Foreign Policy Blogs

Arms Control and Proliferation

Asymmetric U.S. Military Posture

Asymmetric U.S. Military Posture

The notion of asymmetric power–referring generally to the danger of lesser powers resorting to unconventional weaponry and tactics as an answer to the United States’ immense conventional military superiority–has been in vogue among American defense analysts since the first Gulf War; Gulf War II and its aftermath, with the devastating appearance of the Improvised Explosive […]

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The Scariest Story of 2011

The Scariest Story of 2011

  The IAEA’s confirmation that Iran had a full-fledged nuclear-warhead development program up until 2003 and the agency’s suspicions that come elements of that program have resumed or continued? The fact that an inexperienced and untested young man may now have his hands on North Korea’s nuclear football, with the country’s leadership determined as ever […]

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DPRK Nuclear Exports: Kim Jong Il’s Dangerous Legacy

DPRK Nuclear Exports:  Kim Jong Il’s Dangerous Legacy

In a follow up to yesterday’s post, I have come across a piece in Time Magazine by Eben Harrell of Harvard’s Belfer Center. In it, Harrell discusses the thriving nuclear export business Kim John Il established during his reign in which he allegedly provided equipment for fissile materials production and missile technology to countries such […]

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Dear Leader to Young Gun Un: Who has the North Korean Nuke Football?

Dear Leader to Young Gun Un:  Who has the North Korean Nuke Football?

With the sudden demise of “Dear Leader” and cult personality/despot Kim Jong Il several days ago, all eyes have turned to his hand-picked successor, Kim Jong Un. While his father had the benefit of nearly twenty years of preparation for his role as megalomaniacal leader, Kim Jong Un has not. This has troubled analysts who […]

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South Korean Reprocessing

South Korean Reprocessing

As reported last week in the New York Times, South Korea is seeking renegotiation of a 1974 treaty that bars it from acquiring spent nuclear fuel reprocessing or uranium enrichment plants–so-called “fuel cycle facilities” that can be used both to support a nuclear energy sector or an atomic weapons program. At the time the treaty […]

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Israel vs. Iran Fight Breakdown

Israel vs. Iran Fight Breakdown

As the clock ticks, it appears Israel will have to pick between two frightful scenarios; attack Iran or live with a nuclear Iran and the constant fear of annihilation. This choice crossed my mind during a recent trip to Israel. While at the ancient fortress of Masada overlooking the Dead Sea, the tour guide proclaimed […]

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Happy Birthday Nunn-Lugar!

Happy Birthday Nunn-Lugar!

Today is the twentieth anniversary of the enactment of one of the most important, far-reaching bipartisan initiatives of the twentieth and, thus far, the twenty-first century: the Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) program, originally known as the Soviet Nuclear Threat Reduction Act. It was twenty years ago today that an initiative that began as an amendment […]

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More on Iranian Missile Test Site Blast

More on Iranian Missile Test Site Blast

The New York Times carried an article last week by David Sanger and William Broad providing additional detail about the mysterious blast that leveled Iran’s major missile test center on Nov. 12, killing one of the country’s top rocket scientists and others. The article also provides useful hints to sources, without ultimately shedding any new […]

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Iran: Some Positive Developments

Iran: Some Positive Developments

Not all is doom and gloom. Somewhat contrary to initial expectations, Russia and China joined in a firm new IAEA resolution, again calling upon Tehran to come completely clean. The UK and France are pressing European foreign ministers to adopt an oil embargo, joining the United States, and while that is not likely to have […]

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Year in Review: The Nuke Edition

Year in Review: The Nuke Edition

Co-Authored with William Sweet U.S.-Russia 123 and New START A relatively busy year in arms control and nonproliferation started out with two events that were set into motion the year prior: entry into force for the U.S. Russian Agreement for Civilian Nuclear Cooperation (the so-called 123 agreement) and the bilateral New START agreement. The congressional […]

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Iran and Israel: Virtual War?

Iran and Israel: Virtual War?

Yesterday’s New York Times and presumably other major newspapers as well carried a small story on an inside page about a violent explosion that took place at an Iranian test facility, killing one of the country’s top rocket scientists, among others.”There was immediate speculation that Israeli saboteurs were responsible for the blast, which Israeli officials […]

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Iran Report: Let’s Be Literal

Iran Report: Let’s Be Literal

Differences in interepretation of the IAEA report center on what it says–literally and between the lines–about whether Iran continued with weaponization activities after 2003. As they say in television, let’s go to the videotape. The report says in Paragraphs 19 and 20 that in the late 1990s or by the early 2000s, weaponization activities were […]

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Tightening Nuke Exports: Industry and State Push Back

Tightening Nuke Exports: Industry and State Push Back

I have written previously about efforts by House Committee on Foreign Affairs Chair Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Ranking Member Howard Berman to tighten the rules regarding the export of nuclear technology. Well, like a moth to the flame, I’ve been drawn back into that fold. I have written a piece which has been published by the […]

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Much Ado About Nothing New? IAEA Iran Report Redux

Much Ado About Nothing New? IAEA Iran Report Redux

Since last week’s release of the latest IAEA report on Iran’s nuke program, I have seen a schism between those who believe the report is noteworthy and those who think it is simply more of the same from the Agency. I fall firmly into the former camp. As I noted in my previous post, the […]

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Iran and the Republicans

Iran and the Republicans

The Republican presidential candidates didn’t exactly cover themselves with glory last night, which is perhaps not surprising, given that President Obama’s handling of foreign policy seems generally unassailable (even if he has not always explained and promoted his policies as well as he might, as some critics have complained). Gingrich and Romney expressed a position […]

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