By Hui Zhang, Senior Research Associate, Project on Managing the Atom
In “China’s Nuclear Modernization,” a chapter in Assuring Destruction Forever: 2015 Edition (edited by Ray Acheson, published by Reaching Critical Will, a project of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom), Hui Zhang contributes to a summary of global nuclear modernization.
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 27, 2015
This report proposes a framework for IAEA verification of steps toward nuclear disarmament, premised on IAEA verification of fissile material, in any form, whether classified or not, submitted by any state possessing nuclear weapons. It identifies technical, legal, and financial solutions to the challenges posed by such verification, and offers a way forward to the implementation of the proposed framework. The tool that Rockwood and Shea offer is ready for any state with nuclear weapons to take up, finish the final details, and implement.
April 25, 2015
Op-Ed, The Boston Globe
By Graham Allison, Director, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs; Douglas Dillon Professor of Government, Harvard Kennedy School
FIFTY-SIX YEARS ago today, in 1959, a 32-year-old victorious revolutionary named Fidel Castro arrived at Back Bay Station to face a raucous crowd of 5,000 Bostonians.
Graham Allison writes in the Boston Globe that Castro was headed to Harvard, his last stop on a 12-day trip along the East Coast....Castro’s visit aroused so much excitement that Harvard had no auditorium large enough to host his speech. So the Harvard football stadium was converted into an amphitheater.
"The social sciences rarely allow for controlled experiments where we can test initiatives for cause and effect," Allison writes. "But occasionally the world around us offers its own clues. Is it accidental that the two states that have persisted the longest as bastions of Stalinist authoritarianism are the two that the US has most harshly isolated and sanctioned: North Korea and Cuba?"
April 22, 2015
Op-Ed, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
"On their own, civilian nuclear programs do not necessarily imply a military threat. Under the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), member countries are allowed to pursue civilian nuclear programs. Because of a growing energy demand, many countries in the Middle East are exploring nuclear power as part of their energy mix. While some, including the United Arab Emirates, have succeeded in starting civilian nuclear power programs, others face serious financing and technical capacity issues."
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 16, 2015
Op-Ed, Financial Times
By Kevin Rudd, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
When China’s economic output eventually surpasses America’s some time in the next decade, it will be the first time since the reign of George III that the world’s largest economy belongs to a country that is not western, not English-speaking and not a liberal democratic state. Yet, in the asymmetric world that is emerging, the US will remain the dominant military force. The fulcrums of economic and military power are separating. Can these changes in the distribution of power occur peacefully?
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.