The overarching question imparting urgency to this exploration is: Can U.S.-Russian contention in cyberspace cause the two nuclear superpowers to stumble into war? In considering this question we were constantly reminded of recent comments by a prominent U.S. arms control expert: At least as dangerous as the risk of an actual cyberattack, he observed, is cyber operations’ “blurring of the line between peace and war.” Or, as Nye wrote, “in the cyber realm, the difference between a weapon and a non-weapon may come down to a single line of code, or simply the intent of a computer program’s user.”
Does civil nuclear assistance increase the risk of nuclear proliferation? Previous scholarship that suggests a positive correlation between civil nuclear assistance and nuclear weapons proliferation explains only the first half of the nuclear era, roughly until the mid-1970s, and does not reflect significant changes made to the world’s nuclear export environment. After India carried out a nuclear test in 1974, the international community established the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), a multilateral nuclear export control regime, to regulate civil nuclear assistance. Since then, the NSG has been effective in curbing sensitive nuclear assistance (the transfer of uranium enrichment and plutonium reprocessing technologies), which allows recipients to acquire “nuclear latency.” Kim argues that civil nuclear assistance does not increase nuclear proliferation as long as sensitive nuclear assistance that contributes to nuclear latency is prevented. By facilitating cooperation among states in curbing such assistance, the NSG has successfully promoted benign nuclear assistance. Lami Kim is a predoctoral fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, a Ph.D. candidate at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, and a lecturer in the International Studies Program at Boston College. Her dissertation examines the effect of the multilateral nuclear export control regime on proliferation-risk involving civil nuclear assistance.
Prior to moving to Boston, she served as a Foreign Service Officer at the South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She holds a Masters in International Affairs from The Fletcher School and a Master's Degree in Middle Eastern Studies from Harvard University.