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Annie Jacobsen on Nuclear War – a Second by Second Timeline

April 5, 2024

Annie Jacobsen joins the podcast to lay out a second by second timeline for how nuclear war could happen. We also discuss time pressure, submarines, interceptor missiles, cyberattacks, and concentration of power. You can find more on Annie's work at

00:00 A scenario of nuclear war
06:56 Who would launch an attack?
13:50 Detecting nuclear attacks
19:37 The first critical seconds
29:42 Decisions under time pressure
34:27 Lessons from insiders
44:18 Submarines
51:06 How did we end up like this?
59:40 Interceptor missiles
1:11:25 Nuclear weapons and cyberattacks
1:17:35 Concentration of power


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