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.
Much conventional wisdom suggests that states with nuclear energy programs are more likely to seek or acquire nuclear weapons. In this seminar, the speaker will argue that the link between nuclear energy programs and proliferation is overstated. While energy programs increase the technical capacity of a state to build nuclear weapons, they also (1) increase the costliness of nonproliferation sanctions, (2) increase the odds that a parallel nuclear weapons program is detected, and (3) reduce the incentives to weaponize by providing a hedging alternative. Collectively, these three mechanisms help explain why states with nuclear energy programs have not been significantly more likely to seek or acquire nuclear weapons historically.
Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.