When it comes to communication and engagement, every issue has its own unique set of opportunities and obstacles.

National Security and Nuclear Weapons Proliferation

The Problem

Americans tend to believe that the world is a dangerous place, and they process information about national and global security through that lens. When they hear that we should “give up” some or all of our nuclear weapons, the initial emotional response is fear and rejection. It strikes people as foolish and irresponsible to set down our most powerful weapon and deterrent. From this view, advocates of nuclear disarmament appear dangerously naïve.

The Solution

Nuclear weapons themselves need to be carefully reframed as a problem rather than a solution. They are a liability to us and make the world a more dangerous place rather than more secure. Nuclear weapons are poorly designed for the threats that we actually worry about – including terrorism, and nuclear proliferation.  And if one is used, everyone loses. Once nuclear weapons are framed as a problem, it suddenly makes sense to reduce or eliminate these liabilities from our arsenal.

The Topos focus on cognitive and psychological aspects of communication has been especially important for national security and nuclear non-proliferation issues. Our clients have included, U.S. in the World, the National Security Network, and the Union of Concerned Scientists.