Tuesday’s meeting between U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Sochi, Russia, was the result of a recent phone call between U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.  According to Lavrov, both heads of state directed to their subordinates to intensify the ...

At 12:00PM on Friday, Jan. 20, the nuclear “football,” a briefcase containing the launch codes for the U.S. nuclear arsenal, was passed to a new Commander-in-Chief. Donald Trump enters the Oval Office at a time of dual necessity: U.S. nuclear forces, which include 6,800 nuclear weapons, are in need of ...

The pursuit of nuclear arms control agreements and other efforts to draw down nuclear forces to reduce nuclear dangers is a goal that is almost as old as the nuclear weapon itself. It has been a major national security and foreign policy objective for nearly all U.S. administrations, Democratic or ...

This year, the Donald J. Trump administration will review the state of U.S. nuclear forces, the nation’s nuclear policy and posture, and how it fits the current and emerging strategic environment. With that review comes an opportunity to communicate to friends and adversaries alike that deterrence has returned to the ...

As President Barack Obama heads out of office, he leaves behind an unexpected legacy: as arms exporter-in-chief. “The Obama administration has made more major arms sales, by value, than any other administration in the history of the United States,” William Hartung, director of the Arms and Security Project at the Center ...

In a Presidential race dominated by immigration, trade, and an almost unprecedented level of political mudslinging, one could be forgiven for missing moderator Lester Holt’s question on nuclear “No First Use” (NFU) policy in the first Presidential debate of 2016. However, the issue of NFU has quietly become a hotly ...

Since June 2016, there has been a spirited debate in Washington regarding the U.S. adoption of a No-First-Use (NFU) policy. A NFU policy would be a U.S. declaration that it would never be the first to use nuclear weapons; their use would be limited to a possible U.S. response to ...

Geopolitical tensions have risen in Europe since the Russia-Ukraine crisis in 2014; in South Asia with the flare-up in Kashmir; and in East Asia with the growing assertiveness of China in its maritime territorial disputes and the continuing series of nuclear tests by North Korea. As a consequence, nuclear risks ...

The conditions under which a U.S. president might use nuclear weapons has in recent weeks become a topic of national conversation. Toward the end of the first presidential debate on September 27, moderator Lester Holt asked Republican nominee Donald Trump if he supported the adoption of declared policy that the ...

Hypersonic weapons will be capable of carrying nuclear warheads, yet so far there is little discussion on the role of arms control. The Cipher Brief spoke to David Wright, co-director of the Union of Concerned Scientist’s Global Security Program to learn more about what is involved in establishing an international ...

With the conclusion of the final Nuclear Security Summit, Russia and the United States - the possesors of the world’s two largest nuclear arsenals – are both in the midst of comprehensive nuclear weapons modernization efforts. The Cipher Brief spoke to former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia/Ukraine/Eurasia, Dr. ...