North Korea’s accelerating nuclear and missile programs, including its recent nuclear test, pose a grave and expanding threat to security, stability and peace in Asia and the rest of the world. This threat affects close U.S. allies — South Korea and Japan — and U.S. personnel and facilities in the region. In the coming months and years, it will create increasing danger for the United States. It is likely that the next president will face a North Korea that has gained the capability to strike the United States with nuclear weapons.
The Obama administration has succeeded in strengthening U.S. alliances in Asia and deterring a war, but, like its predecessors, has failed to change Pyongyang’s assessment that defiance is preferable to conciliation.… Seguir leyendo »
President Obama’s visit to Hiroshima comes almost 71 years after the conclusion of a world war that was fought and ended with tremendous sacrifice, huge casualties and immense devastation. Today, global nuclear arsenals are capable of destroying not only cities but also civilization itself. Albert Einstein’s prophesy bears repeating: “I do not know how the Third World War will be fought, but I can tell you what they will use in the Fourth — rocks!”
Since the end of World War II, the United States and our allies have relied on the ultimate threat of mutual assured destruction for our security, as the Soviet Union did and Russia does now.… Seguir leyendo »
Two years ago, together with a broad group of former officials and experts, we warned that, in the absence of a new military and political strategy for the Euro-Atlantic region, there was a risk that stability would weaken and security would break down. Sadly there are clear signs that this is happening, with Europe now beset by its most serious and deadly crisis in decades.
In Ukraine, more than 5,000 people have been killed, 10,000 more have been wounded, and 1.2 million have been forced from their homes. If we don’t stop the killing and address the mounting divisions in Europe, our generation may claim to have ended the Cold War without securing a peaceful future.… Seguir leyendo »
For more than two decades, the United States and Russia partnered to secure and eliminate dangerous nuclear materials — not as a favor to one another but as a common-sense commitment, born of mutual self-interest, to prevent catastrophic nuclear terrorism. The world’s two largest nuclear powers repeatedly set aside their political differences to cooperate on nuclear security to ensure that terrorists would not be able to detonate a nuclear bomb in New York, Moscow, Paris, Tel Aviv or elsewhere.
Unfortunately, this common-sense cooperation has become the latest casualty of the spiraling crisis in relations among the United States, Europe and Russia.… Seguir leyendo »
As the United States and its negotiating partners continue nuclear talks with Iran in Vienna, the pressure is rising. The deadline for a final accord is July 20, and success hinges on Iran agreeing to verifiable commitments to prove to the world that its nuclear program is exclusively peaceful.
Unfortunately, at this critical point in the talks, a separate development that could support and reinforce an agreement with Iran has stalled. This development — the creation of an international fuel bank, to be owned and managed by the International Atomic Energy Agency — would allow countries full assurance that they could access nuclear fuel in the unusual case of an interruption of their supply.… Seguir leyendo »
Russia has taken over Crimea and threatens further aggression. Now is the time to act but also to think strategically. What basic strategic approach should the United States and its allies take, and how can that approach be implemented over time so that the tactical moves benefit our long-term interests? Is it possible to avoid the reemergence of a full-fledged Cold War psychology, which is encouraged by Russia developing an “I can get away with it” mentality?
Thankfully, nuclear weapons are not part of today’s conflict. Ukraine gave them up in 1994, partly in exchange for reassurance of its territorial integrity by the United States, Britain and Russia.… Seguir leyendo »
Security policies in the Euro-Atlantic region — an area that includes six of the world’s 10 largest economies, four of the five declared nuclear weapon states, and more than 95 percent of global nuclear inventories — are dangerously out of date and demand urgent attention. With a new approach that is grounded in today’s opportunities and challenges, the European community, Russia and the United States can chart a more secure path for their people and the world and avoid the risks and costs of a new downward spiral in relations between states.
The first step is to get out from under Cold War-era strategies and tactics that are ill-suited to the real threats we face.… Seguir leyendo »
The two of us have joined a number of our colleagues on both sides of the Atlantic in discussing a threatening development: the accelerating spread of nuclear weapons, nuclear know-how and nuclear material. We now face a very real possibility that the deadliest weapons and materials ever invented could fall in to dangerous hands.
We believe the United States and Germany, NATO and all of Europe, including Russia, have a special leadership role to play in support of global efforts to reduce reliance on nuclear weapons, to prevent their spread into dangerous hands, and ultimately to end them as a threat to the world.… Seguir leyendo »
At the close of the Cold War, hopes were high for a more organized and peaceful international system. Two decades later, there is not much sign of one emerging.
The focus of governments is shifting away from the Euro-Atlantic community — the heart of the international system up to now — and there is little consensus within the international community on how to deal with today’s challenges of sovereign debt, economic recession, climate change, nuclear proliferation and radicalism.
In many ways, this historic “pivot” from the Euro-Atlantic region represents a form of progress; the great rivalries between the United States, Russia and the European powers that produced two world wars and threatened to destroy the world during the Cold War are hopefully a relic of the past.… Seguir leyendo »
Over the past two decades, no geopolitical space has undergone as dramatic a transformation as that between the Atlantic and the Urals. During the Cold War, a devastating conventional and nuclear war on the European continent was a very real possibility; today, no state faces this type of deliberate existential threat.
Despite these positive developments, the two largest powers in the region — the United States and Russia — still possess thousands of nuclear weapons each, and over 90 percent of the world’s nuclear inventory. Many of these nuclear arms remain deployed or designed for use within the Euro-Atlantic region, including small tactical nuclear weapons — a terrorist’s dream — deployed in numerous states throughout the Euro-Atlantic zone.… Seguir leyendo »
No other initiative has more near-term potential to ease the NATO-Russian relationship out of its petulant, impacted state, while giving a positive jolt to the revived but tentative and unfocused interest in an improved and more inclusive European security system, than missile-defense cooperation.
Were North America, Europe and Russia to make defense of the entire Euro-Atlantic region against potential ballistic missile attack a joint priority, they would — apart from addressing a concrete problem — in a single stroke undermine much of the threat analysis that sets Russia against NATO, and prove that trilateral cooperation on a key security issue is possible.… Seguir leyendo »
In a campaign speech this week, John McCain cited the “special responsibility” of the United States and Russia to cooperate to prevent the spread and use of nuclear weapons. There is a remarkable consensus among the presidential candidates about this imperative. But we must not wait until a new administration in 2009 to advance this vital work. An agreement the Bush administration signed with Russia earlier this month is an essential step for this cooperation. That agreement is now before Congress.
The overriding priority of our national security policy must be to prevent the spread of weapons of mass destruction. This task is impossible without the cooperation of Russia.… Seguir leyendo »