• May 18, 2010


    By Sarah Bulley
    Iran accepted a nuclear fuel exchange agreement with Turkey over the weekend that it believes will pave the way for an easing of tensions and cessation of sanctions efforts by the UN Security Council. While Turkey and Brazil may have negotiated the terms of this exchange, the deal is far from complete, as it needs to be accepted by the IAEA. Nonetheless, in light of these developments it was announced today that the P5 +1 will consider a new draft sanction resolution against the Iranian government.
  • May 18, 2010

    By Oliver Bloom

    As part of CSIS’s Global Security Forum, Dr. Clark Murdock, CSIS senior advisor and director of the Project on Nuclear Issues (PONI), moderated a panel entitled “Should the U.S. Continue to Reduce the Role of Nuclear Weapons in its National Security Strategy.”  He was joined by General Larry Welch, USAF (ret.), president of the Institute for Advanced Analyses, former Chief of Staff of the Air Force, and former Commander in Chief of Strategic Air Command ; Hans Kristensen, director of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists; and Morton Halperin, Senior Advisor for the Open Studies Institute, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, and former Director of Policy Planning at the State Department. Murdock opened by asking the panelists a hypothetical question: in a proliferated world in which ten-plus countries have nuclear weapons, should the United States continue the current administration’s policy of reducing the role of nuclear weapons? In what ways should the United States adjust its policy in this changed world?

  • May 18, 2010

    U.S. Is Skeptical on Iranian Deal for Nuclear Fuel
    NY Times by David E. Sanger and Michael Slackman

    In Risky Deal, Turkey Seeks Security, Trade
    WSJ by Marc Champion

    Major Powers Have a Deal on Sanctions for Iran, U.S. Says
    NY Times by Peter Baker and David E. Sanger

    S.Korea wraps up warship probe amid US backing
    AFP by Jun Kwanwoo

    Review Cites Flaws in U.S. Antimissile Program
    NY Times by William J. Broad and David E. Sanger

  • May 17, 2010

    Iran Offers to Ship Uranium, Complicating Sanctions Talks
    NY Times by Michael Slackman

    NATO unveils draft of new mission statement
    AP by Slobodan Lekic

    India tests nuclear-capable missile: official

    Iran fuel deal would not fix nuclear issue: France
    Reuters by Crispian Balmer

    Kremlin to Send Arms Control Pact to Lawmakers in June
    Global Seucrity Newswire

  • May 17, 2010

    By Oliver Bloom

    Much has recently been made about the effects of Iran’s possible nuclear weapons program on a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. Commentators point to Saudi Arabia as one of the countries that might feel sufficiently threatened by a nuclear Iran to begin the development of its own nuclear deterrent

  • May 14, 2010

    By Chris Jones

    There's no rest for the weary at DoD. After completing the Nuclear Posture Review, they had to tackle completing the classified 1251 report that would accompany the New START treaty up to the Hill. Yesterday, the treaty was submitted for advice and consent. As for the 1251 report, most of it is classified but the White House was kind enough to release a one page summary with two major points. First, it detailed what the force structure will look like under New START:

    • The United States currently has 450 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) silos. The baseline plan will retain up to 420 deployed ICBMs, all with a single warhead.
    • The United States currently has 94 deployable nuclear-capable bombers. Under the baseline plan, some will be converted to conventional-only bombers (not accountable under the treaty), and up to 60 nuclear-capable bombers will be retained.
    • The United States currently has 14 strategic nuclear submarines (SSBNs). Under the baseline plan, all 14 will be retained. The United States will reduce the number of SLBM launchers (launch tubes) from 24 to 20 per SSBN, and deploy no more than 240 SLBMs at any time.

    These numbers show a good deal of the Administration’s hand on how they intend to reach the magic 700 launchers number. As Jeffrey Lewis noted, these numbers actually add up to 720 so the DoD still has some future shaving to do (or has figured out some clever counting) but the general direction is fairly clear.  While constituencies for each leg of the triad will inevitably grumble about any reductions made, 1251 could have been much harsher to any of the single legs than it was. It would not be surprisingly if the politics of the reductions had at least some role in shaping the outcome.

  • May 14, 2010
    Lula visit may be last shot on Iran engagement: U.S.
    Reuters by Arshad Mohammed
    Iran says three-way summit could finalize nuclear deal with West
    Haaretz by DPA
    China Reassures Pakistan Nuke Ties Are "Peaceful"
    AHN by Yamini Kaul
    Nuclear complex upgrades related to START treaty to cost $180 billion
    WP by Walter Pincus
    White House sends new START treaty to Senate
    AFP by Tangi Quemener
  • May 14, 2010


    By Sarah Bulley
    Iran’s nuclear program has been under international suspicion for several years. Attempts by the UN Security Council to sanction the Iranian government have failed to prevent the construction of new nuclear facilities and increased enrichment of uranium. In an attempt to forestall further targeted sanctions, Iran is negotiating a nuclear exchange program. Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva arrives in Tehran tomorrow for a visit that he hopes will revive efforts to curb Iran’s nuclear program and eliminate the need for further sanctions.

  • May 12, 2010


    Tomorrrow CSIS will be hosting its first annual marquee conference.  Titled the "Global Strategy Forum," the event will feature opening remarks from Vice Chairman James Cartwright.  Afterwards, there will be three sets of concurrent panels for three separate sessions.   The agenda can be found here.  Of particular note to nuclear folks is the panel Clark Murdock is moderating.  The panel will discuss the role of nuclear weapons in a proliferated world.  Specifically, it will address whether the United States should continue to reduce the role of nuclear weapons in its national security strategy should other countries develop nuclear weapons.  The panel will feature:

    General Larry D. Welch, USAF (ret.), President, Institute for Defense Analyses
    Mr. Hans Kristensen, Director of the Nuclear Information Project, Federation of American Scientists
    Dr. Morton H. Halperin, Senior Advisor, Open Society Institute

    Moderator: Dr. Clark Murdock, Senior Advisor, CSIS

    The event will be webcasted live on the CSIS website tomorrow and feature the ability for users to e-mail in questions that will be given to panelists.  Tune in tomorrow!


  • May 12, 2010


    By Sarah Bulley
    In recent weeks, pressure against American tactical nuclear weapons (TNW) in Europe has been growing. Germany has led the charge in drafting a petition to NATO for the elimination of TNW European stockpiles. It is estimated that the United States has between 150 and 250 tactical nuclear weapons, primarily B-61 bombs located at air bases in Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Turkey. These weapons are a key component of U.S. security assurances in Europe, and many proponents view them as even more essential with cuts in the United States’ strategic stockpile in recent years.
    Secretary Clinton has stated that the Obama Administration is not opposed to reductions in tactical weapon numbers in Europe. However, the issue of Russia’s own and much larger stockpile of tactical nuclear weapons prevent the U.S. from making any strong promises at reductions now.

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