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John Ashley

Globalization with Chinese Characteristics

Italy recently made the news with the announcement that it had decided to join China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), making it the first G7 nation to do so. The BRI has become one of China’s signature foreign policy and economic initiatives. Many states in Central and South Asia, as well as some in Africa,…
space debris

We Must Not Allow a Satellite Gap!

Satellites have become indispensable to modern life. What would happen if this satellite system was attacked and disabled?

Softening a Hard Brexit

Brexit is complex and controversial, and the form it takes will impact the UK and Ireland in particular for generations. Steps must be taken to ensure voters have a say in the form it takes.

Pivot from the Middle East

Near the end of 2018, President Trump announced, via Twitter, that the United States would withdraw the roughly 2,000 troops it had deployed to Syria. It is believed that this apparent surprise announcement was a contributing factor in Secretary of Defense Mattis’s decision to resign. In addition to losing a Secretary of Defense, the decision…

Restarting Nuclear Talks

The nuclear talks between the United States and North Korea (DPRK) seemed to have stalled. The meeting that was originally scheduled for early November in New York City was cancelled at the last minute. Some are speculating that that this is due to disagreement over the interpretation of the Singapore declaration. This should have been…

Renewing US-Turkey Ties

The Middle East has been important to the United States’ strategy since the 1940s and throughout the Cold War. As a member of NATO, Turkey held a special place in the region as one of the United States’ closest allies. Turkish and American soldiers fought side by side in the Korean War, and Turkey has…

Nuclear Power and Nuclear Weapons

Nuclear technology-sharing deals requires that recipient states be trustworthy. Providing nuclear power technology to Saudi Arabia is dangerous.

A Land Swap in the Former Yugoslavia Must Be Considered

The dissolution of Yugoslavia in the 1990s marked the worst bout of bloodshed seen in Europe since the Second World War. The continued tension between Serbia and Kosovo is one of the last remaining major conflict in the Western Balkans. Since Kosovo declared independence in 2008, Serbia has claimed Kosovo as an integral part of…

Mein Gott! Would Germany Build a Bomb?

In August 2018, an article was published in The National Interest suggesting that Germany should develop its own nuclear arsenal. Since the 2016 U.S. presidential elections, the idea of Germany developing its own, or a “European,” nuclear deterrent has appeared in policy discussions both inside and outside of Germany. Every time this was in reaction…

Do not be Disappointed if the North Korea Talks Go Nowhere

Since the Korean ceasefire was signed in 1953, North Korea has continued to be a thorn in the United States’ side. Multiple diplomatic standoffs – including the 1968 seizure of the USS Pueblo and the 2003 North Korean withdrawal from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) – have engendered distrust between the two states. The June…

North Korea’s Nuclear Security Blanket

North Korea's nuclear weapons are a major hurdle in any attempt to denuclearize the Korean peninsula due to the perception that they create a security blanket for the Kim regime.

North Korea’s Belated Christmas Present

Kim Jong-un's “new strategic weapon” will be something that he hopes will throw the US and its allies off balance. The lack of diplomatic progress on denuclearization only benefits North Korea, and good faith talks must resume.

Striking a Balance on Korea

As the US continues to pursue the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, Washington must balance its priorities between appeals to Pyongyang and maintaining its valuable relationship with Seoul.

North Korea’s Submarines are not yet a Threat

North Korea does not yet have a meaningful submarine nuclear deterrent. However, that does not mean, though, that military planners should ignore it.

Enrichment and the End of the JCPOA

The JCPOA is dying a slow death. The US should try to save the JCPOA, while also thinking about a potential successor agreement based on the central tenets of the NPT and nuclear nonproliferation.

Nuclear Arms Control for US, Russia, and China

Rather than holding out hope for a tripartite agreement with China and Russia, the United States should first build up bilateral arms control relationships with China and Russia individually. This includes renewing New START.

Iran, Enrichment, and Arms Control

The NPT does not grant a right to enrich, as Iran claims. However, it does allow for verification-based access to nuclear power.

A Nuclear Global Zero is Not Yet Possible

Verified reduction and rigorous export controls are the only ways to concurrently keep nuclear weapons from proliferating, while reducing the global number of states with warheads and weapons down to a more manageable level.

Beyond the Iran Deal

The recent escalation in tensions between the United States in Iran has jeopardized the already imperiled JCPOA. It is imperative that the JCPOA continues, as it would prove to skeptical states that arms control agreements could be successful.

Nonstrategic Nuclear Weapons and Deterrence

The US should deploy nonstrategic nuclear weapons to close a perceived deterrence gap and work toward arms control agreements to prevent the kind of miscalculation that could lead to global thermonuclear war.