Publications

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Nuclear Issues

Jan. 23, 2018

Negotiating a Nuclear "Code of Conduct"

The NPT five lack shared norms of nuclear behavior. Pursuing a nuclear code of conduct could resolve that and help increase both dialogue and stability.

March 20, 2017

March Issue, Arms Control Today: "Deter and Downsize: A Paradigm Shift for Nuclear Arms Control"

Nuclear arms control needs a new paradigm. The current approach, focused on deployed strategic nuclear “delivery vehicles”—long-range bombers, nuclear ballistic missile submarines, and intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), together often referenced as the nuclear triad—was forged during a Cold War standoff between two heavily armed

Nov. 3, 2016

Weapons of Mass Destruction: Challenges for the New Administration

The 2015 National Security Strategy identifies the proliferation and/or use of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) among the top strategic risks to the Nation’s interests. This paper examines four pressing WMD challenges for the next U.S. administration. First, the prospects of a direct clash between the United States and a nuclear-armed adversary

Sept. 1, 2016

Law of War Considerations In Fielding Nuclear Forces

The status of nuclear weapons within international law was a subject of intense debate during last fall’s UN General Assembly First Committee session. State supporters of the humanitarian initiative on nuclear weapons pressed for resolutions asserting the illegality of nuclear weapons and sought to build support for the near-term negotiation of a

May 11, 2016

Limited and Lawful Hammers

The article by Gro Nystuen and Kjolv Egeland in Arms Control Today titled, “A ‘Legal Gap’? Nuclear Weapons Under International Law” begins by citing language from the “Conclusion” of the Final Document of the 2010 NPT RevCon, noting it “referred for the first time in [Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT)] history to the ‘catastrophic humanitarian

March 16, 2016

Applying Jus in Bello to the Nuclear Deterrent

On December 7, 2015, the UN General Assembly passed A/RES/70/50, titled “Ethical imperatives for a nuclear-weapon-free-world,” by a vote of 132-36. Co-sponsored by Austria and several other states central to the “Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons” movement, the resolution charges that any use of nuclear weapons would inherently violate the

March 10, 2016

Making Russia Think Twice About Nuclear Threats

On September 11, 2013, Russian President Vladimir V. Putin, writing in The New York Times, issued “A Plea for Caution From Russia.” Putin sought to communicate directly with the American people, warning against U.S. and Western unilateral military action in Syria — in response to the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons against its own citizens —

Nov. 22, 2015

Implications for US Extended Deterrence and Assurance in East Asia

North Korea’s burgeoning nuclear program is placing greater demands on US extended deterrence and also raising questions in Seoul and Tokyo about the robustness of US commitments. These challenges are likely to grow over the coming years, as North Korea appears poised to expand the quantity, quality and diversity of weapons systems in its arsenal

Aug. 1, 2015

North Korea's Evolving Nuclear Strategy

Over the past two decades, North Korea’s nuclear program has grown from a proliferation problem to a military threat to its neighbors and the United States. The country is now estimated to possess enough fissile material to build anywhere from six to about thirty nuclear weapons, depending largely on how much highly enriched uranium it has

June 13, 2014

Background on the 'Possible Military Dimensions' of Iran's Nuclear Program

As senior officials from Iran and the P5+1 -- China, France, Russia, Britain, and the United States, plus Germany -- prepare for another round of nuclear talks in Vienna on June 16-20, one major issue that cannot be left unresolved regards the suspected military aspects of Iran's nuclear program. The so-called possible military dimensions (PMD) are