Cambridge, MA – Former Secretary of Defense Ashton B. Carter will join the Harvard Kennedy School as the Belfer Professor of Technology and Global Affairs and Director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. As Secretary of Defense, Carter, a physicist, became known for pushing the Pentagon to “think outside its five-sided box” in order to transform the way the military fought adversaries and strengthened alliances, managed its budget and talent, developed its technology, and more. He will now lead the Belfer Center’s programs and will focus his scholarship on the role of innovation and technology in addressing challenges at home and around the world.
The Iranian nuclear program and the challenge posed to nuclear security by non-state terrorist groups, such as Al-Qaeda, acquiring such weapons have generated substantial debate. While these two issues are poles apart, they have a common denominator: the use of the Islamic legal discourse to justify their respective leaderships’ positions on the matter. Indeed, while the former presents Sharia law as a limiting factor, prohibiting nuclear weapons, the second has long justified its pursuit of a nuclear capability through the Islamic faith. A third actor, Pakistan, has not taken a stance on the legal debate, yet it became the first Muslim state to develop a nuclear arsenal, securing funding for its program by depicting it as the ‘Islamic bomb.’
Does Islam in fact govern the production, possession, and use of nuclear weapons, by prohibiting, tolerating, or rather encouraging the acquisition of such weapons? This seminar will identify and assess the potential strategic implications of this legal outcome, including the impact of the religious discourse on regional stability and national and international security.
Coffee and tea provided. Please join us - Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.