Ted Turner and former Senator Sam Nunn announced on 8 January the establishment of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, a private foundation committed to reducing the risks posed by nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. The organization will focus on easing the "pressure on the nuclear trigger" and actively promoting the "trust, transparency and security that are preconditions to the fulfillment of the Nonproliferation Treaty's goals and ambitions," Nunn said.
Colin Powell endorsed it. The Joint Chiefs endorsed it. Now, three former secretaries of defense have urged the Senate to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, with periodic reviews. In an op-ed published in the New York Times on 7 January 2001, authors Harold Brown, Melvin R. Laird and William J. Perry endorse a bipartisan approach to nuclear nonproliferation as one of the principle goals of the new Congress.
Italy has urged NATO to investigate the deaths of six Italian solders who died of leukemia after serving in the Balkans. Prime Minister Giuliano Amato believes they may have died from contact with depleted uranium munitions used by NATO forces. There are many ways to die in combat; but exposure to depleted uranium is probably not one of them.
On December 20, Pakistan announced a partial withdrawal from the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir, responding to India's extension of a cease-fire against Kashmiri militants. India's Prime Minister Vajpayee cited "encouraging developments" in announcing the decision to extend the cease-fire beyond the original December 28 deadline to January 26, 2001. The latest developments suggest that the Indian cease-fire against the militants and Pakistan's commitment to exercise "maximum restraint" along the LoC have succeeded in creating a new dynamic in the region.
Go slow on defenses, negotiate any deployments, and devalue nuclear weapons. That was the message Secretary of State-designate Colin Powell sent at his December 16 press conference. For those who have pushed to abrogate the ABM Treaty and for a crash program to deploy national missile defenses, it was not welcome news.
Roundtable with officials from the Foreign Ministry of France and outside experts
China is slowly modernizing its strategic nuclear forces. There is no evidence to suggest either an acceleration of the program or any near-term threat to the United States. Chinese doctrine is centered around the maintenance of a "limited nuclear deterrent" capable of launching a retaliatory strike after an adversary's nuclear attack. The design and deployment of China's nuclear forces have been shaped by two key concerns: the survival of a second strike capability and the potential deployment of missile defense systems.
In a major new report, An Agenda for Renewal: U.S.-Russian Relations, senior Carnegie Endowment experts call on the new U.S. administration to review its approach to dealing with Russia in several key policy areas.