Nuclear Issues

9 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.

US Secretary of State John Kerry (right) and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif meet in Paris to discuss the Iranian nuclear deal.

United States Department of State

Analysis & Opinions - The National Interest

Assessing an Iran Deal: 5 Big Lessons from History

| July 7, 2015

As the policy community prepares to assess an agreement between the U.S. and its P5+1 partners and Iran, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker asked me to review the history of analogous agreements for lessons that illuminate the current challenge. In response to his assignment, I reviewed the seven decades of the nuclear era, during which the U.S. negotiated arms-control treaties, including the Non-Proliferation Treaty of 1968; strategic arms limitation talks and agreements from SALT to New Start; the North Korean accord of 1994; the agreements that helped eliminate nuclear weapons in Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Belarus in the early 1990s; and the pact that eliminated the Libyan nuclear weapons program in 2003.

Among many lessons and clues from this instructive history, five stand out

Analysis & Opinions - The Washington Post

Saving the World at Plutonium Mountain

| August 16, 2013

Last October, at the foot of a rocky hillside near here, at a spot known as Degelen Mountain, several dozen Kazakh, Russian and American nuclear scientists and engineers gathered for a ceremony. The modest ribbon-cutting marked the conclusion of one of the largest and most complex nuclear security operations since the Cold War — to secure plutonium (enough to build a dozen or more nuclear weapons) that Soviet authorities had buried at the testing site years before and forgotten, leaving it vulnerable to terrorists and rogue states. The effort spanned 17 years, cost $150 million and involved a complex mix of intelligence, science, engineering, politics and sleuthing. This op-ed is based on documents and interviews with Kazakh, Russian and U.S. participants, and reveals the scope of the operation for the first time.

Analysis & Opinions - The Diplomat

Russia, China on 'Wrong Side of History' in Arab World

| October 29, 2012

"China, a great power in the making, and Russia, a fading but nonetheless aspiring power, have repeatedly positioned themselves on 'the wrong side of history' in regard to the Iranian nuclear program, events in Syria, and more. Great power status confers not just prestige and influence, but also a need to share responsibility for international security and the 'global good.' With their uncaring pursuit of narrow national interests, neither is demonstrating a predilection to do so."

Book Chapter

A U.S.-Chinese Perspective

    Author:
  • C.H. Tung
| March 2009

"The United States is the most developed and strongest nation in the world. China is the largest and fastest developing nation. In the multilateral effort to overcome these challenges, a good and productive relationship between the United States and China is essential. Indeed, no bilateral relationship among major powers today would be more crucial in shaping global order and agenda than the one between China and the United States."

Journal Article - Washington Quarterly

The Day After: Action Following a Nuclear Blast in a U.S. City

Failure to develop a comprehensive contingency plan, such as the one proposed here, and inform the American public, where appropriate, about its particulars will only serve to amplify the devastating impact of any nuclear attack on a U.S. city

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Analysis & Opinions - The Scotsman

Nuclear and Present Danger

| January 29, 1996

ON 18 APRIL 1995, American terrorists demolished Oklahoma City's federal office building, killing 162 people. Two and a half years earlier, international terrorists attacked New York City's 110-storey World Trade Center. Had that explosion succeeded in undermining the structural foundation, 30,000 people would have died.

From Oklahoma City and the World Trade Center to the first act of nuclear terrorism is but one small step. Suppose that instead of mini-vans filled with hundreds of pounds of the crude explosives used in Oklahoma City and New York, terrorists had acquired a suitcase carrying a, grapefruit sized 100 pounds of highly-enriched uranium (HEV).