Nuclear Policy In Focus
Now Is The Best Opportunity To Seal A Deal With Iran Over Nuclear Weapons
Patrick Clawson of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy believes a real opportunity for a deal with Iran over nuclear weapons is afoot.
“Rouhani is even better placed than his predecessors to have real influence. He enjoys support from a broad swath of the Iranian political spectrum — from hard-liners to reformists — in no small part because of the lessons each camp is drawing from developments across the region. Hard-liners realize that the ‘resistance policy’ advocated by the previous team has not worked well. Resistance has brought Iran only more sanctions, led Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to the brink of disaster, and lost Hezbollah the broad public support it once commanded across the region. They see Rouhani’s strategy as a new approach toward the same goals, and they are willing to give it a try,” he suggests.
Time To Rethink Nuclear Strategy, Analysts Say
As Great Britain begins a debate over the future of its Trident nuclear submarines, two former representatives to the United Nations suggest it might be time for both the US and Great Britain to examine their strategies of nuclear deterrence.
“This forthcoming debate provides an opportunity for Americans and Britons together to take a pragmatic, fresh look at nuclear strategy in ways that bring it into the 21st century and rise above conventional mantra. Unnecessary nuclear capabilities come at a high cost, both financially and strategically, and knee-jerk reactions based upon past strategic environments, unsubstantiated threats, and bluster are only likely to backfire,” Thomas Pickering and Jeremy Greenstock write in the Christian Science Monitor. The authors are, respectively, former representatives to the United Nations from Great Britain and the United States.
History Is Shaped By The Smallest Of Margins
As history shows time and time again, events are often determined by the smallest of margins. What if Lee Harvey Oswald had hesitated a few seconds before pulling the trigger that killed John Kennedy? How would the world be different today?
What if, as newly-released documents from the US government indicate, a nuclear bomb actually fell on North Carolina in 1961? Would the US have continued its nuclear program?
In 1961, a B-52 carrying a nuclear bomb began to break apart causing the hydrogen bomb, to deploy its parachute and initiate its activation procedure, documents detailed in The Guardian show.
The documents, requested through the Freedom of Information Act, show that “one simple, dynamo-technology, low-voltage switch stood between the United States and a major catastrophe.” A glitch occurred and the bomb fell to earth without any incident. The documents are reported in a new book by Eric Schlosser, who was the supervisor of the nuclear weapons safety department at Sandia national laboratories.
In a recent interview with Mother Jones, Schlosser warns that if “we don’t greatly reduce the number of nuclear weapons in the world, or completely eliminate them, a major city is going to be destroyed by a nuclear weapon.”
He remarks that it is “incredible” that “a major city hasn’t been destroyed since Nagasaki. We can confront this problem or we can accept that hundreds of thousands or more will be killed. And I don’t think that’s inevitable. The book was really written with a notion of trying to prevent that.”