#8. Nuclear weapons
The human race continues to be seriously threatened by thousands of strategic nuclear weapons on hair-trigger alert. U.S. and Russian nuclear missiles can be launched in under four minutes, and have launch to landing times of 30 minutes or less. Today’s world has nine nuclear-armed states. About twenty additional states have the technology and know how to produce plutonium and make warheads. These countries are known as “virtual nuclear weapons states.” Above all the most urgent national security issue facing the United States is the possibility that a nuclear weapon might be used against this nation as an instrument of war or terror.