Nuclear Issues

616 Items

A woman stops to look at Ukrainian flags placed in memory of those killed during the war near Maidan Square in central Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, Jan. 20, 2023.

AP Photo/Daniel Cole

Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Affairs

Russia and Ukraine Are Not Ready for Talks

| Jan. 11, 2023

No deal is possible between a Ukraine that is making steady battlefield progress and a Russia in denial of this reality. Even calling for talks today risks benefiting Moscow. But this impasse need not be permanent. By keeping up pressure on Russia, Ukraine and its partners in the West can begin to create the conditions for negotiations to succeed.

Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant is seen from around twenty kilometers away in an area in the Dnipropetrovsk region, Ukraine, Monday, Oct. 17, 2022

AP Photo/Leo Correa

Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Policy

Lessons for the Next War: Nuclear Weapons Still Matter

| Jan. 05, 2023

Foreign Policy asked 12 experts to give us their views on the most important lessons of Russia’s war. Each writer is a prominent specialist in his or her field, and they answer a broad range of questions. Why did prevention and deterrence fail? What have we learned about strategy and technology on the battlefield? How do we deal with the return of nuclear threats? Some of these lessons are general, while others apply specifically to a potential conflict in Asia. 

This photo taken from video provided by the Russian Defense Ministry Press Service on Saturday, Feb. 19, 2022, shows a Russian Iskander-K missile launched during a military exercise at a training ground in Russia.

Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP

Analysis & Opinions - TIME Magazine

Will Russia Go Nuclear? 7 Key Questions to Consider

| Jan. 05, 2023

To begin to appreciate what President Biden, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley, CIA Director Bill Burns, and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan understand that most of the press and talking heads who have been discounting nuclear risks posed by the war in Ukraine don’t, it is useful to consider answers to seven questions.

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Analysis & Opinions

In Russia’s Nuclear Messaging to West and Ukraine, Putin Plays Both Bad and Good Cop

| Dec. 23, 2022

Should a nuclear war “never be unleashed?” Can nuclear weapons be used to “ensure the safety of the Russian people?” Both, according to President Vladimir Putin, who has become fond of alternating assertive and conciliatory tones in his messaging on the conditions for the use of nuclear arms. Such discourse comes as he tries to coerce Ukraine into accepting his land grabs and prevent the West from escalating assistance to Kyiv, all while keeping China content.

President Vladimir Putin gives a speech to the members of the Russian Olympic team for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo

The Presidential Press and Information Office via Wikimedia Commons

Analysis & Opinions - The Hill

What We Got Wrong about Nuclear Risk Reduction

| May 23, 2022

Existing risk reduction tools are designed to prevent risks associated with misperception or inadvertent escalation. They are not tailored to the type of intentional escalation and risk-taking that Russian President Vladimir Putin has demonstrated with regards to Ukraine. Preventing further escalation and nuclear use will require strengthening deterrence and developing new risk reduction tools.

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Analysis & Opinions

Former Moscow chief of station Rolf Mowatt-Larssen on the state of play in Ukraine - "Intelligence Matters"

| May 18, 2022

In this episode of "Intelligence Matters," host Michael Morell speaks with former senior CIA operations officer and Moscow station chief Rolf Mowatt-Larssen about the likely trajectory of the war in Ukraine, including the possibility of a negotiated peace — or dangerous escalation. Mowatt-Larssen offers insights on Putin's options, potential rifts among his intelligence agencies, and persistent rumors about the Russian leader's health. Morell and Mowatt-Larssen also discuss Western involvement in the conflict and the lingering potential for the Kremlin to use weapons of mass destruction. 

Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant Groundbreaking Ceremony

Press Service of the President of the Russian Federation via Wikimedia Commons

Analysis & Opinions - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Five reasons that Russia’s nuclear exports will continue, despite sanctions and the Ukraine invasion. But for how long?

| May 17, 2022

By many measures, Russia’s state-controlled nuclear energy company, Rosatom, has primacy in the global nuclear energy market. At any given moment, the firm provides technical expertise, enriched fuel, and equipment to nuclear reactors around the world. The Russian invasion of Ukraine and, more acutely, the Russian military’s dangerous actions at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant and in the Chernobyl exclusion zone have many countries rethinking their dependence on Russian nuclear products and searching for alternatives. Additionally, the ensuing global effort to cripple Russian access to international markets calls into question the viability of current contracts, government licensing, and financial instruments involved in Russia’s nuclear exports.

A huge mushroom cloud rises above Bikini atoll in the Marshall Islands following an atomic test blast.

AP Photo

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

The Nuclear Balance Is What States Make of It

    Author:
  • David C. Logan
| Spring 2022

Recent quantitative scholarship uses warhead counts to examine whether nuclear superiority offers political or military benefits beyond having a secure second-strike capability. These analyses overlook other elements of a state’s nuclear capability such as state perceptions and beliefs.

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Analysis & Opinions

L’invasione dell’Ucraina e il rischio nucleare.

| Apr. 19, 2022

La mia valutazione dei possibili rischi di uso di armi non convenzionali (anche tattiche nucleari) nel conflitto in Ucraina deriva in parte da precedenti storici importanti e in parte dalla mia esperienza diplomatica. Mi spiego meglio. Se guardiamo alla storia dei rischi nucleari, vediamo che in altri conflitti, paesi con armi atomiche hanno minacciato il loro uso per portare a conclusione il conflitto a loro vantaggio. L’amministrazione Eisenhower per esempio contemplò l’utilizzo di armi atomiche nel conflitto coreano per scoraggiare l’intervento della Cina. Israele nella famosa guerra dello Yom Kippur nel 1973 minacciò esplicitamente l’uso di armi nucleari per deterrenza nei confronti dell’invasione delle truppe arabe. In questi conflitti, tuttavia, i paesi con armi atomiche sono riusciti poi a prevalere con armi convenzionali e senza il ricorso alle armi nucleari. Abbiamo avuto altri conflitti che hanno coinvolto paesi con armi atomiche – l’Unione Sovietica in Afghanistan e l’America in Iraq – dove i paesi con arsenali atomici alla fine sono stati sconfitti ma non hanno fatto ricorso alle armi atomiche.

Putin at a Presentation Ceremony for Officers and Prosecutors Appointed to Higher Positions

Wikimedia Commons/ Press Service of the President

Analysis & Opinions

Attacco Nucleare di Putin? Ora Basta Un Piccolo Incidente.

| Apr. 04, 2022

Il rischio atomico resta alto. Ce lo conferma un'esperta del settore, la professoressa Francesca Giovannini, direttrice esecutiva del Project on Managing the Atom presso il Belfer Center della Harvard University e già collaboratrice della CTBTO, l'organo con sede a Vienna che vigila sulla messa al bando dei test atomici.