February 4, 2010
Op-Ed, Boston Globe
By William H. Tobey, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
"Neither Russia nor China sees a nuclear armed Iran as a threat. All other things being equal, they might prefer Tehran's ayatollahs not to control nuclear weapons, but all other things are not equal. Beijing wants access to oil and gas. Moscow wants to rebuild a geostrategic position in the Middle East, sell conventional arms and nuclear reactors to Iran, and foster a regional power capable of standing up to the United States.
If key administration assumptions about Iran have proven false, what now?"
The current global economic crisis highlights the fact that environmental objectives exist in a balance with economic growth, a balance that political leaders struggle to find in their own countries and at the global level. The UNFCCC contributes importantly to achieving a healthy balance by providing an overall framework for action to address climate change and as a regular gathering point for diplomats, policymakers, and technical experts from the widest range of countries. As such, it is a unique forum for building partnerships to help countries meet their own national objectives and to forge the consensus needed for success in global efforts to address climate change. It could also help to coordinate international efforts, creating synergies, and avoiding duplication.
Journal Article, Daedalus, issue 1, volume 139
By Steven E. Miller, Director, International Security Program; Editor-in-Chief, International Security; Co-Principal Investigator, Project on Managing the Atom and Scott Sagan, Former Research Fellow, International Security Program, 1981-1982; Editorial Board Member, Quarterly Journal: International Security
"Our crystal ball is not clear enough to predict with confidence whether the global nuclear future will be characterized by peace and prosperity or by conflict and destruction. But we do believe that the choices made in the coming few years will be crucial in determining whether the world can have more nuclear power without more nuclear weapons dangers in the future."
Journal Article, International Security, issue 3, volume 34
By Victor Cha
The United States generally prefers to pursue multilateral security alliances to support its national and international interests. In East Asia, however, it chose a different approach after World War II. Both the Truman and Eisenhower administrations cultivated a "hub-and-spokes" system of bilateral alliances with South Korea, Taiwan, and Japan based on a "powerplay" rationale: Washington wanted to contain the Soviet threat while preventing leaders of the so-called rogue allies from involving the United States in an unwanted war. The United States' bilateral alliances with South Korea, Taiwan, and Japan remain in place today.
There is no integrated, comprehensive regime governing efforts to limit the extent of climate change. Instead, there is a regime complex: a loosely coupled set of specific regimes. We describe the regime complex for climate change and seek to explain it, using functional, strategic, and organizational arguments. It is likely that such a regime complex will persist: efforts to build an effective, legitimate, and adaptable comprehensive regime are unlikely to succeed. Building on this analysis, we argue that a climate change regime complex, if it meets specified criteria, has advantages over any politically feasible comprehensive regime, particularly with respect to adaptability and flexibility. These characteristics are particularly important in an environment of high uncertainty, such as in the case of climate change where the most demanding international commitments are interdependent yet governments vary widely in their interest and ability to implement such commitments.
January 20, 2010
Op-Ed, Iran Review
By Kayhan Barzegar, Former Associate, Project on Managing the Atom/International Security Program, 2010–2011; Former Research Fellow, Project on Managing the Atom/international Security Program, 2007–2010
"...[T]he real solution is for Tehran and Washington to opt for direct diplomacy over the nuclear issue....The Americans too must not overlook the delicate point that if they voluntarily promote the role of China in Iran's nuclear and strategic programs, they would somehow help develop Beijing's strategic role....it would be a strategic blunder for the US to let China get involved in the political and strategic issues of the Middle East."
Journal Article, Daedalus, issue 4, volume 138
By Paul Doty, Director Emeritus, Center for Science and International Affairs; Mallinckrodt Professor of Biochemistry, Emeritus
"...[A] primary goal in the next decades must be to remove this risk of near global self-destruction by drastically reducing nuclear forces to a level where this outcome is not possible, but where a deterrent value is preserved — in other words, to a level of minimum deterrence. This conception was widely discussed in the early years of the nuclear era, but it drowned in the Cold War flood of weaponry. No matter how remote the risk of civilization collapse may seem now — despite its being so vivid only a few decades ago — the elimination of this risk, for this century and centuries to come, must be a primary driver for radical reductions in nuclear weapons."
January 7, 2010
Op-Ed, New York Times
By Joseph S. Nye, Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor
"This year is the 50th anniversary of the United States–Japan security treaty. The two countries will miss a major opportunity if they let the base controversy lead to bitter feelings or the further reduction of American forces in Japan. The best guarantee of security in a region where China remains a long-term challenge and a nuclear North Korea poses a clear threat remains the presence of American troops, which Japan helps to maintain with generous host nation support."
January 7, 2010
Op-Ed, Wall Street Journal
By Paula J. Dobriansky, Senior Fellow, The Future of Diplomacy Project
"When President Obama didn't meet with the Dalai Lama during his October trip to Washington, it gave many the impression that human-rights promotion was not central to this administration's foreign policy. This impression needs to be promptly corrected."
Journal Article, Energy Policy, issue 1, volume 38
China now faces the three hard truths of thirsting for more oil, relying heavily on coal, and ranking first in global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Given these truths, two key questions must be addressed to develop a low-carbon economy: how to use coal in a carbon-constrained future? How to increase domestic oil supply to enhance energy security? Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) may be a technological solution that can deal with today's energy and environmental needs while enabling China to move closer to a low-carbon energy future. This paper has been developed to propose a possible CCS roadmap for China.