What’s next on nonproliferation and international security, in Washington and around the globe.
— April 28: Some foreign-affairs luminaries are to discuss the potential that Iran might develop a nuclear-arms capability. Former U.S. diplomat Thomas Pickering, the Brookings Institution’s Michael Doran and George Mason University’s Shaul Bakhash will meet at American University’s School of International Service to consider this question, among others, amid ongoing nuclear talks between Tehran and six world powers: “What are the chances of success, and what are the implications of failure — for the United States, Iran, and the region at large?” The Wilson Center co-sponsors the event.
— April 28: Then prepare for a discussion on … “Preparing for Deep Cuts: Options for Enhancing Euro-Atlantic and International Security,” with an eye toward nuclear arms control and risk reduction. The venue is the Brookings Institution in Washington, where moderator Steven Pifer is a senior fellow on U.S.-European relations and directs the think tank’s Arms Control and Nonproliferation Initiative. Pifer shares the dais with panelists Ulrich Kuehn, Götz Neuneck, Eugene Miasnikov and Greg Thielmann.
— April 28-May 9: Yet more preparations! This year’s Preparatory Committee meeting to lay the groundwork for the next major Review Conference in 2015 on the status of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty convenes in New York. Expect at this third “PrepCom” some recriminations by Egypt — and perhaps others — for a failure thus far of treaty-member states and Israel to hold a conference to discuss the creation of a Middle East zone free of weapons of mass destruction. The mandate to discuss the idea by the end of 2012 was embraced by the most recent NPT Review Conference, held in 2010.
— April 29: “The ICBM and Bomber Fleet in U.S. Nuclear Deterrent Futures” is the topic of a talk by Senator Jon Tester (D-Mont.), whose state hosts a Minuteman 3 intercontinental ballistic missile installation, and Senator John Hoeven (R-N.D.), whose state has both a missile installation and a wing of B-52 dual-capable bombers. The event, taking place at the Reserve Officers Association in Washington, is part of a breakfast series on strategic weapons and related topics.
— April 29: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy examines “Israel and al-Qaeda: Emerging Challenges on Two Fronts.” The event — featuring issue experts Michael Morell and Ehud Yaari — will focus on the presence of the terror group’s extremist affiliates in two nations bordering Israel: Egypt and Syria.
— April 29: The House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade will mull the topic of U.S.-Russian arms negotiations, given rising acrimony over Moscow’s incursion into Ukraine. Two State Department witnesses are to appear.
— April 29: Behind closed doors, the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities will hold a joint hearing, along with the Senate intelligence panel, focusing on counterterrorism funding in the Obama administration’s fiscal 2015 and future years spending requests. Four Pentagon officials will testify alongside as-yet unidentified witnesses to be selected by the intelligence committee.
— April 30: The House Armed Services Strategic Forces Subcommittee will mark up its portion of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill and send recommendations to the full committee.
— April 30: “Japan’s New Security Policy and Capabilities” — which could include a turnkey ability to build a nuclear arsenal — will be spotlighted at Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA’s one-day forum in Washington featuring a number of current and former Washington and Tokyo officials. The event is hosted by the foundation’s incoming chairman, retired Adm. Dennis Blair, a former U.S. director of national intelligence who previously commanded all Pentagon forces in the Pacific region.
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With three days until the first debate, the polls are coming fast and furious. The latest round:
- An Associated Press/Gfk poll of registered voters found very few voters committed, with Clinton leading Trump, 37% to 29%, and Gary Johnson at 7%.
- A McClatchy-Marist poll gave Clinton a six-point edge, 45% to 39%, in a four-way ballot test. Johnson pulls 10% support, with Jill Stein at 4%.
- Rasmussen, which has drawn criticism for continually showing Donald Trump doing much better than he does in other polls, is at it again. A new survey gives Trump a five-point lead, 44%-39%.
In contrast to Hillary Clinton's meticulous debate practice sessions, Donald Trump "is largely shunning traditional debate preparations, but has been watching video of…Clinton’s best and worst debate moments, looking for her vulnerabilities.” Trump “has paid only cursory attention to briefing materials. He has refused to use lecterns in mock debate sessions despite the urging of his advisers. He prefers spitballing ideas with his team rather than honing them into crisp, two-minute answers.”
Donald Trump "is on the precipice of becoming the only major-party presidential candidate this century not to reach out to millions of American voters whose dominant, first or just preferred language is Spanish. Trump has not only failed to buy any Spanish-language television or radio ads, he so far has avoided even offering a translation of his website into Spanish, breaking with two decades of bipartisan tradition."
Bill and Hillary Clinton have purchased the home next door to their primary residence in tony Chappaqua, New York, for $1.16 million. "By purchasing the new home, the Clinton's now own the entire cul-de-sac at the end of the road in the leafy New York suburb. The purchase makes it easier for the United States Secret Service to protect the former president and possible future commander in chief."