Nuclear weapons (continued)
November 5, 2012
By Olli Heinonen, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
International diplomacy efforts dealing with Iran’s nuclear program continue to fill the daily news headlines. The efforts of P5+1, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) have tried, in various formats, to encourage and enforce Iran to comply with the provisions of the Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) and its Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement (CSA) to ensure that Iran’s nuclear program is not used as a cover for the development of nuclear weapons. The challenge of discovering what has taken place as well as currently with Iran’s nuclear ambitions is difficult not only because of Tehran’s obstructionism, but also because the same nuclear technologies, particularly uranium enrichment and spent fuel reprocessing, can be used for both civilian and military purposes.
By Ronald G. Allen, Jr., Former Research Fellow, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom, 2011–2012
Without significant change in the geopolitical landscape, nuclear weapons will remain a relevant portion of America's long-term national security strategy. Therefore, the burdens and responsibilities of maintaining an effective nuclear deterrent force are paramount to ensure credibility for America and her allies. Bottom line: nuclear weapons and nuclear deterrence are still relevant today and for the foreseeable future. Therefore, to maintian international strategic stability we must embrace the necessity of nuclear deterrence, develop strategic policy that supports deterrence as an essential element and adequately resource the enterprise.
By Steven E. Miller, Director, International Security Program; Editor-in-Chief, International Security; Co-Principal Investigator, Project on Managing the Atom, Wael Al-Assad, Jayantha Dhanapala, C. Raja Mohan and Ta Minh Tuan
Nearly all of the 190 signatories to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) agree that the forty-two-year-old treaty is fragile and in need of fundamental reform. But gaining consensus on how to fix the NPT will require reconciling the sharply differing views of nuclear weapon states and non-nuclear weapon states. Strengthening the international rules is increasingly important as dozens of countries, including some with unstable political environments, explore nuclear energy. The result is an ever-increasing distribution of this technology. In this paper, Steven E. Miller outlines the main points of contention within the NPT regime and identifies the issues that have made reform so difficult.
In the Foreword to this paper by Andrei Kokoshin, Belfer Center Director Graham Allison writes: "The global nuclear order is reaching a tipping point. Several trends are advancing along crooked paths, each undermining this order. These trends include North Korea’s expanding nuclear weapons program, Iran’s continuing nuclear ambitions, Pakistan’s increasing instability, growing doubts about the sustainability of the nonproliferation regime in general, and terrorist groups’ enduring aspirations to acquire nuclear weapons. Andrei Kokoshin, deputy of the State Duma and former secretary of Russia’s Security Council, analyzes these challenges that threaten to cause the nuclear order to collapse in the following paper."
September 11, 2009
By Simon Saradzhyan, Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
Although powerful contingents within the Russian leadership ascribe significant value to the various roles played by the country's nuclear arsenal, they have nonetheless enumerated consecutive or simultaneous external conditions necessary for Russia to embark on the road towards eliminating nuclear weapons. These include: universal implementation of existing nuclear arms control and nonproliferation treaties; further and irreversible cuts in U.S.-Russian nuclear arsenals; constraints on U.S. missile defense and enhancement of Russian conventional forces; and resolution of major conflicts. Subsequently, there will be a verifiable accounting of all nuclear powers' nuclear arsenals, their reduction and elimination, followed by guarantees that no country or sub-state actor would be able to develop/acquire such weapons in the future.
May 19, 2009
By Rolf Mowatt-Larssen, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
A growing number of intractable problems can no longer be solved by the existing institutions, mechanisms and approaches of a bygone age. It is time to forge a collective security consciousness that will enable us to develop unprecedented ways of working together to solve shared problems.
By Xiaohui (Anne) Wu, Former Associate, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom, 2007–2010; Former Research Fellow, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom, 2004–2007
"The denuclearization of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) continues to be a source of considerable international concern. Yet, no coherent international framework has emerged to deal with this challenge in parallel with the regional mechanism of the six-party talks. With the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference set for 2010, appropriately addressing the DPRK nuclear issue is being identified as essential to maintaining the strength of the NPT. Can the United Nations (UN) afford to take a back seat in attempts at resolution?This article examines the potential of, and prospects for, an active UN role in facilitating Pyongyang's denuclearization process. Anne Wu's paper examines the potential of, and prospects for, an active UN role in facilitating Pyongyang's denuclearization process."
"Funding for U.S. Efforts to Improve Controls Over Nuclear Weapons, Materials, and Expertise Overseas: Recent Developments and Trends"
By Anthony Wier, Former Research Associate, Project on Managing the Atom/Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program, 2002-2007 and Matthew Bunn, Professor of Practice; Co-Principal Investigator, Project on Managing the Atom
Matthew Bunn and Anthony Wier find that although threat reduction funding has had dramatic effects in reducing the risk of nuclear terrorism, the Bush administration’s proposed FY 2008 budget for cooperative threat reduction would reduce the overall funds available. They propose a number of remedies, some of which have been taken up by congress in the appropriations process.
By Matthew Bunn, Professor of Practice; Co-Principal Investigator, Project on Managing the Atom
Matthew Bunn argues that placing the centrifuges at Natanz in one of two "standby" modes offered a way out of the current stand-off over suspension.
By Chen Zak Kane, Former Associate, Project on Managing the Atom, 2008–2010; Former Research Fellow, Project on Managing the Atom/International Security Program, 2005–2007, 2002–2004
"On April 19, 2006, Iran's former secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, Hassan Rohani, publicly criticized his successor's handling of their country's nuclear negotiations with the West. In what was, for Iran, a rare public expression of discontent, he called for 'more balance in our decisions and [the need] to approach the issue with more reason and less emotion. . . .' "