As an extension of the PONI Debates the Issues (PDI) blog, PONI periodically hosts live debates on urgent or otherwise controversial nuclear issues and policies. The debate format permits a more dynamic, free-flowing exchange of ideas than what typically transpires during moderated panel discussions, lectures, and presentations, resulting in an enriched yet focused examination of critical issues. The objective is not to determine winners and losers or to establish the right way to solve a problem, but rather to explore a topic in a manner that elucidates underlying assumptions about the issue at-hand and identifies specific points of agreement and departure. A thorough understanding of the information and assumptions that inform divergent viewpoints on nuclear issues can ultimately lead to better approaches and policy options.

Debate 1 - The Reliable Replacement Warhead. Clark Murdock, Senior Advisor, CSIS vs. Joseph Cirincione, President, Ploughshares Fund. February 12, 2009.

Debate 2 - Global Zero. George Perkovich, Vice President of Studies, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace vs. J.D. Crouch, Deputy National Security Adviser and Assistant to President George W. Bush. April 13, 2009.

Debate 3 - The Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). Daryll Kimball, Executive Director, Arms Control Association vs. Stephen Rademaker, Senior Counsel, BGR Group, Inc. May 13, 2009.

Debate 4 - Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. Bruce Klingner, Senior Research Fellow, Heritage Foundation vs. Doug Bandow, Senior Fellow, CATO Institute. July 15, 2009.

Debate 5 - De-Alerting the U.S. and Russian Nuclear Arsenals. John Steinbrunner, Professor of Public Policy, University of Maryland vs. Walter Slocombe, Former Undersecretary of Defense for Policy. November 5, 2009.

Debate 6 - Nuclear ReductionsJohn Isaacs, Executive Director of the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation vs. Baker Spring, F.M. Kirby Research Fellow at the Heritage Foundation. February 16, 2010.

Debate 7 - The 2010 Nuclear Posture Review ReportThree-way Debate with Ivan Oelrich, Vice President for Strategic Security Programs at the Federation of American Scientists vs. Clark Murdock, PONI Director and Senior Adviser at CSIS vs. Doug Feith, Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute. April 22, 2010.

Debate 8 - U.S. Nuclear Declaratory Policy. Scott Sagan, Co-Director of the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University vs. Keith Payne, CEO and President of the National Institute for Public Policy. May 25, 2010.

Debate 9 - College National Champions Edition - Ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. Eric Lanning and Carly Wunderlich, Michigan State University vs. Ovais Inamullah and Stephen Weil, Emory University. June 10, 2010.

Debate 10 - Ratification of New START. Mort Halperin, Senior Advisor at the Open Society Institute vs. Paula DeSutter, former Assistant Secretary of State for Verification and Compliance. November 30, 2010.

Debate 11 - The Future of Bilateral Arms Control. Steve Pifer, Director of the Brookings Arms Control Initiative vs. Robert Joseph, Senior Scholar at the National Institute for Public Policy. June 29, 2011.

Debate 12 - Damage Limitation. Keir Lieber, an Associate Professor in the Security Studies Program at Georgetown University vs. James Acton, a Senior Associate in the Nuclear Policy Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. October 6, 2011. 

Debate 13 – Sanctioning Iran. Suzanne Maloney, Senior Fellow at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution vs. Michael Rubin, Resident Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. February 27, 2012.

Debate 14 - Striking Iran. Matthew Kroenig, Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and Assistant Professor of Government at Georgetown University vs. Colin Kahl, Senior Fellow, Center for a New American Security and Associate Professor in the at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service. March 12, 2012.

Debate 15 - U.S.-China Mutual Vulnerability. Linton Brooks, Nonresident Senior Advisor, Center for Strategic and International Studies, vs Keith Payne, CEO and President, National Institute for Public Policy. April 16, 2012.

Debate 16 - U.S. Non-Strategic Nuclear Weapons in Europe. Jon Wolfsthal, Deputy Director, Monterey Institute of International Studies vs. Kori Schake, Research Fellow, Hoover Institute. June 14, 2012.

Debate 17 - Unilateral Nuclear Arms Reductions. Hans Kirstensn, Director of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists vs. Stephen Rademaker, Principal at the Podesta Group and former Assistant Secretary of State. February 27, 2013.

Debate 18 - U.S. Policy toward North Korea. Michael O'Hanlon, Senior Fellow & Director of Research for the Foreign Policy program, the Brookings Institution vs. Doug Bandow, Senior Fellow, the Cato Institute. July 2, 2013.

Debate 19 - Global Zero. Ambassador Richard Burt, U.S. Chair of Global Zero and Managing Director at McLarty Associates, vs. Dr. Clark Murdock, Senior Adviser to the Defense and National Security Group and Director of the Project on Nuclear Issues, Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Debate 20 - Triad Modernization. Christopher Preble, Vice President for Defense and Foreign Policy Studies at the Cato Institute, vs. Elbridge Colby, Fellow at the Center for a New American Security. January 27, 2014.

Debate 21 - The Role of Tactical Nuclear Weapons in Responding to the Crisis in Crimea. Kingston Reif, Director of Nuclear Non-Proliferation at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation vs. Mr. Peter B. Doran, Director of Research at the Center for European Policy Analysis. May 19, 2014.

Debate 22 - U.S. No First Use. Walt Slocombe, former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy vs. Jack Mendelsohn, former Deputy Director of the Arms Control Association. September 10, 2014.

Debate 23 - If Failure in Iran, Then What? Dr. Matthew Kroenig, Associate Professor and International Relations Field Chair at Georgetown University vs. Dr. Ted Galen Carpenter, Senior Fellow in Defense and Foreign Policy Studies at the Cato Institute. March 25, 2015.