November 30, 2016
Op-Ed, The Diplomat
By Aaron Arnold, Associate, Project on Managing the Atom
Before trashing the Iran deal — the agreement inked last fall, which limits Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief — the incoming Trump administration should consider how a policy of soft economic engagement with Tehran could provide Washington with strategic leverage and increased bargaining power in a post-Iran deal world.
Throughout his campaign, now President-elect Trump attacked the Iran deal, claiming that “it will go down in history as one of the worst deals ever negotiated.” The future of the deal now seems to be far less certain, as Trump fills key positions with outspoken critics of the agreement. Congressman Mike Pompeo (R-KS), Trump’s recent pick for CIA director, is well-known for his hardline stance on the deal, recently noting that it should be “rolled back.”
November 28, 2016
Op-Ed, Foundation for Defense of Democracies
By Olli Heinonen, Senior Associate, Managing the Atom Project
While the U.S. administration maintains that Iran has thus far complied with the nuclear deal, the recent International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report indicates that for the second time, Iran has exceeded the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action’s (JCPOA) limit for its inventory of heavy water.
Journal Article, World Affairs, issue 2, volume 179
By Mariana Budjeryn, Stanton Nuclear Security Postdoctoral Fellow, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom
"Ukraine's denuclearization had been a controversial issue even as it was negotiated, leaving bitter traces in the country's political and public discourse. As a student of political science in Kyiv in the mid-1990s, I remember being outraged by the sense of injustice: how could the states that rely on their own nuclear deterrents demand the nuclear disarmament of others? More so that one of these states, Russia, has never fully come to terms with Ukraine's independence. Since then, I came to research a doctoral dissertation on the denuclearization of post-Soviet successor states and, in the process, learned a great deal about Ukraine's nuclear disarmament that dispelled many of my preconceptions."
November 17, 2016
Op-Ed, Just Security
By Rolf Mowatt-Larssen, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs 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.
After the U.S. Presidential election, we are entering a particularly vulnerable period as militant Islamists seek to test the new American president just as al-Qaeda (AQ) tested President George W. Bush shortly after the 2000 election.
We are now 15 years into the fight against Islamic-inspired terrorism. The day after the September 11, 2001 attacks, the US and its allies launched a global anti-terrorism coalition to crush AQ and its allies; a fight that many expected to last a generation. The timing was not wrong, but the nature of the threat itself was both misunderstood and underestimated.
Journal Article, Risk Analysis
By Behnam Taebi, Associate, Project on Managing the Atom
New technology brings great benefits, but it can also create new and significant risks. When evaluating those risks in policymaking, there is a tendency to focus on social acceptance. By solely focusing on social acceptance, important ethical aspects of technological risk could be overlooked, particularly when evaluating technologies with transnational and intergenerational risks. The author examines the case of multinational nuclear waste repositories.
November 14, 2016
Op-Ed, Financial Times
By Lawrence Summers, Charles W. Eliot University Professor
Following a brief market plunge, the President-elect’s speech on Tuesday night was more conciliatory than many expected and emphasised his commitment to infrastructure investment. Investors have, on balance, concluded that the combination of a shift to very expansionary fiscal policy and major reductions in regulation in sectors ranging from energy to finance to drug pricing will raise demand and reflate the American economy.
November 11, 2016
By Nicholas Burns, Roy and Barbara Goodman Family Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy and International Relations, Harvard Kennedy School
Dr. Ian Bremmer, expert in political risk and founder of the Eurasia Group, gave a seminar sponsored by the the Future of Diplomacy Project on Thursday, November 9 at the Harvard Kennedy School, titled “Managing Risk in an Unstable World."
Magazine or Newspaper Article, Arms Control Today
By Nickolas Roth, Research Associate, Project on Managing the Atom
Nickolas Roth reflects upon Doomed to Cooperate by Siegfried S. Hecker, which tells the story of how, after the Cold War ended, U.S. and Russian scientists worked together to strengthen Russian nuclear safety and security, reduce proliferation risks, and advance nuclear science. He identifies that the book provides important lessons for policymakers in each country who are, just as they were more than two decades ago, scrambling to cope with the rapidly changing relationship between the world’s two largest nuclear superpowers.
"Doomed to Cooperate: How American And Russian Scientists Joined Forces To Avert Some Of The Greatest Post–Cold War Nuclear Dangers"
Magazine or Newspaper Article, Physics Today
By Matthew Bunn, Professor of Practice; Co-Principal Investigator, Project on Managing the Atom
The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 created unprecedented dangers. The crumbling empire had thousands of nuclear weapons, enough material to make tens of thousands more, and tens of thousands of experts with sensitive nuclear expertise. To overstate only slightly, Doomed to Cooperate: How American and Russian Scientists Joined Forces to Avert Some of the Greatest Post–Cold War Nuclear Dangers is a true story of scientists and engineers successfully working together to save the world.
Newsletter Article, Belfer Center Newsletter
By Sharon Wilke, Associate Director of Communications
With upcoming changes in Washington, the Center salutes the members of our community who are serving the U.S. government in leadership roles. Our deep appreciation to them and to all of our alumni who are working around the world for a more secure, sustainable, and peaceful world.