By Pinar Akcayoz De Neve, Project Manager, 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, Former Associate, Cyber Security Project, 2014–2016; Former Research Fellow, Cyber Security Project, 2013–2014; Former Research Fellow, Cyber Security Project/International Security Program, 2011–2013
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.
A central question in climate policy is whether early investments in low-carbon technologies are a useful first step towards a more effective climate agreement in the future. We introduce a climate cooperation model with endogenous R&D investments where countries protect their international competitiveness via border carbon adjustments (BCA). BCA raises the scope for cooperation and leads to a non-trivial relation between countries' prior R&D investments and participation in the coalition. We find that early investments in R&D render free-riding more attractive. Therefore, with delayed cooperation on emission abatement and ex-ante R&D investments, the outcome is often characterized by high participation but inefficiently low technology investments and abatement.
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."
By William H. Tobey, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
In the dead of night on July 28, 2012, three senior citizens, including an 82-year-old Catholic nun, Sister Megan Rice, broke into the Y-12 National Security Complex near Oak Ridge, Tennessee, site of the US Highly Enriched Uranium Materials Facility (HEUMF). This self-proclaimed “Fort Knox of uranium” is America’s central repository for weapons-grade uranium.
....The security failings revealed by the nun and her fellow protesters are legion. The protesters were on the site for over an hour and 20 minutes, trekking about seven-tenths of a mile as the crow flies, but far longer as they traversed a steep ridge. They pierced fences equipped with sophisticated sensors. Yet the Y-12 Protective Force failed to spot them until they enjoyed unimpeded access to the exterior of the HEUMF forabout 20 minutes. Had these individuals been well-armed, well-equipped terrorists, instead of Bible-toting peace protesters, the incident would have been far more dire.
By Erik Gartzke
"The internet is said to be revolutionary because it is a leveler—reducing Western military advantages—and because dependence on the internet makes developed countries more vulnerable to attack. The conviction that the internet is an Achilles' heel for the existing world order is based on narrow conceptions of the potential for harm. The internet cannot perform functions traditionally assigned to military force. To the contrary, cyberwar creates another advantage for powerful status quo nations and interests."
By Henrik Larsen, Former Research Fellow, International Security Program, February 2013–March 2015
NATO after Afghanistan is an organization that suffers from a certain fatigue pertaining to future stabilization challenges. NATO will not automatically cease to conduct operations after 2014, but the level of ambition will be lower. The Afghanistan experience and the failures of the light footprint approach calls for a thinking that is less liberalist "in the abstract" and more focused on provision of basic services (security, development, and governance).