Getting Back into Nuclear Arms Control and Nonproliferation

The nuclear arms control field has been in difficult shape in recent years. A series of treaties and agreements have ended with the prospect for new ones slim. The State Department’s institutional capacity has dimmed, as well, particularly as far as Foreign Service ranks are concerned. But the salience of the nuclear challenge has not lessened. Despite drawdowns of some 85 % in U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals from their historic highs, the two countries still maintain some 90 % of the world’s nuclear weapons whose use would end life as we know it. While China’s nuclear arsenal is vastly smaller, it is by no means decreasing. The North Korean nuclear challenge is as real as ever. The U.S. decision to abandon the Iran nuclear deal has gravely shortened the time in which Iran could mount a nuclear weapons breakout. Nuclear-armed India and Pakistan continue to be at loggerheads. Read Deep Cuts Commissioner Laura Kennedy's analysis of how to move forward regarding nuclear arms control and non-proliferation challenges here