US AND NUCLEAR ISSUES
May 22, 2015
Op-Ed, The National Interest
By Graham Allison, Director, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs; Douglas Dillon Professor of Government, Harvard Kennedy School
"At the UN today, this year’s Review Conference will conclude its assessment of the performance of member-states that signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which became international law in 1970," Graham Allison writes. "Among the central issues the parties debated was whether the United States and Russia have been fulfilling their commitments under the treaty."
Allison points out that the U.S. arsenal has been cut by more than 80 percent by 1970, and the Soviet arsenal has been reduced proportionally. "The NPT and the norms it has established help ensure a more secure future for us all," he writes.
May 20, 2015
Op-Ed, The Hill
By Matthew Bunn, Professor of Practice; Co-Principal Investigator, Project on Managing the Atom, William H. Tobey, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and Nickolas Roth, Research Associate, Project on Managing the Atom
William H. Tobey, Matthew Bunn, and Nickolas Roth oppose proposed legislation that would prohibit funding for fixed radiation detectors to catch nuclear smugglers. They argue for a balanced program to defeat nuclear smuggling that includes strong security, effective law enforcement and intelligence work, and interdiction efforts and border controls backed by both fixed and mobile radiation detectors.
May 11, 2015
Op-Ed, European Leadership Network
By Martin B. Malin, Executive Director, Project on Managing the Atom
"One of the dramas playing out this month in New York at the 2015 Review Conference for parties to the Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) concerns the future of discussions on establishing the weapons of mass destruction free zone in the Middle East..."
"Alliance Coercion and Nuclear Restraint: How the United States Thwarted West Germany's Nuclear Ambitions"
Journal Article, International Security, issue 4, volume 39
By Gene Gerzhoy, Former Associate, Project on Managing the Atom, July–August 2015; Former Research Fellow Project on Managing the Atom/International Security Program, 2013–June 2015
A prominent model of nuclear proliferation posits that a powerful patron state can prevent a weaker ally from proliferating by providing it with security guarantees. The history of West Germany's pursuit of the bomb from 1954 to 1969 suggests that a patron may also need to threaten the client state with military abandonment to convince it not to acquire nuclear weapons.
April 30, 2015
On April 28, the Project on Managing the Atom joined the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, The Netherlands government, and the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) in convening nuclear nonproliferation experts from around the world at the United Nations to participate in a Symposium on the 2015 Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference.
April 26, 2015
The abstracts in this booklet summarise the research presented at an academic symposium convened on the sidelines of the 2015 NPT Review Conference. As we write this, journalists and seasoned experts in the nuclear policy field have been speculating about the particularly difficult challenges facing the Review Conference this year. To address those challenges, we would urge all concerned to consider the ideas and analyses presented at this symposium. Experts would be hard-pressed to find a better collection of fresh ideas and approaches for assessing and strengthening the NPT.
April 22, 2015
Op-Ed, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
By Aaron Arnold, Associate, Project on Managing the Atom
"Speaking from the White House earlier this month, President Obama announced details of a framework agreement between Iran and the P5+1—the United States, Russia, China, France, the United Kingdom, and Germany—that limits Iran’s path to building a nuclear weapon over the next 10 to 15 years. Although negotiators will finalize technical details between now and the June 30 deadline, the parameters provide Iran with sanctions relief in exchange for limits on its uranium enrichment, converting its Arak heavy water reactor, limiting the number and type of centrifuges, and agreeing to intrusive inspections. Should Iran cheat or fail to uphold its end of the bargain, however, the United States and its allies reserve the right to “snap-back” into place tough economic and financial sanctions..."
April 19, 2015
Op-Ed, The New York Times
By General James Cartwright, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
We find ourselves in an increasingly risky strategic environment. The Ukrainian crisis has threatened the stability of relations between Russia and the West, including the nuclear dimension — as became apparent last month when it was reported that Russian defense officials had advised President Vladimir V. Putin to consider placing Russia’s nuclear arsenal on alert during last year’s crisis in Crimea.
Magazine or Newspaper Article, The National Interest
In the United States and Europe, many believe that the best way to prevent Russia’s resumption of its historic imperial mission is to assure the independence of Ukraine. They insist that the West must do whatever is required to stop the Kremlin from establishing direct or indirect control over that country. Otherwise, they foresee Russia reassembling the former Soviet empire and threatening all of Europe. Conversely, in Russia, many claim that while Russia is willing to recognize Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity (with the exception of Crimea), Moscow will demand no less than any other great power would on its border. Security on its western frontier requires a special relationship with Ukraine and a degree of deference expected in major powers’ spheres of influence. More specifically, Russia’s establishment sentiment holds that the country can never be secure if Ukraine joins NATO or becomes a part of a hostile Euro-Atlantic community. From their perspective, this makes Ukraine’s nonadversarial status a nonnegotiable demand for any Russia powerful enough to defend its national-security interests.
April 8, 2015
Op-Ed, Just Security
By Rolf Mowatt-Larssen, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
Based on an initial reading, I believe the framework for a nuclear agreement with Iran is worth trying to develop into a concrete deal, as long as the US-led coalition stays tough on terms, and recognizes that there are no verification measures that can guarantee that Iran won’t cheat. These negotiations are not about creating a legally binding document that replaces Iran’s existing obligations under the Non-Proliferation treaty (NPT), which remain binding. Thus, the details of compliance and measures of verification are notable, but they won’t prove to be decisive in ultimately assessing the merits of the agreement.