The fundamental problem is not that Trump has access to the nuclear launch codes, but that they exist at all.

Valerie Plame

Valerie Plame

Profession: Writer
Nationality: American

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My CIA colleagues were smart, dedicated, funny, and creative. Yes, there was sometimes stifling bureaucracy, boredom, colleagues who never should have been there, and later, deeply disturbing stories of the CIA's involvement in torture. Still, I got to do work I thought was incredibly important and, many times, had fun doing it.

So many times, genuine health workers and genuine NGO folks are really just trying to help other humans in whatever capacity they can. But they are perceived as being CIA, and therefore, it blocks their effectiveness.

There's no way you can possibly intellectually justify, 'Well, it's okay for the Western Judeo-Christian countries to have nuclear weapons, but not for a country like Iran.' That logic goes nowhere fast.

We've made some good beginnings with the New START Treaty, but a lot more can be done.

The truth is, as long as nuclear weapons exist, we are not safe.

I think feeling bitter or angry is really useless.

When an issue is so fraught with partisanship, a special counsel provides some modicum of transparency and accountability rather the the veil of politics.

I find it really hard to relate to the Bond women or Angelina Jolie in 'Salt.' And of course it's informed by my experiences and the people I've met along the way and the places I've been.

From a counter-intelligence viewpoint, the OPM breach is really scary - but if we continue to see the erosion of purely commercial enterprises, where people lose confidence, the economy falters.

I think, honestly, my largest concern, there are a lot of unbalanced people out there, and all of a sudden, I'm the CIA poster girl, and our home in Washington, the front door was about 20 feet from the street. I went to the agency at a certain point and asked for security on a residence.

Regarding Wikileaks, I have profound ambivalent feelings about it. I am a firm believer in a strong intelligence service. There's a need for classified information.

The Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, which in 1996 set out to ban nuclear tests, is an important step, but we need to do more - and we can.

Over the years, from serving in the CIA to sitting on non-profit boards, I have observed first-hand what the addition of even one woman to a meeting or to a decision-making body can do. Put simply, in very many instances, group dynamics improve markedly.

When President Ronald Reagan negotiated some significant arms reduction deals with the then-Soviet Union, he was considered a real hero, someone who was advocating for peace.