WWS Calendar

Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety

Audience: 
Open to the Public
Speaker(s): 
Eric Schlosser '81, award-winning investigative journalist; author, “Command and Control”
Sponsor: 

Co-sponsored with the Program on Science and Global Security

Eric Schlosser ’81, award-winning investigative journalist, playwright and author of The New York Times best-sellers “Fast Food Nation” and “Reefer Madness” will discuss his new book, “Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety,” at 4:30 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014, in Robertson Hall at the Woodrow Wilson School. A book sale and signing will follow the discussion. This event is co-sponsored with the Woodrow Wilson School’s Program on Science and Global Security.

“Command and Control,” details the management and gaffes of America’s nuclear arsenal. Through recently declassified documents and interviews, Schlosser reveals accounts of near misses, potential disasters, weaknesses and shortcomings within America’s nuclear command and control systems. Among the highlights, Schlosser exposes how the United States narrowly missed a nuclear holocaust on its soil. Here, the author provides a minute-by-minute account of efforts at a nuclear missile silo in Damascus, Arkansas, to prevent the explosion of a ballistic missile carrying the most powerful nuclear warhead ever built by the United States.

Schlosser maintains that thousands of nuclear missiles are hidden all over the world. "Every one of them is an accident waiting to happen, a potential act of mass murder. They are out there waiting, soulless and mechanical, sustained by our denial – and they work,” Schlosser said.