WMD Articles

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif with other officials before resuming talks over Iran's nuclear program, Lausanne, Switzerland, March 16, 2015 (AP photo by Brian Snyder).

Like It or Not, U.S. Needs Iran to Stabilize the Middle East

By Judah Grunstein
, , Briefing

Differences between the U.S. and Israel over a deal on Iran’s nuclear program reflect how recent changes in the Middle East have created a fundamental divergence of U.S. and Israeli strategic interests. Far from being transient, the resulting disconnect is destined to be enduring. more


Global Insights

Spoilers Emerge as Iran Nuclear Talks Reach Delicate Endgame

By Richard Weitz
, , Column

With the deadline for a framework agreement on Iran’s nuclear program fast approaching, critical players have been expressing opposition to a deal they perceive as too lenient. In this context, the role played by Russia and China in the negotiations could prove critical for the success of any deal. more

Diplomatic Fallout

Can the U.N. Deliver for Obama on Iran, Israel-Palestine Deals?

By Richard Gowan
, , Column

Barack Obama’s influence on the future of U.S. foreign policy is shrinking as he nears the end of his presidency. But he might use his leverage over U.N. diplomacy to push through deals on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and Iran’s nuclear program. If he does, the U.N. could struggle to deliver. more

Strategic Horizons

Contrasting Strategic Cultures Drive U.S.-Israel Split on Iran

By Steven Metz
, , Column

Unlike Israel, the United States has far-ranging, interconnected global concerns and a uniquely idealistic strategic culture. How the U.S. deals with Iran reverberates outside the Middle East, and done badly, it might advance Israel’s security while degrading American interests elsewhere in the world. more

The Realist Prism

Will GOP Senators’ Open Letter to Iran Derail Nuclear Deal?

By Nikolas Gvosdev
, , Column

On Monday, 47 GOP senators published an open letter warning Iran’s leadership of the perils faced by any deal on Tehran’s nuclear program concluded solely on the basis of U.S. President Barack Obama’s executive authority. The letter’s impact will depend on three sets of Iranian calculations. more

Global Insights

With Good Game Plan, U.S. Can Tough Out NPT Review Conference

By Richard Weitz
, , Column

Next month’s Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty promises to be much more contentious than the previous 5-year review conference held in 2010. However, with a good game plan, the Obama administration can limit the damage to U.S. interests and the nonproliferation regime. more

Strategic Horizons

U.S. Deterrent Not Up to Today’s Complex Security Environment

By Steven Metz
, , Column

When the Soviet Union fielded nuclear weapons during the opening years of the Cold War, deterrence quickly became the centerpiece of U.S. military strategy. But the current confrontation with Russia underscores the limitations of the old notion of deterrence in today’s security environment. more

Special Report

Breakout Capacity: Iran in the Rouhani Era

By The Editors
, , Report

Hassan Rouhani assumed the presidency of Iran last year amid great expectations for reform at home and renewed engagement abroad. From nuclear negotiations to the crises in Iraq and Syria, Rouhani’s term has so far been a mixed bag, offering hope but not yet transformation, as the articles in this report show. more

Strategic Posture Review: South Korea

By Richard Weitz
, , Report

As a fully democratic and developed country, South Korea has realized its aspirations to become a major international player. Nonetheless, the persistent threat from North Korea, along with the challenge of having three of the world’s most powerful countries as neighbors, continues to constrain South Korea.

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Global Insights

When it Comes to Nonproliferation, China Has Been a ‘Free Rider’

By Richard Weitz
, , Column

The Chinese, U.S. President Barack Obama said in a recent interview, “have been free riders for the last 30 years,” while the U.S. has maintained international security for the good of the world. Although Obama might not have meant to be so blunt, his remarks reflect a widespread view within Washington that China, in order to minimize foreign risks, has not been as helpful on many global issues, especially nonproliferation. more

Iran’s Rouhani Stokes Domestic Backlash With Attack on Critics

By Nader Habibi
, , Briefing

In an address last week to Foreign Ministry officials, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani did not hold back his frustration with critics of nuclear negotiations with the P5+1. Deviating from his usual calm and moderate tone, Rouhani told his critics to go “to hell.” The backlash could further polarize Iranian politics and bring deep-rooted tensions between reformists and conservatives to the surface. more

In Training Partner Militaries, U.S. Should Not Rush to ‘Do Something’ in Africa

By Michelle Sieff
, , Briefing

As African heads of state gather in Washington this week for the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, the continent’s overall security progress shouldn’t obscure its ongoing challenges, including violent Islamist extremism. With the shift in U.S. counterterrorism strategy from direct to indirect action—training partner or indigenous troops—U.S. policymakers and the military must confront critical strategic and practical issues. more

Congressional Republicans Seize on Russia’s Missile Treaty Violation

By Eric Auner
, , Trend Lines

Last week, the State Department officially reported that Russia had violated the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty when it tested cruise missiles. Republican lawmakers expressed immediate dismay with the Obama administration; some even advocated U.S. withdrawal from the treaty. Even if Republicans shy away from that, the INF issue will continue to serve as a locus of anti-Russian sentiment. more