PONI Debates the Issues Blog

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Zero is an Imaginary Number

By Daria Azarjew

     The international security environment has undoubtedly undergone a dynamic transformation since the United States emerged victoriously from the Cold War. Nuclear weapons no longer play the same role as they did during the duel of the two superpowers. Considering the brink of destruction which the U.S.-Soviet nuclear deadlock threatened the world with, the current movement for a “global zero” is understandable. While the merits of attaining a world…

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Sanctions: A Counter-Proliferation Tool

By Daniel Campos

The United States has sanctioned Iran over its illicit nuclear program for the last 17 years. The 2010 sanctions imposed by the United States, the European Union, and the United Nations have been the most debilitating sanctions ever imposed on a state. As a result of these sanctions, Iran’s economy has stopped growing, and its currency has lost over 50% of its value.  These…

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By Daria Azarjew

      The nature of U.S. and NATO’s relations with Russia has been incredibly tumultuous from the start, considering the Alliance’s original purpose as a security instrument to counter the Soviet threat. Once the Cold War ended and the “Russian Bear” no longer posed a direct threat to the alliance, the two entities were finally able to turn over a new leaf, formally launching a relationship in 1997, consisting of a forum for mutual dialog and…

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The third conference of the 2013 PONI Series will be held on December 17-18 at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC. Hosted in CSIS’s brand-new building, the event will feature presentations by rising professionals in the field as well as keynote addresses by nuclear experts. It will also include an evening reception and dinner for participants at the conclusion of day one (December 17). The conference program,…

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By Kyle Deming

Over the last three weeks, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s offers to come to the table for a nonproliferation deal have been met with mixed reactions across the international political spectrum. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry applauded the initiative, remarking that it would be “diplomatic malpractice” not to give talks a chance and that the “…

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By Kyle Deming

Another year has come and gone without U.S. ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), which was opened for signature at the September 1996 United Nations General Assembly in New York. Despite signing the treaty, the United States has never ratified it; the CTBT failed a Senate vote at the end of the Clinton presidency, went ignored for the length of the Bush…

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By: Daria Azarjew

     The last decade has seen North Korea's withdrawal from the NPT, Iran’s refusal to comply with IAEA inspections, and most recently, Syria’s violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention. While both the United States and the international community have tried to address these violations of international norms, the one conclusion that can be drawn is that the United States does not have a workable grand strategy for dealing with weapons of mass…

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Accepting Submissions for the Winter 2013 edition of Nuclear Notes

Due Friday, September 20, 2013

Nuclear Notes is a semi-annual publication of the Project on Nuclear Issues that seeks to contribute innovative ideas to the broader discussion on nuclear weapons strategy, arms control, nonproliferation, and disarmament. In particular, the publication seeks to provide an opportunity for…

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A great flurry of activity and concern has surrounded Russia’s diplomatic coup in Syria, with some commentators predicting Moscow's ascension to a position of influence in the region accompanied by a broader return to adversarial great power politics. Regardless of how the Syrian conflict resolves, Russia’s presence in the Middle East needs to be taken…

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By Kyle Deming

 

In a series of statements dating back to 2009 [1], Saudi Arabia has repeatedly asserted its capability and inclination to acquire a deterrent of its own if Iran successfully forces its way into the nuclear club. The significance of a poly-nuclear Middle East has driven policymakers and analysts to consider the likelihood that Riyadh will fulfill its promises.…
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The Nuclear Terrorism Threat - Preventing Catastrophe

By Angela Weaver

Recently a report was released by the University of Texas at Austin’s LBJ School of Public Affairs outlining the terror threat facing U.S. nuclear facilities. The report focuses on analyzing risk assessment methods, arguing that those currently in place make it difficult to efficiently allocate resources that protect nuclear facilities, both private and federal, and as a result, the facilities…
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By Alexis Shklar


A turning point in the Russian-Iranian relationship could occur next month as Russian President Vladimir Putin prepares for his first talks with Iran since early July. President Putin’s aide confirmed that the Rouhani-Putin meeting will take place on September 13, 2013 in Kyrgyzstan during the upcoming Shanghai Cooperation…

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Interview with Dr. Clark Murdock, Director of the Project on Nuclear Issues and Senior Adviser, CSIS
Questions posed by Raj Pattani, Research Intern, Project on Nuclear Issues

Today marks the 68th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.  We posed some questions to the director of the Project on Nuclear Issues, Dr. Clark Murdock, to ask him about his personal views on nuclear policy as we reflect on the implications of the first use of a…

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The views expressed above are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect those of the Center for Strategic and International Studies or the Project on Nuclear Issues. The content of this web site does not constitute an endorsement by or opinion of the Department of Defense or any sponsor of the Project on Nuclear Issues.