Nuclear Negotiations with North Korea

Since the late 1980s, when U.S. officials became aware that North Korea was actively pursuing nuclear weapons capabilities, U.S. administrations have used a combination of pressure, deterrence, and diplomacy to try to reduce the threat posed by a nuclear-armed North Korea. The need for an effective North Korea strategy has become more pressing over the… Continue Reading Nuclear Negotiations with North Korea

Why Do States Build Nuclear Weapons?: Proliferation Models as Concurrent Pressures on a State

Major Curtice applies three theoretical models of nuclear proliferation and argues that they are more accurate when used in conjunction with each other than separately. Nuclear proliferation, Curtice states, occurs when Domestic Politics-Positive and Normative-Positive pressures are greater than their negative counterparts when a state is facing a security threat. By using India as a… Continue Reading Why Do States Build Nuclear Weapons?: Proliferation Models as Concurrent Pressures on a State

Iran Sanctions

    Successive Administrations and Congresses have used economic sanctions to try to change Iran’s behavior. U.S. sanctions on Iran—primarily “secondary sanctions” on firms that conduct certain transactions with Iran—have adversely affected Iran’s economy but have arguably not, to date, altered Iran’s pursuit of core strategic objectives including its support for regional armed factions and… Continue Reading Iran Sanctions

Nonstrategic Nuclear Weapons

Recent debates about U.S. nuclear weapons have questioned what role weapons with shorter ranges and lower yields can play in addressing emerging threats in Europe and Asia. These weapons, often referred to as nonstrategic nuclear weapons, have not been limited by past U.S.-Russian arms control agreements. Some analysts argue such limits would be of value,… Continue Reading Nonstrategic Nuclear Weapons

Future of Weapons of Mass Destruction: An Update

In 2014, John P. Caves, Jr., and W. Seth Carus of the Center for the Study of Weapons of Mass Destruction at National Defense University published a paper on the future of weapons of mass destruction (WMD).[i] That paper projected WMD-relevant geopolitical and technological trends and made judgments as to how those trends would shape… Continue Reading Future of Weapons of Mass Destruction: An Update

New START Treaty: Central Limits and Key Provisions

The Obama Administration and outside analysts argued that New START strengthens strategic stability and enhances U.S. national security. Critics, however, questioned whether the treaty would serve U.S. national security interests because, they argued in 2010, Russia was likely to reduce its forces with or without an arms control agreement and because the United States and… Continue Reading New START Treaty: Central Limits and Key Provisions

U.S. Strategic Nuclear Forces

Even though the United States has reduced the number of warheads deployed on its long-range missiles and bombers, consistent with the terms of the 2010 New START Treaty, it is also developing new delivery systems for deployment over the next 10-30 years. Congress will review plans for U.S. strategic nuclear forces during the annual authorization… Continue Reading U.S. Strategic Nuclear Forces

Hypersonic Weapons

  The United States has actively pursued the development of hypersonic weapons—maneuvering weapons that fly at speeds of at least Mach 5—as a part of its conventional prompt global strike program since the early 2000s. In recent years, the United States has focused such efforts on developing hypersonic glide vehicles, which are launched from a… Continue Reading Hypersonic Weapons

New START Treaty: Central Limits and Key Provisions

The United States and Russia signed the New START Treaty on April 8, 2010. After more than 20hearings, the U.S. Senate gave its advice and consent to ratification on December 22, 2010, by a vote of 71-26. Both houses of the Russian parliament—the Duma and Federation Council—approved the treaty in late January 2011 and it… Continue Reading New START Treaty: Central Limits and Key Provisions