Nuclear Issues

11 Items

Chinese President Xi Jinping is displayed on a big screen in Beijing as Chinese battle tanks roll by during a Sept. 3, 2015 parade commemorating the 70th anniversary of Japan's surrender during World War II.

(AP Photo)

Magazine Article - The Atlantic

The Thucydides Trap: Are the U.S. and China Headed for War?

| September 24, 2015

The defining question about global order for this generation is whether China and the United States can escape Thucydides’s Trap. The Greek historian’s metaphor reminds us of the attendant dangers when a rising power rivals a ruling power—as Athens challenged Sparta in ancient Greece, or as Germany did Britain a century ago. Most such contests have ended badly, often for both nations, a team of mine at the Harvard Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs has concluded after analyzing the historical record. In 12 of 16 cases over the past 500 years, the result was war. When the parties avoided war, it required huge, painful adjustments in attitudes and actions on the part not just of the challenger but also the challenged.

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Keeping the Bombs in the Basement: U.S. Nonproliferation Policy toward Israel, South Africa, and Pakistan

| Summer 2015

Many accounts suggest that the United States did little to prevent Israel, Pakistan, and South Africa from developing nuclear weapons. These accounts are flawed, however. The United States did attempt to stop all three countries from acquiring the bomb and, when those efforts failed, to halt additional proliferation measures such as further testing and weaponization.

US and Ukrainian soldiers stand guard during opening ceremony of the 'Fiarles Guardian - 2015', Ukrainian-US Peacekeeping and Security command and staff training, in western Ukraine, in Lviv region, Monday, April 20, 2015.

(AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

Magazine Article - The National Interest

Russia and America: Stumbling to War

| May-June 2015

In the United States and Europe, many believe that the best way to prevent Russia’s resumption of its historic imperial mission is to assure the independence of Ukraine. They insist that the West must do whatever is required to stop the Kremlin from establishing direct or indirect control over that country. Otherwise, they foresee Russia reassembling the former Soviet empire and threatening all of Europe. Conversely, in Russia, many claim that while Russia is willing to recognize Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity (with the exception of Crimea), Moscow will demand no less than any other great power would on its border. Security on its western frontier requires a special relationship with Ukraine and a degree of deference expected in major powers’ spheres of influence. More specifically, Russia’s establishment sentiment holds that the country can never be secure if Ukraine joins NATO or becomes a part of a hostile Euro-Atlantic community. From their perspective, this makes Ukraine’s nonadversarial status a nonnegotiable demand for any Russia powerful enough to defend its national-security interests.

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Correspondence: Secrecy, Civil-Military Relations, and India's Nuclear Weapons Program

    Authors:
  • Anit Mukherjee
  • George Perkovich
  • Gaurav Kampani
| Winter 2014/15

Anit Mukherjee and George Perkovich respond to Gaurav Kampani's spring 2014 International Security article, "New Delhi's Long Nuclear Journey: How Secrecy and International Roadblocks Delayed India's Weaponization."

Gas centrifuges for uranium enrichment recovered en route to Libya in 2003.

U.S. Department of Energy

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

The Nonproliferation Emperor Has No Clothes: The Gas Centrifuge, Supply-Side Controls, and the Future of Nuclear Proliferation

| Spring 2014

Policymakers have long focused on preventing nuclear weapons proliferation by controlling technology. Even developing countries, however, may now possess the technical ability to create nuclear weapons. The history of gas centrifuge development in twenty countries supports this perspective. To reduce the demand for nuclear weapons, policymakers will have look toward the cultural, normative, and political organization of the world.

In this Sept. 24, 2010, file photo the National Cybersecurity & Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) prepares for the Cyber Storm III exercise at its operations center in Arlington, Va.

AP Photo

Magazine Article - Bulletin of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

The Future of Power

| Spring 2011

"The conventional wisdom among those who looked at the Middle East used to be that you had a choice either of supporting the autocrat or being stuck with the religious extremists. The extraordinary diffusion of information created in Egypt and other Middle Eastern countries reveals a strong middle that we weren't fully aware of. What is more, new technologies allow this new middle to coordinate in ways unseen before Twitter, Facebook, and so forth, and this could lead to a very different politics of the Middle East. This introduces a new complexity to our government's dealings with the region."

Turkey's Ambassador Ertugrul Apakan votes against sanctioning Iran during a session of the United Nations Security Council,  June 9, 2010.

AP Photo

Journal Article - Middle East Policy

The Balance of Power in the Persian Gulf: An Iranian View

| Fall 2010

"...[W]hile the traditional form of balance of power between Iran and Iraq provided security for the Arab states of the Persian Gulf, it favored the interests of foreign actors, especially the United States. Proponents of such a view hold that following the overthrow of the Baathist regime in Iraq and the growth of Iran's role and influence in the region, the international community ought to establish a new kind of balance of power to restrain the Islamic Republic of Iran, and thereby preserve the security of the region. Following its failure to redefine the position of the new Iraq in terms of a new balance of power, the United States has itself tried to play such a role in the region. U.S. efforts to minimize Iran's role within the context of the new balance of power have consequently created another security dilemma in the Persian Gulf."

This image provided by the U.S. Department of Defense shows an infrared image of the Missile Defense Agency’s Airborne Laser Testbed, right point, destroying a target missile, left point, on Feb. 11, 2010.

AP Photo

Journal Article - China Security

Space, Stability and Nuclear Strategy: Rethinking Missile Defense

| Forthcoming Summer 2010

"...[T]he United States has spent several tens of billions of dollars on missile defense research-and yet China, Iran, North Korea and possibly others have continued to pursue increasingly effective long-range ballistic capabilities. If missile defenses are a deterrent, why do US competitors-to say nothing of outright enemies-seem undeterred?"

Journal Article - Brown Journal of World Affairs

Offshore Balancing or International Institutions? The Way Forward for U.S. Foreign Policy

| Fall/Winter 2007

G. John Ikenberry, professor of politics and international affairs at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School, and Stephen Walt, professor of international affairs at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government, participated in a debate at the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University on May 8, 2007. Christopher Lydon hosted the debate.