PONI Debates the Issues Blog

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Japanese Nationalism: A Cause for Concern?

On December 26, 2013, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited the Yasukuni Shrine located in Chiyoda, Tokyo. Abe’s trip marked the first time in seven years that a Japanese Prime Minister traveled to the shrine, and the visit was met with harsh criticism by both the U.S. government as well as leaders of Japan’s neighboring countries. Founded by Emperor Meiji in 1869, the Yasukuni Shrine commemorates Japanese soldiers who died in service of their country from the 1868…

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What's at Stake for the World in Ukraine

The US and Russia keep nearly 2000 strategic nuclear weapons deployed and ready to launch. Modern strategic nuclear weapons generally have much larger yields than the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. A single nuclear warhead has easily enough explosive power to destroy a city and kill millions. An exchange of 100 of these weapons—which would be devastating in…

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Stories broke late last week about South Korea’s investment in creating cyberweapons “similar to Stuxnet” designed to damage or disrupt North Korea’s nuclear infrastructure. Cyberwarfare represents a largely unfamiliar and ill-defined frontier to the nuclear field, so it’s no surprise that assessments of and reactions to the news have varied widely; some, like the…

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By Daria Azarjew

 

The global community currently finds itself on the threshold of an historical agreement, as negotiations on the final deal with Iran have begun this week.  Iran and major powers have been working hard together to reach a consensus and repair broken relationships, making the interim deal itself a monument of progress in international cooperation and diplomacy. Implemented on January 20, 2014, it is an important first step towards halting the…

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Last Friday, January 31, 2014, the Hudson Institute hosted a panel discussion entitled “The United States, Iran, and the Post-Geneva Middle East: What’s Next after the Joint Plan of Action is Implemented?” The event, moderated by Hudson Institute Senior Fellow Lee Smith, featured regional experts debating the prospects for a successful final deal over Iran’s nuclear program and the consequences of the broader U.S. strategy in the Middle East. The featured speakers included Ray Takeyh, Senior…

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Event Recap: PONI Live Debate on Triad Modernization

On Monday, January 27, the Project on Nuclear Issues hosted a live debate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies discussing the future of the U.S. nuclear force. The formal topic was “Resolved: The United States should modernize only one leg of the nuclear triad.” Two senior experts – Dr. Christopher Preble, Vice President for Defense and Foreign Policy Studies at the Cato Institute, and Mr. Elbridge Colby, Fellow at the Center for a New American Security – shared their…

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By Daria Azarjew

Over a decade ago, in its effort to preserve military superiority and a powerful deterrent, the United States identified the need for a new capability. This led the U.S. military to create the controversial concept of a high precision global strike capability. The Conventional Prompt Global Strike program (CPGS) aims to develop weapons capable of performing a highly precise non-nuclear strike anywhere in the world within an hour of making the decision to attack. Such…

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By Daria Azarjew

 

         It is increasingly evident that China’s military power and capabilities are continuing to grow and improve. Historically, China has declared that the primary purpose of its military arsenal has been to serve defensive ends; however Beijing’s recent behavior suggests that China’s strategy may be changing.

         China’s self-defensive military strategy, as articulated in previous…

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As the State Department noted, Tuesday marked the twentieth anniversary of the Trilateral Statement between Ukraine, Russia, and the United States on the issue of leftover Soviet nuclear weapons in Ukraine. The agreement created a plan – completed successfully in 2001 – to export or destroy the remaining nuclear warheads, delivery vehicles, and fissile material in the country in exchange for security guarantees…

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PONI Research Intern - Accepting Applications

The Project on Nuclear Issues (PONI) at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) is seeking a research intern to support its effort to develop the next generation of leaders in nuclear science and policy. 

The research intern’s primary responsibilities will consist of supporting PONI staff in coordinating and organizing events; providing research support for PONI staff, including director Clark Murdock; authoring posts for the PONI Debates the Issues blog;…

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Uranium enrichment is a tricky subject, both chemically and politically.  A key portion of the Iran negotiations rests on what autonomy Tehran will maintain to enrich uranium for its domestic nuclear program. The United States and several allied countries in the P5+1 (not to mention Israel) would prefer that Iran dismantle its entire enrichment infrastructure, agree to permanent, intrusive inspections, and rely on international sources of enriched fuel if it maintains any nuclear energy…

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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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By Kyle Deming

Last week, the BBC published a lengthy piece speculating that Saudi Arabia is in the process of acquiring a nuclear weapon from Pakistan.  Based on recent anonymous reports within NATO intelligence, analysis of satellite-photographed Saudi missile sites, and a helping of Cold War-era circumstantial evidence, the article claims that Riyadh has warheads “on order,” paid for and…

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Are the Senkakus the United States’ Munich?

Brinksmanship is a game of escalation measured in moves and counter moves. You push your adversary to the edge and hope he folds. If he doesn't, push harder. As the eminent game theorist and Nobel Laureate Thomas Schelling would say, you allow circumstances to grow increasingly out of hand. Eventually someone gives in – either before the shooting starts or after.…

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Around 3 A.M. on Sunday morning in Geneva, Iran and the P5+1 agreed to an interim deal to restrict Tehran’s nuclear program. In short, the arrangement caps uranium enrichment at 5%, stops buildup of low-enriched uranium, freezes the progress of the “plutonium track” Arak reactor, “neutralizes” the current stocks of 20%-enriched uranium, and allows for “unprecedented” transparency and monitoring. These restrictions come in exchange for reversible – and minimal – financial sanctions relief,…

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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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