Front and Center: November 16, 2019

NUCLEAR DIPLOMACY WHEEL SPINNING 
When it comes to dealing with the proliferation challenges from Iran and North Korea, the Trump Administration continues to spin its wheels. North Korea announced this week that it would reject a reported offer to continue vaguely-framed denuclearization talks with the United States, saying it was not interested in more talks aimed at “appeasing” them. Pyongyang had set an end-of-year deadline for Washington to treat the negotiations “more seriously.” It’s clear that the United States must prioritize working-level talks focused on substantive steps forward or risk derailing diplomacy with North Korea altogether. The Trump Administration continues to sanction various Iranian industries purportedly as a way to “reduce proliferation risks, constrain Iran’s ability to shorten its ‘breakout time’ to a nuclear weapon, and prevent the regime from reconstituting sites for proliferation-sensitive purposes.” The folly of abandoning the Iran nuclear deal aside, this strategy is problematic because it does not bring us any closer to a new agreement to constrain Iran’s nuclear program. Sanctions can be a valuable tool, but the goal should be to get Iranian leaders back to the negotiating table. 

ARMS CONTROL ON SHAKY GROUND
The New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) is on shaky ground. If the United States and Russia fail to extend the agreement, as allowed in the treaty text, there will no longer be any controls on the world’s two largest nuclear arsenals. We are working fervently to inform lawmakers and the public about the necessity of the treaty.  At the same time, we are working to educate people on the importance of the latest agreement in the Trump Administration’s crosshairs – the Open Skies Treaty. This agreement allows the United States and the other 33 member countries, including Russia, unprecedented transparency into each country’s military capabilities. As Senior Policy Director Alexandra Bell wrote in Just Security, abandonding this treaty would be squandering more of America’s security inheritance.

GIVING TUESDAY IS DECEMBER 3, 2019 — KEEP THE CENTER IN MIND!
Mark your calendar! Giving Tuesday, which follows Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, is a way to kick off the end of the year by giving back to the causes you care about. The Center would be honored to receive your donation so we may continue working toward our goals of reducing and eventually eliminating nuclear threats. RSVP on Facebook and invite your friends, and feel free to get a head start by donating now!

SUBMIT QUESTIONS FOR OUR ‘MAILBAG’ PODCAST EPISODE
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