Overcoming Nuclear Dangers
Policy Analysis Brief
Concerns about nuclear weapons have focused primarily on the spread of the bomb—to North Korea, Pakistan, India, and perhaps Iran—and on the terrifying prospect that Al Qaeda might acquire such weapons. Nuclear dangers, however, are not only "out there," they also exist in the policies of the United States and Russia, which continue to maintain thousands of nuclear weapons on hair-trigger alert. Russia has abandoned its "no-first-use" policy and is replacing its aging arsenal, while the United States has called for the possible first use of nuclear weapons against nonnuclear actors. This paper probes the sources of instability that are driving proliferation and continued reliance on nuclear weapons by major world powers. It reviews the recent use of diplomacy to resolve proliferation disputes and explores the link between regional and global disarmament. It traces the evolving political legitimacy and technical feasibility of nuclear weapons abolition, and concludes with suggestions to realize a future free of nuclear weapons.
Listen to audio from "Overcoming Nuclear Danger in US Policy: The Citizen Role," an April 2008 event featuring David Cortright here.
In the newest issue of Courier, we share an amazing (and secret) diplomatic effort to secure dangerous nuclear material in Kazakhstan. Two ambassadors discuss how to make our world safer from nuclear terrorism. You can also discover more than you ever wanted to know about climate change negotiations and about the tension within the United Nations that makes it difficult to be efficient. Our final piece looks at the potential for mass atrocities in the Dominican Republic.
Ahead of the third Nuclear Security Summit, the Stanley Foundation produced a 13-minute video looking at what needs to be done to stop terrorist groups from acquiring enough fissile material to make a bomb. The foundation talked with over a dozen diverse and distinguished experts from the Nuclear Security Governance Experts Group and the Fissile Materials Working Group to see how today's patchwork of voluntary arrangements can be forged into a long-lasting system. Watch the video.
Our bimonthly newsletter highlights new resources for knowing more about preventing nuclear terrorism as well as stopping mass atrocities before they start. We also take a look at how the shifting clout between emerging and established powers poses one of the most complex challenges of our time.
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This Now Showing event-in-a-box toolkit Before the Killing Begins: The Politics of Mass Violence considers how early preventive strategies by governments and the international community should build much-needed capacities within countries, and make it harder for leaders to resort to violence. It aims to encourage discussion of how future efforts might better protect populations under threat, giving new resolve to the promise of never again. Sign Up.
The Stanley Foundation publishes policy briefs, analytical articles, and reports on a number of international issues.
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