Kingston Reif

Kingston Reif

Articles by Kingston Reif

9 April 2012

The case for the CTBT: Stronger than ever

Kingston Reif

In his April 2009 speech in Prague, President Barack Obama outlined a vision of a world free of nuclear weapons and pledged to "immediately and aggressively" pursue approval of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), which prohibits any nuclear test explosions that produce a self-sustaining, supercritical chain reaction and creates a robust international verification regime.

12 March 2012

When less is not more

Kingston Reif

Since the dawn of the nuclear age, a defining feature of US nuclear strategy has been the quest for credible ways to strengthen deterrence -- including the ability to actually win a nuclear war, which of course would reduce constraints imposed on US foreign policy by the spread of nuclear weapons.

2 February 2012

New START: One year later

Kingston Reif

February 5 marks the one-year anniversary of the New Strategic Arms Reductions Treaty's (New START) entry into force. Signed by the United States and Russia in April 2010, New START caps each country's nuclear arsenal at 1,550 deployed strategic warheads, 700 deployed strategic delivery vehicles (long-range missiles and bombers), and 800 deployed and non-deployed strategic launchers (long-range missile tubes on submarines, missile silos, and bombers).

14 December 2011

What the super committee's failure means for nuclear weapons

Kingston Reif

On November 21, the 12-member congressional super committee announced that it failed to approve a plan to shrink the budget deficit by at least $1.2 trillion over the next decade, triggering an automatic sequester that, if implemented, could result in reductions of $500 billion to planned defense spending over the next decade. These cuts would be in addition to the more than $450 billion in reductions the Pentagon has planned over the next decade.

14 July 2011

Parting words: Gates and tactical nuclear weapons in Europe

Kingston ReifEmma Lecavalier

In a recent speech in Brussels, departing Defense Secretary Robert Gates criticized European members of NATO for allowing defense obligations to fall increasingly upon the United States, continuing a funding imbalance that could lead Americans to question whether the costs of NATO are justified.

17 September 2010

Sharing New START's negotiating record is unwarranted

Kingston ReifTravis Sharp

On September 16, the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved New START, the bilateral treaty signed in April that would verifiably reduce US and Russian nuclear weapons. Three Republican senators -- Richard Lugar, Bob Corker, and Johnny Isakson -- voted in committee to approve the treaty. Such support bodes well for the pact's prospects during floor consideration by the full Senate, which can still attach additional declarations and conditions to New START's resolution of ratification in order to clarify its interpretation of the treaty.

23 June 2009

Will the Senate support new nuclear arms reductions?

John IsaacsKingston Reif

President Barack Obama has an ambitious agenda on nuclear weapons issues that will take a long time to implement. For example, the earliest the Senate is likely to vote again on the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) is 2010. Likewise, a Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty is at least three years away. Ditto for the president's goal of safeguarding all vulnerable nuclear weapons and nuclear materials worldwide. And then there is his most ambitious goal of all--a nuclear-weapon-free world, which even he has suggested probably won't take place in his lifetime.

22 April 2009

The RRW's vacuum tube myth

Jeffrey LewisKingston Reif

Since last fall, Air Force Gen. Kevin Chilton, commander of U.S. Strategic Command, has been stumping for the so-called Reliable Replacement Warhead (RRW) Program, which would develop new nuclear warheads to swap into the U.S. arsenal. In a sit-down with Wall Street Journal editors last November, Chilton held aloft a prop to make his case: "I remember what these things were for. I bet you don't. It's a vacuum tube.