Eric Brewer is deputy director and fellow with the Project on Nuclear Issues at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Mr. Brewer has extensive experience working nuclear proliferation challenges in the U.S. government, including Iran and North Korea.
Prior to joining CSIS, Mr. Brewer was a 2018-2019 Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs fellow at the Center for a New American Security. From 2017-2018, Mr. Brewer served as the director for Counterproliferation at the National Security Council (NSC), where he was responsible for coordinating U.S. policy to prevent and reverse the spread of nuclear weapons, their delivery systems, and related technologies. While at the NSC, Mr. Brewer played a lead role in developing and executing elements of U.S. North Korea policy. From 2014 to 2017, Mr. Brewer served as deputy national intelligence officer for WMD and Proliferation at the National Intelligence Council. In that capacity, he led the Intelligence Community’s (IC) analysis of foreign nuclear weapons capabilities and intentions, proliferation trends, and over-the-horizon proliferation threats. This included IC assessments on Iran’s nuclear program during U.S. nuclear negotiations with Iran and following the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. He also represented the IC in White House meetings and briefings to Congress. From 2008 to 2014, Mr. Brewer held several positions at the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), including senior intelligence analyst for Iran. Before joining DIA, Mr. Brewer worked at the National Nuclear Security Administration.
Mr. Brewer holds an M.A. in security policy studies from the George Washington University, an M.S. in strategic intelligence from the National Defense Intelligence College, and a B.A. in international relations from the University of San Diego.
The United States and Iran are once again on the verge of conflict. On March 11, a volley of short-range rockets killed a U.S. soldier and contractor, as well as a British solider, at an Iraqi base near Baghdad.
Kim Jong Un has done a good job keeping the United States guessing about his next nuclear provocation. North Korea had threatened that it would pursue a more hardline “new path” by the end of last year unless the United States dropped its “hostile” policies toward the country.
On January 5—amidst quickly escalating tensions between the United States and Iran—Tehran announced its latest steps to walk back its commitments to the 2015 nuclear deal.
Iran is back in the nuclear game.
Only a handful of countries worldwide have nuclear weapons, and the risk of new entrants into the club, most experts agree, is relatively low.
Iran’s nuclear actions so far do not merit a redline or the military response that could follow, nor do they rise to the level of an unacceptable threat to the United States or its interests. Rather, they are a signal that, although some in the Trump administration believe otherwise, Iran will not consent to being pushed via sanctions without seeking leverage of its own.
Iran announced Monday—and international inspectors confirmed—that it had exceeded the amount of enriched uranium it can have on hand under the terms of the nuclear deal (known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA). The deal allows Iran to have up to 300kg of up to 3.67 percent enriched uranium hexafluoride.
ERIC BREWER and RICHARD NEPHEW