Nonproliferation Review • 24.5/6

Volume 24 • Numbers 5/6


Joshua H. Pollack & Rhianna Tyson Kreger


View this issue’s contributor bios


Trita Parsi


This Symposium section is free to access until June 30, 2018.



The strategic elimination of nuclear weapons: an alternative global agenda for nuclear disarmament
Lewis A. Dunn

Show/Hide Abstract
Global nuclear dangers have jumped since President Barack Obama’s 2009 Prague speech affirmed the goal of a world without nuclear weapons. Today’s nuclear dangers range from growing US–Russian political–military confrontation and the virtual collapse of bilateral nuclear arms control through the greatest divisions ever within the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) to North Korea’s coming capability to attack the United States with nuclear-armed missiles. The Donald J. Trump administration has maintained that nuclear weapons are essential to US security, though it has also affirmed the US commitment to the goal of nuclear abolition. Frustrated by lack of progress on nuclear disarmament and energized by concerns about the risk of use of nuclear weapons, nearly 125 countries have now negotiated a Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. It was signed by fifty countries when it opened for signature in September 2017. None of the nuclear-weapon states will adhere to the treaty and it will not reduce today’s nuclear dangers. The interests of all of the key protagonists—the United States and its allies, the other NPT nuclear-weapon states, and the supporters of the new Prohibition Treaty—would best be served by rebuilding habits of cooperation among them to reduce global nuclear dangers and advance the NPT’s nuclear disarmament goal. One possible rallying point would be a vision of the strategic elimination of nuclear weapons as instruments of strategy, power, and security—not their complete physical elimination—by 2045, one hundred years after Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Strategic elimination would have specific dimensions in terms of policy, operations, numbers, institutions and planning, and transparency verification. Priorities for action now stand out both to reduce today’s global nuclear dangers and to put in place the building blocks for strategic elimination.


Harald Müller, Director, Peace Research Institute Frankfurt; Nonproliferation Review editorial board member
Harald Müller

Nikolai Sokov, Senior Fellow, James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey
Nikolai Sokov

Emmanuelle Maitre, Research Fellow, Fondation pour la Recherche Stratégique
Emmanuelle Maitre

Tong Zhao, Fellow, Nuclear Policy Program, Carnegie–Tsinghua Center for Global Policy
Tong Zhao

Malcolm Chalmers, Deputy Director-General, Royal United Services Institute
Malcolm Chalmers

Angela Kane, Senior Fellow, Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation
Angela Kane

George Perkovich, Ken Olivier and Angela Nomellini Chair and Vice President for Studies, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
George Perkovich

Waheguru Pal Singh Sidhu, Associate Professor, Center for Global Affairs, New York University
Waheguru Pal Singh Sidhu

Jean du Preez, Independent consultant
Jean du Preez


A final word from Lewis Dunn
Lewis A. Dunn


Building trust in nonproliferation: transparency in nuclear-power development
Viet Phuong Nguyen & Man-Sung Yim

Show/Hide Abstract
Nuclear transparency is beneficial to nonproliferation. It helps non-nuclear-weapon states demonstrate their commitment to the nonproliferation regime and nuclear-weapon states account for their stockpiles. It also buttresses the safeguards process of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). This article discusses the need for better transparency in nonproliferation efforts and offers a new tripartite model of nuclear transparency which emphasizes not only the states that want to prove their nonproliferation compliance through transparency, but also the audience for such transparency, and how transparency information is transferred from providers to recipients. The article discusses a range of issues concerning how such information is generated, appraised, and presented, taking into account the effect of cultural influences on different states’ transparency practices. To better synthesize various pieces of information intended to demonstrate nuclear transparency, we propose a nuclear-transparency dataset that includes nuclear-related factors as well as socio-political variables. Regression results using the dataset and responses from an expert survey show that the proposed transparency indicators provided a relatively similar assessment to the IAEA’s level of confidence about a state’s safeguards record, as stated in its 2013 safeguards report. Finally, the article proposes a direction for the development of this transparency index, as well as means by which states can improve their nuclear transparency.

Nuclear security in Russia: can progress be sustained?
Matthew Bunn & Dmitry Kovchegin

Show/Hide Abstract
Nuclear security in Russia has continued to evolve since the suspension of nearly all US–Russian nuclear-security cooperation in 2014, but the United States and the rest of the world now know much less about the directions of this evolution. This article assesses the current state of nuclear security in Russia based on an examination of key drivers of Russia’s nuclear-security system, from allocation of resources to regulatory oversight. It then outlines four scenarios for the future of evolution of nuclear security in Russia, describing potential causes, implications, and observable indicators for each scenario. It closes with recommendations designed to maximize the chance of moving onto a path of continuous improvement of nuclear security.


The Double Game: The Demise of America’s First Missile Defense System and the Rise of Strategic Arms Limitation
Amy F. Woolf

The no bang theory: kinetic bias and US biodefense
Amy Sands

Statements of fact and opinion expressed in The Nonproliferation Review are the responsibility of the authors alone and do not imply the endorsement of the editors, the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, or the Monterey Institute of International Studies.

The Nonproliferation Review ISSN 1073-6700
Copyright © 2018 by Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey