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Category: Articles & Op-Eds

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

Aug. 20, 2015

Putin's Russia and U.S. Defense Strategy

The workshop addressed two questions bearing on the development of U.S. and NATO strategy toward Russia.

Aug. 12, 2015

Iran Debates the IAEA Roadmap

The Rouhani administration is insisting on the confidentiality of its 'roadmap' with the IAEA in order to quell domestic criticism of the JCPOA and bolster the nuclear program's security.

July 1, 2015

The History of Biological Weapons Use: What We Know and What We Don’t

This article critically reviews the literature on the history of biological warfare, bioterrorism, and biocrimes. The first serious effort to review this entire history, made in 1969, had numerous limitations. In recent decades, several authors have filled many of the gaps in our understanding of the past use of biological agents (including both

April 14, 2015

The WMD Challenges Posed by a Collapse of North Korea

North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction (WMD) pose a number of challenges, particularly how to find and secure those weapons if the regime collapses. This paper will look briefly at 1) North Korea’s nuclear, chemical and biological programs; 2) activities coalition forces might conduct in a collapse scenario; and 3) challenges posed by an

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

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

Aug. 3, 2010

Nuclear safety in Iran, post-Fukushima

Although the Fukushima disaster has stalled the ambitions of some developing countries to deploy new power reactors, the Japanese crisis has not seriously affected the expansion of Iran's nuclear energy program. Among the 45 countries that are actively considering plans to build their first power reactors, Iran is farthest along in the process and