Nuclear Issues

18 Items

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Blog Post - Atlantic Council

A Strategy for Dealing with North Korea

| Sep. 12, 2017

New sanctions imposed by the United Nations Security Council on September 11 in response to North Korea’s latest nuclear test are “not significant enough,” according to R. Nicholas Burns, an Atlantic Council board member who served as undersecretary of state for political affairs in the George W. Bush administration.

Sanctions must be part of a “patient long-term strategy” that includes deterrence, working closely with allies, and negotiations, said Burns, laying out the United States’ options for dealing with the North Korean crisis.  

Blog Post - Nuclear Security Matters

China Should Endorse the Hague Summit Pledge to Strengthen Nuclear Security Implementation

Apr. 23, 2014

The most significant achievement to emerge from the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit was a pledge by 35 countries to observe the terms of a joint agreement, known as Strengthening Nuclear Security Implementation. This document committed the signatories to incorporate the principles and guidelines of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) regarding nuclear security into their national laws, and to allow teams of international experts to periodically evaluate their security procedures. Promoted strongly by the chairs of all three nuclear summits—the United States, South Korea, and the Netherlands— the 2014 initiative is an important step towards creating a robust global security system designed to prevent nuclear materials from falling into the hands of terrorists.

Blog Post - Nuclear Security Matters

Eliminating Potential Bomb Material from Japan’s Fast Critical Assembly

| Mar. 24, 2014

Today, the United States and Japan announced that Japan would eliminate all the plutonium and highly-enriched uranium at its Fast Critical Assembly (FCA) at Tokai-mura.  This is a tremendous step forward for nuclear security; for terrorists, this would be some of the best material that exists in any non-nuclear-weapon state.  The material includes 331 kilograms of plutonium, most of it weapons-grade, and 214.5 kilograms of weapons-grade HEU.  (The FCA also includes over a ton of material just at the 20 percent U-235 mark that defines HEU.)   The weapons-grade HEU is enough for four simple terrorist “gun-type” bombs or a larger number of trickier-to-build implosion bombs.  The plutonium amounts to more than 40 bombs worth of material.

Book - Georgetown University Press

Strategy in the Second Nuclear Age: Power, Ambition, and the Ultimate Weapon

    Editors:
  • Toshi Yoshihara
  • John R. Holmes
| October 2012

Strategy in the Second Nuclear Age assembles a group of distinguished scholars to grapple with the matter of how the United States, its allies, and its friends must size up the strategies, doctrines, and force structures currently taking shape if they are to design responses that reinforce deterrence amid vastly more complex strategic circumstances.

Book Chapter

North Korea's Nuclear Weapons Program: Motivations, Strategy, and Doctrine

| October 2012

Despite continuing efforts to convince North Korea to relinquish its nuclear capability, it appears increasingly unlikely that it will ever do so. Pyongyang might be willing to curtail or freeze certain parts of the program but the likelihood of North Korean denuclearization is quickly fading. With Pyongyang likely to retain some level of nuclear-weapons capability, analysis turns to an assessment of how these weapons might be integrated into its defense posture. Using deterrence theory as the analytical framework, this chapter examines possible avenues for North Korea's nuclear weapons strategy and doctrine.

Book - MIT Press

Our Own Worst Enemy? Institutional Interests and the Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Expertise

    Author:
  • Sharon Weiner
| October 2011

When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, many observers feared that terrorists and rogue states would obtain weapons of mass destruction (WMD) or knowledge about how to build them from the vast Soviet nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons complex. The United States launched a major effort to prevent former Soviet WMD experts, suddenly without salaries, from peddling their secrets. In Our Own Worst Enemy, Sharon Weiner chronicles the design, implementation, and evolution of four U.S. programs that were central to this nonproliferation policy and assesses their successes and failures.

Winner of the 2012 Louis Brownlow Book Award

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Book - Cornell University Press

Exporting the Bomb: Technology Transfer and the Spread of Nuclear Weapons

| April 2010

Matthew Kroenig's book, Exporting the Bomb: Technology Transfer and the Spread of Nuclear Weapons, was published by Cornell University Press. Kroenig argues that nearly every country with a nuclear weapons arsenal received substantial help at some point from a more advanced nuclear state. Understanding why states provide sensitive nuclear assistance not only adds to our knowledge of international politics but also aids in international efforts to control the spread of nuclear weapons.

Book Chapter

Conclusion: Seven Lessons Learned from the Fog of Peace

    Author:
  • Talbot C. Imlay
| September 6, 2006

"...the fog of peace can never be entirely pierced. Flexibility and constant cultivation of the ability to question received wisdom and to reconsider assumptions are the best security against catastrophic failure in a future war, regardless of whether that war resembles a more traditional interstate war or the current war on terror."