Having a better understanding of threats and knowing what to do in emergency situations allows people to make safer decisoins and makes them less likely to panic. Experts in the radiological emergency response field and agencies prepare to respond to radiological emergencies, but widespread and general knowledge on the topic could be improved.
Right now, the world’s attention is focused firmly on the negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program. But there is another country that deserves at least as much attention, if not more: North Korea. The hermit kingdom’s nuclear weapons program is looking more and more dangerous these days.
In a recent piece of nuclear news easily overshadowed by the Iran deal, teh Center for Public Integrity (CPI) highlighted new information about South Africa’s refusal to give up six bombs worth of weapons-grade uranium. In 2011 and agian in 2013, President Obama wrote letters to South African President Jacob Zuma asking him to relinquish the country’s highly-enriched uranium, to blend it down to low-enriched uranium (LEU), or to transfer it to the United States in exchang for $5 million worth of LEU. President Zuma refused.
After sixteen months of negotiations, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) reached April 2, 2015 is an exceptional milestone in the thirty-six years of fraught relations between the West and the Islamic Republic of Iran. However, according to a statement delivered by President Obama outlining the JCPOA, “nothing is agreed until everything is agreed,” and plenty of hazards exist along the way to reaching an eventual comprehensive agreement by the current talks’ stated deadline of June 30th.
There are currently five NWFZs, which have been bound by international treaties signed by all states in those respective regions. The idea of a Middle East NWFZ has been around for nearly forty years, when Iran first proposed it in 1974.
All three legs of the U.S. nuclear triad are aging and will need large-scale, expensive modernization in the coming decades if they are to be maintained. This has prompted a discussion about the continued necessity of the nuclear triad in the post-Cold War era. Is maintaining the triad worth the money?
In the aftermath of the Russian accession of Crimea in March 2014, the G8 has receded back into the G7 with the suspension of Russia from the club of industrialized economies. Russia’s annexation of Ukrainian territory violates a number of international laws, including Article 2(4) of the Charter of the United Nations and the Helsinki Final Act, a Soviet-era declaration ensuring the territorial integrity of states applied to Ukraine through the Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances.
Because both the space shuttles and the U.S. Trident D5 SLBMs rely on solid propellant fuels, NASA’s decisions about its space programs have repercussions in the defense industry. In 2017, NASA plans to launch the first mission of the new Space Launch System (SLS). In 2016, NASA will decide how exactly the SLS will be propelled.
Australia has been a consistent promoter of disarmament diplomacy and denuclearization. It is unsurprising, then, that it joins the United States in strongly condemning North Korea’s nuclear testing and ambitions.
To develop the strongest possible nuclear deterrent, the Modi administration should maintain the NFU, and continue previous administrations’ efforts with regards to survivability. Policy changes to address credibility and command and control problems could also help strengthen the deterrent.