Proliferation Press

A webpage devoted to tracking and analyzing current events related to the proliferation of WMD/CBRN.

News From Around The Web: Being ‘frank’ with Frank Gaffney, Japan’s Nuke Itch, US-Russia Nuke Cooperation, Nuclear Abolition and What About the Trash?

Posted by K.E. White on April 21, 2009

Is Japan inching closer to nuclear weapons? Review their nuclear policy here.

PONI (politely) slams Frank Gaffney’s alarmist opt-ed against Obamaland nuclear policy. My attempt to build on PONI’s first critique:

What Gaffney calls ‘cold war nostalgia’ (Obama calls for eventual [i.e. in his life-time] nuclear abolition &cutting US-Russian nuclear stockpiles) is a response to the failed Bush administration policy of nuclear dominance. At this critical period-with Iran and North Korea both push the NPT to irrelevance-a comprehensive view (ie that looks at the role current nuclear stockpiles and nulcear policies have on nuclear proliferation) towards nuclear weapons is necessary. It’s exactly because a handshake between Russia and America no longer defines arms control that Obamaland is trying to resurrect a counterproliferation norm.

Worse case scenario: The attempt fails; and America reverts to dominance or mitigates proliferation fall-out. This out-come seems well worth a chance at preventing an Iranian bomb and mounting stockpiles in North Korea.

Yale lecturer Jonathan Schell goes over Obama’s nuclear speech, and lays out the case for nuclear abolition.

Jeffrey Lewis and Meri Lugo answer this critical question: where do nuclear weapons go to die?

Another shout-out to PONI: Debate on Obama’s goal of nuclear abolition.

And Robert Zarate reviews US-Russian nuclear cooperation and make recommendations for the way forward. One recommendation, in particular, deserves note:

Given that tomorrow’s nuclear threats are likely to arise in war-prone regions roiled by today’s nonproliferation failures, the U.S. should work with Russia, France, Japan, Germany and other key nuclear suppliers to build consensus on what should be the new “model” for civil nuclear cooperation in the Middle East, East Asia, and elsewhere. As NPEC executive director Henry Sokolski has argued, the proposed U.S.-UAE civil nuclear cooperative agreement provides an opportunity for creating greater consensus on these issues. In the version of the agreement that is publicly available, the UAE says it will voluntary forgo enrichment and reprocessing activities (ENR), and the U.S. says it reserves the right to terminate the nuclear cooperation if the UAE does pursue ENR. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice described the agreement in January 2009 as “a powerful and timely model for the world and the region.” But if this agreement is to be the new “model” for war-prone regions, then the U.S. should make the ENR disavowal unambiguously legally binding and completely verifiable, and its termination of nuclear cooperation in the event of an ENR violation more automatic. And…the U.S. should ensure that France, Japan, Russia and other nuclear suppliers are willing to fully support this tougher model.

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