The idea of nuclear disarmament is gaining traction internationally, but countries supporting it must counter the nuclear proliferation risk created by Iran and North Korea, and make sure disarmament treaties include strong verification mechanisms, says former Secretary of State George P. Shultz.
A CFR expert on nuclear issues, Paul Lettow says President Obama's agenda will be heavily tilted toward nuclear issues in 2010. He says this is "the ideal moment for strong American leadership on these issues," and despite Obama's disappointment in not wrapping up a new START treaty by the end of the year, Lettow expects the treaty to be signed in early 2010.
Following a post-Cold War erosion of senior level attention to nuclear weapons stewardship, the Air Force general charged with protecting the U.S. nuclear arsenal says his service is finally regaining its strategic focus.
Expert David Albright, says the preliminary agreement by which Iran will ship its low-enriched uranium to Russia for further processing "allows time for negotiations" to get Iran to freeze its nuclear program but warns Iran might still block the implementation of the plan.
CFR's top arms control expert, Charles D. Ferguson, says "nothing revolutionary" was agreed to on arms control issues at the U.S.-Russia summit, despite a pledge to cut nuclear arsenals down from current levels.
Don Oberdorfer, a leading expert on North and South Korea, says he sees no evidence North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il has moved to relinquish control, despite reports concerning his illness and succession.
Gary Samore, who was active in nuclear diplomacy with North Korea in the Clinton administration, says the latest agreement between the United States and North Korea is only a "very modest step forward" because it allows the next administration to proceed further in seeking a nuclear-disarmed North Korea.
Michael Krepon, a well-known expert on South Asia and nuclear nonproliferation, says that the U.S.-India nuclear agreement is likely to weaken efforts at strengthening nonproliferation of nuclear weapons. He says that Congress will likely approve the agreement on the grounds it will improve relations with India and increase American jobs.
Gary Samore, a senior arms-control negotiator in the Clinton administration, says the Bush administration has agreed to a compromise with North Korea on demands for it to confess the extent of its uranium-enrichment activities.
Gary Samore, a former top U.S. official on arms control policy, says Bush administration policymakers have concluded that North Korea has decided to delay any progress on nuclear disarmament until a new administration takes office in spite of pledges to the contrary.
Bruce Riedel, a longtime CIA specialist in South Asia, says India’s decision to put a nuclear pact with Washington in “cold storage” is only a “hiccup on the road towards a stronger U.S.-India partnership.”
Gary Samore, a North Korea expert, says he believes Pyongyang will close down its Yongbyon reactor. But he says it will be difficult to proceed further because of North Korea’s continuing desire to be rewarded with light-water nuclear reactors.
David Albright, a well-known expert on Iranian and North Korean nuclear programs, says the North Korean insistence on getting their benefits before carrying out their obligations can only slow down the implementation of the deal for ending North Korea’s nuclear program.
Juan Cole, an expert on Iran, says Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei used the capture of British military personnel “to whip up Iranian nationalistic sentiments” to garner support for his regime.
George Perkovich, a leading expert on Iran and nuclear nonproliferation issues, says there is no question that Iran has not complied yet with the IAEA investigation into its nuclear activities despite its claims to the contrary.
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Campbell evaluates the implications of the Boko Haram insurgency and recommends that the United States support Nigerian efforts to address the drivers of Boko Haram, such as poverty and corruption, and to foster stronger ties with Nigerian civil society.
Koblentz argues that the United States should work with other nuclear-armed states to manage threats to nuclear stability in the near term and establish processes for multilateral arms control efforts over the longer term.
The authors argue that it is essential to begin working now to expand and establish rules and norms governing armed drones, thereby creating standards of behavior that other countries will be more likely to follow.
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2014 Annual Report. The Annual Report spotlights new initiatives, high-profile events, and authoritative scholarship from CFR experts, and includes a message from CFR President Richard N. Haass. Read and download »