How close are we to states giving up their nuclear weapons? Not very

13 December 2017

Executive Director Seán Ó hÉigeartaigh was quoted in a piece by Wired.

"There has been tremendous global progress on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation since the end of the Cold War, aided by the excellent work of ICAN and others," says Dr Seán Ó hÉigeartaigh, executive director of Cambridge University's Centre for the Study of Existential Risk (CSER).

"However, there still remain stockpiles of weaponry in state hands capable of creating nuclear devastation. Furthermore, the political rhetoric around willingness to use these weapons by several states is particularly brash and worrying."

CSER's Ó hÉigeartaigh observes that "researchers have raised concerns that nuclear weapons systems could be vulnerable to cyberattack, or that large-scale cyberattacks at particularly tense periods might result in escalation to a nuclear response. One worrying prospect is that a cyberattack could be carried out by a third party but attributed to the wrong state, leading to an escalation in conflict."

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