PONI Debates the Issues Blog

All Posts (86)

by Kaitlyn Duffy

Last week, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott met with President Barack Obama in Washington, D.C. to discuss and reaffirm the U.S.-Australia alliance with respect to force posture and defense cooperation. One result of the talks is that Abbott confirmed Australia’s previous commitments to supporting expanded U.S. missile…

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by Kaitlyn Duffy

“In a strange turn of history, the threat of global nuclear war has gone down, but the risk of a nuclear attack has gone up." – President Barack Obama

Since the beginning of his first term, President Barack Obama has emphasized that nuclear terrorism poses one of the most critical threats to the world today. This was clearly stated in his…

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While much has been written from an American perspective about missile defense, there is much less debate in the English-speaking literature about the integration of such a weapons-system in the doctrines and strategies of medium nuclear powers such as France, especially with regards to the articulation between the role of missile defense and nuclear deterrence. This article highlights the shift that has occurred on this matter in French doctrine after the end of the Cold War. France now…

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Last month, in an address to the International Conference on Euro-Atlantic Security, NATO Deputy Secretary General Ambassador Alexander Vershbow stated, “For 20 years, the security of the Euro-Atlantic region has been based on the premise that we do not face an adversary to our east. This premise is now in doubt.” The crisis in Crimea has fundamentally re-ordered post-Cold War security dynamics in…

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Likened to a Rubik’s Cube, nuclear negotiations with Iran involve multiple, interrelated points of contention. Most interested parties agree that a successful deal with Iran will include robust, verifiable limitations on Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for significant sanctions relief for Tehran. However, deciding how robust; how verifiable; how long additional safeguards will be imposed; and what kind of sanctions relief – from whom, and sequenced how – are among the various questions…

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Amidst the growing chorus of specific proposals concerning Iran and an evolving Middle East, the United States should quietly choose a strategy from the same drawer as the one that contributed to the longest span of peace between rival powers in European history. The United States should prioritize stability over regional dominance.

The interim agreement on Iran’s nuclear program and continuing dialogue on a longer-term settlement have stirred the United States’ leading minds to…

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During a March 2014 speech to Iran’s Defense Ministry, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani asserted, “We are not after weapons of mass destruction. That’s our red line. If Iran was after weapons of mass destruction, it would build chemical weapons. Those are easier to make. It would build biological arms, which are even easier than making chemical weapons.” Rouhani’s recent…

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In his 1966 publication Arms and Influence, Thomas Shelling wrote, “Military strategy can no longer be thought of as the science of military victory. It is now equally, if not more, the art of coercion, of intimidation and deterrence.” Shelling’s doctrine of coercive diplomacy is a strategy to prevent (deter) an enemy from engaging in unwanted activities…

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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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