Policy Brief No 16 - June, 2018
This Policy Brief compares and contrasts the Trump administration’s 2018 Nuclear Posture Review with past reviews and its Obama predecessor. It concludes that this review offers a much harsher assessment of the security environment; it posits a more expansive role for nuclear weapons; and proposes a substantial de-emphasis on arms control. In tone and direction, the 2018 NPR signals a nuclear environment that is more menacing and more competitive, less regulated by negotiated agreement, and marked more by modernization than by reductions in forces. It focuses too much attention on Russian threats, sees weaknesses in the US deterrence posture and believes that deterrence will be bolstered by providing the president with additional usable nuclear options. While there are continuities between this NPR and earlier ones what makes this one particularly worrying is the incumbent Commander in Chief who seeks to blur past distinctions between conventional and nuclear forces.
Summary Report No 15 - May, 2018
In collaboration with the Asia-Pacific Leadership Network (APLN), European Leadership Network (ELN), and with support from the Nuclear Threat Initiative, the Toda Peace Institute convened a workshop in Seoul on 22 and 23 March under the title of ‘Closing the Gap: Harmonizing the NPT and the Nuclear Ban Treaty.’ The aim of the initiative was to enhance convergence between the NPT and Ban Treaty, to inform the 2020 NPT Review Conference and strengthen the global disarmament and non-proliferation regime. In preparation for the workshop, APLN and the Toda Institute commissioned several background Policy Briefs.
Policy Brief No 13 - May, 2018
Whether or not President Trump unilaterally withdraws from the Iran nuclear deal on 12 May, Europe will face an uphill battle to save it. If sanctions are applied immediately, or threatened every 120 days, that will undermine one of the fundamental tenets of the agreement. Businesses will be unwilling to risk investing in an economy under the threat of sanctions. This will mean Iran will be denied the benefits to which it is entitled to under the agreement and will have little incentive to continue complying with its nuclear obligations. In fact, current statements from Tehran indicate that Iran might walk away from the deal entirely. Europe is making last-ditch efforts to meet Trump’s challenge but it needs a backup plan to salvage the nuclear deal if the U.S. withdraws or carries out its part of the bargain half-heartedly. This policy brief identifies a series of European options that will protect the JCPOA from both a U.S. withdrawal and continued uncertainty. It argues that a package of positive incentives aimed at persuading the Iranian leadership of the benefits of compliance with the JCPOA outweigh the potential costs of noncompliance and retaliation.
Policy Brief No 12 - May, 2018
The United States, Russia and other nuclear weapons possessors have embarked on a very dangerous and costly arms race that is seriously increasing the risk of nuclear war. Creative new approaches are needed to put the brakes on this arms race, and restore movement in the direc-tion of enhanced strategic stability, decreased reliance on nuclear weapons, and nuclear arms control and disarmament. Just as we must defuse this new Cold War, we must think beyond tired Cold War arms control frameworks while still drawing on the positive lessons learned from them. Eliminating all nuclear-armed cruise missiles of any range would be an extremely important step for re-launching global nuclear arms control efforts.
Policy Brief No 11 - April, 2018
Despite its anti-nuclear weapon declaratory-policy,“Three Non-Nuclear Principles,” Japan has enjoyed the protection of the nuclear umbrella provided by the United States for more than 60 years. This bilateral nuclear arrangement has established and cherished a strong bond between the two nations, which the author calls “the US–Japan Nuclear Alliance.” This unique politico-military alliance, backed by US nuclear forces, has brought about a “conceptual twist” of Japanese security policy related to nuclear weapons. The twist can be analysed in terms of two characteristic elements: ambivalence and coherence. This twist is a result of several factors, including Japan’s unprecedented experience of the humanitarian consequences of the use of nuclear weapons, Japan’s anti-nuclear public sentiment, the Japanese security policy discourse delineated by Cold War strategies of the US, and Tokyo’s acceptance of the US nuclear umbrella. These factors have forced Japanese conservative governments, including the current Abe administration, to perform Nuclear Kabuki Play resulting from the ambivalence and coherence that characterize Japan’s security policy. Abe’s opposition to a No First Use (NFU) policy and Japan’s calibrated approach to the newly adopted nuclear weapon ban treaty are closely associated with Japanese ambivalence and coherence toward nuclear weapons and related security issues.