PONI Debates the Issues Blog

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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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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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Among those who viewed negotiations with Iran positively, the opportunities to double down on the Geneva breakthrough elsewhere may seem irresistible. Geoffrey Cain, writing in Salon, weighed whether the United States would be able to “ride the momentum” of the Geneva negotiations to successfully refocus international pressure on North Korea. …

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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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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 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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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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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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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.