Nuclear Issues

37 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.

The Bavand, one of two stranded Iranian vessels, sits anchored at the port in Paranagua, Brazil on July 25, 2019. In defiance of U.S. sanctions, Brazil's top court ordered state oil company Petrobras to supply fuel to two Iranian vessels that were stranded off the coast of Parana state since early June (AP Photo/Giuliano Gomes).

AP Photo/Giuliano Gomes

Journal Article - Washington Quarterly

A Financial Sanctions Dilemma

| Winter 2020

Over the last two decades, there has been a dramatic increase in the popularity of financial sanctions as an instrument of US foreign policy to address security threats ranging from weapons of mass destruction (WMD) proliferation and terrorism to human rights violations and transnational crime. Washington’s policymakers have prized these tools for their ability to rapidly apply pressure against foreign targets with few perceived repercussions against American business interests. The problem, however, is that Washington is ignoring a growing tension between financial sanctions designed to support economic statecraft (with non-financial goals) and those designed to protect the international financial system. Confusing the two sends mixed signals to adversaries as well as allies and undermines US credibility and commitment to upholding international banking rules and norms. If Washington cannot reconcile these competing processes, it is unlikely that future administrations will enjoy the same foreign policy levers, leaving the United States at a significant disadvantage.

Journal Article - World Affairs

Was Ukraine's Nuclear Disarmament a Blunder?

| September 2016

"Ukraine's denuclearization had been a controversial issue even as it was negotiated, leaving bitter traces in the country's political and public discourse. As a student of political science in Kyiv in the mid-1990s, I remember being outraged by the sense of injustice: how could the states that rely on their own nuclear deterrents demand the nuclear disarmament of others? More so that one of these states, Russia, has never fully come to terms with Ukraine's independence. Since then, I came to research a doctoral dissertation on the denuclearization of post-Soviet successor states and, in the process, learned a great deal about Ukraine's nuclear disarmament that dispelled many of my preconceptions."

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, right, speaks with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, in Geneva, Switzerland, Wednesday, January 14, 2015, during a bilateral meeting ahead of nuclear negotiations.

Martial Trezzini/ AP

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Strategies of Inhibition: U.S. Grand Strategy, the Nuclear Revolution, and Nonproliferation

| Summer 2015

Most histories of post-1945 U.S. grand strategy focus on containment of the Soviet Union and U.S. efforts to promote political and economic liberalization. A closer look reveals that "strategies of inhibition"—attempts to control nuclear proliferation—have been a third central pillar of U.S. grand strategy for several decades.

President John F. Kennedy arrived on June 23, 1963 at the airport in Cologne-Wahn for a four day visit to Germany. In front, chancellor Konrad Adenauer.

AP

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Alliance Coercion and Nuclear Restraint: How the United States Thwarted West Germany's Nuclear Ambitions

| Spring 2015

A prominent model of nuclear proliferation posits that a powerful patron state can prevent a weaker ally from proliferating by providing it with security guarantees. The history of West Germany's pursuit of the bomb from 1954 to 1969 suggests that a patron may also need to threaten the client state with military abandonment to convince it not to acquire nuclear weapons.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry disembarks from his plane after traveling from Kabul, Afghanistan, to Vienna, Austria, on July 13, 2014 for allied talks with Iran about its nuclear program.

State Dept.

Journal Article - Washington Quarterly

The Fool's Errand for a Perfect Deal with Iran

| Fall 2014

"The P5+1 should set aside the effort to craft an all-at-once comprehensive bargain and instead adopt a strategy of negotiating incremental agreements. An incremental approach has a number of advantages. The negotiators could focus on one sticking point at a time, without having to coordinate agreement on all of them at once. Negotiators could defer currently intractable issues, like enrichment capacity, until greater trust is built or new opportunities arise. Most importantly, the compromises already achieved under the JPA could be maintained and consolidated, independently of the ups and downs of ongoing negotiations."

Journal Article - Washington Quarterly

The Key to the North Korean Targeted Sanctions Puzzle

| November 1, 2014

"At no point in the history of U.S. nonproliferation and counterproliferation policy have financial sanctions been so central to U.S. efforts to prevent or rollback the acquisition of nuclear weapons in countries such as North Korea and Iran. Despite this crucial role, financial sanctions have been examined almost solely from the sender’s perspective, that is, the country imposing the sanctions. Few focused policy analyses have measured the effects of these instruments from the target’s perspective..."

President Barack Obama signs the New START Treaty in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Feb. 2, 2011.

AP Photo

Journal Article - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Nuclear Weapons 2011: Momentum Slows, Reality Returns

| January/February 2012

In the Doomsday Clock issue of the Bulletin, the author takes a look at five events that unfolded in 2011 and that seem certain to cast a powerful shadow in months and years to come. No new breakthroughs occurred, the author writes, adding that 2012 could be a much more difficult year.

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Journal Article - The International Spectator Italian Journal of International Affairs

A Deeply Fractured Regime: Assessing the 2010 NPT Review Conference

| September 2010

The United States had mixed results at the 2010 NPT Review Conference. On the one hand, it avoided the isolation and criticism directed at Washington in connection with the failed 2005 Review Conference, in large measure because the Obama administration took more congenial positions on a number of nuclear issues. Its cooperation also facilitated the successful achievement of a consensus final document. On the other hand, there was wide resistance to a number of measures for strengthening the NPT system favoured or promoted by the United States, resistance that reveals deep and worrying divisions within the regime.