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Saudi Arabia and Nuclear Weapons: What Would Machiavelli Say?

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry meets with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on June 25, 2013.
State Dept. Photo

PAST EVENT

Saudi Arabia and Nuclear Weapons: What Would Machiavelli Say?

Brown Bag Lunch
Series: International Security Brown Bag Seminar
Open to the Public - Belfer Center Library, Littauer-369
March 13, 2014
12:15-2:00 p.m.

Speaker: Eugene B. Kogan, Stanton Nuclear Security Postdoctoral Fellow, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom

Related Projects: International Security, Managing the Atom, Science, Technology, and Public Policy

Description:

Fifty-one years ago, President John F. Kennedy said he was "haunted" by the possibility that "15 or 20 or 25 nations" may acquire nuclear weapons by 1970. "I regard that as the greatest possible danger and hazard," the President stated. Nuclear weapons have spread much slower than Kennedy feared, but the hard work to contain this danger continues. Saudi Arabia is on record that it will get nuclear weapons if Iran goes nuclear. This seminar will provide a historical overview of U.S. efforts to convince its Cold War–era allies (Taiwan, South Korea, Pakistan, and Israel) from going nuclear. It will then discuss what lessons policymakers can draw as the United States confronts the possibility of contemporary allies, such as Riyadh, considering acquiring nuclear capabilities. "History does not repeat itself, but it does rhyme," Mark Twain is said to have observed. Mining history for insights on what factors motivated our allies' nuclear pursuits in the past is important for crafting a smarter nonproliferation policy today.

Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

Contact:

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
Email: susan_lynch@hks.harvard.edu
Phone: 617-496-1981
Fax: 617-495-8963
Url: http://www.belfercenter.org/ISP/

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