The Foreign Service Journal, April 2022

70 APRIL 2022 | THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL foresight to choose William Courtney, who had substantial nuclear arms control experience, as its first ambassador. Kas- senova traces the diplomacy in Almaty, in Moscow (with Russian leadership in disarray), and in Washington over the dis- position of this arsenal and its associated infrastructure. Through a U.S.-funded undertaking lasting many years, nuclear facilities were dismantled, and missiles, bombers and warheads and their nuclear material were repatriated to Russia. An exception was the highly sensitive operation codenamed Project Sapphire, in which the United States in cooperation with Kazakhstan removed huge quantities of nuclear material (including a half ton of weapons- grade uranium) from a secret fabrication plant in Kazakhstan and flew it directly to the U.S. on a series of C5s. In hindsight, Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev appeared to have privately decided early on not to attempt to hang on to a nuclear arsenal that would make no sense militarily and be a sub- stantial political liability. Nevertheless, he played his hand shrewdly in an effort to extract maximum political and financial benefit for his fledgling state. The Global Context U.S. diplomacy was complicated by the need to negotiate in parallel with the other post-Soviet nuclear legacy states, Ukraine and Belarus. Immediate goals were to have these states adhere to the limits specified in the START I treaty concluded just prior to the Soviet collapse and to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty as non-nuclear weapon states. These goals were accomplished by 1993, thanks to hard bargaining and top-level engagement on both sides. Given the current international focus on Ukraine’s status, Kassenova’s account provides a valuable counterpart to the his- tory of Ukraine’s decision on its own (even larger) nuclear inheritance. She details how Kazakhstan sought to maximize its leverage in parallel with Ukraine in the complex maneuvering that culminated in the 1994 Budapest Memorandum codifying the transfer of the Soviet nuclear arsenal from these republics to Russia. Her knowledge of the international nuclear world allows her to place this