April 15, 2014
By Tom Donilon, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
Thomas Donilon, former national security adviser to President Barack Obama, presented a Landon Lecture at 11:15 a.m. Tuesday, April 15, at Kansas State University's McCain Auditorium.
By Lucas Kello, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, International Security Program/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, Giorgio Ruffolo Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Sustainability Science Program/Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group
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.
March 11, 2014
"Remarks on the Report of the Defense Science Board 'Assessment of Nuclear Monitoring and Verification Technology'"
By Olli Heinonen, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
Olli Heinonen writes that though that there is no foolproof plan to chart outcomes, it remains very much within our control to take certain steps and actions that can make the future less uncertain and better managed its direction. The Task Force Assessment Report on Nuclear Monitoring and Verification Technology by the Defense Science Board is essential in providing a forward-looking framework and recommendations to better prepare us to prevent and shape nuclear proliferation choices.
March 6, 2014
By Hui Zhang, Senior Research Associate, Project on Managing the Atom
Dr. Hui Zhang presented "Options for China’s Nuclear Spent Fuel Management" at the Workshop on Strategic Nuclear Issues in East Asia, Beijing, China March 5-6, 2014.
"...[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."
February 11, 2014
By Matthew Bunn, Professor of Practice; Co-Principal Investigator, Project on Managing the Atom
In this presentation to an Institute for Nuclear Materiials Management workshop on risk-informing security, Matthew Bunn proposes a new approach to judging which materials would be easiest or more difficult for terrorists to use in a nuclear bomb, and hence which materials require more or less security.
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.