Foreign Policy Blogs

Arms Control and Proliferation

Hypocrisy Addendum: WaPo’s Pincus on Washington’s Damagingly Inconsistent Nonpro Positions

Hypocrisy Addendum:  WaPo’s Pincus on Washington’s Damagingly Inconsistent Nonpro Positions

I wrote yesterday about the ridiculous inconsistency of the Administration’s response first, to the DPRK’s failed launch and second, to the non-response to the Indian Agni V launch shortly thereafter. Well, it seems I’m not alone.  Enter Walter Pincus, Columnist for the Washington Post.  Writing yesterday in a piece entitled Washington Double-Talk on Nukes, Pincus […]

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India’s Agni V Test: A Bang or a Whimper?

India’s Agni V Test: A Bang or a Whimper?

  While the ruckus over the failed DPRK missile test cum-satellite launch continues to linger, another non-NPT country recently followed suit with its own test.  But this time, the uproar, well, didn’t happen.  Or at least, that’s what the media wish us to believe. Here is what the NYT reported after Thursday’s test: “The United States, […]

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Korean Launch Technicalities

Korean Launch Technicalities

For a discussion of all technicalities connected with the Korean launch–from its military implications to the launch plan–I highly recommend the preview physicist David Wright had in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists last week. Wright, who is codirector of the global security program at the Union of Concerned Scientists, is unsure whether the rocket’s […]

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Happy Birthday MTCR!

Happy Birthday MTCR!

Today in 1987, the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) was established by seven countries, including the U.S., in order to control the spread of unmanned delivery systems for weapons of mass destruction, and to coordinate national export licensing efforts aimed at preventing their proliferation.  The regime, which has since expanded its membership to thirty-four (plus Israel, […]

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Can We Trust the Iranians to Negotiate in Good Faith? Does It Matter?

Can We Trust the Iranians to Negotiate in Good Faith? Does It Matter?

Nuclear negotiations with Iran having been punted forward six weeks to a day in May, a positive development in principle, attention is focusing on whether Iran can be trusted at all and on who’s really in charge. The consensus of close observers seems to be that the country’s eminence grise Ayatollah Ali Khameini has tightened […]

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The DPRK Missile Launch – The 411

The DPRK Missile Launch – The 411

  With the expected launch of a long-range Unha-3 rocket by North Korea in the next couple of days, speculation has turned to whether or not the exercise is a cover for a new ballistic missile test.  Space Development Department Deputy Director Ryu Kum Chol explained that “The launch of the Kwangmyongsong 3 satellite is […]

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Guenter Grass, Germany and Israel

Guenter Grass, Germany and Israel

Without commenting on Israel’s decision today to declare Guenter Grass persona not grata,  Grass’s peculiar decision to publish what is really a short op-ed piece in the form of a poem, his decision to publish the piece at all given the embarrassment he suffered when his S.S. membership became known, the literary qualities of the […]

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Crosspost: So how exactly do IAEA Safeguards work?

Crosspost: So how exactly do IAEA Safeguards work?

  My colleague Andreas Persbo, the director of the UK-based VERTIC, has recently highlighted the existence of a very useful resource provided by the IAEA.  The page, which includes a newly-released document entitled Guidance for States Implementing Comprehensive Safeguards Agreements, helps to shed light on the ” how, what, when and why of practical safeguards implementation”. While […]

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Israel’s Avigdor Lieberman Backs Off from Iran Threats

Israel’s Avigdor Lieberman Backs Off from Iran Threats

Huff Post draws attention today to an interview on the subject of the Iranian nuclear dilemma that Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman did with the daily Yedioth Ahronoth on March 18. In it, amazingly, the hard-right, ultra-nationalistic Lieberman said: “If, God forbid, a war with Iran breaks out, it will be a nightmare. And we […]

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Korea Summit: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Korea Summit: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

The good: Those many small incremental improvements in securing nuclear materials worldwide–the fruit of much labor by dedicated people, as laid out by Jodi Lieberman in a recent post. The bad: The absence of any evident progress in dissuading North Korea from a satellite launch, which, if it occurs, will vitiate the earlier agreement with […]

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The NPT in Crisis

The NPT in Crisis

Just as the self-congratulatory communiques have been issued in Seoul and pats on the back for a job well done have been distributed, Steven E. Miller has lobbed a wrench in the works.  In his very timely essay for the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, entitled Nuclear Collisions: Discord, Reform & the Nuclear Nonproliferation Regime, Miller describes […]

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India Wants In on Control Regimes: The Making of A Faustian Bargain?

India Wants In on Control Regimes:  The Making of A Faustian Bargain?

  After pledging $1 million to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Nuclear Security Fund in Seoul, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh made his case for India’s admission into four key export control regimes: the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), the Wassenaar Arrangement, and the Australia Group.  To paraphrase Yogi […]

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The 2012 Nuclear Security Summit: Hey…Ho…Let’s Go!

The 2012 Nuclear Security Summit: Hey…Ho…Let’s Go!

  Amid the looming specters of a North Korean missile launch, Fukushima clean-up and an ever-saber-rattling Iran, the 2012 Nuclear Security Summit is under way.  This year’s summit promises another raft of commitments, initiatives and communique-issuing.  The very thought of sherpas, sous-sherpas and other underlings toiling for nearly two years on a workable agenda and […]

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Situating Putin

Situating Putin

With Vladimir Putin’s re-election for a six year term, and with him talking of helping himself to second-six year term after that, it is a good time to take stock of what Masha Gessen calls the “criminal tyranny” he has established in Russia. Gessen, the author of a an important new book about Putin published […]

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North Korean Moratorium

North Korean Moratorium

The startling agreement announced today–the U.S. providing North Korea food aid in exchange for the North’s putting a moratorium on uranium enrichment, nuclear weapons tests and long-range missile testing–would seem by any reckoning a very positive step in the right direction. The mere fact that North Korea’s new leadership is putting the immediately nutritional needs […]

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