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  • Author: Sarah Weiner
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: This paper will examine the pressures, incentives, and restraints that form the politics of multilateral nuclear export control arrangements by examining the evolution of nuclear supplier arrangements from the 1950s to the 1990s. Focusing on the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), this paper identifies six key pressures that shape the form and behavior of multilateral nuclear export control regimes. A deeper understanding of these pressures and how they resulted in the NSG offers a more nuanced backdrop against which to consider future policies for nuclear export control.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: Europe, Washington
  • Author: Sharon Squassoni, Robert Kim, Stephanie Cooke, Jacob Greenberg
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The Proliferation Prevention Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) participated in a global project on uranium governance led by the Danish Institute for International Studies that looks at uranium accountability and control in 17 uranium- producing countries. The project seeks to identify governance gaps and provide policy recommendations for improving front- end transparency, security, and regulation. The impetus for the project is the concern that monitoring activities at the front end—uranium mining, milling, and conversion—could be strengthened.
  • Topic: Security, Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, Science and Technology, International Security, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Sarah Weiner
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Since the beginning of the Cold War, nuclear deterrence has been a central element of U.S. national security policy. The United States' nuclear guarantee became the foundation of its security strategy and that of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), which was created to deter the Soviet Union and served as a core part of the alliance's victorious emergence from the Cold War. Just as many questioned the purpose of the alliance after the Cold War, many allies along with the United States currently debate the continued role of U.S. nuclear deterrence in Europe.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Nuclear Weapons, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: It now seems unlikely that the P5+1 countries of the United States, Russia, China, the United Kingdom, France, and Germany can reach a comprehensive agreement with Iran by the end of November. A final agreement remains a possibility, but it seems far more likely that if an agreement is not reached, the negotiations will be extended rather than abandoned all together. The question then arises as to how to judge the outcome of this set of negotiations, be it an actual agreement, an extension, or the collapse of the negotiations.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons, Treaties and Agreements, International Security, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, United Kingdom, Iran, France, Germany
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman, Abdullah Toukan
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Recently there has been a lot of attention given to the “Possible Military Dimension” of the Iran Nuclear Program, in particular concerns over Iran's ballistic missile program and its nuclear delivery capability. Iran's potential acquisition of nuclear weapons, and future ability to arm its missiles and aircraft with such weapons, represents the most serious risk shaping US, Arab, Israeli, and EU relationship with Iran. It is also an area where the exact details of threat perceptions are particularly critical, although many key aspects of Israeli, US, and G ulf perceptions – as well as the perceptions of other states – are impossible to determine at an unclassified level.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons, Weapons of Mass Destruction, International Security
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Iran
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The March 2011 accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant triggered a public crisis of confidence in Japan's nuclear energy program. Once reliant on over 50 nuclear power reactors for 30% of its electricity generation, none of the reactors are in operation today. Instead, Japan has relied on importing coal, gas and oil with predict - able, negative effects on its trade balance, environment, and economy.
  • Topic: Security, Energy Policy, Nuclear Weapons, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: Japan
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Internal ethnic and sectarian tensions, civil conflict, continued instability, failed governance and economy. Syrian civil war. Iraq, Lebanon, “Shi'ite crescent.” Sectarian warfare and struggle for future of Islam through and outside region. Sunni on Sunni and vs. Shi'ite struggles Terrorism, insurgency, civil conflict linked to outside state and non-state actors. Wars of influence and intimidation Asymmetric conflicts escalating to conventional conflicts. Major “conventional” conflict threats: Iran-Arab Gulf, Arab-Israeli, etc. Economic warfare: sanctions, “close the Gulf,” etc. Missile and long-range rocket warfare Proliferation, preventive strikes, containment, nuclear arms race, extended deterrence, “weapons of mass effectiveness”.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Nuclear Weapons, International Security, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Iran, Middle East, Lebanon, Syria
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman, Bryan Gold
  • Publication Date: 05-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The report shows that Iran's current missile and rocket forces help compensate for its lack of effective air power and allow it to pose a threat to its neighbors and US forces that could affect their willingness to strike on Iran if Iran uses its capabilities for asymmetric warfare in the Gulf or against any of its neighbors. At another level, Iran's steady increase in the number, range, and capability of its rocket and missile forces has increased the level of tension in the Gulf, and in other regional states like Turkey, Jordan, and Israel. Iran has also shown that it will transfer long-range rockets to “friendly” or “proxy” forces like the Hezbollah and Hamas. At a far more threatening level, Iran has acquired virtually every element of a nuclear breakout capability except the fissile material needed to make a weapon. This threat has already led to a growing “war of sanctions,” and Israeli and US threats of preventive strikes. At the same time, the threat posed by Iran's nuclear programs cannot be separated from the threat posed by Iran's growing capabilities for asymmetric warfare in the Gulf and along all of its borders. It is far from clear that negotiations and sanctions can succeed in limiting Iran's ability to acquire nuclear weapons and deploy nuclear-armed missiles. At the same time, the report shows that military options offer uncertain alternatives. Both Israel and the US have repeatedly stated that they are planning and ready for military options that could include preventive strikes on at least Iran's nuclear facilities and, and that US strikes might cover a much wider range of missile facilities and other targets. A preventive war might trigger a direct military confrontation or conflict in the Gulf with little warning. It might also lead to at least symbolic Iranian missile strikes on US basing facilities, GCC targets or Israel. At the same time, it could lead to much more serious covert and proxy operations in Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan, the rest of the Gulf, and other areas.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman, Byran Gold
  • Publication Date: 05-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Iran almost certainly recognizes that US conventional superiority would give the US and its Gulf allies the upper hand in a serious conventional conflict where they could use the full spectrum of their abilities to attack a range of Iranian military targets. As a result, Iran is linking the steady expansion of its asymmetric forces to new uses of its conventional forces, and is building up its missile and nuclear capabilities, in part to deter retaliation against its use of asymmetric warfare, and in part to pose a major challenge to US and allied conventional superiority If the US is to successfully neutralize this complex mix of threats that can be used in so many different ways and at some many different levels of escalation, it must continuously adapt its forward deployed and power projection forces to deal Iranian efforts to improve its capability conduct a battle of attrition in the Gulf or near it, and deal with contingencies like Iran's use of free floating mines, unattributable attacks, and any other form of asymmetric warfare than threatens friendly Gulf states and the flow of world energy exports from the region. The US, must also work with its Gulf partners and other allies to deter and defend against very different types of conflict and be prepared to face sharp limits on the amount of force it can use. US success depends on building up the capabilities of its strategic partners in the Arab Gulf, as well as improving its cooperation with more traditional partners like Britain and France.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Far too much of the analysis of Iran's search for nuclear weapons treats it in terms of arms control or focuses on the potential threat to Israel. In reality, Iran's mix of asymmetric warfare, conventional warfare, and conventionally armed missile forces have critical weaknesses that make Iran anything but the hegemon of the Gulf. Iran's public focus on Israel also disguises the reality that its primary strategic focus is to deter and intimidate its Gulf neighbors and the United States – not Israel. It has made major progress in creating naval forces for asymmetric warfare and developing naval missiles, but it has very limited air-sea and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (IS) capabilities. It lacks modern conventional land, air, air defense and sea power, has fallen far behind the Arab Gulf states in modern aircraft and ships, and its land forces are filled with obsolete and mediocre weapons that lack maneuver capability and sustainability outside Iran. Iran needs nuclear weapons to offset these facts.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, Treaties and Agreements, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Middle East, Israel, Arabia
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman, Alexander Wilner
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Iran's potential acquisition of nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass destruction, and Iran's future ability to arm its missiles and aircraft with such weapons, pose s critical risk s that shape every aspect of US, Arab, Israeli and other military competition with Iran . In the near term, they could trigger a major confrontation or war in the Gulf. In the mid to long - term, they could trigger a nuclear arms race in the region, coupled to the search for missile defenses and an accelerated arms race to improve conventional, asymmetric, and proxy forces as well.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman, Alexander Wilner
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The most threatening form of US and Iranian competition takes place in the military and security arena. The areas where this competition now gets primary attention are the nuclear and missile arena, and Iranian threats to “close the Gulf.” US and Iranian tensions over Iran's nuclear program have grown steadily over the years. They now threaten to reach the crisis point as Iran produces highly enriched uranium and develops all of the technology necessary to produce nuclear weapons, and as US, European, and UN sanctions become steadily stronger.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Security, Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, Oil, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Iran, Middle East, United Nations
  • Author: Sarah Weiner
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Twenty years after the fall of the Soviet Union, Russia is experiencing the most significant level of public dissatisfaction with Vladimir Putin since he assumed power a decade ago. While the sizeable street protests in Russia may well signal a political and social watershed moment for the country, a more minor political event a few months ago provided a telling sign regarding one of the regime's most important projects—a massive program for military modernization.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The Riyadh Declaration, which was issued at the end of the GCC meeting in December 2011, calls for efforts to explore creating a “single unity” that could deal with the many challenges facing the Arab Gulf states.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Nuclear Weapons, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Scott Snyder, Marcus Noland, Bonnie S. Glaser, Contributor: Stephan Haggard
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The accession to power of a new leader in North Korea has not increased the prospects for denuclearization. Hints that Kim Jong-un might experiment with agricultural and economic reforms are not accompanied by any suggestion that he is considering abandoning the country's nuclear weapons program. On the contrary, all signs point to North Korea's staunch determination to advance the nuclear program while undertaking efforts to compel the international community to recognize it as a nuclear weapons state. Given the growing urgency of the threat posed by North Korea's nuclear weapons development, it is essential to consider new ways to persuade Pyongyang to freeze, reverse, and eventually eliminate its nuclear capabilities
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Conflict Prevention, Nuclear Weapons, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: Israel, Korea
  • Author: Robert E. Ebel
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: “The policies of Iran constitute perhaps the single greatest challenge for American security interests in the Middle East, and possibly around the world….” So said Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on October 24, 2007. What policies did Secretary Rice have in mind? The combination of terrorism, repression at home, and the pursuit of nuclear weapons technology. Opposition comes from former administration officials as well, who are equally convinced that Iran's desire for nuclear weapons is one of the most urgent issues facing the United States today. And in a report released by the U.S. Department of State on April 30, 2009, Iran was characterized as the “most active state sponsor of terrorism” in the world.
  • Topic: Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman, Vivek Kocharlakota, Adam Seitz
  • Publication Date: 08-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: US competition with Iran has become the equivalent of a game of three-dimensional chess, in which other states are outside players that can constantly intervene, and one where each side can modify at least some of the rules with each move. It is a game that has been going on for some three decades. It is clearly unlikely to be ended by better dialog and mutual understanding, and that Iran's version of “democracy” is unlikely to change the way it is played in the foreseeable future. This does not make dialogue and negotiation pointless. Dialogue and negotiation do reduce the risk of escalation and misunderstanding. They offer a peaceful means of placing limits on Iran's behavior, of helping to convince Iran's regime that such limits are really in its interest, and establishing “rules of the game” which limit the risks involved to both sides.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Democratization, Nuclear Weapons, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran
  • Author: Jessica Yeats
  • Publication Date: 12-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: At the 3 November 2009 SNL-LLNL-CSIS workshop, participants identified a number of key technical challenges and opportunities associated with Congress and the Obama Administration's new U.S. nuclear agenda. These key judgments can be distributed into four principal issue areas: 1) broad policy considerations; 2) challenges and opportunities facing the U.S. nuclear weapons enterprise; 3) challenges and opportunities facing monitoring and verification; and 4) challenges and opportunities in cooperative threat and risk reduction. Within each sub-set, participants identified challenges that are common to nuclear futures ranging from a world without nuclear weapons to a highly proliferated world, as well as those challenges that are unique to a particular future.
  • Topic: Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman, Khalid R. Al-Rodhan
  • Publication Date: 04-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: There is no way to know what strategy Iran will choose in the future, or how the international community will respond. Iran's possible efforts to acquire nuclear weapons are an ongoing test of the entire process of arms control and the ability limit nuclear proliferation. At the same time, they raise critical issues about how Iran might use such weapons and the security of the Gulf region -- an area with more than 60% of the world's proven conventional oil reserves and some 37% of its gas.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman, Khalid R. Al-Rodhan
  • Publication Date: 04-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: There is no simple or reliable way to characterize Iran's ability to acquire weapons of mass destruction and the means to deliver them. Iran is clearly attempting to acquire long-range ballistic missiles and cruise missiles, but it has never indicated that such weapons would have chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear (CBRN) warheads. Iran has never properly declared its holdings of chemical weapons, and the status of its biological weapons programs is unknown.
  • Topic: Security, Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East