"Possible Frameworks for Verification of a WMD/DVs Free Zone in the Middle East - The Nuclear Dimension"
Academic Peace Orchestra Middle East, issue 33
By Olli Heinonen, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
This policy brief argues that, on balance, a Middle East Nuclear Weapon Free Zone would be better off relying on IAEA verification and safeguards at the beginning. Over the medium- to longer- term, given the political will, financial, and human resources, the regional states could invest in a regional authority to build up their own capacity and thereby contribute to strengthening mutual confidence and trust.
"A Pre-Lima Scorecard for Evaluating which Countries are Doing Their Fair Share in Pledged Carbon Cuts"
The authors explore a novel approach to evaluating the ambition and fairness of countries' voluntary pledges to reduce emissions. This approach could facilitate negotiations at the upcoming UN climate conference in Lima—and the broader process leading to a new 2015 international climate agreement.
June 26, 2014
"Watch this Space: 'Collective Self-defense,' Constitutional Reinterpretation, and Japan's Security Policy"
By Adam P. Liff, Former Research Fellow, International Security Program, 2013–2014
Throughout the postwar period, the Government of Japan's (GOJ) definition and interpretation of collective self-defense and Article 9 of Japan's constitution have played a crucial role in how its leaders develop and employ military power. This issue also has had significant implications for its political and security relationship with the United States.
For the first time in more than two decades, the United States faces a competitor that has the ability to inflict heavy costs on its air and naval forces. Maintaining stability in East Asia will therefore require significant changes in U.S. military capabilities and posture—changes that are likely to prove difficult while defense resources are scarce. Many of these changes will take years to implement, however, and China's military modernization shows no signs of slowing. The United States cannot afford to delay.
By Pinar De Neve, Research Assistant, Environment and Natural Resources Program
This policy brief is based on the discussion paper "Leapfrogging or Stalling Out? Electric Vehicles in China" by Sabrina Howell, Henry Lee and Adam Heal, published by the Belfer Center in June 2014.
By Lucas Kello, Associate, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program/Project on Technology, Security, and Conflict in the Cyber Age
The cyber revolution presents formidable challenges to security policy. The risks of inadvertent or accelerating cyber crises are significant but poorly grasped. The penalty for falling behind in terms of strategic adaptation may be disastrous.
By Dominic D.P. Johnson and Monica Duffy Toft, Former Associate Professor of Public Policy; Former Board Member, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs; Former Director, Initiative on Religion and International Affairs.
In the future, territorial conflict is likely to become more important, as populations grow and resources decline, and as territorial disputes expand into new domains, such as the polar regions, outer space and near-Earth orbits, radio frequency bands, the internet, and the commercial control of land. To avoid war and to enable other positive effects to follow, resolving conflicts is critical. Should territorial issues be resolved, studies have found that demilitarization and democratization are more likely to ensue. States will have a better chance of achieving these goals if they step back and recognize the broader patterns of territoriality in nature, of which humans are just one particularly deadly example.
March 27, 2014
Washington Institute for Near East Policy
Olli Heinonen and Simon Henderson write that although Iran's nuclear potential will likely dominate talks between President Obama and King Abdullah on March 29, Riyadh's own nuclear plans should also be part of the discussion.
By Scott Moore, Former Giorgio Ruffolo Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Sustainability Science Program/Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group, 2012–2014
This brief looks at the so-far inadequate responses of the Chinese government and makes the case that new institutions are needed to allow China to meet this growing challenge.
"...[A]ssessing the bioterrorism threat coming from the life sciences requires a broad range of expertise and information. A better analysis of such threats would involve relevant analysts within the intelligence community engaging with a range of social science experts. Such experts could provide information about terrorist intentions, motivations, and capabilities, as well as a more nuanced understanding of the difficulties involved in replicating scientific experiments and utilizing them for terrorist purposes."