Foreign Policy Blogs

Arms Control and Proliferation

Old Thinking, New Realities

Old Thinking, New Realities

In an OpEd in Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal, Senators Bob Corker, currently Ranking Member on the Foreign Relations Committee, and James Inhofe, well-known global warming skeptic and Ranking Member on the Armed Services Committee, opined about how the administration’s commitment to eliminating nuclear weapons was 1) dangerous, 2) likely ...

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North Korean Nuclear Test: What Is the Nature of the Threat?

North Korean Nuclear Test: What Is the Nature of the Threat?

  From a global perspective, any new entry into the “nuclear club” is high undesirable as such: With every new entrant, there is an exponential increase in the political complexity of achieving total nuclear disarmament — or, to put it more simply, there is an additional obstacle in the way of ...

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Nuclear Weapons Accomplishments in the Chu Years

Nuclear Weapons Accomplishments in the Chu Years

Departing Energy Secretary Steven Chu’s farewell letter is not the usual five paragraphs consisting of gradiose claims and bromides for the ages. At more than 3,750 words, it is the length of a college term paper or a magazine feature article. As interesting for what ...

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Nuke Brain Drain in the Senate

Nuke Brain Drain in the Senate

With the retirement of Senator Jon Kyl and defeat of Senator Richard Lugar — of the unprecedented Nunn-Lugar initiative — Congress’s 113th session will see a significant lacunae in arms control and nuclear nonproliferation expertise.  While I am hard-pressed to call Kyl an “expert” — someone who repeatedly questioned the ...

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Syria is a Test of U.S. Credibility on Iran

Syria is a Test of U.S. Credibility on Iran

Shifting red lines in Syria undermines the tough rhetoric toward Tehran Many observers have connected the civil war raging in Syria to the broader U.S. standoff with Iran.  Critics of the Obama administration’s extremely cautious approach on Syria argue that pushing more forcefully for the demise of Bashar ...

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Our Third Most Urgent Nonproliferation Priority

Our Third Most Urgent Nonproliferation Priority

With the outcome of the U.S. presidential election and the transition from the first to second Obama term, it’s a time for pundits to compile to-do lists. For example, fellow blogger Jodi Lieberman recently circulated an excellent one from the NTI Center for Nonproliferation Studies, which ...

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Japan’s Plutonium Problem

Japan’s Plutonium Problem

After Iran, arguably the most urgent problem in nuclear nonproliferation policy is Japan’s huge and growing stockpile of separated plutonium, its plans to start commercial reprocessing of spent nuclear fuels next year,* and the bad precedent that will set for South Korea, South Africa and other near-nuclear-weapons ...

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Hibbs on The IAEA’s State Level Approach to Safeguards

Hibbs on The IAEA’s State Level Approach to Safeguards

  In his most recent, and to my mind, revealing examination of the evolution of the IAEA safeguards regime, Carnegie Senior Associate Mark Hibbs lays out some critical issues facing the evolution of the Agency’s central nuclear watchdog function.  What he finds is a swirling morass of political jockeying, an ongoing ...

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Obama’s Second-Term Agenda

Obama’s Second-Term Agenda

In terms of establishing the conditions for a world without weapons of mass destruction (the main theme of this blog), we might as well say frankly that Obama’s first term left a good deal to be desired. Despite the clear commitment to the elimination of nuclear weapons the Obama made ...

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More on the Candidates and Nukes

More on the Candidates and Nukes

  Tomorrow is election day — and the end of the deluge of political adverts — so I thought readers would find a recent piece at Global Security Newswire useful. Lee Michael Katz, writing for the Global Security Newswire, surveyed a number of arms control advisors and former administration types regarding ...

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The Presidential Candidates on Nukes

The Presidential Candidates on Nukes

In preparation for the final debate this evening and the FPA live-tweeting of the event — to focus on foreign policy — the Arms Control Association and Bulletin of Atomic Scientists provide  nice overviews of the candidates records on key nuclear nonproliferation and arms control issues. Kingston Reif, the director of nuclear ...

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Newsflash: Nuke Industry Doesn’t Like to be Regulated

Newsflash:  Nuke Industry Doesn’t Like to be Regulated

  I know.  Shocking, isn’t it?  But, that’s essentially what the Nuclear Energy Institute is saying in its totally unsurprising new report, “Nuclear Export Controls: A Comparative Analysis of National Regimes for the Control of Nuclear Materials, Components and Technology.” Issued on October 1st, the report was done by James A. ...

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Nature: NRC Decision on Laser Enrichment “Unfortunate”

Nature:  NRC Decision on Laser Enrichment “Unfortunate”

  Another voice has been added to the laser enrichment debate: an editorial in the science journal Nature argues that the NRC’s decision to approve issuance of an operating license to GE-Hitachi for a laser enrichment facility was “unfortunate”, and that “The NRC should introduce rules to ensure that ...

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CTBTO Advanced Science Course on Verification

CTBTO Advanced Science Course on Verification

  For those of you who don’t agree with Senator Kyl and think the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty is actually a useful regime, this course is for you.  And for those who do agree with the Senator, well, you might learn something. The CTBTO will be holding an Advanced ...

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Disappointment at White Flint: NRC Staff Approve Laser License

Disappointment at White Flint:  NRC Staff Approve Laser License

  In what is truly an abdication of responsibility, the staff of the U.S. Regulatory Commission on Tuesday approved issuance of an operating license to GE-Hitachi (GEH) for construction of the first ever laser enrichment facility.  And in an uncharacteristic bureaucratic sleight-of-hand, the NRC will not make a decision on a ...

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