Nuclear Issues

3459 Items

President Trump speaking about Iran at the White House in October 2017 (White House Photo).

White House Photo

Analysis & Opinions - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Where Does Trump Get the Power to Reimpose Sanctions?

| Aug. 15, 2018

Last week, the Trump administration reimposed unilateral sanctions against Iran. This comes after the administration announced its intention to withdraw from the Iran deal in April, despite compelling reasons not to. Like most of America’s sanctions regimes, Trump’s order to reimpose sanctions rests on authority granted under a little-known and even less understood statute that gives the president sweeping authority to regulate certain aspects of international trade and commerce: the International Emergency Economic Powers Act.

People on paddleboats in Gorky Park in Moscow. July 12, 2018 (Marco Verch/Flickr).

Marco Verch/Flickr

Analysis & Opinions - The Hill

In Gorky Park, With Nuclear Worries

| Aug. 13, 2018

Today, both Russia and the United States are modernizing their nuclear forces to keep these threats robust for decades to come — though their forces’ total numbers are limited by treaties (thank goodness). The U.S. program is expected to cost $1.2 trillion over 30 years, and the Trump administration has added new, smaller nuclear weapons that critics warn might seem more usable should war come. Russia’s program includes entirely new types of strategic weapons, from an intercontinental torpedo designed to blow up U.S. coastal cities to a nuclear-powered and nuclear-armed cruise missile.

Russian officer prepares to distribute a food aid for local residents in the outskirts of Damascus

AP/Sergei Grits

Analysis & Opinions - The National Interest

In the Middle East the Russians Aren’t Coming: They Are Back

| Aug. 13, 2018

Chuck Freilich describes Russia's growing influence across the Middle East and North Africa, which includes conventional arms and nuclear reactor sales coupled with deft diplomacy. Vladimir Putin, he argues, is exploiting U.S. disengagement from the region to restore Russia to Great Power status.

U.S. President Donald Trump meets with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Sentosa Island, in Singapore, on June 12, 2018. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File

Analysis & Opinions - The New York Times

Once ‘No Longer a Nuclear Threat,’ North Korea Now in Standoff With U.S.

| Aug. 10, 2018

Two months after President Trump declared his summit meeting in Singapore with Kim Jong-un a complete success, North Korea has not yet even agreed to provide that list during private exchanges with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, according to American and South Korean officials familiar with the talks.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (Azharsofii/Wikimedia).

Azharsofii/Wikimedia

Journal Article - European Journal of International Security

Exploring the Use of 'Third Countries' in Proliferation Networks: The Case of Malaysia

| Aug. 10, 2018

‘Third countries’ are frequently exploited by those involved in networks to transfer proliferation-sensitive technologies, allowing procurement agents to obscure the end user or vendor located in the proliferating state, and to deceive industry, export licensing officials, and intelligence services. While ‘third countries’ frequently feature in illicit transactions, the academic literature exploring the roles played by entities in these jurisdictions is limited. Building on the sanctions busting literature, this article proposes a loose typology considering the ways in which third countries can be exploited by proliferation networks. The typology is illustrated using three cases involving entities based in Malaysia – A. Q. Khan’s nuclear black market network, and Iran and North Korea’s efforts to procure and market WMD-related and military goods. These cases are used to generate insights into proliferators’ selection of ‘third country’ hubs. The article argues that while exploitation of third countries by proliferation networks is a similar, but distinct phenomenon to trade-based sanctions busting, hubs of both activities share characteristics. Furthermore, the article argues that other factors beyond the lax regulatory environment, such as level of development, and personal connections, are often as important in driving the decisions of proliferation networks. The article concludes with implications for nonproliferation policy.

Trump Salman White House Meeting

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Analysis & Opinions - Al-Monitor

Why Iran isn't Concerned Over US plans for ‘Arab NATO’

| Aug. 09, 2018

Having been targeted indirectly by the “leading from behind” policy under President Obama, Iran is now faced with a more organized US effort under Trump to establish a regional setting — an "Arab NATO," the Middle East Strategic Alliance (MESA) — that is supposed to “push back” against Iran. Against this backdrop, however, Iran does not seem worried about US efforts to create MESA. In fact, Washington’s new anti-Iran campaign in the Middle East and beyond is interpreted as falling within the “milking logic” of the Trump administration.