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.
Fifty-one years ago, President John F. Kennedy said he was "haunted" by the possibility that "15 or 20 or 25 nations" may acquire nuclear weapons by 1970. "I regard that as the greatest possible danger and hazard," the President stated. Nuclear weapons have spread much slower than Kennedy feared, but the hard work to contain this danger continues. Saudi Arabia is on record that it will get nuclear weapons if Iran goes nuclear. This seminar will provide a historical overview of U.S. efforts to convince its Cold War–era allies (Taiwan, South Korea, Pakistan, and Israel) from going nuclear. It will then discuss what lessons policymakers can draw as the United States confronts the possibility of contemporary allies, such as Riyadh, considering acquiring nuclear capabilities. "History does not repeat itself, but it does rhyme," Mark Twain is said to have observed. Mining history for insights on what factors motivated our allies' nuclear pursuits in the past is important for crafting a smarter nonproliferation policy today.
Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.