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.
Latest in nuclear weapons
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.
Editor’s Note: North Korea is a problem that has vexed multiple administrations since the end of the Cold War. As the Pyongyang puzzle has grown more difficult to solve, policymakers increasingly look to China for help. Jacob Stokes and Alex Sullivan contend this is a mistake. They argue that China is not likely to abandon North Korea and that U.S. pressure might even backfire. Instead, they propose a mix of changes to current policy that offer more hope of coercing North Korea.
President Donald Trump assessed the state of U.S. foreign affairs during his wide-ranging Thursday press conference: “I just want to let you know, I inherited a mess.” That evaluation appeared to rely, in part, on a quagmire that has dogged successive administrations—the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), or North Korea.
The election has made me contemplate the following question: should even the President of the United States, regardless of party or the individual involved, have the unilateral authority to order the use of nuclear weapons under all possible circumstances?
On October 5, the International Court of Justice dismissed the Marshall Islands’ nuclear nonproliferation litigation for lack of jurisdiction. The judgments subtly critiqued the island nation for its emotionally-driven media ploy, nearly void of legal merit. While the majority opinions read predictably, slim vote margins reveal a surprisingly close call.
A week ago, Ben posed the following question about what might be termed the national security gap:
How have we come to a place where at least partly in the name of national security, a huge swath of the electorate is about to vote for a man when a wide community of practitioners and scholars considers it obvious that his views, actions, words, and very psyche threaten national security?
As the fourth Nuclear Security Summit gets underway, a nuclear sideshow quietly plods along. The Marshall Islands’ ten-part legal offensive against states which possess nuclear weapons, launched in April 2014, is finally proceeding beyond initial filings.
While world powers and Iran were embroiled in last minute negotiations last week, Brookings hosted a panel discussion on the meaning of another power’s recent nuclear threats: Russia's. In recent months, Russia has rattled the saber, with Vladimir Putin remarking on his nuclear options during the Crimea crisis and making a mild threat to nuke the Danish navy. Given that Russia maintains enough nuclear muscle to destroy the world---theoretically anyway---how seriously should we take these provocations?