62 Items

President Barack Obama gets direction from his science advisor John P. Holdren during an event on the South Lawn of the White House to explore the stars with middle school students.

Reuters

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

Spotlight on John P. Holdren

| Fall/Winter 2016-2017

As assistant to the president for science and technology, director of the White House Office for Science and Technology Policy, and co-chair of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), Holdren has worked closely with Obama to reinvigorate America’s scientific capabilities on a range of policy fronts, from climate change and renewable energy to health care and nanotechnology.

China’s Nuclear Security: Progress, Challenges, and Next Steps

REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

Report - Managing the Atom Project, Belfer Center

China’s Nuclear Security: Progress, Challenges, and Next Steps

| March 28, 2016

In a new report from the Project on Managing the Atom, Senior Research Associate Hui Zhang finds that China has made important nuclear security improvements in areas ranging from its legal framework, to its approaches to physical protection and material accounting, to bolstering nuclear security culture. But China also faces ongoing threats. The possibility of insider theft of nuclear materials in China cannot be ruled out, espe­cially as China increasingly grows into a market-oriented society contending with corruption. Zhang also notes that Beijing faces a growing terrorism threat from separatists in China’s autonomous Xinjiang region.

A transporter erector launcher (TEL), carrying four Babur cruise missiles, on display at the IDEAS 2008 defence exhibition, Karachi, Pakistan.

Skybolt101 Photo CC

Journal Article - Conflict, Security & Development

Do Nuclear Weapons Affect the Guns-butter Trade-off? Evidence on Nuclear Substitution from Pakistan and Beyond

| 2015

Scholars have argued that acquiring nuclear weapons should allow states the luxury of exiting conventional arms races. In turn, a decreased budgetary focus on conventional arms should make possible greater spending on social welfare. The author contests this logic of nuclear substitution by examining its most likely exponent, Pakistan. As a poor, underdeveloped state, a nuclear Pakistan should have welcomed the opportunity to cease its arms race with India, and spend greater sums on its population's welfare. Instead, the article shows that Pakistan has doubled down on its pre-nuclear conventional posture, mainly because of its revisionism over Kashmir.

Analysis & Opinions - Real Clear Defense

How an Iran Hawk Lets IS Off the Hook

| August 22, 2014

"Iran...may not have been the United States' best friend in the past three and a half decades, but it remains a legitimate nation-state. It has a political system with a series of checks and balances and some level of accountability and debate. Importantly, Iran can be deterred. Ideology is certainly a driver behind Tehran's decision-making, but its national interests dictate much of its actions. These interests in turn do not always converge with those of the United States, nor do they always conflict."

Analysis & Opinions - Nuclear Security Matters

Beyond the Summits: The Way Forward for Nuclear Security in the Middle East

| April 11, 2014

"This short piece provides a number of recommendations for countries in the region to strengthen nuclear security through a regional process, independent of a global one. In addition to enhancing nuclear security and ensuring that nuclear materials and weapons do not fall into the hands of terrorists, our approach would also help establish confidence and security-building measures in a region that lacks both security and confidence."

Report - Managing the Atom Project, Belfer Center

Advancing Nuclear Security: Evaluating Progress and Setting New Goals

In the lead-up to the nuclear security summit, Advancing Nuclear Security: Evaluating Progress and Setting New Goals outlines what was accomplished in a four-year effort launched in 2009 to secure nuclear material around the globe—and what remains to be done. The effort made significant progress, but some weapons-usable nuclear materials still remain “dangerously vulnerable." The authors highlight the continuing danger of nuclear and radiological terrorism and call for urgent action.

Armed guards and police protecting a spent fuel convoy while at a stopping point.

Ministry of Public Security (Ch)

Report - Managing the Atom Project, Belfer Center

Securing China's Nuclear Future

| March 14, 2014

China’s approach to strengthening the security of its nuclear weapons, materials, and facilities plays an important role in facilitating strong global action on nuclear security. This report provides a better understanding of Chinese perceptions of the threat of nuclear terrorism and attitudes toward the nuclear security challenge; describes the current status of nuclear security practices in China and of planned improvements in rules and organization, management, and technologies; and recommends steps for further improvements.

Journal Article - Science & Global Security

Securing China’s Weapon-Usable Nuclear Materials

| Feb 18, 2014

This article describes the status of China’s military and civilian nuclear programs, fissile material production and associated nuclear facilities, and the Chinese nuclear experts and officials’ perspectives on the nuclear terrorism threat. It gives details of China’s nuclear security practices, attitudes, and regulations, as well as identifying areas of concern. The article recommends ways to strengthen China’s nuclear material protection, control, and accounting systems and suggests opportunities for increased international cooperation.

Report - Brookings Institution

Foresight Africa: Top Priorities for the Continent in 2014

| January 2014

As Africa's position in the world continues to grow and evolve in 2014, the Brookings Africa Growth Initiative continues its tradition of asking its experts and colleagues to identify what they consider to be the key issues for Africa in the coming year.

Book Chapter - Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College

Beyond Crises: The Unending Challenge of Controlling Nuclear Weapons and Materials

| July 30, 2013

This chapter explores how nuclear security measures evolved in the United States, drawing lessons about the factors that lead states to improve their nuclear security approaches—a crucial question for today's efforts to convince states around the world to beef up nuclear security.