• Apr 22, 2010


    By Joe Lardizabal and Mark Jansson

    On 8 April 2010, the New START Treaty was signed in Prague by U.S. President Obama and Russian President Medvedev.  The treaty promises to reduce 1,550 warheads, 700 deployed ICBM’s, SLBM’s and deployed heavy bombers equipped for nuclear armaments, 800 deployed and non-deployed launchers and improve the verification and transparency regime. President Obama gave a speech shortly after the signing, drawing attention to the symbolic significance of the agreement. :

    “Together, we have stopped the drift, and proven the benefits of cooperation. Today is an important milestone for nuclear security and non-proliferation, and for U.S.-Russia relations... this day demonstrates the determination of the United States and Russia - the two nations that hold over 90 percent of the world’s nuclear weapons - to pursue responsible global leadership. Together, we are keeping our commitments under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which must be the foundation of global non-proliferation.”

    Moving past symbolism, below is a recap of the specific arms limits established by the New START. .

    1) Reductions in U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals. In the end, some reductions are better than none. Below is a breakdown of the nuclear arms reduction in terms of aggregate limits.

  • Apr 21, 2010

    Going back to my last post, the lack of progress on a Middle East Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone is highlighted in the Review Conference working papers of both Egypt and the New Agenda Coalition, which Egypt currently heads.

  • Apr 21, 2010

    By Andrew St. Denis

    Much of the real work at last week’s Summit occurred in the bilateral meetings behind the scenes, with an eye toward the NPT Review Conference next month. The Non-Aligned Movement is going to play a key role in deciding the outcome of the RevCon, which reflects in the makeup of President Obama’s bilateral schedule - which included NAM/NPT members Malaysia, Jordan, South Africa and Nigeria, NAM members India and Pakistan, and NAM observer states China, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine - among his dozen or so appointments.

  • Apr 21, 2010


    CSIS Senior Adviser and PONI Director Clark Murdock did a pair of short interviews for CSIS today as part of the CSIS iTunesU series.  Check them out:

    Murdock on the "Nuclear Spring"

    Murdock on the purpose of PONI






  • Apr 21, 2010

    PONI is taking its turn to parse out what experts think is good and not so good about the 2010 Nuclear Posture Review in the "PONI Debates the Issues" series tomorrow night.  There is still some space available for folks interested.  Event details and RSVP instructions:

    Date: Thursday, April 22, 2010
    Time: 5:30 - 7:45 pm
    Location: CSIS B1 Conference Center (1800 K St NW)

    Douglas Feith, Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute
    Clark Murdock, Senior Adviser, CSIS
    Ivan Oelrich, Vice President, Strategic Security Program, Federation of American Scientists

     To RSVP for the event, please contact Chris Jones here or by phone at (202) 775-3234.

  • Apr 21, 2010

    Iran seeks to persuade Security Council not to back tough nuclear sanctions
    WP by Thomas Erdbrink

    US official: Iran military strike 'off the table'
    AP by Alex Kennedy

    US hopes Pakistan will join fissile material talks
    Reuters by Jonathan Lynn

    Seoul rejects redeployment of US nuclear weapons

    Global Insights: Countering Nuclear Terrorism through Better Integration
    World Politics Review by Richard Weitz

  • Apr 20, 2010


    The Union of Concerned Scientists has a relatively new blog up, "All Things Nuclear."  Check it out.



  • Apr 20, 2010

    By John K. Warden

    Speaking at the NDUF-NDIA Seminar Series, Senator Jon Kyl (R-Arizona) discussed the NPR and New START, outlining what it would take to get him to support the treaty.

    On more than one occasion, Kyl said the NPR was not as bad as it could have been.  As he put it, in most areas, the NPR changes terminology, but maintains old doctrine and force structure.  The NPR supports:  a sizable deterred based on a nuclear triad; maintaining weapons on alert; continuing nuclear sharing with NATO allies; modernization of the U.S. nuclear infrastructure; and increases in missile defenses and conventional global strike.

    In other areas, Kyl was critical.  He described the revised negative security assurance as “bad news,” arguing that it “muddled the waters,” making deterrence of biological attacks more difficult. 

    However, he was more concerned with the NPR’s limitations on nuclear modernization, which he described as “alarming.”  According to Kyl, the NPR does not make an adequate commitment to life extension for the W-78.  He further argued that the formulation in the NPR that requires Presidential approval and Congressional authorization for replacement could “chill the labs,” preventing them from pursing the best possible options.

    On New START, Kyl’s bottom line was that he is “not yet convinced that ratifying the treaty is in the best interest of the United States.” 

  • Apr 20, 2010

    North Korea readying for 3rd nuclear test:report
    Reuters AlertNet by Jack Kim and Jon Herskovitz

    U.S. open to Iran nuclear fuel deal despite doubts
    Reuters by Andrew Quinn

    Egypt to Demand Talks on Nuke-Free Middle East
    Global Security Newswire

    Iran Holds a Nuclear Forum And Gets Prodded by Moscow
    St. Petersburg Times

    How to React to a Reactor: Using Syria’s Nuclear Program to Engage Damascus
    Foreign Affairs by Andrew J. Tabler

  • Apr 20, 2010


    In the second installment of the "Nuclear Reactions" feature of the PDI blog, reactions from top nuclear experts will be posted in response to the following question about the recently released 2010 Nuclear Posture Review (pdf): 

    What significance do you attach to the 2010 Nuclear Posture Review (NPR)? On balance, do you think it contributes positively or negatively to American security?

    Expert reactions by:

    Clark MurdockFostering a Centrist Consensus
    Clark Murdock- CSIS Senior Adviser and PONI Director 


    By elevating nuclear proliferation and nuclear terrorism to the forefront of U.S. nuclear strategy, the 2010 Nuclear Posture Review represents a significant adaptation to the nuclear dangers of the 21st century. Of more significance, however, is the effort to form the basis for a new national consensus in support of an integrated approach to nuclear disarmament and arms control, non-proliferation and deterrence. The 2010 NPR attempts to do this by striking several carefully nuanced balances between conflicting factors:

    •  Reducing U.S. reliance on nuclear weapons and the numbers of U.S. nuclear weapons, while maintaining a safe, secure and effective nuclear deterrent for as long as nuclear weapons exist;
    • Adopting a less ambiguous and more restrictive declaratory policy with respect to the circumstances under which a U.S. President might authorize the use of a nuclear weapon, while hedging against those potential adversaries and non-nuclear capabilities that could warrant a nuclear deterrent;
    • Fulfilling President Obama’s commitment that the U.S. would produce “no new nuclear weapons,” while significantly increasing investment in the nuclear complex and adopting a robust life extension program for sustaining a safe, secure and reliable stockpile.
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