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Category: Arms Control & Nonproliferation

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

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, 2010

U.S. Withdrawal from the Antiballistic Missile Treaty

As President George W. Bush made these remarks in a speech at the National Defense University (NDU) on May 1, 2001, National Security Council (NSC) Senior Director for Proliferation Strategy, Counterproliferation, and Homeland Defense Robert Joseph listened attentively. Within just 4 months of taking office, President Bush was articulating one of

Oct. 1, 2009

President Nixon’s Decision to Renounce the U.S. Offensive Biological Weapons Program

The nuclear arms race between the United States and the Soviet Union was a prominent feature of the Cold War. A lesser known but equally dangerous element of the superpower competition involved biological weapons (BW), living microorganisms that cause fatal or incapacitating diseases in humans, animals, or plants. By the late 1960s, the United

July 1, 2009

Aligning Disarmament to Nuclear Dangers: Off to a Hasty START?

Confronted by a daunting array of nuclear threats, and having pledged to reinvigorate the application of disarmament tools to address these dangers, the Obama administration has decided to focus its initial efforts on negotiating a new bilateral agreement with Russia to replace the Cold War–era Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), which expires

June 1, 2009

Are We Prepared? Four WMD Crises That Could Transform U.S. Security

This report, written by the staff of the National Defense University Center for the Study of Weapons of Mass Destruction in the fall of 2008 and the early winter of 2009, was conceived initially as a transition paper for the new administration following the 2008 American Presidential election. This report presents four weapons of mass destruction

April 1, 2007

The Future Nuclear Landscape

This Occasional Paper examines aspects of the contemporary and emerging international security environment that the authors believe will define the future nuclear landscape and identifies some associated priorities for policymakers.