The White House moved quickly to debunk North Korea's exaggerated claim that a Jan. 5 "artificial earthquake" at the site where Pyongyang had conducted three previous nuclear tests was a breakthrough detonation of a hydrogen bomb. The size of the blast was similar to that of North Korea's January 2013 test and had a yield thousands of times lower than the yield expected of a hydrogen blast. But in downplaying North Korea's claim so as not to feed Kim Jong-un's cravings for international attention, the Obama administration risks underplaying the growing danger posed by North Korea's unchecked efforts to develop nuclear and missile capabilities needed to threaten a nuclear strike on the United States.
A recent article on additive manufacturing sounded the alarm over the use of this technology for the production of a nuclear weapon. While the authors, Matthew Kroenig and Tristan Volpe, are correct to assert that additive manufacturing is changing proliferation, today’s clear and present danger comes from conventional weapons, not just nuclear warheads.
In his testimony before the Senate Committee on Armed Services, Ray Takeyh argues that the United States must find a way to impose limits on Iran's nuclear ambitions through negotiations while restraining its regional ambitions through pressure.
On March 20, 2015, three hundred and sixty-seven House lawmakers signed a letter to President Obama regarding nuclear negotiations with Iran. The letter lists concerns the lawmakers have regarding Iran's ability to build a nuclear weapon and the Iranian government's relations with Iraq, Syria, and Yemen.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke to the U.S. Congress on March 3, 2015, to address Israel's concerns about U.S. negotiations with Iran on its nuclear program. Prime Minister Netanyahu also gave remarks to the U.S. Congress in 2011.
Will the extension of Iran's nuclear talks lead to a deal? Expert Robert Litwak says it depends on whether the Iranian regime is prepared to bear the political costs of concessions on uranium enrichment.
In his testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, CFR Senior Fellow Ray Takeyh discusses the perception of Iranian president Hassan Rouhani as a reformer or pragmatist, the role of the Supreme National Security Council, and the future of the Islamic Republic's nuclear program.
Iran's nuclear ambitions are likely driven by multiple factors, from security concerns to domestic polices. However, political competition within Iran, rather than Israel's nuclear capabilities, plays a more significant role in driving Iran's nuclear ambition.
Authors: William Luers, Priscilla Lewis, and Iris Bieri
"It is time for Washington to rebalance its dual-track policy toward Iran, strengthening the diplomatic track in order to seize the opportunity created by the pressure track. The United States should now dedicate as much energy and creativity to negotiating directly with Iran as it has to assembling a broad international coalition to pressure and isolate Iran. Only by taking such a rebalanced approach might the United States achieve its objectives with respect to Iran's nuclear program."
Secretary of State John Kerry spoke on April 12, 2013, at the American Chamber of Commerece in Seoul after his meetings with South Korean President Park and South Korean Foreign Minister Yun. He discussed economic cooperation between the Republic of Korea and the United States and nuclear issues in the region.
The authors argue that the United States has responded inadequately to the rise of Chinese power and recommend placing less strategic emphasis on the goal of integrating China into the international system and more on balancing China's rise.
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.
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2015 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 »