Nuclear proliferation and the actions of nuclear rogue states, in particular Iran and North Korea, continue to pose some of the toughest challenges facing U.S. policymakers. Iran is adding to its stock of enriched uranium and expanding its enrichment capability in the new Fardo underground facility. Additionally, the dialogue between Tehran and the United Nations Security Council Permanent Five plus Germany (the P5+1) remains stalemated, and Israeli leaders suggest the time for military action against Iran’s nuclear program is nearing. Meanwhile, senior U.S. and North Korean nuclear negotiators will soon meet to resume discussions halted by the death of Kim Jong Il, but Pyongyang’s uranium enrichment activities continue to persist without interruption or any monitoring by the International Atomic Energy Agency.
On Friday, March 2, Foreign Policy at Brookings hosted a discussion of these critical issues featuring MacArthur Foundation President Robert Gallucci, Brookings Senior Fellows Suzanne Maloney and Jonathan Pollack, and Brookings President Strobe Talbott. Brookings Senior Fellow Steven Pifer, director of the Arms Control Initiative, moderated the discussion.
My biggest concern is that Washington is signaling to Russia that it’s OK to meddle in the politics of sovereign nations which are your neighbors. Meddling is going on from Paris to Ukraine, from east to west and north to south, within Europe and at its borders, and always with the intent of undermining the credibility and effectiveness of democratic institutions. And it is being either denied or downplayed.