajah, president and CEO of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS), joins Press the Button to discuss the intersection of immigration and national security, and how the work of LIRS makes us safer. Early Warning features Mary…
Organizing in a Time of Pandemic
Apr 20 • 40 min
Rahna Epting, executive director of MoveOn, joins Press the Button for an exclusive look at how MoveOn is organizing during the COVID-19 pandemic, and how national security issues fit in with MoveOn’s domestic priorities. Early Warning features our policy…
Fixing the Holes in Our Social Contract
Apr 13 • 50 min
It’s our birthday! For the 1-year anniversary of Press the Button, US Representative Jamie Raskin (D-MD) joins us for a discussion on economic relief in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and what needs to be done to repair the holes in our social…
COVID-19, Iran and US National Security
Apr 6 • 44 min
Ariane Tabatabai, Middle East expert and adjunct senior research fellow at Columbia University, joins Press the Button for a discussion on how the COVID-19 pandemic is hitting Iran hard, and growing calls for the US to pause or ease sanctions to allow…
We’re All In This Together
Mar 30 • 35 min
Liz Watson, executive director of the Congressional Progressive Caucus Center, joins Press the Button to discuss her organization’s work to lobby for key progressive measures to be included in the $2 trillion stimulus bill recently passed by Congress in…
Muck, Suck, and Truck
Mar 23 • 43 min
Gretchen Hund, former Director of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory’s (PNNL) Center for Global Security and current Ploughshares Fund board member, joins Press the Button to discuss the environmental impact of nuclear technology and nuclear weapons.…
The WiLL to Win
Mar 16 • 42 min
Caroline Dorminey and Corey Greer from Women’s Action for New Directions (WAND) join Press the Button for a discussion on the political and financial context of the Pentagon’s latest budget, as well as how grassroots efforts are sparking a new wave of…
The Diplomat’s Big Win
Mar 9 • 41 min
Pam Hamamoto joins Press the Button for an exclusive interview on her experiences leading the US’s largest overseas multilateral diplomatic post, and her current leadership of the Women’s Initiative $1 Million Campaign at Ploughshares Fund. Hamamoto…
Ending the Military Spending Spree
Mar 2 • 46 min
Jessica Mathews, former President of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, joins co-host Joe Cirincione for a wide-ranging conversation on how bipartisan consensus enabled an out-of-control US military spending spree that continues to this day.…
Nuclear Insecurity
Feb 24 • 39 min
Alexandra Bell, senior policy director at the Center for Arms Control & Non-Proliferation, joins co-host Joe Cirincione for a sobering assessment of the current moment in our nuclear history, and how to prevent the worst from happening during the Trump…
Exploding Budgets
Feb 17 • 45 min
Trump’s new budget request calls for $75 billion in nuclear weapons spending. William Hartung returns to discuss the exploding nuclear budget: why it’s happening, what it means for spending on other things, and why it’s so dangerous. Early Warning…
Crafting a Feminist Foreign Policy
Feb 10 • 38 min
What does a feminist foreign policy look like, and what would it mean for nuclear policy? Joe Cirincione and Michelle Dover sit down for an in-depth interview with Lyric Thompson, the director of policy and advocacy at the International Center for…
All Good Things
Feb 3 • 27 min
In a special episode of Press The Button, we announce the planned retirement of Ploughshares Fund president Joe Cirincione. Cirincione’s career spans over four decades as a foreign policy analyst, national security staffer in Congress, and a frequent…
100 Seconds to Midnight
Jan 27 • 32 min
Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland, and Ban Ki-moon, former secretary-general of the UN, join Press the Button for a conversation on nuclear weapons and climate change. Robinson and Ban lead The Elders, a group of independent global leaders…
Breaking Down Breakout
Jan 20 • 38 min
How close is Iran to obtaining a nuclear weapon? Kelsey Davenport, director for nonproliferation policy at the Arms Control Association, joins Joe Cirincione and Michelle Dover to debunk a few myths surrounding Iran and the bomb, and what ‘breakout time’…
The One Reason to Have Nukes
Jan 13 • 47 min
Ivo Daalder, president of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and former ambassador to NATO, joins co-host Joe Cirincione for a discussion on how the next US president should think about nuclear weapons policy, and how the US can begin working toward a…
Special Feature: Bill Press Pod
Jan 8 • 31 min
Joe Cirincione hosts a special crossover episode with The Bill Press Pod, a long-running program hosted by political commentator Bill Press. They take a deep dive into the national security crisis with Iran, and what lies ahead in the wake of Qasem…
War Is Not A Spectator Sport
Jan 6 • 34 min
This week’s episode is dedicated to the spiraling national security crisis with Iran following the US killing of Qasem Soleimani. Stephen Miles, the executive director of Win Without War, sits down with co-hosts Michelle Dover and Joe Cirincione to…
The Nuclear Decade in Review
Dec 29, 2019 • 35 min
A special year-end episode of Press the Button features co-hosts Joe Cirincione and Michelle Dover looking back at major nuclear policy and national security events during the 2010s, and what we can look forward to in the new decade.
Can the NPT Survive?
Dec 23, 2019 • 44 min
Ambassador Susan Burk joins co-host Joe Cirincione for a discussion on the landmark Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Serving under President Barack Obama, Ambassador Burk was responsible for working with other states to strengthen the NPT. Early…
Madam Secretary
Dec 16, 2019 • 36 min
Madeleine Albright, Secretary of State under President Bill Clinton, joins co-host Joe Cirincione for an exclusive interview on global security, and how globalization and technological advancement exacerbate already serious dangers from nuclear weapons,…
Hollywood and the Bomb
Dec 9, 2019 • 39 min
Kate Folb, director of Hollywood, Health & Society (HH&S), joins co-host Joe Cirincione to discuss HH&S’s work linking screenwriters with the top experts on health, safety, and national security. Kate helped connect Joe with the producers of hit CBS…
Tough Lessons: Advice for the Next President
Dec 2, 2019 • 42 min
Jeffrey Lewis, expert in nuclear nonproliferation and geopolitics, joins co-host Joe Cirincione for a wide-ranging discussion on national security, presidential authority, and how the next occupant of the White House should tackle nuclear policy issues.…
Fuel to the Fire
Nov 25, 2019 • 43 min
John Glaser and Chris Preble of the Cato Institute join co-host Joe Cirincione for a discussion on the Trump Administration’s effect on US foreign policy. Glaser and Preble are co-authors of Fuel to the Fire: How Trump Made America’s Broken Foreign Policy…
The Gender Champions
Nov 18, 2019 • 38 min
Ambassador Laura Holgate joins co-host Michelle Dover to reflect on the one-year anniversary of Gender Champions in Nuclear Policy, a leadership network co-founded by Holgate and Dover that aims to break down gender barriers and promote gender equality in…
The Bomb Squad
Nov 11, 2019 • 35 min
Tristan Guyette and Colleen Moore of Beyond the Bomb discuss their experiences organizing a nationwide mass movement to prevent nuclear war in an exclusive interview with Joe Cirincione. Early Warning features Press the Button co-host Michelle Dover, Tom…
From A to Zia
Nov 4, 2019 • 36 min
Dr. Zia Mian joins co-host Michelle Dover for an in-depth discussion on the crisis in India and Pakistan, and whether the current nuclear order is worth saving. Dr. Mian is a physicist and co-director of the Program on Science and Global Security in the…
The Chairman’s Choice
Oct 28, 2019 • 30 min
Congressman Adam Smith (D-WA) presents an exclusive look at the future of US nuclear policy. He outlines the challenges that lie ahead for efforts to restart dialogue between the world’s nuclear powers, stop the production of new nuclear weapons, and…
Frontlines of Impeachment
Oct 21, 2019 • 36 min
Congressman Gerry Connolly (D-VA) gives us an insider view of the impeachment crisis and its impact on US foreign policy. Connolly serves on the Foreign Affairs and the Oversight Committees, both charged with the impeachment inquiry. Early Warning…
Turkey Troubles
Oct 14, 2019 • 39 min
Heather Hurlburt, director of the New Models of Policy Change project at New America’s Political Reform program, joins Michelle Dover for a discussion on US national security and foreign policy under President Donald Trump. She is the co-author of The…
The Nuclear Philanthropist
Oct 7, 2019 • 40 min
Emma Belcher, director of the Nuclear Challenges program at the MacArthur Foundation, joins Joe Cirincione for a discussion on the role that philanthropy plays in creating a safer, more secure world, and what the current arms race means for the fight…
The Impeachment Edition
Sep 30, 2019 • 37 min
Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) joins Joe Cirincione for a special interview on the impeachment inquiry against President Trump and the need to prevent a new war of choice in the Middle East. “In the Silo” provides an exclusive look at the August 6 protest in front…
Nobody Calls Me Chicken
Sep 23, 2019 • 39 min
John F. Tierney, former US Representative and current executive director of the Council for a Livable World and the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, joins Joe Cirincione to discuss his work on the National Defense Authorization Act, and…
War Hawk Down
Sep 16, 2019 • 47 min
A deep dive with into the firing of John Bolton, his record of failure, and how his core beliefs and worldview are deeply indicative of the way that Washington thinks about national security. Special Guest: Trita Parsi. “In The Silo” explores at Chain…
Hans Kristensen of the Federation of American Scientists in conversation with Joe Cirincione. Early Warning with Leon Ratz of the Nuclear Threat Initiative.
Sep 9, 2019 • 40 min
Hans Kristensen of the Federation of American Scientists joins Joe Cirincione to discuss Chinese and Russian nuclear modernization plans, and the state of nuclear arsenals around the world. Leon Ratz joins Early Warning to discuss Iran’s latest…
Barbara Slavin of the Atlantic Council speaks with Joe Cirincione. Early Warning with Ploughshares Fund Director of Policy Tom Collina.
Sep 2, 2019 • 45 min
Barbara Slavin, Director of the Future of Iran Initiative at the Atlantic Council, joins Joe Cirincione to discuss increasing tensions in the Middle East and the effects of Trump administration’s ‘maximum pressure’ campaign toward Iran. Michelle Dover…
Lynn Rusten of the Nuclear Threat Initiative in conversation with Joe Cirincione. Early Warning with Matt Korda of the Federation of American Scientists.
Aug 26, 2019 • 40 min
Lynn Rusten of the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI), sits down with Joe Cirincione to discuss the history of arms control between the United States and Russia, and how the Trump administration’s actions have put the New START treaty in danger. Michelle…
William Hartung of the Center for International Policy in conversation with Joe Cirincione. Early Warning with Jessica Lee of the Council of Korean Americans.
Aug 19, 2019 • 41 min
William Hartung, director of the Arms and Security Project at the Center for International Policy, sits down with Joe Cirincione to discuss the corporate connection to US arms sales abroad, and whether or not companies manufacturing weapons of war should…
Robert Malley, President & CEO of International Crisis Group, speaks with Joe Cirincione. Early Warning with Jessica Sleight of Global Zero.
Aug 12, 2019 • 40 min
Robert Malley sits down with Joe Cirincione to discuss the current situation in Iran, which he sees as a 21st century ‘Guns of August.’ Robert served in the Obama administration as Special Assistant to the President, Senior Adviser to the President for…
Remembering Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and Why We Need a ‘No First Use’ Policy
Aug 5, 2019 • 36 min
74 years after the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, a special episode of Press the Button analyzes the events and rationale that led to the only instances of nuclear weapons being used in combat. Joe Cirincione takes a deeper look at the…
Smriti Keshari, award-winning director and artist, speaks with Joe Cirincione. In the Silo explores Lovely Umayam’s arts collective Bombshelltoe.
Jul 29, 2019 • 35 min
Award-winning director and artist Smriti Keshari discusses ”the bomb,” a critically-acclaimed multimedia experience she directed and produced with Eric Schlosser. In The Silo explores Bombshelltoe, an interactive collection of images and narratives…
Alex Wellerstein, historian of science and creator of NUKEMAP, in discussion with Joe Cirincione.
Jul 22, 2019 • 42 min
Alex Wellerstein is a historian of science at the Stevens Institute of Technology and the creator of NUKEMAP. He joins Joe Cirincione for a special interview on the history of nuclear weapons, deterrence theory, and why we never really left the ‘first’…
Suzanne DiMaggio, Senior Fellow at Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, in conversation with Joe Cirincione.
Jul 15, 2019 • 37 min
Suzanne DiMaggio, Senior Fellow at Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, sits down with Joe Cirincione to discuss her view of the slow-building crisis in Iran, what Republicans and Democrats get wrong about North Korea, and her reasons for joining…
US Representative Anthony Brown interview; Early Warning with Mary Kaszynski and Catherine Killough
Jul 8, 2019 • 37 min
US Representative Anthony G. Brown sits down with Joe Cirincione to discuss his experiences in the US military, congressional efforts to prevent new wars, and what inspires him as an elected official. Michelle Dover hosts Early Warning with Mary Kaszynski…
Jon Wolfsthal, Director of the Nuclear Crisis Group and Former Special Assistant to President Obama, in conversation with Joe Cirincione.
Jul 1, 2019 • 44 min
Jon Wolfsthal, director of the Nuclear Crisis Group and former special assistant to President Obama, joins Joe Cirincione for a special in-depth interview. Jon discusses his experiences working on US nuclear policy as Senior Director for Arms Control and…
Daniel Ellsberg, writer, activist, and former US military analyst, joins Joe Cirincione in conversation.
Jun 24, 2019 • 38 min
Daniel Ellsberg, author, anti-war activist, and former US military analyst famous for releasing the Pentagon Papers in 1971, joins Joe Cirincione for a rare in-depth interview. Daniel discusses what he learned about US nuclear strategy during his time…
Ben Rhodes, former Deputy National Security Advisor and current Pod Save The World Co-Host, joins Joe Cirincione for a special in-depth conversation.
Jun 17, 2019 • 41 min
Ben Rhodes, former Deputy National Security Advisor to President Obama and current co-host of Pod Save The World, joins Joe Cirincione for a rare in-depth interview. Ben reflects on successes and setbacks of the Obama Administration’s nuclear policy and…
Donté Stallworth, NFL wide receiver-turned national security policy wonk joins Joe Cirincione in conversation.
Jun 10, 2019 • 43 min
Donté Stallworth, a retired NFL wide receiver who now dedicates his livelihood to exploring issues of national security joins Joe Cirincione for an in-depth conversation. They discuss US-Iran tensions, the Trump administration’s online attacks on private…
Eric Schlosser, investigative journalist and author of Command And Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety, in discussion with Joe Cirincione.
Jun 3, 2019 • 36 min
Eric Schlosser – an investigative journalist, author and filmmaker – examines strategies for saner nuclear policy, the fallibility of our nuclear command and control system and how deterrence works… until it doesn’t. Schlosser will be a guest speaker at…
Beatrice Fihn of Nobel Peace Prize-winning International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons in discussion with Joe Cirincione.
May 27, 2019 • 31 min
Beatrice Fihn of Nobel Peace Prize-winning International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) in discussion with Joe Cirincione. They explore the humanitarian narrative around nuclear weapons and the basic belief of why it shouldn’t be legal to wipe…
US Senator Chris Van Hollen interview; Early Warning with guest analyst Erica Fein, Advocacy Director of Win Without War.
May 20, 2019 • 37 min
Senator Chris Van Hollen sits down with Joe Cirincione to share his insights on the current crisis in Iran, the future of arms control and the dangerous fiction of winning “small nuclear wars.” Michelle Dover hosts Early Warning with guest analysis from…
Ambassador Wendy R. Sherman interview; Early Warning with guest analyst Kelsey Davenport, Director of Nonproliferation Policy at the Arms Control Association.
May 13, 2019 • 30 min
This episode is dedicated to the fast-developing twin crises in Iran and North Korea. Ambassador Wendy R. Sherman shares her thoughts on John Bolton’s campaign to provoke Iran. Kelsey Davenport, of the Arms Control Association, joins Early Warning as a…
Maggie Feldman-Piltch of #NatSecGirlSquad interview; In The Silo with Academy Award-winning actor Michael Douglas, Rep. Ted Lieu, Ben Rhodes, Yasmeen Silva and Kennette Benedict.
May 6, 2019 • 33 min
Maggie Feldman-Piltch of #NatSecGirlSquad on why diversity and inclusion are key elements of the national security discussion. Elizabeth Warner takes us behind the scenes for our #NukesOfHollywood panel with actor Michael Douglas, Ben Rhodes, Congressman…
Leah Greenberg, Indivisible co-founder and one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people of 2019 in discussion with Joe Cirincione.
Apr 29, 2019 • 32 min
Leah Greenberg, co-founder of Indivisible and one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people of 2019, discusses her journey from congressional staffer to community organizer. Greenberg talks about how the idea for a 2016 handbook ignited a progressive…
An interview with Ned Price, Director of Policy and Communications with National Security Action.
Apr 22, 2019 • 33 min
Ned Price, former spokesperson for President Obama’s National Security Council and current Director of Communications and Policy with National Security Action is our special guest. Price sits down with Joe Cirincione to discuss the importance of…
An interview with Dr. Carol Cohn. Setting of the Doomsday Clock with Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.
Apr 16, 2019 • 37 min
Joe Cirincione speaks with Dr. Carol Cohn, founding director of the Consortium on Gender, Security and Human Rights. Dr. Cohn explores the distinction between gendered ideas and gendered people – and how vulnerability is an inevitable part of the human…
Trailer
Apr 11, 2019 • 2 min
This trailer offers a sneak peek into Ploughshares Fund’s new podcast. Press the Button will offer the latest news, insider interviews and in-depth perspectives on issues related to nuclear policy and national security. Hosted by defense expert Joe…