432 Events

Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin in Helsinki in July 2018.

Wikimedia Commons

Seminar - Open to the Public

The Future World Order: Arms Control

Fri., Sep. 25, 2020 | 12:30pm - 2:00pm

Online

The Project on Managing the Atom and International Security Program at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs will host a discussion on the future of arms control, as part of a new HKS series on The Future World Order.  The participants will be Emma Belcher (Ploughshares Fund), Matthew Bunn (Belfer Center/Managing the Atom) and Steven E. Miller (Belfer Center/International Security Program).  Professor Stephen Walt (Belfer Center/ISP) will moderate.

The session is open to the public.  Please RSVP below for access to the Zoom link.

Cascade of gas centrifuges used to produce enriched uranium in the U.S. gas centrifuge plant in Piketon, Ohio, 1984.

DOE Photo

Seminar - Open to the Public

A-Bomb for the People: Domestic Drivers of Nuclear Latency

Thu., June 4, 2020 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

Online

Speakers: Rebecca Davis Gibbons, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom; Ariel Petrovics, Stanton Nuclear Security Postdoctoral Fellow, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom

Though only nine states in the world today are believed to possess their own nuclear weapons, many more states have the capability to pursue a nuclear bomb if they choose. This capability – or nuclear latency – has recently drawn attention in international relations scholarship, which largely focuses on the effects of latency on international deterrence, compellence, and bargaining. While this research helps explain the security benefits and motives that may drive states to pursue nuclear capabilities short of the bomb, it has yet to determine how domestic politics play into these considerations. This project explores how public opinion factors into state decisions to pursue or forgo latent nuclear capabilities. In doing so, it seeks to offer new insight into when and why latency can become a salient topic to domestic audiences, and the implications of these domestic drivers for the future of nonproliferation.

Everyone is welcome to join us online via Zoom! Please register in advance for this seminar:
https://harvard.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJwuc-qrqj4pG90vSX2_VoG35zaE6L6mkPQt

A nuclear advanced designated marksman assists in a launch facility exercise.

USAF/Beau Wade, 341st Missile Wing Public Affairs

Seminar - Open to the Public

A Sense of Purpose: The Bedrock of the U.S. Nuclear Deterrent

Thu., May 21, 2020 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

Online

Speaker: Lt. Col. William C. Smith, Research Fellow, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom

How do leaders motivate Airmen to give their best to perform this unsung duty, day after day, for years at a time? A recent study found clarity of purpose to be the basis of verifiable mission success, purposeful leadership, and esprit de corps, which suggests that clearly communicating the higher purpose of their work to Airmen would help them find meaning in their tasks. A sense that their work is meaningful, the result of internalizing a higher purpose, underpins the safety and security cultures critical to a successful nuclear enterprise. The speaker will build on their findings by introducing five leadership concepts, identifying the particular importance each plays in providing a credible nuclear deterrent, and offering an effective method for implementation. These principles have broad application to organizational leadership as a whole, and if collectively and effectively implemented, would provide the bedrock for safe, secure, and effective nuclear operations.

Everyone is welcome to join us online via Zoom! Please register in advance for this seminar:
https://harvard.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJEvdO-sqT4oH9VljkvSrgNBBGATIdqGjGBY

First meeting of the Preparatory Committee for the Review Conference of the Parties to the NPT, United Nations, Geneva, Switzerland, 1 April 1974.

UN Photo

Seminar - Open to the Public

After the Negotiations: Understanding Multilateral Nuclear Arms Control

Thu., May 14, 2020 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

Online

Speaker: Stephen Herzog, Stanton Nuclear Security Predoctoral Fellow, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom

Arms control has languished as a field of academic inquiry, despite a renaissance in nuclear security studies and significant advances in understanding proliferation. Few studies have attempted to emulate past academic shaping of arms control agreements and outcomes, with particularly limited emphasis on multilateral efforts. This is a problematic situation as the world looks beyond bilateral U.S.–Russian arms control toward the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty (FMCT), Middle East Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone (MENWFZ), and even the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). The speaker attempts to fill this gap by offering a theory of state entry into multilateral nuclear arms control agreements.

Everyone is welcome to join us online via Zoom! Please register in advance for this seminar:
https://harvard.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJEtc-mrqz8jH9coGNTF7bloNM75UeKB3bJW

The USS Pennsylvania, a nuclear-armed Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine

U.S. Navy Photo

Seminar - Open to the Public

Nuclear Platform Diversification: A New Dataset

Thu., May 7, 2020 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

Online

Speakers: Giles David Arceneaux, Postdoctoral Fellow, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom

Kyungwon Suh, Ph.D. candidate, Department of Political Science, Syracuse University

The deterrent capacity of a state's nuclear forces is dependent upon the platforms and delivery systems that constitute the arsenal. The mere possession of nuclear weapons does not provide a robust deterrent and nuclear states cannot credibly deter potential adversaries with nuclear threats in the absence of adequate delivery capabilities. The project presents a new dataset that measures the possession of seven nuclear delivery platforms across all nuclear powers from 1945–2019, including: submarine-launched missiles, strategic land-mobile missiles, strategic solid-fuel missiles, nuclear cruise missiles, multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles, long-range ballistic missiles, and tactical nuclear weapons.

Everyone is welcome to join us online via Zoom! Please register in advance for this seminar: https://harvard.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJcsf-6uqTwoHdZZJ3qqoP1Ohy78rsXBc5en

President Donald J. Trump signs an EO on Iran Sanctions in the Green Room at Trump National Golf Club, August 5, 2018, in Bedminster Township, New Jersey.

White House Photo/Shealah Craighead

Seminar - Open to the Public

Turning Paper Screws: The Effectiveness of Economic Sanctions in International Security

Thu., Apr. 9, 2020 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

Online

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

Economic sanctions are one of the most common coercive tools of foreign policy, used regularly in an effort to change target state behavior. Yet despite their versatility and prevalence in international relations, sanctions are at best an unreliable tool of foreign policy. Indeed, many of the most important and publicized sanction attempts have failed to produce any desired change in the target. Existing literature on the effectiveness of sanctions has largely focused on whether or not sanctions eventually succeed, but this overlooks the arguable more policy relevant questions of when and under what conditions sanctions are effective tools of statecraft. The speaker's research  finds that sanctions with the greatest implications for international security such as those that combat nuclear proliferation or foreign military aggression fail even more catastrophically than their less salient counterparts.

Everyone is welcome to join us online via Zoom! Click here. Meeting ID number: 810311271

The U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Lexington (CVA-16) underway in the Western Pacific, with Carrier Air Group 21 (CVG-21), on 16 August 1958. Just 8 days later, on 24 August, Communist Chinese artillery began shelling the Nationalist Chinese islands of Quemoy and Matsu, prompting the Blue Ghost's (as Lexington was called) deployment to the Taiwan Straits at various times during the next 4 months, along with other units of the U.S. Seventh Fleet.

U.S. Navy

Seminar - Open to the Public

Playing with Fire: Provocation, Signaling, and Unwanted Crisis Escalation

Thu., Oct. 17, 2019 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

One Brattle Square - Room 350

Speaker: Hyun-Binn Cho, Postdoctoral  Research Fellow, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom

During international crises, states often take costly actions to signal resolve. Such coercive actions, however, can put greater political and psychological pressure on the opponent to counter-escalate. When costly signals are more "provocative," do they make unwanted crisis escalation more likely, or do they make the signal-sender look tough and help induce the opponent to back down? Indeed, why do states sometimes appear to deliberately engage in provocative actions to demonstrate resolve? This seminar addresses these puzzles using game-theoretic analysis and two case studies of crises involving China and the United States.

Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

Yellow cake uranium is a solid form of uranium oxide produced from uranium ore. Yellow cake must be processed further before it is made into nuclear fuel.

Wikimedia CC/Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Seminar - Open to the Public

Foreign Skeletons in Nuclear Closets: Implications for Policy and Verification

Thu., May 23, 2019 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

One Brattle Square - Room 350

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

Most successful nuclear weapons programs have benefited from significant foreign assistance for the acquisition of nuclear materials, sensitive equipment, and know-how. Such assistance is often kept secret, even after states decide to put an end to their nuclear weapons programs or ambitions. This seminar will discuss the policy and verification implications of this source of opacity on the reconstruction of past nuclear military activities as part of non-proliferation or denuclearization agreements.  It will build upon an historical and technical analysis of nuclear assistance between France, Israel, and South Africa and conclude by discussing the impact of discovering previously hidden information on existing policies and ongoing diplomatic processes.

Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

A forklift shovels one-ton containers of mustard gas over the side of a barge somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean in 1964. The Army dumped millions of pounds of chemical warfare agent over decades in this way.

U.S. Army

Seminar - Open to the Public

WMD Disposal, Destruction, and Disarmament: The Reduction of U.S. Chemical and Nuclear Weapon Stockpiles

Thu., May 16, 2019 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

One Brattle Square - Room 350

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

States often spend vast sums on weapon production, yet have trouble mustering the resources necessary to eliminate stockpiled weapons for arms control and disarmament purposes. Stockpile reductions have proven particularly challenging with respect to weapons of mass destruction, for which weaponizability is embedded in materials rather than assembled devices. Their elimination commonly requires expensive, technologically demanding processes. U.S. chemical weapon and weapons plutonium stockpile reduction efforts provide useful case studies for investigation of the factors governing the success of reductions programs, as they faced similar challenges yet yielded divergent outcomes. This project involves comparative analysis of both reductions programs, focusing on the technical, organizational, and sociopolitical contexts that aided or hindered elimination.

Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

Weekly public audience, Pope Francis, Saint Peter's Square, May 2, 2018.

Wikimedia CC/Mariordo

Seminar - Open to the Public

The (Im)Morality of Deterrence: Questions for the Pope, Policymakers, and Practitioners

Thu., May 2, 2019 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm

One Brattle Square - Room 350

Speaker: Tory Kindrick, Research Fellow, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom

Policymakers and theorists have long debated the utility of nuclear deterrence as policy, while philosophers have debated its morality. In 2017, the leader of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis, declared the use of nuclear deterrence to be immoral, signing the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in his role as head of state of Vatican City. No nuclear weapons states have as yet signed the treaty. This discussion explores how moral views may facilitate and complicate policy discussion and considers questions for moral authorities, policymakers, and practitioners when contemplating the morality of deterrence.

Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

Co-Sponsored by Project on Managing the Atom