At a political rally on Saturday, 20 October, US President Donald J. Trump announced that the United States will withdraw from the 1987 Treaty on the Elimination of Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles
(INF Treaty). This confirms what has steadily been unfolding over the past couple of years: the architecture of Russian–US nuclear arms control is crumbling.
Only a few would be persuaded that President Donald Trump is deeply informed about any moderately complex subject. Ballistic missiles is one such. In fact, such a notion becomes firm when one considers his expression of bewilderment when Japan did not shoot down the North Korean “Hwasong-15” missile in flight just as the Saudis had done the Houthi projectile fired from Yemen. Anyone with even meagre understanding of missile technology would know that thetwo situations were not the same. And that the former action would have been well-nigh impossible with available Japanese capability.So when he caught out the Russians cheating on the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty of 1987, he took many by surprise. The Russians might have indeed tried to pull wool over American eyes by quietly deploying a new medium range weapon in violation of that landmark agreement. This is not to say that Mr Trump came to this conclusion on his own. At least it was apparent that he heeded counsel in this regard, which in itself is a silver lining of no mean consequence.
Stanley Kubrick’s classic 1964 film “Dr. Strangelove” delivers an eerily accurate depiction of the absurd logic and catastrophic risks of U.S. and Russian Cold War nuclear deterrence strategy, but for one key detail: President Merkin Muffley was wrong when he said, “It is the avowed policy of our country never to strike first with nuclear weapons.” But it should be.
Five long years have passed since U.S. President Barack Obama proposed and Russian President Vladimir Putin unfortunately rejected negotiations designed to cut their excessive nuclear stockpiles by one-third below the limits set by the 2010 New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START).
Rhetoric escalated between the United States and Iran when U.S. President Donald Trump irresponsibly tweeted
July 22 that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani must “NEVER EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN” or else suffer consequences the likes of which “FEW HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE.”
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the nuclear deal with Iran
is at a “crossroads” and expressed his deep regret over U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the agreement and reimpose sanctions.
Human rights issues must be included in next week’s United States-North Korea summit in order to create a “sustainable agreement”, said a UN expert.
The global nuclear nonproliferation system has always relied on responsible leadership from the United States and other global powers. The effort to create, extend, and strengthen the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), which was opened for signature 50 years ago on July 1, 1968, has succeeded, albeit imperfectly, because most U.S. presidents have made good faith efforts to back up U.S. legal and political commitments on nuclear arms control, nonproliferation, and disarmament.
The United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s speech
this past Monday targeting Iran may have created a new benchmark for hypocritical, arrogant, and entitled demands by the United States on foreign governments.
We are deeply disappointed by the counterproductive response from the Trump administration to the statements from senior Saudi officials threatening to pursue nuclear weapons in violation of their nonproliferation commitments.
The Trump Administration’s decision to pull the United States out of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action
—the landmark nuclear agreement between Iran and the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia, China, and the United States—strikes a dangerous blow against arms control and international security and even more firmly establishes the United States as a rogue nation.
For most of the past year, North Korea’s provocative long-range missile launches and a high-yield nuclear test, combined with the reckless threats of “fire and fury” and “preventive war” from the White House, have raised tensions and increased the threat of a catastrophic conflict in the region. Some of us warned that nuclear war was closer than at any point since the Cold War.
One year into the unorthodox presidency of Donald Trump, the United States faces an array of complex and dangerous foreign policy challenges that require principled leadership, pragmatism, patience, and smart diplomacy.
The legal framework prohibiting chemical weapons (CW) is considered the gold standard for multilateral disarmament. It features both comprehensive provisions and intrusive verification measures. Yet, in the case of Syria, this framework (which extends to the United Nations Security Council) has proven insufficient.
A year into his position, the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said that peace remains elusive and that renewed action must be taken in 2018 to set the world on track for a better future.
When the United States abruptly cuts off military supplies to its allies for political or other reasons, the reaction has been predictable: it drive these countries into the arms of the Chinese, the Russians and Western European weapons suppliers.
With a track record of six underground nuclear tests between 2006 and 2017, North Korea is desperately yearning to be recognized as the world’s ninth nuclear power – trailing behind the US, UK, France, China, Russia, India, Pakistan and Israel.
On December 10 in Oslo, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. ICAN started as a grassroots campaign in 2007. Its aim was to shift the paradigm of discussion about nuclear weapons from security and deterrence to the environmental and humanitarian effects of nuclear explosions. As the prize demonstrates, ICAN has succeeded brilliantly. But, as ICAN acknowledges, this is still only the beginning of the end of nuclear weapons.
The Pacific islands have long remained victims of nuclear crimes – but the perpetrators, three of the world’s major powers with permanent seats in the UN Security Council, never paid for their deadly sins.
Over the past year, cavalier and reckless statements from President Donald Trump about nuclear weapons and his threat to unleash “fire and fury” against North Korea have heightened fears about Cold War-era policies and procedures that put the authority to launch nuclear weapons in his hands alone.
There is much to celebrate in the Nobel Peace Prize Committee’s decision to award this year’s prize to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN).