Foreign Policy Blogs

Arms Control and Proliferation

Iran Enrichment: Time for Diplomacy

Iran Enrichment: Time for Diplomacy

Greg Thielmann in a recent blogpost makes a trenchant observation regarding the latest IAEA report on Iran: That, despite the generally tough tone of the report, the amount of 20-percent enriched uranium at Iran’s disposal has actually decreased rather than, as generally expected, increasing. Thielmann notes that former IAEA safeguards department chief Olli Heinonen had […]

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Nuclear Iran: Do I Need to Eat My Words?

Nuclear Iran: Do I Need to Eat My Words?

Yesterday, commenting on an op-ed piece by Bill Keller, I generally agreed with the Times‘s former executive editor regarding the prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran and expressed satisfaction that the Israeli government seemed to be getting the U.S. message regarding a possible military strike. Barely was the digital ink figuratively drying on those words when […]

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Can We Live with a Nuclear-Armed Iran?

Can We Live with a Nuclear-Armed Iran?

Bill Keller of the New York Times had a column in the Monday paper addressing the question of whether, if we have to choose between attacking Iran militarily or getting used to the idea of Iran’s becoming a nuclear weapons state, we should gulp a few times and then just get used to a nuclear […]

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The AQ Khan Rehabilitation Tour: Part 56

The AQ Khan Rehabilitation Tour: Part 56

  The world’s worst nuclear proliferator in the modern era is at it again, this time deigning to organize a political party in Pakistan.  In an interview with Simon Henderson at Foreign Policy, Khan discusses his ambitions with the recent formation of the Movement for the Protection of Pakistan — or Tehreek Tahaffuze Pakistan (TTP) in […]

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Iran: Let’s Avoid Partisan Warfare

Iran: Let’s Avoid Partisan Warfare

This week the International Atomic Energy Agency is expected to release another status report on Iran’s nuclear program that is expected to raise new troubling concerns. It comes on the heels of the major report last fall in which the IAEA described a comprehensive nuclear weapons development program that Iran secretly conducted up until 2003 […]

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Open a Second Diplomatic Front to Contain Iranian Nuclear Ambitions?

Open a Second Diplomatic Front to Contain Iranian Nuclear Ambitions?

In an editorial this week prompted by renewed saber-rattling by Israel’s leadership, The New York Times argues for giving Iran sanctions time to do their work and for intensified diplomacy. Though the editorial may be slightly confused in matters of detail, not to mention grammar, there is a case to be made not merely for […]

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Oh REALLY? Taiwan Prepared to Forgo ENR Technologies in 123 Agreement

Oh REALLY?  Taiwan Prepared to Forgo ENR Technologies in 123 Agreement

The roster of countries agreeing to forgo enrichment and reprocessing technologies has risen to two.  As the time ticks down to expiration of its bilateral nuclear cooperation agreement with the U.S., the government of Taiwan has announced that it is prepared to renounce any right to enrich or reprocess nuclear fuel.  Despite the fact that […]

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Publication of Second Bird Flu Paper

Publication of Second Bird Flu Paper

After prolonged controversy, Science magazine has published in its current issue the second of the bird flu papers detailing how a human-transmissible virus could spontaneously arise in nature. This one, by a team lead by Ron Fouchier in Rotterdam (see photo), identified five mutations in the H5N1 virus itself that could render it transmissible through […]

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The FY2013 NDAA: If They Could Turn Back Time

The FY2013 NDAA:  If They Could Turn Back Time

On May 18th, the House of Representatives voted on the National Defense Authorization Bill (NDAA), or H.R. 4310. The bill passed 299-120. The NDAA contains language which would seriously damage the Administration’s ability to continue to negotiate reductions in its and Russia’s nuclear arsenals.  It would also impinge upon the Administration’s ability to implement the […]

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Has Israel Equipped Submarines with Nuclear Weapons?

Has Israel Equipped Submarines with Nuclear Weapons?

Following up on the controversial Guenther Grass poem discussed in a previous post, Germany’s Der Spiegel magazine published last week a very long article addressing the question of whether the six sophisticated submarines Germany supplied Israel are being equipped with nuclear weapons. Co-reported and co-written by eight people, the very long article contains a lot […]

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Reflections on 30th Anniversary of June 12 Peace Rally

Reflections on 30th Anniversary of June 12 Peace Rally

How things have changed! Thirty years ago, on June 12, 1982, one million people gathered in New York City’s Central Park to rally in favor of nuclear disarmament and an end to the Cold War. As the largest peace demonstration in U.S. history, it was the culmination of a movement that had gathered improbably around […]

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H5N1 Redux

H5N1 Redux

Scientific American Executive Editor Fred Guterl has a superb short article in the June issue of the magazine laying out the basics of the  H5N1 virus scare: • how it is that bird flus represent a “natural reservoir” of influenzas that jump to human populations • how under natural conditions such viruses can mutate and […]

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Failed North Korean Launch: A Truly Bizarre Spectacle

Failed North Korean Launch: A Truly Bizarre Spectacle

Earlier this week I had the opportunity to sit down with Jim Oberg to discuss the trip he and 130 other foreign journalists made to North Korea to witness—or so they thought—the attempted launch into space of a small weather satellite. Oberg, a former space mission controller trained in aerospace engineering, went as a member […]

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Yet Another Wave of North Korean Assertiveness?

Yet Another Wave of North Korean Assertiveness?

A distinct sense of déjà vu has gripped the Korean peninsula, as Pyongyang now threatens to conduct a nuclear test in the forthcoming weeks, smarting from the embarrassment of its failed satellite launch to mark Kim Il-sung’s birthday in mid-April. The current sequence of events is almost a carbon copy of those that led up […]

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First of Two Controversial H5N1 Papers Appears

First of Two Controversial H5N1 Papers Appears

After much delay and intense global controversy, Britain’s Nature magazine has published online the first of two papers describing how the bird flu virus could be modified to be more transmissible from mammal to mammal through the air. The paper, “Experimental adaptation of an influenza H5 HA confers respiratory droplet transmission to a reassortant H5 […]

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