The last treaty that limits the United States’s and Russia’s nuclear weapons, the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START), will expire in February 2021 unless both states agree to its extension. Opponents of extension, including some U.S. officials, have argued against extending the treaty by citing Russia’s new, developmental strategic weapons, which they claim will not be covered by the treaty. Yet the reality is more complex.
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Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared on Order from Chaos.
President Trump announced on Oct. 20 that the United States would pull out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, a 1987 bilateral agreement prohibiting the United States and Russia from possessing, producing or test-flying ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with a range of 500 to 5,500 kilometers and their launchers.
Editor’s Note: As the world watches North Korea with a mix of alarm and nausea, officials can agree that no one wants new nuclear powers—especially ones led by erratic and bellicose leaders. But at times prevention fails, and policy options for dealing with such powers are scant. Nicholas Miller at Dartmouth takes on this question, arguing that the current approach, especially the non-proliferation treaty, can often do more harm than good.
Location, Location, Location: Evaluating Risks to Submarines from Low-Yield Warhead and Submarine Missile Launch Detection
Editor’s Note: How vulnerable are U.S. submarines in the event of a nuclear war? Some analysts have argued that, after firing their missiles, submarines would be sitting ducks for adversaries to target. RAND's Austin Long takes a hard look at this argument. He finds submarines are tough to target and highly likely to survive.
With biannual joint U.S.-South Korea military exercises set to begin on Monday, the temperature on the Korean Peninsula has cooled, if only slightly, following a recent escalation in rhetoric between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
North Korean state media announced Tuesday that Kim Jong Un, after reviewing military plans, would hold off on his threat to fire missiles at Guam. The people of Guam, a U.S. territory where I spent my formative years and one of the Pacific islands my Chamorro family calls home, are accustomed to rolling in and out of global consciousness because of periodic military threats and the occasional congressional hearing about the island’s buoyancy.
Editor’s Note: Non-proliferation has been an imperfect but real policy success in the modern era. However, the emergence of the North Korean program and continued problems with other nuclear weapons states raise the risk of additional proliferation, including to non-state actors. Robert Litwak of the Wilson Center breaks down how we should think about non-proliferation, explaining the different categories of states and policy responses and arguing that an Iran-like deal is a powerful approach that deserves emulation in several other cases.
In the middle of the last century, Dr. Murdock Head, a George Washington University professor, acquired an old manor house and farm known as Airlie outside the nation’s capital. Dr. Head wanted to create a place where experts and organizations could meet in a neutral environment to analyze the pressing issues of the day.
North Korea's successful missile launch last Sunday has further sharpened the world's focus on the country’s growing nuclear capabilities. But in remarks last month, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly commented that North Korea poses a more likely cyber threat than it does a nuclear concern.