B2 Bomber
B2 Bomber at Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii. Source: media.defense.gov

The seminar will be held at 221 Nassau Street, 2nd Floor, from 12:30 to 2:00 p.m.

You are welcome to bring your lunch. There is no need to RSVP.


While for some decades since the end of the Cold War debates about nuclear weapons policy receded in the public discourse, the debate has been renewed by a number of controversial steps by the Trump administration as well its challenging long-standing doctrines in the Nuclear Posture Review.

This seminar will present the findings of an in-depth survey of over 2,000 American voters exploring their response to these debates. These include:

  • How Americans view the general challenge to the value of arms control treaties, and more particularly whether the US should extend New Start, whether it should have withdrawn from the INF Treaty and whether it should continue abide by the moratorium on nuclear testing.
  • What level of nuclear forces the US needs, whether it needs new low yield weapons on submarines and what should be done about the aging ICBM force.
  • How voters respond to the Trump administration’s proposal to declare that the US would consider using nuclear weapons first and state what kinds of non-nuclear attacks would prompt the US to consider doing so.
  • The Congressional debate about whether to use nuclear weapons first the President would first have to consult Congress and have Congress declare war.

The survey used an innovative method in which respondents were first briefed on the issues and evaluated competing arguments (reviewed by opponents and proponents) before they provided their conclusions.

About the author: Steven Kull was the primary investigator of the survey and is the director of the Program for Public Consultation, a Senior Research Associate at the Center for International and Security Studies, both at the University of Maryland, and author of Minds at War: Nuclear Reality and the Inner Conflicts of Defense Policymakers.