Nuclear Issues

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Wearing traditional Kazakh costumes on the shoulders, from left, U.S. astronaut Michael Hopkins and Russia's cosmonauts Oleg Kotov and Sergey Ryazansky attend a press conference in Karaganda, Kazakhstan, Tuesday, March 11, 2014, shortly after their landing aboard Soyuz TMA-10M capsule. Hopkins together with the two Russia's cosmonauts landed safely in the Kazakh steppe aboard a Russian Soyuz capsule after a stay of over five months aboard the International Space Station. (AP Photo/Vasily Maximov, pool)

AP Photo/Vasily Maximov, pool

Analysis & Opinions - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

US-Russian space cooperation: a model for nuclear security

| Mar. 07, 2017

This interdependence between the US and Russian space programs persists even though the two countries are now living through what some pundits describe as a new Cold War. There was a time not so long ago, however, when the two nations viewed space solely as an area of strategic competition. The steps that Washington and Moscow took to transform their space rivalry into cooperation can serve today as a model for working together to help prevent nuclear terrorism, no matter how strained relations may seem.

Announcement - Managing the Atom Project, Belfer Center

2016-2017 Harvard Nuclear Policy Fellowships

| December 15, 2015

The Project on Managing the Atom offers fellowships for pre-doctoral, post-doctoral, and mid-career researchers for one year, with a possibility for renewal, in the stimulating environment of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School. The online application for 2016-2017 fellowships opened December 15, 2015, and the application deadline is January 15, 2016. Recommendation letters are due by February 1, 2016.

Chinese astronaut Yang Liwei, Nov. 9, 2012. China's astronauts remain banned from the International Space Station.

Wikimedia Commons

Analysis & Opinions - ISN Blog

Can Trust-Building Be Risk Free?

| November 29, 2013

"if both the top-down and bottom-up methods of trust building are never going to be risk free, is there a more plausible third option? For example, what if Washington and Beijing forget about trust-building and instead opt for a relationship based on mutual deterrence? Unfortunately, the risks of this option — arms racing, a return to a Cold War-like MAD doctrine, and forever teetering on the brink of conventional conflict — might not just upend US-China relations, they might sabotage regional and global security as well."

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.

- Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School Quarterly Journal: International Security

Paul Doty's Legacy Lives on Through Influential Journal

| Spring 2012

As soon as Paul Doty launched what is now Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs in 1974, he began planning a scholarly journal on international security. He shrugged off colleagues’ concerns that there would be little market for such a journal.Thirty-six years after the first issue appeared in the summer of 1976, the Belfer Center’s quarterly International Security consistently ranks No. 1 or No. 2 out of over 70 international affairs journals surveyed by Thomson Reuters each year.

U.S. Navy Captain James W. Kilby in the control room of the Guided Missile Carrier USS Monterey, docked in Antwerp, Belgium, on Mar. 31, 2011. It is the first ship to become a part of the European Phased Adaptive Approach of the missile defense mission.

AP Photo

Analysis & Opinions - World Politics Review

Academic Stovepipes Undermine U.S. Security

| April 14, 2011

"Missile defense represents the most severe collision of space, nuclear weapons and politics. Accustomed to technological miracles, Americans assume that technical problems can always be fixed with enough money. Engineers are not asked if missile defense is a viable solution to the horrific threat of nuclear warheads carried on missiles, and political analysts do not care about the difficulties involved in developing hardware. In the end, this disconnect could produce a situation where a U.S. president is asked to rely on a system that technical experts cannot assure him will work but that political advisers insist must be brandished."

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?"

President Barack Obama greets German Chancellor Angela Merkel during the official arrivals for the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, April 12, 2010.

AP Photo

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

A Call for German Leadership in Combating Nuclear Terrorism

| April 12, 2010

"...Germany has an opportunity at the Washington summit — and thereafter — to step up and lend non-American leadership to the problem. Recognizing that in many of the world's capitals the threat of nuclear terrorism is not yet being taken seriously, and when in some of them the very notion is even considered an American pretext for an entirely different, potentially hostile political agenda, non-American leadership is most urgently needed."

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