64 Items

Journal Article - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

New Ways to Detect Nuclear Misbehavior

| Jan. 08, 2018

If we had the technology to detect nuclear materials remotely it could help deter smuggling and make it easier to monitor international nuclear agreements. Several recent breakthroughs, if followed up with continued research and funding, could deliver on this promise. They include technological advances in x-ray and neutron radiography; a method that measures how plasma breaks down when exposed to a radioactive source; and developments in antineutrino detection. While all require more development and testing, they are important steps as the global need for ways to detect nuclear materials grows.

Announcement - Managing the Atom Project, Belfer Center

2016-2017 Harvard Nuclear Policy Fellowships

| December 15, 2015

The Project on Managing the Atom offers fellowships for pre-doctoral, post-doctoral, and mid-career researchers for one year, with a possibility for renewal, in the stimulating environment of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School. The online application for 2016-2017 fellowships opened December 15, 2015, and the application deadline is January 15, 2016. Recommendation letters are due by February 1, 2016.

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.

Kargil War Memorial by the Indian Army at Drass, India, 26 June 2013. The Kargil War was an armed conflict between India and Pakistan that occurred May–July 1999 in the Kargil district of Kashmir and elsewhere along the Line of Control.

Mail2arunjith Photo CC

Journal Article - Journal of Conflict Resolution

Questioning the Effect of Nuclear Weapons on Conflict

| February, 2015

The authors examine the effect of nuclear weapons on interstate conflict. Using more appropriate methodologies than have previously been used, they find that dyads in which both states possess nuclear weapons are not significantly less likely to fight wars, nor are they significantly more or less belligerent at low levels of conflict.

Analysis & Opinions - The National Interest

The Sanctions Delusion

| Dec. 08, 2014

"The United States is overestimating its leverage with sanctions in negotiating a nuclear agreement with Iran—a gamble bound to fail. A second deadline has slipped without a comprehensive agreement between the P5+1 and Iran, and hawkish rhetoric in the U.S. underscores a growing pessimism for successful negotiations by the next deadline in June 2015. Calls to strengthen sanctions highlight waning Congressional support for the talks, and buttress a narrow and unrealistic narrative that economic deprivation will force concessions. Any new sanctions, especially those proposed under the draconian Nuclear Iran Prevention Act, threaten to derail negotiations while providing cannon fodder for Iran’s hardliners..."

Policy Brief - Stanley Foundation

Strengthening International Cooperation on Nuclear Materials Security

| Nov. 04, 2014

The Stanley Foundation convened a group of experts and policymakers from the United States and abroad to address these issues October 15–17, 2014, at its 55th annual Strategy for Peace Conference. The group discussed overcoming challenges to nuclear security cooperation faced by the United States, Russia, and China, and next steps in ensuring that countries put in place effective and sustainable nuclear security measures with strong security cultures. This policy memo offers highlights of the discussion and recommendations of roundtable participants.

Analysis & Opinions - Managing the Atom Project, Belfer Center

Imagining a Post-Sanctions Iran

| October 8, 2014

Financial sanctions against Iran are contributing to the growth of regional criminal networks, which use fraud, bribery, and corruption to facilitate commerce. From airplane parts and medical equipment, to specialized materials for weapons programs, an intricate underground economy of financial and logistic intermediaries play a critical role in helping Iran circumvent Western sanctions. Do not expect this to change in a post-sanctions world...

Journal Article - Geopolitics, History, and International Relations

Iran and Weapons of Mass Destruction: The Military Dynamics of Non-Proliferation

| 2014

Weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) are not suitable for the Iranian Army, given its non-mechanized nature; its defensive military posture; its current status as a non-nuclear weapon state; and its sufficient conventional preparation to meet its protective security interests. This paper proposes three interlinked policy approaches to resolve the current impasse.

Analysis & Opinions - The Hill

Arms control: Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater

| Aug. 07, 2014

"The Obama administration has released a report formally charging Russia with violating the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. This comes in the midst of a drumbeat of negative Russia news, from arming rebels in Ukraine and annexing Crimea to propping up the brutal dictatorship in Syria and hosting Edward Snowden. To some, the INF issue will be seen as more evidence that it’s impossible to deal with Vladimir Putin’s Russia."