Extended Readings

If this blog has sparked your interest in nonproliferation and you would like to do more research on the topic, here are some sites I found helpful.

1. The Manhattan Project by the United States Department of Energy provides an in-depth analysis of the scientific and political origins of nuclear energy. It chronicles the break throughs in nuclear technology from 1919 to the end of World War II.

2. The BBC’s Q&A: Iran nuclear issue elaborates on Iran’s progress towards nuclear weapons. The article analyzes its current actions in the advancements of nuclear technology and Iran’s motivations towards such.

3. The Guardian’s analysis of Israel’s demand for a “red line” illustrates their since of urgency. The Israeli Prime Minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, believes that Iran will be 90% of the way towards gaining nuclear weapons by the spring or summer of 2013. In this article, the Guardian critics the timeline and current response’s to Netanyahu’s warning.

4. The Carnegie Endowment examines the future of nonproliferation. It researches pervious nonproliferation related legislation and examines how they excel or fall short. The endowment then uses this information to propose a new strategy for nuclear nonproliferation.

5. The transcript of the Foreign Policy Presidential Debate provides direct information about each candidate’s political position. This debate allowed me to assess how the candidates differed from one another (diplomacy vs. military)

6. The International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) website provides information about the regulation of nuclear power plants. This website contains updated changes to any regulatory policies, information about the inspections of these plants, and an analysis of each country’s cooperation with the agency.

7.  The U.S. Department of State‘s website contain’s information about nonproliferation sanctions and legislation related to the US. This website helped me examine out participation towards nonproliferation since the signing of the Non-Proliferation Treaty in 1970.

8. The United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (USNRC) elaborates on the process of Uranium enrichment and its importance to nuclear programs. The department also researches advancements in nuclear technology in regard to the workers’ safety.

9. The IAEA also has a directory of key events involving their relationship with Iran since 2002. This data can be used to analyze changes in Iran’s foreign policy in response to specific actions against them. Such information is helpful in developing new strategies for the US/Iranian relationship.

10. Lastly, the USNRC analyzes the effects of nuclear radiation. The article examines both the sources of radiation and its biological effects in order to educate the public about safety. Knowing how radiation effects humans will be beneficial in creating and implementing new regulatory policies.

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Self Analysis

Throughout the election season, I have been blogging about nuclear nonproliferation. During the beginning of this blogging project, my style was rough to say the least. This was my first time blogging and I choice a very broad topic without fully defining a clear focus. However, through repetition and the comments of others I have developed my own voice and grown as a writer and blogger.

When I first began blogging I had simply chosen a topic-nonproliferation. All nuclear nonproliferation is simply to prevent the production and spread of nuclear weapons around the world. I chose this topic because I had remembered hearing stories on the news about nuclear programs every once in awhile but I never left feeling like I actually understood what was happening. As I began writing, I hoped to talk about the United State’s stance on nonproliferation in terms of Iraq, Iran, and North Korea. However, I quickly learned that focusing on three nations would be overwhelming and eventually narrowed it down to Americas stance against Iran.

Where does one start researching nonproliferation? I began my blog by talking about sanctions. This is a word I had heard a few times earlier but was confused on what they actually are. I learned that sanctions are punishments or restrictions one or more nations impose on another in order to influence certain behaviors. In this cause the US, in conjunction with Israel, the EU, and the UN, imposed economic sanctions designed to paralyze the Iranian economy. Such sanctions eliminated oil, Iran’s chief export, trade with the US and members of the EU. After grasping the concept of sanctions, I decided to research the candidates positions. I used President Obama’s past legislation and newer ideas, was well as a speech by Governor Romney to analyze their political stance. As I researched, I was surprised to learn that their two policies are remarkably similar. When I began this project, I imagined that I would critic both sides’ arguments and point out their fallacies. However, after learning about their similarities, I had to find a new direction for my blog. I decided that that the blog should educate the public about nonproliferation. I began researching history of nonproliferation and analyzed how it became a political issue. Then, read about the process of obtaining nuclear energy, nuclear electricity, and its impact on the environment. Lastly, I examined the number of nuclear weapons in the world and any movements towards or setbacks from nonproliferation. Throughout this assignment, I have come to the conclusion that complete nuclear disarmament will never happen, but the world is more than capable of nuclear containment as long as its nations communicate effectively with one another.

Fellow Bloggers

I know continuously reading about nuclear nonproliferation can become heavy and depressing. During the election season, I read other blogs to gain a holistic view about the election’s topics and to become a more informed voter. Although the election is over, you should read these blogs to learn about the president’s 2012 platform and see what changes might be made in the future.

My fellow blogger mormonwaffles wrote about the candidates’ economical policies. Throughout his blog, he analyzed the economical impacts of topics such as the Bush Tax Cuts, the Affordable Care Act, and public programing like PBS. Aside from its political cartoons and inside jokes about becoming a blogging superstar, the addresses America’s concerns and states what needs to happen in order to fix the economy.

Save the Energy by tyeates examines the environmental impacts of energy usage in America. Its analysis of America’s dependency on foreign oil, the controversy around off shore drilling, and advancements towards clean energy provides an enlightened viewpoint on the future of energy in America. I also recommend this blog because of its relevance to nuclear nonproliferation. I mentioned in a previous post that the process of obtaining energy for nuclear weapons is very similar to the process done for nuclear powered electricity. Reading this blog will help you gain a holistic view of nuclear energy.

The blog Health Carried Away by offtheturniptruck talks about the differences between President Obama and Governor Romney’s health care policies. Throughout her blog, she conducts an in-depth analysis and critic of the social, industrial, and economical impacts of Obamacare and Romneycare. I believe that everyone should become educated about the Affordable Care Act and healthcare reform as a whole now that President Obama was re-elected. As an informed citizen, it is important to know what changes are occurring in your country.

Implication Post

In light of the recent election results, I would like to analyze what would happen if changes to the nuclear nonproliferation policies do not occur. Prior to the election Mansour Nouri, a writer, said “It doesn’t matter for us who wins the U.S. elections next week. Who leads America is unimportant, its policies never change.” In my last post, I said that Iran had agreed to do one-on-one negotiations with the US about their nuclear weapons program. However on November 2, 2012, Iran discarded any hopes of compromise between the two nations by rejecting any possibilities of negotiations between the nations in the near future. If this mentality persists, the US and Iranian diplomacy will reach a stalemate at best. However the possibility of a far worse outcome remains, movement towards a nuclear war. As of now, America’s nonproliferation policies consists of the US (with the help of Israel, the EU, and the UN) implementing and strengthening economic sanctions against Iran, while Iran continues to ignore global regulations. In the past, Iran responded to such acts by warning to increase the price of oil to $250 a barrel and passing legislation to obstruct the transportation of oil to nations that ended trading with Iran due to the EU’s embargo. according to the Guardian, Iran has used the most recent sanctions to gain public support of its nuclear program.

Sanctions also play into Khamenei’s efforts to consolidate his power and justify internal suppression. Hence, Iran may actually view sanctions not as a cost, but as a benefit. Iran can – and does – point to sanctions as the suffering it bears in its role as the standard bearer of resistance in the Islamic world against what it regards as US imperialism.

I believe these actions act a rule rather than an exception. If the US continues with its current policies, the US/Iranian relationship will become more polarized due to the lack of communication between the nations.

Theory Post

Throughout the 2012 election season, I have learned that President Obama and Governor Romney have very similar positions in terms of nuclear disarmament and containment (mostly in regards to Iran’s nuclear program). During the Foreign Policy Presidential Debate, both candidates said that they would provide military support to Israel if they were attacked by Iran. President Obama announced that he would consider an attack on Israel to be an attack on the United States as well. “I will stand with Israel if they are attacked. And this is the reason why, working with Israel, we have created the strongest military and intelligence cooperation between our two countries in history,” he stated. Governor Romney replied by saying,”if Israel is attacked, we have their back, not just diplomatically, not just culturally, but militarily. That’s number one.” By now you are probably asking yourself, “why is this even an issue again?” In recent years, tensions between Iran and the Western world have grown in response to progressions by its nuclear program. In August 2012, New York Times reports that international inspectors founds that Iran “installed three-quarters of the nuclear centrifuges it needs to complete a site deep underground for the production of nuclear fuel,” which led the White House to warn that “’the window that is open now to resolve this diplomatically will not remain open indefinitely.’” In September, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the US needs to establish a “red line” the before spring or summer 2013 in order to contain Iran’s nuclear program. Lastly, in October Iran agreed to the first one-on-one negotiations over its nuclear program. The diplomatic handling of the US/Iranian negotiations will be essential to the future of nuclear disarmament and containment and the United State’s foreign policy as a whole. No matter who is elected president, nuclear nonproliferation should be at the forefront of their mind.

Election Day

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During the past month, I’ve been exploring the topics of nuclear disarmament and containment (mostly in terms of US-Israeli-Iranian security). I’ve noted President Obama and Governor Romney’s stances on the issue as well as provided examples of past and current legislations and analyzed their effectiveness. In case you have forgotten, here are the two candidates’ positions. According to BBC News, President Obama wishes to strengthen the economic sanctions against Iran’s banking, oil revenue, and other financial systems in hopes of exploring a diplomatic resolution. However, The Obama Administration stated that “all options are at the table” and has been in talks with Israel about the possibility of bombing the Iranian nuclear facilities essential to their nuclear weapons program. Although theObama Administration emphasizes that such talks are simply ideas being thrown out and no concrete decisions have been made. Governor Romney wishes to strengthen the Iran’s economic sanctions as well. Governor Romney also wants to to increase defense spending $2 trillion over the next ten years in order increase the military’s power and presence. Governor Romney campaigns to send “Navy ships to patrol the Mediterranean and Persian Gulf” and “publicly back Iranian opposition groups.” Although President Obama and Governor Romney disagree on many issues, their positions on nuclear nonproliferation are very similar. They both advocate diplomatic responses while also endorsing military responses simultaneously. The only true differences are the ways they propose to gain nuclear disarmament and containment and whether they lean more towards diplomacy or military action. Although nuclear nonproliferation is not a major election issue, I hope you consider its importance while you vote today.