Nuclear Issues

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Analysis & Opinions - PRI's The World

Nick Burns on PRI's The World: What you missed while Washington (and the media) were freaking out about the Comey hearings

| June 09, 2017

While Washington and the media were preoccupied with James Comey hearings and Donald Trump press conferences this week, what else was going on that we didn't hear about? Or, ought to be paying closer attention to? The World's Marco Werman talked to Nick Burns to find out. 

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.

Pixabay

Pixabay

Analysis & Opinions - The Diplomat

Watch Out for the Blowback of Secondary Sanctions on North Korea

| Apr. 28, 2017

While tensions continue to flare along the Korean peninsula, the Trump administration struggles to articulate its strategy to persuade North Korea to halt its nuclear program. In a recent visit to the de-militarized zone, Vice President Pence warned Pyongyang to not test America’s “strength and resolve,” citing recent U.S. military strikes in Syria and Afghanistan as a forewarning. A not-so-veiled threat that the Trump administration considers “all options” to be on the table. What is unknown, however, is whether this increased rhetoric is merely saber-rattling or is the opening salvo for a true shift from Obama’s doctrine of “strategic patience.” That is, continuing to apply political and economic pressure until Pyongyang returns to the negotiating table.

Pyongyang, North Korea, April 15, 2017.

Wong Maye-E/AP

Analysis & Opinions - Defense One

Scuttle the Iran Nuke Deal? That Approach Didn’t Stop North Korea

| Apr. 26, 2017

“The Trump administration is currently conducting across the entire government a review of our Iran policy,” U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson announced on April 19, adding that “an unchecked Iran has the potential to follow the same path as North Korea and take the world along with it.” Ironically, the Trump administration appears to be following the same path on Iran as George W. Bush did on North Korea. The result could be equally dangerous.

By undermining implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA — a viable, verified, and sound agreement that blocks Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons — President Trump risks removing the shackles from Tehran’s nuclear efforts. We’ve been down that road before; instead of preserving and strengthening the Agreed Framework with North Korea, Bush freed Pyongyang to keep working on nuclear weapons that could eventually reach American territory.

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.

Kim Jong-un

Zennie Abraham

Analysis & Opinions - Harvard Gazette

The worry over North Korea

| Apr. 19, 2017

Nuclear security analyst Gary Samore, A.M. ’78, Ph.D. ’84, is executive director for research at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs atHarvard Kennedy School. He shaped U.S. nuclear policy as White House coordinator for arms control and weapons of mass destruction during the first term of the Obama administration and was the U.S. emissary during the 2010 and 2012 nuclear security summits.

Samore spoke with The Gazette about the concern over North Korea’s nuclear test and the challenges the United States faces over the weapons program.