• May 3, 2010

    By Andrew St. Denis

    A short while ago, the Department of Defense released previously classified figures on the size of the U.S. nuclear stockpile. From the document (found here):

  • May 3, 2010


    By Chris Jones

    Glimpsing at the sound bytes on Iran over the past couple weeks, it would seem Secretary Gates could be criticized for flip flopping a la the Kerry campaign.  The NYT reported a couple weeks back that:

    Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has warned in a secret three-page memorandum to top White House officials that the United States does not have an effective long-range policy for dealing with Iran’s steady progress toward nuclear capability, according to government officials familiar with the document.

    Yet Gates was quoted in the Washington Post last week as saying:

    Defense Secretary Robert Gates said on Tuesday he was satisfied with Pentagon planning to counter the threat posed by Iran's nuclear program.
    "I'm very satisfied with the planning process both within this building and in the inter-agency. We spend a lot of time on Iran and we'll continue to do so," Gates told reporters at a press conference with Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

    What gives? Probably a few things. First of all, there is a crucial three month period between when the memo was written and leaked. Presumably, that would provide a window in which the Administration could work to address Gates’ concerns in the original memo. Second, there have been important backtracks on both of these stories. Shanker and Sanger published a piece the day after the original NYT piece featuring Gates’ “push back” on the claim the memo was a “wake up” call. Meanwhile, the Pentagon had a little trouble clarifying the intention of Gates’ most recent statement. Undersecretary Flournoy stated that the military option is a “last resort” that “is not on the table in the near term” while Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell later clarified that “military action has never, ever been taken off the table.”

  • May 3, 2010

    U.S. Is Pushing to Deter a Mideast Nuclear Race
    NY Times by William J. Broad and David E. Sanger

    Iran's advances in nuclear technology spark new concerns about weapons
    WP by Joby Warrick

    U.S. Releasing Nuclear Data on Its Arsenal
    NY Times by David E. Sanger

    NATO Weighs Reviving Conventional Forces Pact With Russia
    Global Security Newswire

    US, Egypt negotiate Mideast nuclear-free zone: report

  • Apr 28, 2010

    Gates "very satisfied" with planning on Iran
    Reuters by Adam Entous and Phil Stewart

    Brazil urges Iran to issue nuclear pledge
    Yahoo!News by AFP

    Clinton to Head U.S. Team at NPT Review Conference
    Global Security Newswire

    Ahmadinejad coming to America?
    Foreign Policy (Turtle Bay blog) by Colum Lynch

    'Stray S.Korean mine could not have sunk warship'

  • Apr 27, 2010


    Last Thursday, PONI Debates the Issues hosted the second event of 2010.  The event featured a panel discussion the NPR with remarks by Ivan Oelrich, Clark Murdock, and Doug Feith.  The audio for the event can be found here and the video is below.  

  • Apr 27, 2010

    Iran Reactor-Fuel Swap Floated by Brazil, Tied to Cooperation
    Bloomberg by Ali Sheikholeslami

    U.S. prepared to take action if N. Korea behind ship sinking: Campbell
    Yonhap News by Kim Young-gyo

    Russia Open to Joint Missile Defense With NATO, Medvedev Says
    Global Security Newswire

    Using Virtual Reality To Make Nuclear Reality Safer
    NPR by Mike Shuster

    South Korea at Sea on Response to Boat Sinking
    Asia Sentinel Op-Ed by Lee Byong-Chul

  • Apr 23, 2010

    On April 6th PONI brought together a group of graduate students in the U.S. with a delegation of graduate students from India’s prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru University for a day of talks on several timely and important issues. PONI Director Clark Murdock chaired the day’s talks, which focused on five general topics: the implications of the planned expanded use of nuclear power worldwide, current proliferation challenges, the threat of nuclear terrorism, stability-instability dynamics in South Asia, and nuclear disarmament.

  • 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.

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