4 Events

Military vehicles carry DF-5B intercontinental ballistic missiles during a parade commemorating the 70th anniversary of Japan's surrender during World War II held in front of Tiananmen Gate in Beijing, Sept. 3, 2015.

Voice of America/Wikimedia Commons

Seminar - Open to the Public

Merits of Uncertainty: The Evolution and Future of China’s Nuclear Retaliatory Capability

Wed., Sep. 12, 2018 | 10:00am - 11:30am

Littauer Building - Fainsod Room, 324

Speaker: Wu Riqiang, Research Fellow with the International Security Program and Project on Managing the Atom   A simplified nuclear exchange model will be developed to evaluate China’s past and current nuclear retaliatory capability against the Soviet Union and the United States. The modeling suggests that according to Western standards, China’s nuclear retaliation has been and remains far from “assured.” This result reflects China’s special nuclear philosophy, which emphasizes the role of nuclear taboo and prioritizes political control over survivability. However, in the face of U.S. advances in the areas of counterforce and missile defense, China probably has to continue to improve its nuclear forces qualitatively and, if necessary, quantitatively, in order to maintain its deterrent level.

Blogtrepreneur/Flickr

Blogtrepreneur/Flickr

Seminar - Open to the Public

Solving the Jurisdictional Conundrum: The Use of Domestic Civil Courts to Disrupt Overseas Illicit Procurement

Wed., Apr. 4, 2018 | 10:00am - 11:30am

One Brattle Square - Room 350

Speaker: Aaron Arnold, Associate Project on Managing the Atom; Assistant Professor at Curry College

Over the past two decades, the United States has increasingly turned to targeted sanctions and export restrictions, such as those imposed against Iran and North Korea, in order to curb the spread of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). One vexing problem, however, is how to contend with jurisdictional hurdles when the violations occur overseas, in countries that are unable or unwilling to assist US enforcement efforts. To solve this problem, US prosecutors are turning to strategies with significant extraterritorial implications— that is, exercising legal authority beyond national borders. One such tool is to use civil legal procedures to seize assets linked to sanctions or export control violations in jurisdictions that lack cooperative arrangement with US enforcement agencies. While this may be an attractive strategy to bolster enforcement efforts against overseas illicit procurement such tools are not without consequence.

Gas centrifuges for uranium enrichment recovered from the BBC China in Italy, en route to Libya, in 2003. They were later taken to the Y-12 complex in the USA where this picture was taken (with a Y-12 guard also in the picture).

U.S. Department of Energy

Seminar - Open to the Public

Countering WMD-related Illicit Trade: Insights from White Collar and Business Crime

Wed., Mar. 7, 2018 | 10:00am - 11:30am

Littauer Building - Fainsod Room, 324

Speaker: Daniel Salisbury, Stanton Nuclear Security Postdoctoral Fellow, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom

Individuals and entities from the private sector have long contributed to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), acting as middlemen and suppliers. Over the past decades, trade in WMD-related goods has become increasingly regulated, and illicit trade increasingly criminalized. Despite the clear role that these actors have played in recent proliferation cases, supplying North Korea and Iran among others, the conceptual literature on proliferation behavior has largely continued to focus on the state level. This seminar will draw on concepts from criminology, and particularly the study of white collar crime, to provide insights into the behavior of these non-state suppliers and middlemen, and to generate more effective means of countering their activities.