Senior Science Fellow Philip Coyle was quoted in The Diplomat on the Department of Energy’s expertise in nuclear non-proliferation.
OICI “has a different mission from the CIA,” Philip E. Coyle, a former official at DOE, the Defense Department, and the White House now at the Center for Arms Control and Nonproliferation, told The Diplomat in an email. “It’s not that the CIA couldn’t do a different mission if the CIA were so tasked, but it is not the CIA’s job to try to replicate what another agency is already doing.”
OICI’s portfolio extends to several countries. “DOE has always tracked the nuclear activities — and potentially nuclear weapons-related activities — in Iran and North Korea, not just Russia or China,” noted Coyle. “The DOE mission is to understand the significance of such activities, and that has not changed.” If U.S. President Donald Trump executes his promise to cancel the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the treaty limiting Iran’s access to nuclear energy, OICI’s work could become that much more important. Otherwise, the United States could be facing the potential for nuclear warfare.
Coyle emphasized that the intelligence community has overcome much of the factionalism that contributed to the Iraq War: ”The current situation with the DPRK [North Korea] is very serious, and I am sure all U.S. government agencies recognize that and understand the imperatives for close coordination,” he said. ”If there were something specific DOE needed, they might ask the CIA to help them. An example might be information about a nuclear facility in North Korea, a reactor, or other facility that DOE knew existed but needed a particular piece of information about, information DOE itself had no means to obtain.” Read more