Issue Brief posted March 27, 2014
U.S. Nuclear Weapons Policy: After Ukraine, Time to Reassess Strategic Posture
Russia recently invaded Ukraine and annexed Crimea in blatant disregard of Ukraine’s territorial sovereignty. Russia’s willingness to challenge the status quo and its disregard for its arms control obligations have important implications for U.S. nuclear weapons policy. The U.S. can take many steps to improve and strengthen its overall nuclear posture regardless of…
Issue Brief posted March 21, 2014
U.S. Missile Defense Policy After Russia’s Actions in Ukraine
Russia has invaded Ukraine and annexed Crimea in blatant disregard of Ukraine’s territorial sovereignty and international law. Russia’s crude steps carry important implications for U.S. missile defense policy.
Currently, the Administration’s policy is not to affect the “strategic balance” with Russia in terms of ballistic missiles. In reality, there is no strategic…
Backgrounder posted March 19, 2014
12 Issues for Congress in the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act
Two key bills guide the policies of the U.S. Department of Defense: (1) the appropriations bill, which provides defense funding, and (2) the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which sets policies and guidelines for how the money will be spent. The NDAA has been the only bill that has made it to the President’s desk for his signature each year over the past…
Backgrounder posted February 18, 2014
U.S. Nuclear Weapons in Europe: Critical for Transatlantic Security
Since the end of the Cold War, the U.S. nuclear weapons posture has undergone a dramatic change. The U.S. has withdrawn about 90 percent of its forward-deployed nuclear weapons from Europe. In 2012, the Obama Administration initiated the Life Extension Program (LEP) for the B61 tactical nuclear weapon, which is the last nuclear weapon the U.S. keeps in Europe and the only…
Issue Brief posted January 15, 2014
Top Five National Security Priorities for Congress in 2014
America is dramatically less safe and prosperous than when President Obama took office. Threats to the nation have increased as the President’s “leading from behind” strategy only caused the U.S. to lose respect and influence on every front. U.S. adversaries became more emboldened. As a result of President Obama’s poor leadership, the U.S. will have to face the return of…
Issue Brief posted December 11, 2013
Russia’s Arms Control Violations: What the U.S. Should Do
This past June, President Obama called for another round of nuclear weapons reductions by stating that he intends to “seek negotiated cuts with Russia to move beyond Cold War nuclear postures.” The United States has already moved beyond its Cold War nuclear posture. Since the end of the Cold War, the U.S. has cut the number of its deployed strategic nuclear weapons by…
Issue Brief posted November 20, 2013
International Security Demands U.S. Intercontinental-Range Missiles
Since the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) entered into force in February 2011, the U.S. has borne a significant majority of the nuclear arms reductions required under the treaty. Russia, the other party to the treaty, has been increasing the number of its deployed nuclear weapons and delivery vehicles, which the treaty allows.
Now, according to a…
Issue Brief posted September 24, 2013
Biofuel Blunder: Navy Should Prioritize Fleet Modernization over Political Initiatives
For the past several years, the President and Navy Secretary Ray Mabus have directed the U.S. Navy to dedicate increasingly precious budgetary resources to establish a “green fleet”—i.e., to replace conventional diesel fuel for ships with biofuels harvested from organic material.
Supporters claim that instability in the fossil fuel market justifies paying more for…
Issue Brief posted August 15, 2013
EMP Awareness Day: The First Step to Averting Disaster
In June, Maine became the first state to require a study of threats to the electric grid from weapons causing an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) effect and solar storms. The catastrophic consequences of an EMP or massive solar storm are too great to ignore. Indeed, massive power outages and the loss of nearly all electronic devices in the affected areas would cause the U.S.…
Issue Brief posted August 2, 2013
Pentagon Strategic Choices and Management Review: Early Warning Two Years Too Late
The Department of Defense (DOD) released its Strategic Choices and Management Review (SCMR), which proposes options for implementing defense cuts required by the Budget Control Act (BCA) of 2011.
Cuts, no matter how they are implemented, will dramatically reduce readiness and capabilities of the armed forces to the point U.S. national security will be in jeopardy. The…
Issue Brief posted June 20, 2013
Obama’s Wish to Cut Nuclear Arsenal Undermines National Security
On Wednesday in Berlin, President Obama called for negotiated cuts in deployed nuclear weapons with the Russian Federation, as much as one-third below the New Strategic Arms Reductions Treaty (New START) level of 1,550. He also stated that he would focus on U.S. and Russian tactical nuclear weapons in Europe and reinvigorate the Administration’s efforts on the…
Issue Brief posted May 21, 2013
Top 10 To-Do List for the National Defense Authorization Act
The federal National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) annually specifies the budget and expenditures of the Department of Defense (DOD). The law can be a vehicle for both good and bad policies.
As Congress prepares to craft this legislation, it should seriously consider policy issues that can improve U.S. security and advance international partnerships:
Issue Brief posted May 15, 2013
Missile Defenses: Robust Testing Program Essential
Missile defense is a proven technology; repeated tests have proved that the system is so accurate that it can “hit a bullet with a bullet.” The United States should continue to provide and encourage a rigorous missile defense testing program, even if it means that intercepts do not happen.
Even “failed” tests, if properly constructed, contribute to the understanding and…