Nuclear Issues

43 Items

Monument for victims of Chernobyl in front of covef

AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky

Analysis & Opinions - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Thirty-three Years Since the Catastrophe at Chernobyl: A Universal Lesson for the Global Nuclear Power Industry

| Apr. 25, 2019

The world will soberly commemorate the 33rd anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant catastrophic accident on Friday, April 26, 2019.  Some may wonder why bother with a gone-by historical event that happened in a distant land — a country that no longer exists — the former Soviet Union (now Ukraine).  On the contrary, Chernobyl and its legacy, with its specters of lingering human toll, radiation contamination, and the massive new shelter ("New Safe Confinement") installed over the old sarcophagus encasing the reactor, will be with us for a long time.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, right, speaks with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, in Geneva, Switzerland, Wednesday, January 14, 2015, during a bilateral meeting ahead of nuclear negotiations.

Martial Trezzini/ AP

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Strategies of Inhibition: U.S. Grand Strategy, the Nuclear Revolution, and Nonproliferation

| Summer 2015

Most histories of post-1945 U.S. grand strategy focus on containment of the Soviet Union and U.S. efforts to promote political and economic liberalization. A closer look reveals that "strategies of inhibition"—attempts to control nuclear proliferation—have been a third central pillar of U.S. grand strategy for several decades.

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Beyond Emboldenment: How Acquiring Nuclear Weapons Can Change Foreign Policy

| Summer 2015

How does the acquisition of nuclear weapons affect states' foreign policy? A new typology of six potential post-acquisition state behaviors—aggression, expansion, independence, bolstering, steadfastness, and compromise—offers a more nuanced answer to this question than previous studies have provided. The United Kingdom's foreign policy after it developed the bomb reveals how nuclear weapons can make a country more assertive.

Analysis & Opinions - European Leadership Network

On the Road to Nowhere? New Proposals on the Middle East WMD-Free Zone May Backfire

| May 11, 2015

"One of the dramas playing out this month in New York at the 2015 Review Conference for parties to the Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) concerns the future of discussions on establishing the weapons of mass destruction free zone in the Middle East..."

President John F. Kennedy arrived on June 23, 1963 at the airport in Cologne-Wahn for a four day visit to Germany. In front, chancellor Konrad Adenauer.

AP

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Alliance Coercion and Nuclear Restraint: How the United States Thwarted West Germany's Nuclear Ambitions

| Spring 2015

A prominent model of nuclear proliferation posits that a powerful patron state can prevent a weaker ally from proliferating by providing it with security guarantees. The history of West Germany's pursuit of the bomb from 1954 to 1969 suggests that a patron may also need to threaten the client state with military abandonment to convince it not to acquire nuclear weapons.

Journal Article - St Anthony's International Review St. Anthony’s International Review

Beyond Carrots and Sticks: The Role of Status Ambitions and the NPT's “Double Standard” in Nuclear Arms Control Negotiations

| May 2015

This article examines why India walked away from the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). After having spent years strongly advocating for a test ban accord, India changed course in the aftermath of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty's (NPT) indefinite extension in 1995, becoming the most outspoken opponent of the CTBT. This article argues that India's reversal cannot be explained by the conventional wisdom about (non-)compliance in nuclear arms control negotiations, which usually highlights the power of material interests. Since there was no development in the nuclear realm that might have compromised India's interests prior to its decision to change course, these theories fall short of explaining India's sudden opposition to the CTBT. The same holds true for the influence of norms. This article instead argues that perceived disrespect precipitated India's decision to abandon the treaty. India criticized the NPT as biased because it enforced non-proliferation without obligating the nuclear superpowers to disarm. Similarly, New Delhi believed the NPT's indefinite renewal made a mockery of a proud country's political claims.

UMass Amherst campus

UMass Amherst

Analysis & Opinions - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Don't Ban Students Based on Nationality: What Can We Learn from Europe?

| March 2, 2015

The decision of the University of Massachusetts Amherst to categorically ban Iranians was not only gross discrimination, but also a violation of academic freedom. A similar policy was adopted in the Netherlands a few years ago and later rebuked by the Dutch Supreme Court. Universities must remain open to people from all races, religions, and nationalities.

Analysis & Opinions - Modern Diplomacy

Hit and Run, Iran? The Military Dynamics of Nonproliferation

| February 2, 2015

Weapons of Mass Destruction or of mass delusion? To nail or derail. Ambiguity in Iran's weapon acquisition dynamics exacerbates mistrust, which is the core reason for the present standoff at the negotiating table. In this paper, the author elucidates the Iranian military's capability and intention by delving into the main componential elements of weapon acquisition.

Kargil War Memorial by the Indian Army at Drass, India, 26 June 2013. The Kargil War was an armed conflict between India and Pakistan that occurred May–July 1999 in the Kargil district of Kashmir and elsewhere along the Line of Control.

Mail2arunjith Photo CC

Journal Article - Journal of Conflict Resolution

Questioning the Effect of Nuclear Weapons on Conflict

| February, 2015

The authors examine the effect of nuclear weapons on interstate conflict. Using more appropriate methodologies than have previously been used, they find that dyads in which both states possess nuclear weapons are not significantly less likely to fight wars, nor are they significantly more or less belligerent at low levels of conflict.

Journal Article - Geopolitics, History, and International Relations

Iran and Weapons of Mass Destruction: The Military Dynamics of Non-Proliferation

| 2014

Weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) are not suitable for the Iranian Army, given its non-mechanized nature; its defensive military posture; its current status as a non-nuclear weapon state; and its sufficient conventional preparation to meet its protective security interests. This paper proposes three interlinked policy approaches to resolve the current impasse.