Belfer Center Home > Experts > Rolf Mowatt-Larssen

« Back to Rolf Mowatt-Larssen

Rolf Mowatt-Larssen

Rolf Mowatt-Larssen

Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Contact:
Email: rolf_mowatt-larssen@hks.harvard.edu

 

 

By Publication Type

 

AP Image

August 7, 2009

"The Armageddon Test"

Discussion Paper

By Rolf Mowatt-Larssen, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

How much nuclear material has leaked, and is it in the hands of terrorists, in storage somewhere, or still in circulation? No one knows for sure, but the task of cleaning up the nuclear black market amounts to an Armageddon test for global intelligence. The standard for success is unforgiving: all nuclear material must be recovered before it finds its way into an improvised nuclear device.

 

May 17, 2010

"Russian-American Intelligence Cooperation: Promise vs. Reality"

Event Summary

By Rolf Mowatt-Larssen, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

"Liaison is an important key to overall U.S.-Russian relations, said Rolf Mowatt-Larssen, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University at a 17 May 2010 Kennan Institute talk. Having spent 23 years as a CIA intelligence officer in various domestic and international posts, Mowatt-Larssen discussed the role of intelligence in the U.S.-Russia relationship, the history of the two countries’ intelligence liaison, and areas of cooperation for the future."

 

AP Images

April 21, 2010

"Building a Strategic U.S.- Pakistan Nuclear Relationship"

Journal Article, CTC Sentinel, issue 4, volume 3

By Rolf Mowatt-Larssen, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

"The United States and Pakistan recently initiated a promising series of high level talks to develop a strategic relationship between the two countries. Even in pursuit of such an expanded bilateral agenda, however, lowering the risks associated with Pakistan's nuclear weapons must stand at the top of the list of priorities."

 

 

March/April 2010

"Proliferation and Terrorism: Big Hype or Biggest Threat?"

Journal Article, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, issue 2, volume 66

By Rolf Mowatt-Larssen, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Where are the sources of greatest threat today? Where is nuclear catastrophe most likely to occur over the next decade?  If we are able to anticipate the breaking news of a nuclear security meltdown, it stands to reason we might be able to prevent it from becoming tomorrow's news.

 

AP Image

July 1, 2009

"Nuclear Security in Pakistan: Reducing the Risks of Nuclear Terrorism"

Magazine or Newspaper Article, Arms Control Today

By Rolf Mowatt-Larssen, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

"The greatest threat of a loose nuke scenario stems from insiders in the nuclear establishment working with outsiders, people seeking a bomb or material to make a bomb. Nowhere in the world is this threat greater than in Pakistan."

 

AP Photo

May 14, 2010

Assessing Obama's Nuclear Security Summit: Takeaways from Experts at Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center

Media Feature

By Graham Allison, Director, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs; Douglas Dillon Professor of Government, Harvard Kennedy School, Matthew Bunn, Professor of Practice; Co-Principal Investigator, Project on Managing the Atom, William H. Tobey, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and Rolf Mowatt-Larssen, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

President Obama's first-ever Nuclear Security Summit, which brought nearly 40 heads of state to Washington, D.C., this week, was an unprecedented opportunity to focus global leaders' attention on the threat of nuclear terrorism. Experts from Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs offer their takeaways from the Summit and what to do next.

 

Spring 2011

"Q & A: Rolf Mowatt-Larssen"

Newsletter Article, Belfer Center Newsletter

By Rolf Mowatt-Larssen, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

After more than two decades in intelligence with the CIA and U.S. Department of Energy, Rolf Mowatt­Larssen is now a senior fellow at the Belfer Center focusing on nuclear terrorism, domestic security, and al Qaeda’s weapons of mass destruction (WMD) ambitions. His most recent research report is titled “Al Qaeda’s Religious Justification of Nuclear Terrorism,” a follow­-up to his timeline of al Qaeda’s quest to acquire WMD. We asked Mowatt-­Larssen to share his views on al Qaeda's intent and justification for terrorism and to reflect on American life post­ 9/11 and the future of global intelligence.

 

February 11, 2011

"US and Russian Intelligence Cooperation during the Yeltsin Years"

Occasional Paper

By Rolf Mowatt-Larssen, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

"Over the years, cooperation between the US and Russia has waxed and waned. Trust has come and gone.  As we look to the future to find new  ways of  strengthening this enigmatic relationship, we should draw on propitious times in the past, when Russians and Americans managed to bridge the divide – most notably, during world war two.  History once again favors a genuine partnership between our two nations.  Today, there is more that unites us than divides us.  We confront common threats  of weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, and the challenges of globalization and an interconnected world.  The question is: will we have the courage to do the right thing?"

 

AP

September 24, 2014

"Four Key Observations About The Campaign Against ISIL"

Op-Ed, Just Security

By Rolf Mowatt-Larssen, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

After the United States and a five-member Arab coalition launched the first strikes against ISIL, Rolf Mowatt-Larssen offered four preliminary observations:

1. We should be conservative in assessing impact of the strikes.

2. It will be crucial to keep the Arab coalition directly involved as U.S. proceeds deeper into this campaign.

3. U.S. deployment of technological innovations that have been achieved over a decade of war may be coming together as a whole that is greater than the parts, reminiscent of the novel tactics the U.S. successfully waged to topple the Taliban in the fall of 2001.

4. In order for the re-assertion of U.S. and allied military power in the Middle East to be successful in the long term, U.S. strategy must take into account two problems that must be managed, each with its own distinct characteristics

 

 

AP

Thursday, September 25, 2014

"ISIL as an Insurgency and a Terrorist Threat"

Op-Ed, Just Security

By Rolf Mowatt-Larssen, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Yesterday, I posted four preliminary observations about the campaign against ISIL. My fourth observation emphasized the point that the United States-led efforts against ISIL must recognize that the extremist group represents both a terrorist threat to the U.S., and an insurgency that threatens the stability of the Middle East. If the campaign against ISIL is to succeed, both of these issues must be recognized and addressed.

 

SUBSCRIBE

Receive email updates on the most pressing topics in science and int'l affairs.

Events Calendar

We host a busy schedule of events throughout the fall, winter and spring. Past guests include: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, former Vice President Al Gore, and former Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev.