Long-time activist: 'Excluding women' in the nuclear age 'has brought us to the brink of possible extinction'

Long-time activist: 'Excluding women' in the nuclear age 'has brought us to the brink of possible extinction'

Throughout the Cold War, many politicians in both the United States and the Soviet Union embraced the MAD theory — meaning they realized that if a nuclear war came about, there would be "mutually assured destruction." The Cold War ended in the early 1990s when the Soviet Union ceased to exist, but the world continues to be volatile and unstable. One of the activists who is sounding the alarm about nuclear weapons in 2021 is Cynthia Lazaroff, who is profiled in an article published by Forbes on September 21.

Forbes' Jackie Abramian notes that Lazaroff's ultimate goal is the elimination of all nuclear weapons, which she acknowledges is a "tall order."

"It's never going to go away until we eliminate the risk 100%," Lazaroff told Forbes. "I know eliminating nuclear weapons is a tall order. I have no illusions about the formidable obstacles, but we must act. We still have a chance to get this right."

The only nuclear attack in world history came about in August 1945 during World War II when President Harry Truman ordered the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Countless activists have pointed out that the nuclear weapons used against Japan in 1945 pale in comparison to the nuclear weapons that exist now.

Lazaroff, according to Abramian, "offers a Nuclear Playbook, a 10-step action program with critical recommendations for averting a nuclear catastrophe put forth by congressional leaders, arms control and security experts, and NGOs such as the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI), William J. Perry Project, Ploughshares Fund, Global Zero, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, Back from the Brink, among others."

Abramian notes that Lazaroff became an activist during the Cold War, founding the U.S.-USSR Youth Exchange Program in 1983. She also made "over 40 trips to Moscow and St. Petersburg during and after the fall of the Soviet Union" that "involved teaching English and American culture to Soviet youth."

Lazaroff told Forbes, "Part of my work is to decriminalize diplomacy with Russia, North Korea, Iran and China. It's omnicidal behavior not to talk to your nuclear adversary. You can't just obtain denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula without changing the relationship, without creating the conditions for peace."

According to Abramian, Lazaroff "advocates for a feminist foreign policy."

Lazaroff told Forbes, "Excluding women — half of the human race — for much of the nuclear age has brought us to the brink of possible extinction. We need dialogue over silence, engagement over isolation, cooperation and diplomacy over conflict and war."

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