Nuclear Issues

611 Items

Los Alamos National Laboratory, National Security Science, July 2015

Los Alamos National Laboratory

Discussion Paper - Managing the Atom Project, Belfer Center

When Did (and Didn’t) States Proliferate?

| June 2017

In this Project on Managing the Atom Discussion Paper, Philipp C. Bleek chronicles nuclear weapons proliferation choices throughout the nuclear age. Since the late 1930s and early 1940s, some thirty-one countries are known to have at least explored the possibility of establishing a nuclear weapons program. Seventeen of those countries launched weapons programs, and ten acquired deliverable nuclear weapons.

The New Era of Counterforce: Technological Change and the Future of Nuclear Deterrence

AP/Wong Maye-E

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

The New Era of Counterforce: Technological Change and the Future of Nuclear Deterrence

    Authors:
  • Keir A. Lieber
  • Daryl Press
| Spring 2017

For decades, nuclear deterrence has depended on the impossibility of a first strike destroying a country’s nuclear arsenal. Technological advances, however, are undermining states’ abilities to hide and protect their nuclear arsenals. These developments help explain why nuclear-armed states have continued to engage in security competition: nuclear deterrence is neither automatic nor permanent. Thus, the United States should enhance its counterforce capabilities and avoid reducing its nuclear arsenal.

MIssile

Kelly Michals

Journal Article - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

The political and military vulnerability of America’s land-based nuclear missiles

| Apr. 18, 2017

The current plan for US nuclear modernization would replace the nation’s aging Minuteman III missiles with next-generation missiles known as the Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent, at a cost of $100 billion or more. As part of the agreement that resulted in the Senate’s approval of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty nuclear agreement with the Russian Federation, the Obama administration agreed to a nuclear modernization plan that includes retaining and upgrading the nation’s intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs). 

IAEA Imagebank

IAEA Imagebank

Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Policy

Cutting Funding to the IAEA Is a Horrible Idea

| Mar. 27, 2017

It’s not hard to start an argument these days in Washington. President Donald Trump’s newly released budget will surely spark thousands of them, as analysts, partisans, Big Bird, and eventually members of Congress debate both sides of every issue. But there are some things to which most reasonable people can and should agree. Chief among these is that the United States has a long-standing and continuing interest in preventing countries and terrorists from building nuclear weapons. Unfortunately, the only way to interpret Trump’s proposed budget cuts for the State Department and the international programs they fund is that he couldn’t care less.

Wearing traditional Kazakh costumes on the shoulders, from left, U.S. astronaut Michael Hopkins and Russia's cosmonauts Oleg Kotov and Sergey Ryazansky attend a press conference in Karaganda, Kazakhstan, Tuesday, March 11, 2014, shortly after their landing aboard Soyuz TMA-10M capsule. Hopkins together with the two Russia's cosmonauts landed safely in the Kazakh steppe aboard a Russian Soyuz capsule after a stay of over five months aboard the International Space Station. (AP Photo/Vasily Maximov, pool)

AP Photo/Vasily Maximov, pool

Analysis & Opinions - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

US-Russian space cooperation: a model for nuclear security

| Mar. 07, 2017

This interdependence between the US and Russian space programs persists even though the two countries are now living through what some pundits describe as a new Cold War. There was a time not so long ago, however, when the two nations viewed space solely as an area of strategic competition. The steps that Washington and Moscow took to transform their space rivalry into cooperation can serve today as a model for working together to help prevent nuclear terrorism, no matter how strained relations may seem.

President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

AP

Analysis & Opinions - The Fletcher Forum of World Affairs

How Trump Can Strengthen the U.S.-Japan Alliance

| Feb. 17, 2017

Last week’s meeting between President Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe went surprisingly well, but if this summit is the baseline test of Mr. Trump’s capacity to handle foreign policy and national security challenges, then the bar may be set too low, because rising tensions in East Asia will almost surely test the administration in the future.

In this picture released by an official website of the office of the Iranian supreme leader, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei stands as air force commanders salute during their meeting in Tehran, Iran, Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017. Iran's supreme leader said Tuesday that "newcomer" President Donald Trump had shown the "real face" of the United States, after the American leader accused Iran of being ungrateful for sanctions relief approved by the Obama administration and vowed a tougher stance. Verses from the

Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP

Analysis & Opinions - The Washington Post

Trump should look before he leaps on Iran

| Feb. 08, 2017

By putting Iran "on notice” for its aggressive behavior, President Trump has taken aim at a country that’s opposed by many U.S. allies. Iran is a convenient enemy for Trump. Israel and the Gulf Arab states share the administration’s antipathy toward Iran, and the regime’s hard-liners gave Trump a pretext with a ballistic missile test last weekend that arguably violated a U.N. Security Council resolution. But he has begun this confrontation without much preparation or strategic planning, continuing the haphazard pattern of his first two weeks in office.

Rouhani

Russia President

Blog Post - Iran Matters

A Possible Trump Administration’s Iran Policy: Constraints and Options

    Author:
  • Ephraim Kam
| Jan. 20, 2017

A key foreign affairs issue for the Trump administration will be its policy on Iran, as was the case also for the Obama administration. But we have no idea what approach it will take, an uncertainty amplified by the fact that Trump has no experience whatsoever in foreign policy, and no idea whose input he will accept in shaping it. It’s not as if we have no information about his attitude – during the election campaign, Trump made his intention on Iran very clear – but, as with other topics, it is unclear how he will act when once he is forced to translate his intentions into action and realizes that reality is far more complicated than he imagined.

A model of the Capitol Building is displayed on a giant planning map during a media tour highlighting inaugural preparations Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2016, at the DC Armory in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Policy Brief - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

A Conservative’s Prescriptive Policy Checklist: U.S. Foreign Policies in the Next Four Years to Shape a New World Order

    Author:
  • Robert D. Blackwill
| Jan. 09, 2017

Based on the rigorous definition of vital U.S. national interests, this essay proposes a prescriptive checklist of U.S. policy steps that would strengthen the domestic base of American external actions; reinforce the U.S. alliance systems in Asia and Europe; meet the Chinese and Russian challenges, while improving the quality of diplomatic exchanges with Beijing and Moscow; reshape U.S. trade policy; gradually pivot from the Middle East to Asia (but not from Europe); maintain the nuclear agreement with Iran; and confront international terrorism more aggressively, but with minimal U.S. boots on the ground in ungoverned areas and without nation building.