Gas centrifuges for uranium enrichment recovered from the BBC China in Italy, en route to Libya, in 2003. They were later taken to the Y-12 complex in the USA where this photo was taken (with a Y-12 guard also in the photo).
The Problem with "Mixed" Strategies: Revisiting Libya's Decision to Give Up its Nuclear Program
Brown Bag Lunch
Series: International Security Brown Bag Seminar
Open to the Public - Belfer Center Library, Littauer-369
November 7, 2013
|Speaker:||Robert Reardon, Research Fellow, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom|
It is an article of faith among policy practitioners and scholars alike that an optimal strategy of coercive diplomacy mixes both sticks and carrots ("mixed" strategies). Yet scholars have left this assumption mostly untested. Despite a voluminous literature on economic sanctions and military coercion (and a smaller one on positive inducements), these tools are almost always treated in isolation.
Libya's decision to give up its nuclear weapons ambitions has been interpreted by most observers as support for the idea that mixed strategies are good policy. Although they disagree over which particular tools of influence were most important, most agree that some mixture of coercion and inducements explains Gaddafi's decision to disarm.
This is not, however, supported by the evidence. Efforts to make the threat of sanctions more credible led U.S. policymakers to forgo diplomacy and avoid offers of positive inducements, even as Tripoli repeatedly signaled its willingness to compromise, out of concern that diplomacy could be used by the Libyans to exploit the vulnerabilities of the sanctions regime. The result was a series of missed opportunities for engagement. Ultimately, the United States turned to an inducement-based strategy only after the sanctions regime had collapsed.
Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.
ISP Program Coordinator
International Security Program, 79 John F. Kennedy St., Mailbox 53, Cambridge, MA 02138 USA
Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
HARVARD Kennedy School