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Colin Kahl: DOD Committed to Reducing Nuclear Risks Despite Impediments to Non-Proliferation Treaty

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Colin Kahl, the undersecretary of defense for policy, said the U.S. military is committed to reducing the risks of nuclear war despite the current threats posed by Russia, China, Iran and North Korea.

Speaking virtually at the United Nations’ Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference in New York City, Kahl said the four countries are impeding international efforts to eliminate all nuclear weapons, citing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and North Korea’s possible new nuclear test as examples of current risks to the Non-Proliferation Treaty, the Pentagon reported Friday.

Iran’s refusal to return to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and China’s rapid expansion of nuclear weapons capabilities also hinder the achievements of the NPT objectives, Kahl said.

The official highlighted the equal importance of nuclear deterrence and the transparency and dialogue around nuclear proliferation in reducing the risks of nuclear war.

“This balanced approach recognizes that nuclear deterrence is not mutually exclusive to bolstering arms control, promoting strategic stability and working toward a world without nuclear weapons,” Kahl added.

Kahl also called on nuclear-armed states “to engage with the United States on risk reduction measures and provide transparency about nuclear posture and doctrine.”