Publications

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

June 1, 2014

The Future of Weapons of Mass Destruction: Their Nature and Role in 2030

The longstanding efforts of the international community writ large to exclude weapons of mass destruction (WMD) from international competition and conflict could be undermined in 2030. The proliferation of these weapons is likely to be harder to prevent and thus potentially more prevalent. Nuclear weapons are likely to play a more significant role

May 20, 2014

Political Chasm Deepens Over Nuke Program

Iran’s political elite has become increasingly divided over the course of nuclear negotiations with the world’s six major powers, which began last fall. The current debate appears to fall into three camps: Nuclear Supporters: This faction reportedly includes Revolutionary Guards officials, personnel from the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran

Feb. 1, 2014

Leadership Divided? The Domestic Politics of Iran's Nuclear Debate

The implementation of the Joint Plan of Action (JPA) between Iran and the P5+1 has raised hopes that the agreement will mark a first step toward a long-term, comprehensive solution to international concerns about Iran's nuclear program. Although Ayatollah Khamenei has publicly endorsed the efforts of President Hassan Rouhani's nuclear negotiating

Dec. 1, 2012

The International Atomic Energy Agency's Decision to Find Iran in Non-Compliance, 2002-2006

On August 14, 2002, at a press conference in Washington, DC, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), an exiled Iranian opposition group, drew worldwide attention when it publicly accused Iran of clandestinely developing nuclear weapons. Alireza Jafarzadeh, then-U.S. media spokesperson for the NCRI, described two “top secret” nuclear

Oct. 1, 2012

Star Wars Rebooted: Global Missile Defense in 2017

At present and for the near future, missile defense (MD) is not in peril of dismemberment. Indeed, the level of political consensus on the need for a missile defense runs high, as demonstrated by the Obama administration since 2009.1 But there probably will be questions about the most appropriate policy and technical options going forward when the

Sept. 1, 2012

The Presidential Nuclear Initiatives of 1991-1992

On the morning of September 28, 1991, then-Colonel Frank Klotz witnessed an historic moment at Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota. As he and other senior officers from the base bomber and missile units watched, the crews for the B-1 strategic bombers that had been on alert that day climbed into their cockpits, started the planes, and taxied

June 1, 2012

Proliferation Security Initiative: Origins and Evolution

Failure as a Policy Catalyst On December 9, 2002, the United States and Spanish navies cooperated to interdict a North Korean vessel, the So San, in the Arabian Sea.1 The operation initially appeared to be an unqualified success, a textbook example of interdiction to prevent proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), related materials, or

June 1, 2012

Proliferation Risks of Civilian Nuclear Power Programs

The risks of nuclear proliferation—the further spread of nuclear weapons and weapons-usable material, technology, and expertise—derive in part from the technical characteristics of the nuclear fuel cycle and the national and international management of fuel cycle activities. Civilian nuclear power plants themselves are not considered a high

Jan. 1, 2012

Defining "Weapons of Mass Destruction" (Revised)

This revised Occasional Paper explores the issue of defining weapons of mass destruction with a focus on summarizing how the term has been used in disarmament negotiations, U.S. national security policy, Soviet and Russian military doctrine, and American political discourse. The paper identifies alternative definitions for WMD, addresses some of the key policy issues associated with different definitions, and proposes a definition appropriate for the Department of Defense.