For the United States, tensions are rising with both allies and adversaries. Rogue states are racing to master new technologies and create weapons of mass destruction. And faith in international institutions is seemingly deteriorating. What does this all mean for U.S. national security?
Staged in our "unresolved" format, five esteemed foreign policy thought leaders will argue for or against a number of motions revolving around some of America’s most pressing national security issues, including: Is it time to take a hard line on Iran? Is NATO no longer fit for purpose? And is the Russia threat overblown?
"Natural disasters, such as the Japanese earthquake in 2011 leading to an industrial accident at Fukushima, prompted Japan and Germany to shutter their nuclear fleets, but this caused a huge switch to fossil fuels. So the consequence of the nuclear taboo is to make climate change worse."
“If you believe that climate or air pollution, poverty or destruction of nature are the greatest risks to human health, and to environmental and public wellbeing, then the question you need to be asking is how do we tackle those risks in the fastest, most feasible and most cost-effective way possible. And when you start from that point it just makes no sense to limit the technologies at our disposal based on ideological opposition to some tools.”
"The nuclear industry therefore needs to undertake a radical transformation if it is to rebuild trust and credibility that it can deliver on time and on budget, provide certainty to investors, and confidence to support a political mandate as well as regaining public support. There some green shoots of hope that nuclear energy can still step up to the challenge."
"Kirsty Gogan discusses the The UK’s communications response to Fukushima and the lessons learned about nuclear safety protocols and her work at Energy for Humanity to help make nuclear more cost effective, scalable, and viable as a sustainable energy source."
"We can enhance the ability of nuclear power to combat climate change even as we reduce the risks of nuclear terror. Doing so will require well-crafted laws and policies, implemented with an ethos of constant vigilance and embedded in a culture that weaves safety and security goals into the fabric of our nuclear programs."
"The United States will study the lessons of Fukushima to improve the safety of our reactors, but we continue to believe nuclear power has an important role to play as part of a diversified clean energy portfolio that will promote economic prosperity, enhance our security, and reduce global carbon pollution."
"Despite working in the industry for more than a decade, I now believe that nuclear power’s benefits are no longer enough to risk the welfare of people living near these plants. I became so convinced that, years after departing office, I’ve now made alternative energy development my new career, leaving nuclear power behind. The current and potential costs — in lives and dollars — are just too high."
"All 104 nuclear power reactors now in operation in the United States have a safety problem that cannot be fixed and they should be replaced with newer technology, the former chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said. Shutting them all down at once is not practical, he said, but he supports phasing them out rather than trying to extend their lives."
There is no good solution for the problem of spent fuel...It would be sensible if we would transition to renewable energy so we are not burdening future generations even more with the waste from our economic activities."
"Is Japan right to switch reactors back on at its nuclear power stations seven years after a earthquake and tsunami caused the worst nuclear accident in the country's history? Presenter Manuela Saragosa puts the question to nuclear sceptic Arjun Makhijani, president of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research."
“The Trump administration has launched an offensive of speeches and online communications meant to foment unrest and help pressure Iran to end its nuclear program and its support of militant groups, U.S. officials familiar with the matter said.”
“Mr. Trump, in an all-caps message on Twitter addressed to President Hassan Rouhani of Iran, wrote that the country would face ‘CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED’ if he continued to threaten the United States.”
“The U.S. moved to reimpose punishing sanctions on Iran and threatened even-tougher measures for later this year as the Trump administration sought to increase pressure on the Tehran regime to negotiate or step aside.”
“U.S. sanctions are having a strong effect on Iran’s economy and popular opinion, though regime change there is not part of Washington’s policy, President Donald Trump’s national security adviser said on Wednesday.”
“Trump’s decision has shaken the world’s faith in the United States’ commitment to multilateral diplomacy. No matter how much Trump derides the deal, the JCPOA stands as a model for combining the threat of sanctions and continued isolation with the hard work of negotiating, even between countries whose relationships are shaped by conflict and distrust.”
“Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday warned NATO against cultivating closer ties with Ukraine and Georgia, saying such a policy was irresponsible and would have unspecified consequences for the alliance.”
“The company said that a hacking group tied to the Russian government created fake internet domains that appeared to spoof two American conservative organizations: the Hudson Institute and the International Republican Institute. Three other fake domains were designed to look as if they belonged to the U.S. Senate.”