Nuclear Issues

3985 Items

Iran's President-elect Masoud Pezeshkian greets his supporters

AP /Vahid Salemi

Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Affairs

Why Iran's New President Won't Change His Country

| July 16, 2024

Mohammad Tabaar's analysis posits that yet even if Khamenei gives Pezeshkian a relatively long leash, his government is unlikely to negotiate another ambitious nuclear agreement. It will, instead, look to ink a deal that could freeze or incrementally scale back Iran's nuclear advances, including by reducing the quality and quantity of the uranium Iran enriches, in exchange for sanctions relief. Such a transactional deal would have multiple advantages for Pezeshkian. Given Khamenei's support, Iran's conservatives would be less likely to sabotage that deal than they were the 2015 agreement. And it would be easy for Tehran to ramp up its program if the United States withdraws again, as occurred under President Donald Trump in 2018.

Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall sits in the front cockpit of an X-62A VISTA aircraft

AP/Damian Dovarganes

Journal Article - Australian Journal of International Affairs

AI and the Decision to Go to War: Future Risks and Opportunities

| June 07, 2024

This short article introduces our Special Issue on 'Anticipating the Future of War: AI, Automated Systems, and Resort-to-Force Decision Making'. The authors begin by stepping back and briefly commenting on the current military AI landscape. They then turn to the hitherto largely neglected prospect of AI-driven systems influencing state-level decision making on the resort to force.

In this photo released by Russian Defense Ministry Press Service on Tuesday, May 21, 2024, Russian troops load an Iskander missile as part of drills to train the military for using tactical nuclear weapons at an undisclosed location in Russia

Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP

Journal Article - International Security

When Actions Speak Louder Than Words: Adversary Perceptions of Nuclear No-First-Use Pledges

| Spring 2024

Would the world be safer if the United States pledged to never use nuclear weapons first? Supporters say a credible pledge would strengthen crisis stability, decrease hostility, and bolster nonproliferation and arms control. But reactions to no-first-use pledges by the Soviet Union, China, and India suggest that adversaries perceive pledges as credible only when the political relationship between a state and its adversary is already relatively benign, or when the state’s military has no ability to engage in nuclear first use against the adversary. 

In this 1945 file photo, an area around the Sangyo-Shorei-Kan (Trade Promotion Hall) in Hiroshima is laid waste after an atomic bomb exploded within 100 meters of here.

AP Photo, File

Journal Article - International Security

When Foreign Countries Push the Button

| Spring 2024

Is there a norm against using nuclear weapons? Many policymakers believe that allied countries would severely condemn a state’s nuclear use. But survey research in the United States and India finds high absolute support for nuclear use, and that the public supports nuclear attacks by allies and strategic partners as much as those by the public’s own government. 

People hold up posters of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi

AP/Vahid Salemi, File

Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Affairs

The Death of an Iranian Hard-Liner

| May 24, 2024

Mohammad Tabaar writes that former Iranian President Raisi will be remembered for putting the country on the right path after a series of presidents who challenged the supreme leader's vision. He will be memorialized for positioning Iran as a nuclear threshold state and establishing it as a rising power—and for doing so not despite external pressure, but because of it.

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Blog Post

Russian Wargame Practicing Tactical Nukes Use Is Warning to West

| May 22, 2024

The Russian defense ministry has just launched a multi-phase exercise near Ukraine meant to prepare its forces for using non-strategic nuclear weapons (NSNWs). In addition to the obvious purpose of preparing Russian troops to use tactical nuclear weapons in battle, the multi-stage exercise is also meant to signal to the West that it should refrain from escalating assistance to Ukraine, as well as to warn the U.S. and its allies that Russia may liberalize its conditions for using nuclear weapons. Finally, the exercise may be evidence that Russian President Vladimir Putin intends to retain Valery Gerasimov as head of the General Staff, at least for now.

A portrait of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi is placed at a makeshift memorial

AP/Alexander Zemlianichenko

Analysis & Opinions - Emissary

The Iran-Russia Friendship Won't Wither Under Raisi's Successor

| May 21, 2024

Nicole Grajewski describes former Iranian President Raisi’s hardline stance and his willingness to deepen ties with Russia as assets. Collaboration with a like-minded authoritarian with a bent for confronting the West proved particularly valuable after Russia invaded Ukraine.