Starting From The Beginning
Philip Reiner and Peter Hayes with Paul Davis
In this segment Paul Davis suggest that U.S. NC3 modernization “should place increased emphasis on assuring control, avoiding accidents, and avoiding ill-informed or unwise employment of nuclear weapons.” The segment conceptualizes desirable attributes of nuclear command, control, and communications. Much of what is ordinarily front and center in such discussions has been omitted within this report. In particular, Paul does not address the myriad of structural and technical issues associated with modernizing the system’s personnel, procedures, facilities, equipment, and communications. Instead, this report asks what core functionality should be demanded, and how those demands should differ from those of the Cold War. Doing so raises provocative issues of which readers, and practitioners, may disagree, but that point back to critical first-order questions that must be asked at the outset of reconstituting the aging NC3 architecture.
This podcast is accompanied by Paul Davis’s paper “What Do We Want From the Nuclear and Control System.”
The Fourth Leg is a series of podcasts focused on one of the most complex systems in the world today – nuclear command and control – and its increasingly complicated future. Within this series we go straight to the experts, across multiple sectors, to discuss the modernization of nuclear command and control systems.
Along with colleagues from the Nautilus Institute and the Preventive Defense Project, IST recently hosted over 50 international experts at Stanford University to anticipate technical challenges that will arise from the modernization of complex nuclear command and control systems. We aim to spotlight some of the vulnerabilities within a modernized NC3 system while furthering the conversation with this series.
Keep an eye on IST, as we will begin additional podcast series in the coming months focused on how to fix the internet, AI and global stability, and other critical tech and security issues- for now, we have so much more to talk about, so let’s get started.