By Leonardo Maugeri, Senior Fellow, Geopolitics of Energy Project
A new study by Belfer Center Geopolitics of Energy researcher Leonardo Maugeri finds that oil production capacity is surging throughout the world, but the United States in particular will experience unprecedented output as a result of technological advances and some unique attributes. This increased production will not be without challenges, however, as the drilling industry adapts to this relatively new method and overall output depending greatly on price stability. In the end, the U.S. may yet still import oil from other countries. The findings by Maugeri, a former oil industry executive who is now a fellow at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center, are based on an original field-by-field analysis of the world’s major oil formations and exploration projects.
By Terence Roehrig, Former Research Fellow, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom, 2012–2014
A nuclear North Korea makes it crucial that all countries in Northeast Asia work hard at maintaining a stable security environment that avoids the dangers of a crisis while encouraging North Korea to adopt a nuclear strategy that retains its "no first use" pledge, a strong command and control system, and a stable nuclear weapons posture. Given its relationship with North Korea, China is best positioned to encourage DPRK leaders in these directions.
By Donna Lee
Forests can play a significant role in helping to avoid dangerous climate change, and a global agreement under the UNFCCC would be uniquely placed to support efforts in this regard. The rising global demand for agricultural and other land-based products means that pressures on land are increasingly cross-border, and there is an accelerating expansion of the deforestation frontier. Smart domestic policies are critical to solving the deforestation challenge, and recent private sector interest in "sustainable agriculture" is encouraging. However, global agreements that value standing forests and provide incentives that positively impact land use change decisions can be an equally important tool.
By Olli Heinonen, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Benjamin Bonin, Edward Ifft, Roberta Mulas, Hartwig Spitzer, Khaled Abdel Hamid, Nisreen Al Hmoud, Ephraim Asculai, Christian Charlier, David Friedman, Dorte Hühnert, Tariq Rauf, Ibrahim Said and Jean-Pascal Zanders
This Policy Brief outlines key arms control verification concepts, their practical application under existing treaties, and the associated verification challenges likely to be encountered in the context of a WMD/DVs Free Zone in the Middle East. While the challenges may appear daunting, we share the opinion that the subject of verification may actually offer unique opportunities for regional dialogue, exchange, and even confidence building.
The United States' extended system of security commitments creates a set of institutional relationships that foster political communication. Alliance institutions are first about security protection, but they also bind states together and create institutional channels of communication. For example, NATO has facilitated ties and associated institutions that increase the ability of the United States and Europe to talk to each other and to do business. Likewise, the bilateral alliances in East Asia also play a communication role beyond narrow security issues. Consultations and exchanges spill over into other policy areas. This gives the United States the capacity to work across issue areas, using assets and bargaining chips in one area to make progress in another.
Critics of the linkage argument argue that the United States and Russia have cut their nuclear arsenals substantially without any noticeable subsequent increase in support for nonproliferation. Nonnuclear weapon states, however, tend not to view nuclear arms reductions as the best indicator of compliance with Article 6; they attach greater weight to policies that convey an intent among weapon states to keep nuclear weapons indefinitely.
The United States has considerable tax administration and cap-and-trade expertise that could highlight potentially successful carbon pricing approaches. Although this experience is not climate-related, the United States deploys an efficient and highly compliant excise tax system, and it could assist developing country efforts to build their own capacity to tax carbon. The United States also has long experience with cap-and-trade systems for criteria air pollutants, much of which is transferable to greenhouse-gas emissions trading.
By Bard Harstad
Climate policy is complicated. For a treaty to be beneficial, one must think through carefully how it will work, once it is implemented. Crucial questions include the following: How should an international treaty be designed? Should one negotiate commitments for a five-year period, or for much longer? Assuming that the treaty specifies aggregate or country-specific emission caps, what should these caps be and how should they change over time? How should the agreement be updated once policymakers, scholars, and the public learn more about the severity of the climate-change problem, or about the effects of the policy? Can the treaty be designed to encourage investments in "green" abatement technology or renewable energy sources? Finally, how can one motivate countries to participate and comply with such an agreement?
By John S. Park, Faculty Affiliate, Project on Managing the Atom
John S. Park, Stanton Nuclear Security Junior Faculty Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Project on Managing the Atom Associate, argues that cooperation between North Korea and Iran has been a critical—yet underexamined—enabler of North Korea's recent success. He concludes that the time has come for the United States to view the two previously independent missile programs as two sides of the same coin and recommends strategies for disrupting the procurement channels between Iran and North Korea.
By Ragnhild Nordas, Former Research Fellow, Initiative on Religion in International Affairs/International Security Program, 2008–2010 and Dara Kay Cohen, Assistant Professor of Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School
This policy brief summarizes key trends in conflict-related sexual violence in 48 conflicts in 33 African countries, encompassing 236 armed-conflict actors, including state armies, militias and rebel groups.