Nuclear Issues

140 Items

FBI agents leave a raid in Trenton, N.J. on July 19, 2012

Julio Cortez/AP

Discussion Paper - Managing the Atom Project, Belfer Center

The Long Arm

| February 2019

The networks of middlemen and intermediaries involved in the illicit procurement of weapons of mass destruction (WMD)-related goods and technologies often operate outside of the United States, which presents several legal and political challenges regarding U.S. trade control enforcement activities. This report considers the extraterritorial efforts of U.S. law enforcement in counterproliferation-related activities and their implications. In other words, how does the United States contend with violations of its weapons of mass destruction (WMD)-related trade controls in overseas jurisdictions, and what are the implications for broader U.S. and international nonproliferation efforts, as well as wider international security and economic concerns? 

An unarmed Minuteman 3 ICBM launches from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California on Wednesday, August 2, 2107. (Senior Airman Ian Dudley/Vandenberg Air Force Base via AP)

Senior Airman Ian Dudley/Vandenberg Air Force Base via AP

Analysis & Opinions - The New York Times

Pentagon Suggests Countering Devastating Cyberattacks With Nuclear Arms

| Jan. 16, 2018

A newly drafted United States nuclear strategy that has been sent to President Trump for approval would permit the use of nuclear weapons to respond to a wide range of devastating but non-nuclear attacks on American infrastructure, including what current and former government officials described as the most crippling kind of cyberattacks.

Karbala Iraq Shia

David Stanley/Flickr

Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Affairs

Iran's Axis of Resistance Rises: How It's Forging a New Middle East

| Jan. 24, 2017

In 2006, in the midst of a fierce war between Israel and the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice famously stated that the world was witnessing the “birth pangs of a new Middle East.” She was right—but not in the sense she had hoped. Instead of disempowering Hezbollah and its sponsor, Iran, the war only augmented the strength and prestige of what is known as the “axis of resistance,” a power bloc that includes Iran, Iraq, Syria, Hezbollah, and Hamas in Palestine.

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

Relations with Iran: Questions to Consider

Spring 2016

With the successful implementation of the historic nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1, a new chapter has opened between Iran and the international community, including the United States. Nevertheless, the future path of bilateral relations between the United States and Iran is uncertain and many challenges exist as the two countries attempt to formulate new terms of engagement. What should U.S. policy be towards Iran after the nuclear agreement? Can the agree­ment open the door to effective collaboration on areas of mutual interest, especially given the rising security challenges and rapidly changing dynamics of the Middle East? Or, will strategic rivalries between Iran and the United States con­tinue to shape and impede cooperation?

Ahmadinejad Iran

Wikimedia Commons

Book Chapter - Indiana University Press

Factionalism, Privatization, and the Political Economy of Regime Transformation

| March 2016

This chapter explores the complexity of political processes in Iran and assesses the degree of change and continuity in the Iranian political system in light of the tumultuous events unfolding since 2009. Why have elite power relations in Iran been unsettled, and what is the impact of these factional fluctuations of power and processes of change on the institutional structure of the Iranian regime itself? It is critical to ask whether the manner by which institutional alteration occurs within the regime was conducive to the long-term monopolization of power by a single political faction. If so, has the multifactional and competitive nature of the regime been replaced by one of dictatorship, as may have appeared to be the case? Or, is the regime’s system of elite conflict management and institutional restraint a durable feature that will persist in the foreseeable future?

Iranian naval vessels excercising during war drills.

(YPA.IR)

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

Can Iran Stay Anti-American?

| January 22, 2016

The dramatic seizure of American navy sailors in the Persian Gulf by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards could have endangeredImplementation Day—when on January 16 Iranian compliance with the nuclear agreement so far was verified and the international sanctions against Iran lifted. Instead of derailing the deal, however, the Guards used the incident, as well as the highly publicized prisoner swap, as symbolic events to send the world a message.By detaining the vessels and broadcasting images of its crew to a global audience, the Guards used the opportunity to reveal the future path of Iranian foreign policy in the wake of the nuclear agreement—a path that can be best described as ‘pragmatic revolutionism.’

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

Welcome Mr. Secretary

Fall/Winter 2015-16

The Belfer Center hosted Secretary of State John Kerry in October for a discussion of diplomacy and challenges in critical hotspots around the globe.

Center Director Graham Allison asked Secretary Kerry about his concerns and plans related to Iran, Syria, Russia, and the Islamic State. The overflow event included questions from the more than 500 Harvard students and faculty in attendance.