A forty-year effort to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons is breaking down, and the threat that terrorist groups will acquire them is growing. In Fatal Choice, Ambassador Richard Butler argues that we are poised on the verge of a second and much more risk-filled nuclear arms race than the one experienced throughout the Cold War.
“We continue to face a choice with respect to nuclear weapons—either to move safely toward their elimination or to remain their victim,” says Butler. This threat is clearly reflected in nuclear weapons development by India, Pakistan, and North Korea. According to Butler, the Bush administration revived a missile defense system that will not deal with the problem but, in fact, worsen it.
Butler outlines steps that can be taken to create an effective, unitary nuclear arms control policy, including: a major policy statement by President Bush; unilateral actions, such as U.S. ratification of the Conventional Test Ban Treaty; bilateral measures, especially negotiations between the United States and Russia; multilateral actions, most importantly the thirteen steps agreed to at the 2000 Review Conference of the Nonproliferation Treaty; and new mechanisms, such as the establishment of a Council on Weapons of Mass Destruction.
Richard Butler is diplomat in residence at the Council on Foreign Relations. A former Australian ambassador to the United Nations, he headed the UN Special Commission to disarm Iraq from 1997-99 and was also chairman of the Canberra Commission on the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons in 1995.
Rates of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and other noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) in low- and middle-income countries are increasing faster than in wealthier countries. The Independent Task Force outlines a plan for collective action on this growing epidemic.
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 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 »
Now Available: Foreign Policy Begins at Home
The biggest threat to America's security and prosperity comes not from abroad but from within, writes CFR President Richard N. Haass in his provocative new book. More