Joshua Pollack

Articles by Joshua Pollack

27 January 2012

How to prevent war with Iran

Joshua Pollack

The pace of events in the confrontation between Iran, Israel, and the United States has accelerated rapidly in the last few months. The mysterious destruction of an Iranian missile facility in November was followed by a new wave of US-organized sanctions against Iran's central bank.

1 August 2011

Missile control: A multi-decade experiment in nonproliferation

Joshua Pollack

Even in the best case, nonproliferation initiatives can take years to bear fruit. They also tend to yield something other than complete success. Few things illustrate this point as well as the case of missiles. The effort to stop their spread is usually dated to November 1982, when President Ronald Reagan signed National Security Decision Directive 70.

15 March 2011

Guarding against disaster: As Japan's tragedy becomes more serious, so does the need to learn from it

Joshua Pollack

Even as it worsens, Japan's nuclear accident still pales in comparison to Japan's natural disaster. The estimated death toll from the earthquake and tsunami, now climbing toward five figures, numbs the imagination. It seems almost tasteless to dwell on what amounts to a minor, if sensational, feature of an incomprehensible tragedy.

6 December 2010

The high stakes of New START

Joshua Pollack

With President Obama determined to bring New START to the Senate floor before the end of the year, the national security establishment is virtually unanimous in its support of the treaty.

24 September 2010

New START and the allure of strategic superiority

Joshua Pollack

After countless Senate hearings and nearly six months after the signing ceremony in Prague, the New START treaty has successfully passed out of committee. The support of the necessary 67 out of 100 senators appears likely but is not yet a done deal; as a Senate staff member told the Washington Post, "The administration is still going to have to work on these votes."

20 July 2010

Contending with the new "radioactive patriotism"

Joshua Pollack

A few weeks ago, it seemed as if the nuclear arms control and nonproliferation communities had any number of new reasons for optimism. April brought the New START treaty, the Nuclear Posture Review, and the 47-nation Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, D.C. The 2010 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference concluded in May with a hard-won consensus. Finally, in early June, the U.N.

2 June 2010

What nonproliferation diplomacy can and can't achieve

Joshua Pollack

Multilateral diplomacy is hardly destined to become a spectator sport. For most people--for almost all people, really--"talk shops" like the United Nations fail to get the blood racing. If successful, they tend to produce results gradually, fitfully, and by a series of compromises.

3 May 2010

Is a nuclear nonproliferation consensus within reach?

Joshua Pollack

Thanks to the participation of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the eighth conference "to review the operation" of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) is attracting more attention than these affairs usually do. When it concludes on May 28, the NPT Review Conference may not yield a final document expressing the consensus of all 189 NPT member states--but that does not mean the event will be less than spectacular. On only its first day, the conference produced some fireworks.

7 April 2010

What Obama's Nuclear Posture Review accomplishes

Joshua Pollack

After repeated delays, the 2010 Nuclear Posture Review--just the third such effort since the end of the Cold War--is finished. This document has been by far the most anticipated of its kind. Judging by occasional reports, it has been extensively coordinated and worked over--the hallmarks of a high-priority policy document.