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Feb 22, 2021 Limiting Missiles: What We're Up against
 After the renewal of New START, the Biden Administration has its work cut out for it to reach additional arms control agreements with Russia or China. In the short run, neither Moscow nor Beijing seems likely to strike a major deal. Things look a bit more optimistic in the long run but whatever agreements can be reached will have to focus far more sharply on limiting missiles and drones.  The attached NPEC-commissioned research, “Long-Term Prospects for Missile Controls,” by David Cooper of the U.S. Naval War College, explains why. Dr. Cooper makes a compelling case that controlling precise missiles and their related enabling systems (e.g., GPS and imaging satellites) will be at least as important as controlling nuclear warheads. He also makes several specific recommendations to focus future arms control negotiations.  Attached is a brief video of a presentation he gave last night at NPEC’s research retreat. It is sure to draw you in and make you want to read his longer analysis (also attached).     
Feb 10, 2021 Making Arms Control Competitive Again
Last week, the United States and Russia agreed to extend New START for another five years. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that the United States will build on the five-year extension to devise an arms control treaty that addresses all of America’s and Russia’s nuclear weapons as well as, “the dangers from China’s modern and growing nuclear arsenals.” The question is how. We get an answer in the attached study, “Arms Control Among Rivals,” that John Maurer of the US Air Force’s Air University just completed for NPEC. In it, he makes the case for "competitive arms control." Such diplomacy follows three basic rules.  First, Washington should avoid limiting military technologies that it has a decisive advantage in. Second, the United States should ensure equal limits in areas where it can compete effectively but cannot predominate. Finally, Washington should be willing to allow adversaries to enjoy military advantage in categories of weapons that the United States does not wish to compete in. Maurer explains how these principals have been exercised in the past and how they should be exercised by American diplomats today. His analysis is must reading not only for those who are uncomfortable striking diplomatic deals, but for those who are all too eager to do so.    
Oct 21, 2020 "What Missile-driven Competition with China Will Look Like," American Purpose
Earlier this week, administration officials said they were close to reaching an agreement with Moscow to extend the New START arms control agreement for an additional year. They made it clear that they wanted to use the year to get China to join the talks with Washington and Moscow. Assuming this takes place, though, what would the US, Russia, and China talk about? In the short-run, it's unclear. In the long-run, the matter of China's missiles (they have more than anyone else) must come up. In the below analysis published by American Purpose, I look out the next 5, 10, 15 and 20 years.  The United States and its allies have their work cut out for them. China is likely to bubild up its nuclear and conventional missile forces even further in an attempt to gain advantage over the United States and its friends not just in the Western Pacific, but globally. The United States and its friends, however, can and will compete militarily and diplomatically, all of which is discussed below. 
Feb 21, 2020 Forthcoming: The NPT turns 50: Will it get to 60?
As Washington opens its talks with the Russians over nuclear arms control and increases pressure on Iran and North Korea to get them to negotiate, there’s one nuclear diplomatic effort that’s going all but unnoticed— the tenth review of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT). Slated for late April, the NPT Review Conference at the United Nations in New York will celebrate the treaty’s 50th anniversary. The question is how much longer might this treaty last. As I argue in the attached version of a piece to be published in the March issue of The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, the jury is out. Several countries — Iran, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia — have recently threatened to withdraw from the treaty. The means to go nuclear are increasingly available and our security reliance, and that of our adversaries, on nuclear weapons and their early use is again drifting upward. Should we worry? The short answer is yes. If we care about deterring nuclear war, we have to care about limiting the fundamental uncertainties that come with increased numbers of nuclear and near-nuclear armed states. What can be done? Plenty. As I argue in the essay below, we need to work with Russia and others to make NPT withdrawals far less likely. We also need to stop pushing the most dangerous and uneconomical forms of civilian nuclear energy and modernize our military in ways that deemphasize the military value of nuclear arms. The good news is we still have time.
Feb 03, 2020 North Korea's Nuclear Program: The Early Days, 1984-2002
Now that the President’s nuclear disarmament talks with Pyongyang are on the back burner, it’s worth reviewing how well Washington has generally faired in gauging the North Korean nuclear threat. Attached is such an excellent start covering the period from 1984 through 2002 by Torrey Froscher, a former senior Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) nuclear analyst and NPEC advisory board member. Showcased in the CIA’s latest issue of Studies in Intelligence, “North Korea’s Nuclear Program: The Early Days, 1984-2002,” details how U.S. intelligence analysts and policy makers initially underestimated the North Korean nuclear threat and then placed far too much faith in North Korea’s commitment to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. To avoid such excesses in the future, Mr. Froscher recommends that intelligence analysts and policy makers spend, “less time reporting current developments” and devote “more effort to thinking through possible future developments, how they might materialize, and what factors would affect their likelihood.” Developing such alternative nuclear futures was one of the key recommendations of NPEC’s Speaking Truth to Nonproliferation Project, which was spotlighted in a Studies in Intelligence cover story that was published in March of 2019. Mr. Froscher was an active participant in this project and has lectured at several universities as part of NPEC’s academic policy practitioner outreach program. His Studies in Intelligence article was developed from the NPEC lectures he gave over the last two years. His analysis is spot-on as the United States and like-minded nations work to prevent other nations from withdrawing from or violating the NPT.
Oct 04, 2019 The Nonproliferation Gold Standard: The New Normal?
Two years ago, the possibility of a U.S.-Saudi nuclear cooperative agreement that would allow Riyadh to enrich uranium or reprocessing spent fuel now seemed a sure cert. Today, at best, it seems a distant possibility. As Victor Gilinsky and Henry Sokolski write in the piece, "The Nonproliferation Gold Standard: The New Normal?" in Arms Control Today, the gold standard is no longer viewed as extreme, inpractical, or unnecessary. Just the opposite. Not only has Secretary of State Pompeo publicly stated that America wants both Riyad and Tehran to forswear enriching uranium and reprocessing spent fuel, but even the best known boosters of selling Saudi Arabia-U.S. reactors (IP3), now think acceptance of the gold standard is essential. This does not mean that the White House won't seal a deal with Riyad or that Congress will have the strength or will to demand the gold standard, but now opponents of the standard have some explaining to do.  At a minimum, three problems demand attention. First, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman announced on 60 minutes that he would be willing to violate the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty if he thought Iran had acquired a bomb. Second, the murder of Jamal Khashoggi and the Saudi government's attempted cover up raises first order questions about how trustworthy any Saudi nuclear promises might be. Finally, the Kingdom's indiscriminate bombing of Yemen has undermined congressional faith in the Crown Prince's judgement. All of these points have strengthened demands that Riyad adhere to the gold standard. There are other reasons besides, including Israel's opposition to any deal that would allow Riyad to enrich or reprocess.  Of course one can question if it makes sense for any nation in the Middle East to be building large reactors. More recently, the drone attacks against Saudi oil refining plants reinforced already strong apprehensions Middle East nations have about the military vulnerability of nuclear facilities in the region.  At the very least, if there is to be nuclear exports to the Middle East, or to any other state that lacks nuclear weapons, the gold standard provides "welcome protection" and ought to be the new normal. 
Mar 27, 2019 Improving the Role of Intelligence in Counterproliferation Policymaking: Report of the "Speaking Truth to Nonproliferation Project," 2018
Dec 06, 2013 The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists Posts NPEC Analysis on the Iran Interim Agreement
The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists published a piece by Victor Gilinsky and Henry Sokolski that argues that after the interim agreement, which allows Iran to enrich to 5%, the U.S. will find it much more difficult to gain “gold standard” civilian nuclear agreements that require other states to forego any uranium enrichment. Additionally, the interim agreement does not take into account the fact that light water reactors can also be used to produce plutonium and therefore require more inspection. 
Jun 21, 2013 Nuclear Intelligence Weekly Publishes NPEC Review of "Pandora's Promise"
Victor Gilinsky and Henry Sokolski review the film Pandora's Promise in the June 21, 2013 edition of Nuclear Intelligence Weekly
Mar 19, 2013 Henry Sokolski Book Review: Atoms for Peace: Catalyzing Bombs for Cheats
NPEC's executive director reviews Atomic Assistance: How "Atoms for Peace" Programs Cause Nuclear Insecurity, by Matthew Fuhrmann, in the March 2013 edition of The Nonproliferation Review.
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The Nonproliferation Policy Education Center (NPEC), is a 501 (c)3 nonpartisan, nonprofit, educational organization
founded in 1994 to promote a better understanding of strategic weapons proliferation issues. NPEC educates policymakers, journalists,
and university professors about proliferation threats and possible new policies and measures to meet them.
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