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Sven-Eric Fikenscher

Sven-Eric Fikenscher

Former Associate, Project on Managing the Atom, 2015–2016; Former Research Fellow, Project on Managing the Atom/International Security Program, 2012–2015

 

Experience

Former Associate, Project on Managing the Atom, 2015–2016; Former Research Fellow, Project on Managing the Atom/International Security Program, 2012–2015

 

 

By Date

 

2016

March 14, 2016

"Will Iran Cheat? The Reliability of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action"

Op-Ed, Yale Journal of International Affairs

By Sven-Eric Fikenscher, Former Associate, Project on Managing the Atom, 2015–2016; Former Research Fellow, Project on Managing the Atom/International Security Program, 2012–2015

"On July 14, 2015 the P-5 plus 1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany) and Iran concluded a landmark agreement to verifiably restrict Iran’s nuclear activities—largely for a ten to fifteen-year period of time—in exchange for sanctions relief. Since then the agreement, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), has already weathered several storms. Domestic critics in both Washington and Tehran assailed their administrations for having made too many concessions but eventually failed to thwart the accord. Iran moved on to meet its key obligations and on January 16, 2016, the JCPOA’s official implementation was announced..."

 

2015

Kremlin.ru

November 13, 2015

"Russia Must Abandon Assad to Fight Terrorism"

Op-Ed, Moscow Times

By Sven-Eric Fikenscher, Former Associate, Project on Managing the Atom, 2015–2016; Former Research Fellow, Project on Managing the Atom/International Security Program, 2012–2015

"The key to a solution to both — the quagmire that has unfolded in Syria and the threat posed by Islamic terrorism — is to deprive the terrorist groups of their main propaganda tools and to form a new Syrian government that excludes Assad (and his foreign Shiite allies) but includes representatives from all of the non-fundamentalist groups involved in the civil war."

 

 

October 1, 2015

"Why Iran's Bellicose Foreign Policy Is Unlikely to Change"

Op-Ed, The National Interest

By Sven-Eric Fikenscher, Former Associate, Project on Managing the Atom, 2015–2016; Former Research Fellow, Project on Managing the Atom/International Security Program, 2012–2015

"It is particularly noteworthy that the Qods Force increased its involvement in Syria and Yemen, although the United States and Iran simultaneously narrowed their differences on the nuclear issue."

 

 

Wikimedia CC 2.0

June 10, 2015

"Taking Stock of Modinomics: India's Economic Course One Year Later"

Op-Ed, The Diplomat

By Sven-Eric Fikenscher, Former Associate, Project on Managing the Atom, 2015–2016; Former Research Fellow, Project on Managing the Atom/International Security Program, 2012–2015

"India's growth, however, is still hindered by its deficit, its limited trade with other countries, and its restrictive labor laws. The long-term success of India's economy and the Modi administration depend on Modi's readiness to go beyond pro-business reforms as India knows them and to embrace a more ambitious agenda...."

 

 

May 2015

"Beyond Carrots and Sticks: The Role of Status Ambitions and the NPT's “Double Standard” in Nuclear Arms Control Negotiations"

Journal Article, St. Anthony’s International Review, issue 1, volume 11

By Sven-Eric Fikenscher, Former Associate, Project on Managing the Atom, 2015–2016; Former Research Fellow, Project on Managing the Atom/International Security Program, 2012–2015

This article examines why India walked away from the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). After having spent years strongly advocating for a test ban accord, India changed course in the aftermath of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty's (NPT) indefinite extension in 1995, becoming the most outspoken opponent of the CTBT. This article argues that India's reversal cannot be explained by the conventional wisdom about (non-)compliance in nuclear arms control negotiations, which usually highlights the power of material interests. Since there was no development in the nuclear realm that might have compromised India's interests prior to its decision to change course, these theories fall short of explaining India's sudden opposition to the CTBT. The same holds true for the influence of norms. This article instead argues that perceived disrespect precipitated India's decision to abandon the treaty. India criticized the NPT as biased because it enforced non-proliferation without obligating the nuclear superpowers to disarm. Similarly, New Delhi believed the NPT's indefinite renewal made a mockery of a proud country's political claims.

 

 

Lawrence Jackson

January 30, 2015

"Pomp and Circumstance: The Challenge and Complexity of Engaging India"

Op-Ed, The National Interest

By Sven-Eric Fikenscher, Former Associate, Project on Managing the Atom, 2015–2016; Former Research Fellow, Project on Managing the Atom/International Security Program, 2012–2015

"...[I]t was important to reassure India that America is sensitive to New Delhi's role in the world and respects India's traditions and achievements. At a time of bilateral engagement, the president's visit has further contributed to creating a more productive working environment for negotiators from both sides. In addition, the inclination of Indian decision makers to take countermeasures, if they deem their pride to be hurt, should have lessened, which might prevent future setbacks."

 

2014

November 25, 2014

"Expanding Joint Plan with Iran on Uranium is Best Course for U.S."

Op-Ed, Los Angeles Times

By Sven-Eric Fikenscher, Former Associate, Project on Managing the Atom, 2015–2016; Former Research Fellow, Project on Managing the Atom/International Security Program, 2012–2015

"Skeptics might argue that expanding the joint plan would give Iran the opportunity to undermine sanctions, but modest sanctions relief is unlikely to weaken the overall sanctions regime. The joint plan has not undermined the existing sanctions. And there would be pressure on Iran to comply with an expanded agreement since cheating probably would be met with renewed sanctions. Unlike the alternative scenarios, this approach would buy some additional time and keep Iran in check."

 

 

State Dept.

Fall 2014

"The Fool's Errand for a Perfect Deal with Iran"

Journal Article, Washington Quarterly, issue 3, volume 37

By Sven-Eric Fikenscher, Former Associate, Project on Managing the Atom, 2015–2016; Former Research Fellow, Project on Managing the Atom/International Security Program, 2012–2015 and Robert Reardon, Former Research Fellow, Project on Managing the Atom/International Security Program, 2012–2014

"The P5+1 should set aside the effort to craft an all-at-once comprehensive bargain and instead adopt a strategy of negotiating incremental agreements. An incremental approach has a number of advantages. The negotiators could focus on one sticking point at a time, without having to coordinate agreement on all of them at once. Negotiators could defer currently intractable issues, like enrichment capacity, until greater trust is built or new opportunities arise. Most importantly, the compromises already achieved under the JPA could be maintained and consolidated, independently of the ups and downs of ongoing negotiations."

 

 

July 17, 2014

"Why There Won't Be a Nuclear Grand Bargain with Iran"

Op-Ed, The National Interest

By Sven-Eric Fikenscher, Former Associate, Project on Managing the Atom, 2015–2016; Former Research Fellow, Project on Managing the Atom/International Security Program, 2012–2015 and Robert Reardon, Former Research Fellow, Project on Managing the Atom/International Security Program, 2012–2014

"Rather than continuing with the current objective of a comprehensive grand bargain, the United States and its partners in the P5+1 should instead work toward a series of interim agreements using the JPOA as a model, with each successive accord building on the last. Such a gradual, incremental approach offers a better chance of ultimately resolving the nuclear dispute, at a lower risk of the existing deal falling apart."

 

 

State Dept. Photo

May 16, 2014

"Blowback: Why Getting Tough on Russia over Ukraine Might Backfire"

Op-Ed, The National Interest

By Sven-Eric Fikenscher, Former Associate, Project on Managing the Atom, 2015–2016; Former Research Fellow, Project on Managing the Atom/International Security Program, 2012–2015

"Washington needs to make a decision about its foreign-policy priorities, if tensions in eastern Ukraine are not reduced. Giving the events in Ukraine priority over all other international developments is a hazardous strategy. Negotiations have gotten us nowhere, and way more assertive steps against Russia are not likely to make Putin give in, since he seems to be determined not to lose his influence over eastern Ukraine and eager to demonstrate Russia's power."

 
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.