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Leonard Weiss
Journal Articles

What do past nonproliferation failures say about the Iran nuclear agreement?

Leonard Weiss, Leonard Weiss
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists , 2015
The history of nonproliferation failures in Israel, India, Pakistan, and North Korea are reviewed in the light of the nuclear agreement with Iran. The paper shows that the circumstances in each case are special and not comparable to the situation in the Iranian case. Thus, while the Iran agreement has some weaknesses, past nonproliferation failures should not be considered predictive of a future failure in this case. But there are lessons to be learned from such failures that should inform U.S. nonproliferation policy generally.
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Journal Articles

Flash from the past: Why an apparent Israeli nuclear test in 1979 matters today

Leonard Weiss, Leonard Weiss
Bulletin of Atomic Scientists , 2015
The paper provides technical and circumstantial evidence that the detection of a "double flash" by a Vela satellite on 9/22/79 was that of an Israeli nuclear test logistically assisted by South Africa, putting both countries in violation of their commitments under the Limited Test Ban Treaty. The implications of this are explored in light of the controversy over the Iran nuclear agreement.
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Commentary

Nuclear Vulnerability

Leonard Weiss, Leonard Weiss
2015

This is a letter response to an article by Eric Schlosser on a break-in at the Y-12 nuclear facility. The letter argues that security vulnerability should not be translated into an exaggerated threat of nuclear terrorism, fear of which has had serious negative effects on American democracy and poses a more immediate threat than that of a nuclear terrorist attack.

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Journal Articles

Fear and Nuclear Terrorism

Leonard Weiss, Leonard Weiss
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists , 2015

Fear of nuclear weapons is rational, but its extension to terrorism has been a vehicle for fear-mongering that is unjustified by available data. The debate on nuclear terrorism tends to distract from events that raise the risk of nuclear war, the consequences of which would far exceed the results of terrorist attacks. And the historical record shows that the war risk is real. The Cuban Missile Crisis and other confrontations have demonstrated that miscalculation, misinterpretation, and misinformation could lead to a "close call" regarding nuclear war.

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Commentary

“Re: Some Nukes”, a letter in response to Hendrik Hertzberg’s article of March 22, 2010

Leonard Weiss
The New Yorker , 2010

Hendrik Hertzberg writes that the end of the Cold War and the coming of global warming have brought about increased support for nuclear power, even among some environmentalists (The Talk of the Town, March 22nd). But many of us who work on nuclear-proliferation issues are dismayed by the growth of nuclear energy. Expanded nuclear power in industrial countries will inevitably mean expanded nuclear exports to less developed countries as manufacturers try to recoup their investments in a limited domestic market by selling abroad.

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Journal Articles

Israel’s Future and Iran’s Nuclear Program

Leonard Weiss
Middle East Policy , 2009


Israel has had an arsenal of nuclear weapons since the late 1960s, and its current inventory is estimated at between 100 and 200 warheads. Some of these weapons will eventually be, or have already been, placed on Israel's missile-carrying submarines, making them virtually impervious to preemptive military attack. They are or soon will be Israel's invulnerable nuclear deterrent.

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Journal Articles

U.S.-India Nuclear Cooperation: Better Later than Sooner

Leonard Weiss
Nonproliferation Review , 2007

On July 5, 2005, President George W. Bush and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh signed an agreement pledging their governments to actions designed to culminate in a formal nuclear cooperation agreement that would end a three-decade U.S. nuclear embargo against India. Although the formal agreement has not yet received final approval from Congress, concerns about the consequences of the agreement, particularly its possible adverse effect on the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and the worldwide nonproliferation regime, have made the agreement controversial.

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Books

The Nonproliferation Regime and Its Discontents

Leonard Weiss
The Nonproliferation Policy Education Center ,

Book Notes:

Ever since President Obama made securing nuclear weapons assets a top priority for his global arms control agenda, guarding and disposing of these holdings have become an international security preoccupation. Starting in 2010, multilateral nuclear summits on how to prevent nuclear theft and sabotage have been held every two years – the first in Washington, the second in Seoul, the third in The Hague. Scores of studies have been commissioned and written, and nearly as many workshops (official and unofficial) have been held.

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