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William H. Tobey

William H. Tobey

Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Contact:
Telephone: 617-496-0518
Fax: 617-495-8963
Email: william_tobey@hks.harvard.edu

 

 

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Americas (continued)

October 2, 2013

"Steps to Prevent Nuclear Terrorism"

Paper

By Matthew Bunn, Professor of Practice; Co-Principal Investigator, Project on Managing the Atom, Kuznetsov Valentin, Martin B. Malin, Executive Director, Project on Managing the Atom, Yuri Morozov, Simon Saradzhyan, Director, Russia Matters Project; Assistant Director, U.S.-Russia Initiative to Prevent Nuclear Terrorism, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, William H. Tobey, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Viktor I. Yesin and Pavel S. Zolotarev

The 2011 “U.S. - Russia Joint Threat Assessment” offered both specific conclusions about the nature of the threat and general observations about how it might be addressed. This report builds on that foundation and analyzes the existing framework for action, cites gaps and deficiencies, and makes specific recommendations for improvement.

 

 

September 30, 2013

"Transcending Mutual Deterrence in the U.S.-Russian Relationship"

Paper

By Matthew Bunn, Professor of Practice; Co-Principal Investigator, Project on Managing the Atom, Kuznetsov Valentin, Yuri Morozov, Gary Samore, Executive Director for Research, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Simon Saradzhyan, Director, Russia Matters Project; Assistant Director, U.S.-Russia Initiative to Prevent Nuclear Terrorism, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, William H. Tobey, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Viktor I. Yesin and Pavel S. Zolotarev

Even as this paper was being written and edited, U.S.-Russian relations have warmed and chilled. Today, as we are about to go to press, marks a particularly chilly period in recent history, with the cancellation of a planned Moscow Summit in September 2013. To some, this cold spell might signal an inapt moment to consider issues related to transcending mutual deterrence. Such a view would overlook the aims of the paper, which attempts to assess the central and enduring interests of the United States and Russia, the extent to which they coincide or conflict, and whether or not in light of these interests mutual deterrence should remain a fundamental feature of the relationship.

 

 

June 6, 2011

The U.S.-Russia Joint Threat Assessment of Nuclear Terrorism

Report

By Matthew Bunn, Professor of Practice; Co-Principal Investigator, Project on Managing the Atom, Yuri Morozov, Rolf Mowatt-Larssen, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Simon Saradzhyan, Director, Russia Matters Project; Assistant Director, U.S.-Russia Initiative to Prevent Nuclear Terrorism, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, William H. Tobey, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Viktor I. Yesin and Pavel S. Zolotarev

Researchers from the United States and Russia have issued a joint assessment of the global threat of nuclear terrorism, warning of a persistent danger that terrorists could obtain or make a nuclear device and use it with catastrophic consequences. The first joint threat assessment by experts from the world’s two major nuclear powers concludes: “If current approaches toward eliminating the threat are not replaced with a sense of urgency and resolve, the question will become not if but when, and on what scale, the first act of nuclear terrorism occurs.”

 

 

May 2011

Limiting Transfers of Enrichment and Reprocessing Technology: Issues, Constraints, Options

Report

By Fred McGoldrick, Former Associate, Project on Managing the Atom, May 2011–June 2013, Matthew Bunn, Professor of Practice; Co-Principal Investigator, Project on Managing the Atom, Martin B. Malin, Executive Director, Project on Managing the Atom and William H. Tobey, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Fred McGoldrick authored a report, entitled "Limiting Transfers of Enrichment and Reprocessing Technology: Issues, Constraints, Options" that provides an informed analysis and set of recommendations on how to strengthen restraints on the transfer of enrichment and reprocessing technologies in a manner that would be acceptable to all Nuclear Suppliers Group members, and would be credible to the major exporting states and industry.

 

 

AP Photo

March 3, 2011

"Keep Up the Pace of Locking Down the Bomb"

Op-Ed, The Huffington Post

By Matthew Bunn, Professor of Practice; Co-Principal Investigator, Project on Managing the Atom and William H. Tobey, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

"The WikiLeaks cables reveal an episode in which officials in Yemen — home of al Qaeda's most active regional branch — warned that a deadly radioactive source was sitting in building whose only guard had left and whose sole security camera had long been broken. These programs provide the practical means to deal with such threats."

 

AP

September 2016

"Descending From the Summit: The Path Toward Nuclear Security 2010–2016 and Beyond"

Policy Brief

By William H. Tobey, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

William H. Tobey reviews the motivations, strengths, and weaknesses of the nuclear security summits and provides recommendations for how governments can maintain momentum and awareness now that the summit process is over. He concludes that some of the innovations from the process will continue to be useful tools.

 

 

AP

August 26, 2016

"Sacrificing a Queen for a Knight"

Op-Ed, Foreign Policy

By William H. Tobey, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

It will take focused, determined, and vigorous diplomacy in addition to the Obama administration's recognition that the Syria chemical weapons deal was not a proud moment to hold the Assad government accountable. To succeed, Obama will need to craft a consensus, albeit not necessarily a unanimous one, that the Assad government must go because it has repeatedly and grossly violated norms of civilized behavior, and that those who ordered and conducted the attacks must be held personally responsible.

 

 

AP

July 7, 2016

"Iran’s Parchin Particles: Why Should Two Mites of Uranium Matter?"

Op-Ed, Foreign Policy

By William H. Tobey, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Two specks of uranium might determine whether or not the Iran nuclear deal succeeds or fails. The U.S. government and the IAEA must not let the issue of the Parchin particles drop. In matters atomic, even minutiae can be critical.

 

 

AP

April 1, 2016

"Summit Underscores Obama's Mixed Results on Nuclear Security"

Magazine or Newspaper Article, Los Angeles Times

By William H. Tobey, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

President Obama convened more than 50 world leaders in Washington this week hoping that international progress on one of his long-standing policy priorities, nonproliferation, would outlast his administration, but the gathering served mostly to highlight the mixed record of Obama’s nuclear agenda.

 

 

commons.wikimedia.org

April 4, 2016

"Could There Be a Terrorist Fukushima?"

Op-Ed, The New York Times

By Graham Allison, Director, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School and William H. Tobey, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

The attacks in Brussels last month were a stark reminder of the terrorists’ resolve, and of our continued vulnerabilities, including in an area of paramount concern: nuclear security.

The attackers struck an airport and the subway, but some Belgian investigators believe they seemed to have fallen back on those targets because they felt the authorities closing in on them, and that their original plan may have been to strike a nuclear plant. A few months ago, during a raid in the apartment of a suspect linked to the November attacks in Paris, investigators found surveillance footage of a senior Belgian nuclear official. Belgian police are said to have connected two of the Brussels terrorists to that footage.

 
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 Soviet Union President Mikhail Gorbachev.