A team of experts led by Rose Gottemoeller has produced a new report for the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies on non-strategic nuclear warhead policies in Europe, particulary in light of Russia's changing status in the global nuclear community.
Emerging and disruptive technologies spell an uncertain future for second-strike retaliatory forces. New sensors and big data analysis may render mobile missiles and submarines vulnerable to detection. I call this development the “standstill conundrum”: States will no longer be able to assure a nuclear response should they be hit by a nuclear first strike. If the nuclear weapons states can manage this vulnerability, however, they might be able to escape its worst effects. “Managing” could mean shoring up nuclear deterrence; it could mean focusing more on defenses; or it could mean negotiating to ensure continued viability of second-strike deterrent forces.
In the absence of a federal geologic repository or consolidated, interim storage in the United States, commercial spent fuel will remain stranded at some 75 sites across the country. Currently, these include 18 “orphaned sites” where spent fuel has been left at decommissioned reactor sites.
This chapter reconnects modes of futures-making with the requirements of democracy by focusing on the naturalization of nuclear weapons and their removal from the realm of democratic choice at a particular point in time.
An assessment of Russia that suggests that we should look beyond traditional means of power to understand its strength and capacity to disrupt international politics.
In February 2020, French president Emmanuel Macron invited all interested European states to a “strategic dialogue” on the supposed contribution of France’s nuclear arsenal to European collective security.
During the past eight months of the global COVID pandemic, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has been active in promoting China’s claims in the South China Sea. This essay evaluates PLA statements, military exercises and operations, and deployment of relevant platforms and weapons in the South China Sea during this period. I leverage Chinese-language sources in addition to my own operational knowledge from over a decade of military experience to provide greater context for these activities.
Our 2015 survey experiment—reported in the 2017 International Security article “Revisiting Hiroshima in Iran”—asked a representative sample of Americans to choose between continuing a ground invasion of Iran that would kill an estimated 20,000 U.S. soldiers or launching a nuclear attack on an Iranian city that would kill an estimated 100,000 civilians.1 Fifty-six percent of the respondents preferred the nuclear strike.
Where is nuclear arms control—negotiated restraints on the deadliest weapons of mass destruction—headed? This 50-year tool of US national security policy is currently under attack. The New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START), the last remaining nuclear arms agreement with the Russian Federation, will go out of force in February 2021 unless it is extended for an additional five years as the treaty permits. At this moment, nothing is on the horizon to replace it, though the Trump administration has promised a new and more extensive agreement that includes China as well as Russia.
Nineteen years after 9/11, al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri has yet to achieve the household notoriety evoked by his immediate predecessor, Osama bin Laden. In part that’s because the United States hasn’t cared enough to focus attention on him. Aside from massive financial overtures for intelligence on his whereabouts—there’s currently a $25 million bounty offered for his head, higher than the reward for any other terrorist in the world—the U.S. government has been relatively blasé about al Qaeda since Zawahiri took over in 2011.
Nineteen years after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, does al Qaeda still pose a significant threat to U.S. national security? Among researchers, military and intelligence officials, and policymakers who study the group, there is little consensus. But very few experts on Salafi-jihadi movements would dismiss the group outright. So when U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confidently declared in a March interview on Fox & Friends that “al Qaeda is a shadow of its former self,” we were startled and concerned.
Polls in the United States and nine allied countries in Europe and Asia show that public support for a nuclear test is very low. If the Trump administration conducts a test, then it shouldn’t expect backing from Americans or its closest U.S. partners.
Read more at The National Interest
A new shadow war is underway within the International Telecommunication Union, one of the obscure organizations that sets global technical standards.
International standard-setting is a morass of positive intentions and poor execution. When the process works well, it selects the best technologies based on merit and, for example, allows people to use their personal cellphone numbers anywhere on Earth. When the system fails, we end up with different electrical outlets in each country and scramble for adapters.