A Discussion On The Future of Nuclear Weapons And The Next Great War

A static display of intercontinental ballistic missiles at the F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyo., front gate the evening of April 4, 2012. From left are the Peacekeeper, the Minuteman III and the Minuteman I. The planet Venus is visible in the sky above the Minuteman missiles and Jupiter is visible to the left of the Minuteman I. (U.S. Air Force photo by R.J. Oriez)

Bloomberg: The Future of Nuclear Weapons and the Next Great War

A Q&A with Elbridge Colby about how the U.S. prepares for the global conflicts of 2070 and beyond.

I spend a great deal of my life thinking about nuclear weapons. You can imagine I'm murder at a cocktail party. As the Cold War faded, and the possibility of a nuclear holocaust with it, people like me were considered yesterday’s news. Now, as the world enters a renewed era of great-power competition, I like to think we were simply prescient.

If so, there was a whole lot of prescience on display at the Council on Foreign Relations last month at an event aptly titled “Do Nuclear Weapons Matter?” It featured a lively and intelligent debate between Nina Tannenwald of Brown University and Elbridge Colby, director of the defense program at the Center for a New American Security. She took the “no” side and he took the “yes.” While I like to maintain a journalistic objectivity, there may be a clue to my bias in that I decided to interview him.

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WNU Editor: I am one of those who always finds it hard to believe that people are actually thinking of wars 50 years from now and beyond.

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