Center for Strategic & International Studies: Project on Nuclear Issues 9/9/2022


Your daily briefing of the nuclear policy news and analysis.

CSIS Project on Nuclear Issues

Good morning,
Here is the Nuclear Policy News for Monday, September 19, 2022.

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Deborah Delcid


Nuclear Policy News – September 19, 2022

United States

‘Don’t, don’t don’t’: Biden presses Putin on nuclear weapons 
Al Jazeera
US President Joe Biden has urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to not use tactical nuclear or chemical weapons after a series of military losses in Ukraine. Biden said the US response would be “consequential” – but declined to give details. 

Europe and Russia

ANALYSIS: Escalation Management and Nuclear Employment in Russian Military Strategy
War on the Rocks - Michael Kofman, Anya Fink
Russian nuclear strategy has been the subject of vigorous debates in recent years. Some believe it hides a plan to compel war termination through early use of nuclear arms after a case of aggression, i.e., escalate to de-escalate; others see it primarily as a defensive deterrent to be used in exigent circumstances. Analysts have argued that Russia’s lowered nuclear threshold is a myth, a temporary measure born out of conventional inferiority. Others believe that “escalate to de-escalate” does not exist as a doctrine, or that the term itself should be terminated because the real strategy is escalation control.Each perspective offers a kernel of truth, but none of these views captures Russian nuclear strategy and thinking on escalation management in a satisfactory or comprehensive manner.
Middle East

Iran says no nuclear deal without U.S. guarantees it won’t walk out again
Washington Post
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, in his first U.S. media interview, said that the Biden administration’s promise to adhere to a new nuclear agreement was “meaningless” without guarantees that the United States would not again unilaterally withdraw from the deal in the future.

Iran raises possibility of meeting at U.N. assembly to revive nuclear deal
Iran does not rule out the possibility of a meeting on the sidelines of the annual U.N. General Assembly in New York on reviving its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani said on Monday.
East Asia

North Korean nuclear law violates aims of inter-Korean military deal: JCS chief
NK News
North Korea’s new doctrine governing nuclear weapons violates the “objectives” of the 2018 inter-Korean military agreement, South Korea’s top military official said Monday, the fourth anniversary of the deal’s signing.

US general’s nuclear deterrence comments ‘may spur China to boost its arsenal’ 
South China Morning Post  
A senior US general’s comments that the country’s nuclear arsenal might help deter an attack on Taiwan may prompt China to boost its nuclear weapons programme, military analysts have said.  
China, AUKUS countries clash at IAEA over nuclear submarine plan 
China clashed with the countries in the so-called AUKUS alliance at the U.N. nuclear watchdog on Friday over their plan to supply Australia with nuclear-powered submarines, capping a week in which Beijing has repeatedly railed against the project. Nuclear submarines are a particular challenge because when they are at sea their fuel is beyond the reach of the agency's inspectors who are supposed to keep track of all nuclear material. IAEA chief Grossi has said he is satisfied with the AUKUS countries' transparency so far.​​

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