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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

 

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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

April 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?"

 

Paul Zinken/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images

July 15, 2014

"Beyond the US-German Case: Understanding the Espionage 'Rules of the Game'"

Op-Ed, Just Security

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

As a former Chief of Europe Division in the CIA, I have no comment to offer concerning the Germany espionage flap, of which I know nothing, save for what I have read in the press. My intent in offering these observations is not to explain alleged CIA actions in this case.  Rather, I am using this opportunity to provide a broader perspective, to relate the “rules of the game” of intelligence decision-making that applies the world over.  The senior policymaker in question could be President Obama, or Chancellor Merkel, or perhaps Vladimir Putin. To each of these leaders, I would give the same advice, if asked how to handle a spy-case:  there’s nothing novel here, nothing new. Let’s do what must be done and move on expeditiously, keeping our broader, shared interests in mind.

 

 

April 13, 2011

Nuclear Security Summit: One Year On and Looking Ahead

Op-Ed

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

We asked nuclear policy experts in Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs to summarize in one paragraph the achievements in the year since President Obama convened a summit on nuclear security on April 12-13, 2010. And we asked for a second paragraph on what needs to be done in the year before the follow-up summit planned for Seoul, South Korea.

 

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