Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

'Getting to Zero' Plots Steps toward Nuclear Disarmament

May 2, 2011

President Obama’s steps toward nuclear disarmament have so far been “more expectable than revolutionary, but they do emphasize renewed American leadership,” according to a new book co-authored by Institute Senior Fellow Catherine Kelleher. Getting to Zero: The Path to Nuclear Disarmament (Stanford University Press, 2011) takes on the much-debated goal of nuclear zero – exploring the serious policy questions raised by nuclear disarmament and suggesting practical steps for the nuclear weapon states to take to achieve it. The book documents the successes and failures of six decades of attempts to control nuclear weapons proliferation and, within this context, asks the urgent questions that world leaders, politicians, non-government organizations, and scholars should address in the years ahead.

The book emerged from a series of conversations and exchanges that took place under the “Dialogue among Americans, Russians, and Europeans,” or DARE. Kelleher co-led the DARE project to gather groups of experts and policymakers from the three geographic areas to meet periodically over the past decade to assess issues of transformational significance and to explore the potential for trilateral cooperation.

Kelleher is herself a former Defense Department official and brings that inside view to bear, along with her research from the Watson Institute’s Nuclear Dilemmas in the 21st Century research project.