Nuclear Issues

22 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.

FBI agents leave a raid in Trenton, N.J. on July 19, 2012

Julio Cortez/AP

Discussion Paper - Managing the Atom Project, Belfer Center

The Long Arm

| February 2019

The networks of middlemen and intermediaries involved in the illicit procurement of weapons of mass destruction (WMD)-related goods and technologies often operate outside of the United States, which presents several legal and political challenges regarding U.S. trade control enforcement activities. This report considers the extraterritorial efforts of U.S. law enforcement in counterproliferation-related activities and their implications. In other words, how does the United States contend with violations of its weapons of mass destruction (WMD)-related trade controls in overseas jurisdictions, and what are the implications for broader U.S. and international nonproliferation efforts, as well as wider international security and economic concerns? 

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.

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.

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.

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.

Presentation

Cyber Disorders: Rivalry and Conflict in a Global Information Age

| May 3, 2012

The risks posed by the proliferation of cyber weapons are gaining wide recognition among security planners. Yet the general reaction of scholars of international relations has been to neglect the cyber peril owing to its technical novelties and intricacies. This attitude amounts to either one or both of two claims: the problem is not of sufficient scale to warrant close inspection, or it is not comprehensible to a non-technical observer. This seminar challenged both assertions.