Nuclear Issues

120 Items

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.

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting with Russian businessmen in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Monday, Dec. 19, 2016.

(AP)

Analysis & Opinions - The National Interest

A Blueprint for Donald Trump to Fix Relations with Russia

| December 18, 2016

In a "policy memo" to President-elect Donald Trump, Graham Allison and Dimitri K. Simes write: "The two Chinese characters that make up the word “crisis” can be interpreted as meaning both “danger” and “opportunity.” Russia today offers your administration not only a serious challenge but a significant opportunity.

Russia is no longer the Evil Empire the United States confronted over decades of Cold War. Nonetheless, Russia remains a player whose choices affect vital U.S. interests profoundly across the agenda of global issues. First and foremost, Russia remains the only nation that can erase the United States from the map in thirty minutes.

Blog Post - Nuclear Security Matters

India and the Nuclear Security Summit

    Author:
  • Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan
| Apr. 26, 2016

The fourth and final Nuclear Security Summit took place in Washington DC from March 31-April 01, 2016.  Despite the initial apprehension about the summits in certain parts of the world, it has been a useful process.  With more than 50 countries represented from across the world, the summits elevated the level of awareness of nuclear security. Leaders of established nuclear states began to think about nuclear security in a new way, reducing complacency about the risks of terrorism and sabotage.  This thinking took shape in national and multilateral commitments in areas including nuclear security regulation, physical protection of nuclear materials, nuclear forensics, protection against nuclear smuggling, and insider threats and nuclear terrorism.

Blog Post - Nuclear Security Matters

What Can the Secret Service Teach Us About Nuclear Security?

| Jan. 12, 2015

One of the more notable storylines throughout 2014 was the continued failures of the U.S. Secret Service. There were three striking high profile lapses in the Secret Service’s ability to protect President Obama: one where a man jumped over the White House fence, running through the front door of the White House and throughout its main floor; another where an armed man with an arrest record was able to ride on the same elevator as the President; and another where a man posing as a Member of Congress was able  to sneak into a secured area where the President was speaking. Towards the end of the year, problems within the Secret Service became a hotly debated political football, resulting in the resignation of the Service’s director.

Blog Post - Nuclear Security Matters

Nuclear Security Literacy in a Post-Cold War Age

| Feb. 13, 2014

When the Cold War ended, much of the world seemed to breathe a momentary sigh of relief. The greatest existential threat in human history, that of an all-out nuclear holocaust, appeared to have practically vanished overnight. Soon it became clear that we were not quite out of the woods yet. State-versus-state tensions between the United States and Russia did not completely dissipate. New nuclear powers, like Pakistan and North Korea, emerged publicly, and suspicions about potential future nuclear powers abound. The threat of nuclear terrorism, something which had been discussed publicly since the late 1960s, took on a new relevance in the face of threats about loose fissile material and extremist terrorism.  And the global effects of even a regional nuclear exchange, such as one in South Asia, became more acutely appreciated.

The eternal flame shines in the early morning light at the grave of John F. Kennedy at Arlington National Cemetery on Friday, Nov. 22, 2013, on the 50th anniversary of Kennedy's death.

(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Analysis & Opinions - CNN

What would JFK have done about Iran?

| November 22, 2013

As we mark the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, it is instructive to consider what he might have done if faced with the Iranian nuclear challenge today.

In what historians agree was his “finest hour,” Kennedy successfully led the U.S. through the most dangerous confrontation in history, the Cuban missile crisis of 1962.  The odds of war were, in Kennedy’s view, “between 1 in 3 and even.”

When the Soviet Union was found emplacing nuclear-tipped missiles in Cuba, 90 miles off American shores, Kennedy declared that totally unacceptable — as President Obama has declared an Iranian nuclear bomb.  The question was how to eliminate this danger without war.

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

First HKS HarvardX Course Lets Students Advise on Syria, NSA Leaks, and Iran

| September 4, 2013

Imagine you are an aide to President Obama, making a recommendation about what he should do to confront the toughest foreign policy crises on the agenda: whether to launch military strikes against the Syrian regime; how to minimize the damage from NSA surveillance leaks; how to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons.

Making such hard choices has long been the core of the oversubscribed Harvard Kennedy School Course, IGA-211: “Central Challenges of American National Security, Strategy and the Press” that Graham Allison and David Sanger are teaching this fall. Harvard graduate students, playing the roles of senior White House advisers, write and then defend strategy memos on how the U.S. should act in these cases.

Now, for the first time, anyone can audit an online version of this course, called HKS211.1x. In addition, 500 successful applicants will be able to enroll and complete weekly assignments, join discussion groups, and earn a certificate of mastery if they pass. Both of these options are available for free through edX, the non-profit online education enterprise founded by Harvard and MIT.