Nuclear Policy News – February 4, 2019

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Trump Says He’s Inclined to Keep Base in Iraq to ‘Watch’ Iran

Can Elizabeth Warren and Adam Smith, Defying Trump, Persuade Americans to Get Serious About Nuclear-Arms Control?
New Yorker

U.S. Envoy for North Korea Arrives in S. Korea for Talks: Yonhap


‘Huge Mistake’: Fears of Arms Race As US, Russia Suspend INF Pact
Al Jazeera2/3/2019
In an escalating standoff over nuclear weapons, Russia and the United States have suspended compliance with the Cold War-era Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, prompting fears of a new arms race that analysts and politicians say could push the world “much closer” to a nuclear war.

INF Nuclear Treaty: Russia Follows US In Suspending Pact
BBC News2/2/2019
Russia has suspended its involvement in the Cold War-era Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) following a similar decision by the US.

East Asia

U.S. Envoy for North Korea Arrives in S. Korea for Talks:Yonhap
Stephen Biegun, the U.S. special representative for North Korea, arrived in South Korea on Sunday for working-level talks on a proposed second summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un, Yonhap News reported.

Are Sanctions Against North Korea Working? The Trump-Kim Summit May Depend On It
Los Angeles Times2/3/2019
When North Korea’s Kim Jong Un met with President Trump last June, Trump claimed it was his “maximum pressure” campaign centered around sanctions that forced Kim to the table for the first-ever summit between U.S. and North Korean leaders. But analysts say North Korea continues to find ways to adapt.

Trump Sees ‘Good Chance’ Of North Korea Deal In Second Kim Summit
Al Jazeera2/3/2019
Donald Trump has said he sees a “good chance” of reaching a deal with North Korea on denuclearisation, as senior US and South Korean officials met to discuss an upcoming second summit between the US president and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Middle East

Trump Says He’s Inclined to Keep Base in Iraq to ‘Watch’ Iran
President Donald Trump stood by his plans to reduce the U.S. footprint in the Middle East but said in an interview broadcast on Sunday that he intends to maintain a presence in Iraq, in part to keep tabs on Iran. Trump also said he’d ignore the advice of intelligence community officials on Iran if their views run counter to his own.

While E.U. Tries To Bypass U.S. Sanctions On Iran, Trump Administration Amps Up Pressure
The Washington Post2/3/2019
To be a European company with links to Iran in the age of American sanctions can mean dealing with challenges that, every day, verge on the existential. Suppliers cut off their shipments with little warning. Phone lines get disconnected. Even having the elevators repaired can be an ordeal, with service contracts canceled.

Multilateral Arms Control

Nuclear Arms Control Is Increasingly Strained as Russia Steps Back From Treaty
The nuclear arms controls that have been in place since the end of the Cold War appear increasing strained. The US said yesterday (Feb. 1) that it will withdraw from a landmark treaty for such weapons that it signed with the Soviet Union in 1987.


Welcome to the New Age of Nuclear Instability
New York Times2/1/2019– Rachel Bronson
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s announcement on Friday that the United States is suspending the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty should worry everyone. The I.N.F. is a landmark treaty and it has made the world a safe place. It was the first nuclear agreement to ever outlaw an entire class of weapons.

Can Elizabeth Warren and Adam Smith, Defying Trump, Persuade Americans to Get Serious About Nuclear-Arms Control?
New Yorker2/1/2019 – James Carroll
“It is the policy of the United States to not use nuclear weapons first.” This is the elegantly simple declamation of a bill, introduced on Wednesday by Representative Adam Smith, Democrat of Washington, the new chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, and Senator Elizabeth Warren, Democrat of Massachusetts, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Democrats Should Welcome Trump’s Withdrawal From the INF Treaty
Bloomberg 2/1/2019 – Eli Lake
It’s fair to worry about a new nuclear arms race between the U.S., Russia and China. The problem is that the race is already on — and the U.S. is not running. Neither public pressure nor diplomatic negotiation has dissuaded these adversaries from their proliferation. Perhaps an American arms buildup will.

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