The United States, along with the other permanent members of the UN Security Council, plus Germany (P5+1), are set to resume negotiations with Iran regarding its nuclear program on February 26 in Kazakhstan.
With a new year come exciting opportunities to expand your knowledge of nuclear issues. Since you have probably read through last year’s list (well done!) and our summer list (kudos!), we’re providing you with a brand new list to satisfy your reading resolution for 2013. Covering diverse topics from Hiroshima manga (Japanese graphic novels) to the development of the bomb in Pakistan there is something to satisfy the nuclear wonk in everyone.
President Obama’s administration portrayed the 2010 nuclear arms reduction treaty—which provides modest cuts to US and Russian strategic arsenals—as a means to “prime the pump” to achieve deeper and more comprehensive cuts down the road. But after enduring a grueling fight with Senate Republicans to ratify the treaty, the administration decided to table new talks with Russia until after the 2012 presidential elections, when the new political environment would make an agreement easier to achieve.
Is it illogical to think of a world without nuclear weapons? Must we accept the world as it is, with nuclear weapons, as many in the high priesthood of strategic policy insist? That was a broad reaction to the effort to get rid of them that Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev made at the Reykjavik Summit 26 years ago in what George Shultz has called “the highest stakes poker game ever played.” And I still hear it frequently today.
I just returned from a week in Beijing. What a change. Scores of modern skyscrapers with international brand names and products emblazoned atop have sprung up where none existed as little as five years ago. Shining shopping malls are filled with the latest fashions and products. Streets are choked with thousands of cars and buses where packs of bicycles and motorcycles once ruled.
There's no doubt: Hurricane Sandy has left her mark. The damage the storm left to basic infrastructure on the East Coast will take billions of dollars and months (if not years) to repair. But, hurricane damage costs pale in comparison to the spending our country is already planning to dole out to America's nuclear weapons and related programs.