Report – Panel Discussion “US Nuclear Policy under Biden: Prospects and Challenges”

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The Arms Control and Disarmament Centre (ACDC) at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI) organised a panel discussion on the “US Nuclear Policy under Biden: Prospects and Challenges” on Thursday, February 25, 2021, on Zoom.  The panel of experts included: Mr. James M. Acton, Co-director of Nuclear Policy Programme, Carnegie Endowments for International Peace; Dr. Petr Topychkanov, Senior Researcher, Stockholm International Peace Institute (SIPRI); Mr. Xu Chunyang, Senior Researcher, China Arms Control and Disarmament Association (CACDA);  Mr. Usman Iqbal Jadoon, Director General, UN Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) and Dr. Adil Sultan, Dean/Head of Department, Faculty of Aerospace and Strategic Studies (FASSS), Air University Islamabad.

Introductory Remarks by Malik Qasim Mustafa, Director ACDC-ISSI

He warmly welcomed the participants and guests to the panel discussion. He said that the US nuclear and arms control policy went under a major shift during the Trump administration. Trump not only withdrew from major arms control and disarmament treaties but also proposed to develop low-yield nuclear weapons capabilities and tried to erode the norms against the use of nuclear weapons. The Trump administration was also interested in resuming nuclear testing. However, the new Biden administration is ready to revisit Trump’s major policy decisions and is willing to re-engage on bilateral and multilateral issues. Biden believes in using diplomacy and restraints in nuclear and arms control matters. He has already extended the New START treaty and offered to restart nuclear talks with Iran which are welcoming developments. He said that to explore the “US Nuclear Policy under Biden: Prospects and Challenges” the ACDC at the ISSI has organised this panel discussion.

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