This week, world leaders descended on Seoul, South Korea, for the second global Nuclear Security Summit — a project that started with President Obama’s call to secure all vulnerable nuclear material in four years (by the end of 2013). Unfortunately, most of these world leaders did not storm the gates of the summit ready to fight for that deadline. Many walked into a meeting already overshadowed by various domestic agendas and geopolitics, putting a damper on the real purpose of the gathering.
Month: March 2012
Philip Taubman's new book, The Partnership: Five Cold Warriors and Their Quest to Ban the Bomb, recounts the story of five front-rank Cold Warriors who have become nuclear abolitionists in their old age.
Recent months have seen an increasingly confusing debate about new research on the adaptability and transmissibility of avian influenza A/H5N1, which was undertaken by groups in the Netherlands and the United States. Both studies were funded by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), and research results were sent for publication to Science and Nature, respectively.
Everyone seems to be talking about Iran these days. Foreign affairs watchers, policy makers, and Middle East experts are all speculating about when Iran will get a nuclear bomb, about what the United States should do to stop Iran, about what the United States should and should not tolerate from Iran, and about how neighboring countries will act if Iran does succeed in making a nuclear weapon. These issues have been disputed for more than 30 years — and regularly covered in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.
Today on its website, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists launches a new monthly Nuclear Disarmament and Economic Development Roundtable series in which experts from emerging and developing countries debate crucial, timely topics in nuclear energy, nuclear proliferation, and economic development.
In September 2009, I authored an essay for the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists in which I argued that the then recent divergence between oil prices and natural gas prices was temporary.
I was dead wrong.
At the peak of the Cold War, more than 7,000 and as many as 24 different types of tactical — or nonstrategic — nuclear weapons were deployed by the United States through the NATO framework in Europe. The role of the weapons was to buttress deterrence of a Soviet military strike by countering the perception that, after the Warsaw Pact, NATO conventional forces were inferior to Soviet conventional forces.
In April 2010, representatives from 47 countries and three international organizations gathered in Washington, DC, for the first Nuclear Security Summit, an international effort created to strengthen fissile material security measures and prevent nuclear terrorism. Leaders endorsed the summit’s objective of securing all vulnerable nuclear materials around the world in four years and signed consensus communiqué and work plan documents focused on compliance with today’s nuclear material security regime.
Rieser Fellowships provide the successful undergraduate applicants with a one-time award of up to $4,000 to pursue projects that explore issues at the intersection of science, global security, and public policy, focusing on a significant aspect of nuclear security, climate stabilization or biotechnology.
A Single Roll of the Dice: Obama's Diplomacy with Iran Trita ParsiYale University Press304 pages, $27.50In his new book on President Barack Obama's Iran policy, A Single Roll of the Dice: Obama's Diplomacy with Iran, Trita Parsi patiently untangles one of the great diplomatic morasses of recent years.
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.
Tens of thousands filled the square as the echoes of the speaker at the podium boomed through huge speakers. Some came in anger, others in grief, but all agreed: It was time for a change. Many carried banners, others carried drums; some had taken their children out of school to attend. No, this wasn’t Tahrir Square; it was Tokyo, Japan, on a chilly Monday last fall.
For most Americans, 3/11 has no particular significance. (Hint: it’s not that rock band from Omaha.) Some Europeans associate it with the Madrid train bombings of March 11, 2004. But, in Japan, 3/11 is universally recognized as shorthand for the events of March 11, 2011, when a huge offshore earthquake triggered a tsunami that devastated the country’s northeastern coast and swamped emergency cooling systems at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station.
As possible military action against Iran’s suspected nuclear weapons program looms large in the public arena, far more international concern should be directed toward Syria and its weapons of mass destruction. When the Syrian uprising began more than a year ago, few predicted the regime of President Bashar al-Assad would ever teeter toward collapse. Now, though, the demise of Damascus’s current leadership appears inevitable, and Syria’s revolution will likely be an unpredictable, protracted, and grim affair.
For the first time in years, there is some welcome news out of North Korea: Washington and Pyongyang have finally struck a deal. North Korea agreed, for the time being, to issue a moratorium on uranium enrichment as well as nuclear and missile tests, which would help relieve tensions on the Korean Peninsula. Pyongyang vowed to allow International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors into its Yongbyon nuclear facilities to verify the anticipated uranium enrichment freeze.