US AND NUCLEAR ISSUES
October 2, 2013
A New Report: Steps to Prevent Nuclear Terrorism - Recommendations Based on the U.S.-Russia Joint Threat Assessment
Nuclear terrorism remains a real and urgent threat. Despite an array of mechanisms established to combat this threat, several serious problems persist, requiring relentless attention and actions by the United States, Russia and other responsible nations. These problems include continuing nuclear security vulnerabilities in a number of countries and the continued incidents of illicit trafficking in nuclear materials, radioactive sources and the various components.
This new report, “Steps to Prevent Nuclear Terrorism: Recommendations Based on the U.S.-Russia Joint Threat Assessment,” was produced jointly by researchers at Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute for U.S. and Canadian Studies (ISKRAN). The study outlines concrete steps for the United States and Russia to take in leading international efforts to combat the threat of nuclear terrorism.
October 1, 2013
Op-Ed, Agence Global
By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative
"The visit by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this week to the United States and the United Nations General Assembly signals a critical moment in diplomatic developments in the Middle East, including potentially a decisive reckoning in Israeli-American relations. This is because on the important issue of how the United States and the West deal with Iran’s nuclear industry, the trends of both public opinion and leadership sentiments in Israel and the United States are moving in opposite directions."
September 30, 2013
By Matthew Bunn, Professor of Practice; Co-Principal Investigator, Project on Managing the Atom, Kuznetsov Valentin, Yuri Morozov, Gary Samore, Executive Director for Research, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Simon Saradzhyan, Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, William H. Tobey, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Viktor I. Yesin and Pavel S. Zolotarev
Even as this paper was being written and edited, U.S.-Russian relations have warmed and chilled. Today, as we are about to go to press, marks a particularly chilly period in recent history, with the cancellation of a planned Moscow Summit in September 2013. To some, this cold spell might signal an inapt moment to consider issues related to transcending mutual deterrence. Such a view would overlook the aims of the paper, which attempts to assess the central and enduring interests of the United States and Russia, the extent to which they coincide or conflict, and whether or not in light of these interests mutual deterrence should remain a fundamental feature of the relationship.
August 16, 2013
Op-Ed, Washington Post
Last October, at the foot of a rocky hillside near here, at a spot known as Degelen Mountain, several dozen Kazakh, Russian and American nuclear scientists and engineers gathered for a ceremony. The modest ribbon-cutting marked the conclusion of one of the largest and most complex nuclear security operations since the Cold War — to secure plutonium (enough to build a dozen or more nuclear weapons) that Soviet authorities had buried at the testing site years before and forgotten, leaving it vulnerable to terrorists and rogue states. The effort spanned 17 years, cost $150 million and involved a complex mix of intelligence, science, engineering, politics and sleuthing. This op-ed is based on documents and interviews with Kazakh, Russian and U.S. participants, and reveals the scope of the operation for the first time.
August 15, 2013
The Belfer Center’s Eben Harrell and Pulitzer Prize-winning author David E. Hoffman for the first time report the details of one of the largest nuclear security operations of the post-Cold War years — a secret 17-year, $150 million operation to secure plutonium in the tunnels of Degelen Mountain.
August 8, 2013
Policy Brief, PacNet Newsletter
While the United States and Russia have a responsibility to draw down their arsenals, these bilateral nuclear reductions will be increasingly difficult if other nuclear powers do not join in....[I]t is time to engage the so-called "second tier" nuclear powers, especially China. The evolution of the US-China strategic relationship can affect the next stages of international arms control, even if China does not directly participate.
August 7, 2013
Op-Ed, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
By Martin B. Malin, Executive Director, Project on Managing the Atom
Ayman Khalil asked whether the effort to create a WMD-free zone in the Middle East is dead. Martin's answer is this: The effort will continue, but the opportunity presented by the 2010 Review Conference for the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) may be slipping out of reach.
July 30, 2013
By Matthew Bunn, Professor of Practice; Co-Principal Investigator, Project on Managing the Atom
This chapter explores how nuclear security measures evolved in the United States, drawing lessons about the factors that lead states to improve their nuclear security approaches — a crucial question for today's efforts to convince states around the world to beef up nuclear security.
July 29, 2013
Op-Ed, Christian Science Monitor
"Relations between the United States and Russia today remind one of the report from the well digger, 'We hit bottom and have started to dig.' Whether it’s over issues like leaker Eric Snowden or Syria and Iran, the US and Russia seem to end up on opposite sides of most major problems," write Kevin Ryan and Simon Saradzhyan. But that trend could soon reverse – at least regarding one contentious subject – missile defense.
July 17, 2013
By Gary Samore, Executive Director for Research, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
Gary Samore, the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs's Executive Director for Research, spoke on a panel entitled "Iran: Crossing the Red Line?" at the Aspen Security Forum in July of 2013.
The videotaped discussion is available here.