Nuclear Issues

79 Items

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Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP, File

Journal Article - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

'What About China?' and the Threat to US–Russian Nuclear Arms Control

| 2020

The administration of President Donald J. Trump has consistently used fear of China to undermine nearly five decades of bipartisan consensus on US–Russian nuclear arms control. The negative consequences of these actions may last far beyond the Trump presidency. If generations of agreement between Democrats and Republicans on bilateral nuclear treaties with Russia erode, it will pose a significant setback to US national security and global stability. Future leaders may ultimately need to consider new approaches to nuclear risk reduction that preserve the benefits of the arms control regime.

President Trump signs an Executive Order in Bedminster, New Jersey, entitled “Reimposing Certain Sanctions with Respect to Iran.”

Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead

Analysis & Opinions - Responsible Statecraft

The JCPOA at 5: How the U.S. squandered an unprecedented diplomatic opening with Iran

| July 19, 2020

Why are governments willing to invest more time in sanctions and war than they do in diplomacy? I pondered this question as the five-year anniversary of the signing of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or Iran nuclear deal, passed last week. What would relations between the United States and Iran look like had diplomacy been given its due, and the Iran deal honoured for longer?   

A satellite view of Shigatse, Tibet, home to the PLA’s 6th Border Defense Regiment, near the China-India border.

Maxar Technologies / CNES Airbus via Google, used with permission

Report - Managing the Atom Project, Belfer Center

The Strategic Postures of China and India: A Visual Guide

| March 2020

Fueled by aggressive rhetoric from both capitals, Indian and Chinese ground forces engaged in a standoff between June and August 2017. The Doklam crisis, as it became known, stimulated introspection among officials and experts in both states about the future of their relationship. Politically, both strategic communities largely concluded that the peaceful resolution of border disputes is now less likely, forecasting more rivalry than cooperation. Militarily, Indian discussions on the strength of its military position against China in their disputed ground frontier areas have converged on the view that China holds the conventional and nuclear edge over India in this domain.

Based on our analysis of data on the location and capabilities of Indian and Chinese strategic forces and related military units, we conclude that this assessment of the balance of forces may be mistaken and a poor guide for Indian security and procurement policies. We recommend that instead of investing in new nuclear weapons platforms that our analysis suggests are not likely to be required to deter China, New Delhi should improve the survivability of its existing forces and fill the gap in global arms control leadership with an initiative on restraint and transparency.

Roland Timerbaev.

University of California Irvine/Quest for Peace via YouTube

Analysis & Opinions - Arms Control Today

Roland Timerbaev (1927–2019), At the Vanguard of Nuclear Nonproliferation

| September 2019

From the 1950s, after a brief stint at the fledgling United Nations, Timerbaev was directly supporting Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko on nuclear weapons issues. (He remembered drafting the first Soviet proposal for a fissile material cutoff treaty in 1958.)  Preventing nuclear annihilation became his consuming, life-long passion. He retired from the Foreign Ministry just as the Soviet Union was collapsing, resigning as permanent representative to the international organizations in Vienna, including, of course, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Sahar Nowrouzzadeh: The Importance of Science in Negotiating and Policymaking

    Author:
  • Isha Marathe
| Fall/Winter 2018-2019

When it comes to U.S.-Iran relations, Iran’s nuclear program, and all of its implications, think tanks like the Belfer Center are at times of vital importance in assisting policymakers in conducting thorough investigations of key issues, Sahar Nowrouzzadeh says.

Finnish President Sauli Niinisto speaks during a press conference regarding the upcoming Trump-Putin Summit, in his official residence, Helsinki, Finland on Thursday, June 28, 2018. (Roni Rekomaa/Lehtikuva via AP)

Roni Rekomaa/Lehtikuva via AP

Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Policy

The Trump-Putin Summit’s Potential Nuclear Fallout

| July 10, 2018

The July 16 summit in Helsinki between Presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin presents a unique opportunity to reverse the dangerous nuclear competition between the United States and Russia and should be welcomed, despite its inherent risks. The opportunity to stabilize U.S.-Russian nuclear relations by extending New START, a key nuclear treaty that is set to expire in 2021, is paramount and worth the issues that come with any meeting between Trump and Putin.

Kim Yong Chol, vice chairman of North Korea's ruling Workers' Party Central Committee, second from right, talks with the South Korean delegation in Pyongyang, North Korea. March 5, 2018 (South Korea Presidential Blue House/Yonhap via Associated Press). Keywords: South Korea, North Korea

South Korea Presidential Blue House/Yonhap via Associated Press

Analysis & Opinions - NPR

Wanted: U.S. Envoy To Talk To North Korea

| Mar. 06, 2018

Kim Jong Un's reported offer to extend the current freeze on nuclear and missile tests as a basis for beginning denuclearization negotiations with the United States is an opportunity not to be missed. Whether the opening produces significant progress toward North Korea's denuclearization or merely a lull in its activities is uncertain. To take full advantage of the opportunity, President Trump should appoint a senior envoy to represent him in the talks, backed by a strong interagency team.

FILE - In this Saturday, July 29, 2017 photo, People watch a TV news program showing an image of North Korea's latest test launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea. South Korea's latest leader Moon Jae-in told U.S. President Donald Trump he's happy to talk about North Korea's ICBM test but after his vacation. It might seem like an oddly timed break for a relatively new president during his country's biggest crisis. The signs read "North Korea

AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon, File

Analysis & Opinions - The Atlantic

Give Up on Denuclearizing North Korea

| July 28, 2017

On Friday, North Korea tested a missile than can deliver a nuclear weapon to almost any target in the continental United States, marking a major accomplishment for a state than many thought was on its last legs in the early 1990s. But far from dead, North Korea has managed to evade every political, military, and economic barrier that five successive U.S. presidents put in its way. Now, the United States under President Donald Trump has a massive but surmountable challenge on its hands—deterring a nuclear-armed North Korea and preserving and strengthening America’s alliances with South Korea and Japan, countries currently questioning whether Kim Jong Un’s new capabilities might prevent the United States from coming to their defense.

Lesson one for Rick Perry: The Energy Department doesn’t produce much energy

Gage Skidmore

Analysis & Opinions - The Conversation

Lesson one for Rick Perry: The Energy Department doesn’t produce much energy

| December 14, 2016

A former governor of Texas – the state that produces more crude oil, natural gas, lignite coal, wind power and refined petroleum products than any other – would seem to be a natural choice for secretary of energy. Yet, assuming he is confirmed by the Senate, Rick Perry will face a paradox.