Nuclear Issues

14 Items

The nuclear archive warehouse outside Tehran (Satellite image via Google).

Satellite image via Google

Report - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

The Iran Nuclear Archive: Impressions and Implications

In mid-January, a team of scholars from the Belfer Center’s Intelligence and Managing the Atom Projects traveled to Tel Aviv, Israel to examine samples of, and receive briefings on, an archive of documents related to Iran’s nuclear weapons program. The large cache includes some 55,000 pages of documents and a further 55,000 files on CDs that included photos and videos. A clandestine Israeli intelligence operation spirited the materials out of Iran in early 2018.

The documents that the Belfer group were shown confirm that senior Iranian officials had decided in the late 1990s to actually manufacture nuclear weapons and carry out an underground nuclear test; that Iran’s program to do so made more technical progress than had previously been understood; and that Iran had help from quite a number of foreign scientists, and access to several foreign nuclear weapon designs. The archive also leaves open a wide range of questions, including what plan, if any, Iran has had with respect to nuclear weapons in the nearly 16 years since Iran’s government ordered a halt to most of the program in late 2003. 

This brief report summarizes the group’s conclusions about what the archive reveals about Iran’s program and questions that remain open.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin during their joint news conference at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, Finland, Monday, July 16, 2018.

(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Analysis & Opinions - Just Security

Helsinki Summit: A Time for Choosing—Three observations by former senior CIA officer

| July 16, 2018

Rolf Mowatt-Larssen: "The US intelligence community can no longer trust the President’s judgment after he clearly sided with Russia in the Mueller investigation and the underlying intelligence information that formed the basis of the indictments of twelve Russian military intelligence officers."

Donald Trump in Syracuse, New York, April 16, 2016; Vladimir Putin in Moscow, Russia, April 14, 2016

Carlo Allegri/Reuters; Maxim Shemetov/Reuters

Analysis & Opinions - The Cipher Brief

Top-Down Presidential Leadership: The Helsinki Summit

| July 11, 2018

Two conditions are clear as the U.S. and Russian Presidents prepare meet in Helsinki. First, U.S.-Russian relations are arguably at their lowest point since the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War. Second, both presidents have domestic realities that constrain their flexibility to achieve compromise in the many areas that have caused relations to falter.

Vladimir Putin meets with U.S. President Donald Trump at the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, July 2017

Kremlin.ru

News

US Retired General: At the Meeting With Trump, Putin Will Have the Advantage

| July 09, 2018

On 16 July in Helsinki, President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin will meet his American colleague Donald Trump. The leaders will discuss a number of complicated questions, but the summit will be a success, even if the government leaders cannot reach agreement - so thinks retired Brigadier General and Associate Fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School, Kevin Ryan. Ryan talked to "Eurasia Expert" about the significance of the meeting between the American and Russian leaders for relations between the two countries, the future of NATO, and explained how American space forces will differ from Russian or Chinese space forces.

American LT Bill Robertson and Sergeant Frank Huff climbed out on the broken bridge over the Elbe River to meet Soviet Sergeant Nikolai Andreev on April 25, 1945.

(Photo by Paul Staub, 1945)

Analysis & Opinions - Russia Insider

The Story of the Elbe River Linkage You May Not Have Heard About

| April 24, 2016

Brigadier General Kevin Ryan (US Army retired), director of the Defense and Intelligence Projects at the Belfer Center, participated in the opening of a memorial dedicated to the meeting of American and Soviet Armies at the river Elbe in 1945. The dedication took place in Moscow on Monday, April 25, 2016. In this article, General Ryan describes the background to the memorial.

A woman holds a poster as she pickets the Turkish Embassy in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015. It reads: "The pilots that were shot down were fighting terrorists to save your and our civilians."

(AP Photo)

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

NATO and Russia Must Reopen Contact to Keep the “Cold War” Cold

| November 25, 2015

On November 24th, 2015, fighter aircraft from Turkey, a NATO state, shot down a Russian Su24 fighter along the Turkish-Syrian border.  A local Syrian rebel group claimed to have found one of the pilots dead.  Not since a Soviet sentry shot US Army Major Arthur Nicholson in 1985, has there been a shooting death between the forces of Russia and members of NATO.....

Even if it is not possible to reconcile the two sides politically and diplomatically, it is vital that a military dialogue reopen now to provide national leaders with a means to deconflict and resolve security issues without resorting to force.  NATO and Russia should reopen military-to-military contacts to provide transparency over capabilities and intentions – the two components of a threat.  This kind of dialogue was able to keep the Cold War “cold” and is needed again.

Report - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Putin's Choice for Russia

    Author:
  • Stephen R. Covington
| August 2015

This paper was written by Stephen R. Covington, with a Foreword written by Kevin Ryan.

In Putin’s view, any solution short of changing the European security system—including full integration, separation by erecting new walls, freezing the status quo around Russia, or partnering with other countries to counter-balance the powers in the European system—only means Russia’s inevitable loss of great power status and the loss of his personal power at home.

Announcement - Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program, Belfer Center

Science, Technology, and Public Policy Fellowships, 2015–2016

December 12, 2014

Each year, the Science, Technology, and Public Policy (STPP) Program at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School welcomes new pre- and post-doctoral fellows and visiting researchers to a select team of scholars exploring the critical role that science and technology play in everyday life.

News

Nuclear Negotiations between the United States and its Allies

| March 12, 2014

What can the United States do to thwart the nuclear ambitions of its allies? Dr. Kogan analyzes past cases where the United States was able to leverage its alliance commitments to stop friendly states from going nuclear. He then asks what lessons these past nuclear negotiations hold for today.  In the coming decade, key U.S. allies in the Middle East (Saudi Arabia) and East Asia (South Korea, Japan) may consider reducing their reliance on U.S. security guarantees by acquiring independent nuclear deterrents.  In conversation with Project Director Kevin Ryan, Dr. Kogan discusses Washington's options in confronting these contemporary allies with nascent nuclear appetites.

Announcement - Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program, Belfer Center

STPP Fellowships, 2014–2015

November 25, 2013

Each year, the Science, Technology, and Public Policy (STPP) Program at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School welcomes new pre- and post-doctoral fellows and visiting researchers to a select team of scholars exploring the critical role that science and technology play in everyday life.