2636 Items

The main hall for the IAEA’s Talks on Supplying Nuclear Fuel for Iranian Research Reactor, Vienna, Austria, 19 October 2009. 

Dean Calma/IAEA

Paper

The Deal That Got Away: The 2009 Nuclear Fuel Swap with Iran

| January 2021

With concerns and uncertainties regarding Iran’s nuclear future persisting to this day, this paper seeks to review the TRR negotiations and the context in which they unfolded in order to capture some of the lessons of negotiating with Iran regarding its nuclear program, primarily from the viewpoint of senior U.S. officials involved at the time. The paper is also informed by the personal perspective of one of the authors (Poneman) who led the U.S. delegation in the 2009 Vienna talks, and who, prior to this publication, had not publicly elaborated on his experience. The other author (Nowrouzzadeh), who supported the TRR talks in an analytical capacity within the U.S. Department of Defense, also conducted an extensive interview with Poneman as part of their collaboration on this paper. By drawing on existing literature and recent interviews with several senior U.S. officials involved in the negotiations now that over ten years have passed, the authors seek to draw useful lessons from this episode that can assist policymakers in understanding Iran’s nuclear decision-making and in their continued efforts to shape the future trajectory of Iran’s nuclear program.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gestures while addressing a joint meeting of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, May 24, 2011. Vice President Joe Biden, left, and House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, right, listen.

AP Photo/Susan Walsh

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

To Disclose or Deceive? Sharing Secret Information between Aligned States

| Winter 2020/21

When aligned states consider disclosing secret information about military plans to use force, the state initiating these plans may choose among four information-sharing strategies: collusion, compartmentalization, concealment, and lying. Three main considerations shape its decision: potential costs of deception, the partner’s intentions, and the partner’s capabilities.

President-Elect Joe Biden

AP/Susan Walsh

Analysis & Opinions - Project Syndicate

How Will Biden Intervene?

| Jan. 05, 2021

Broadly defined, intervention refers to actions that influence the domestic affairs of another sovereign state, and they can range from broadcasts, economic aid, and support for opposition parties to blockades, cyber attacks, drone strikes, and military invasion. Joseph Nye asks: Which ones will the U.S. president-elect favor?

Photo of a visitor to a Huawei retail store stands near a Huawei smartphone displaying a variety of apps in Beijing on Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020.

AP Photo/Ng Han Guan

U.S.-China Bipolar Rivalry in the Digital Age

Fall 2020

From trade disputes to digital governance to multilateral institutions in need of reform, the incoming Biden Administration faces a full international economics policy agenda. Rising U.S.-China tensions will exacerbate these policy challenges as the world’s two largest economies compete for economic power and global influence. This fall, the Belfer Center’s Economic Diplomacy Initiative, led by Aditi KumarNicholas Burns, and Lawrence H. Summers, hosted a series of discussions examining the U.S.-China economic relationship.  

Blog Post - Views on the Economy and the World

You Don’t Miss International Cooperation Until It's Gone

| Dec. 02, 2020

As Joni Mitchell sang, “you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone.”   Classroom education was often deemed boring by students and obsolete by tech visionaries.  Then the coronavirus made it difficult or impossible to meet in person.  The result:  We yearn for the irreplaceable in-class experience.
Perhaps the same is true of international economic cooperation. It was never especially popular. The theory, first formulated in a 1969 paper by Richard Cooper, said that countries could agree to coordinated bargains that achieved better outcomes, relative to the “Nash non-cooperative equilibrium.”  But economists thought of plenty of reasons to be skeptical.  The multilateral institutions of cooperation such as the World Trade Organization, the International Monetary Fund, and the United Nations agencies, were downright unpopular among the public.  Many Americans regarded them as invading US sovereignty, while other countries viewed them as an invasion of their sovereignty by the US.

Joe Biden and his special presidential envoy for climate, John Kerry, will take a more multilateralist approach than Donald Trump.

Joshua Roberts/Reuters

Analysis & Opinions - The Guardian

Joe Biden Will Lead the US Back to International Cooperation

| Dec. 02, 2020

Like the Joni Mitchell song puts it, “You don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone.” For example, classroom education was often deemed boring by students and obsolete by tech visionaries. Then, Covid-19 made it difficult or impossible to meet in person. Now we yearn for in-class experiences.

Perhaps the same is true of international economic cooperation. Multilateral institutions such as the World Trade Organization, the International Monetary Fund, and the UN agencies have long been unpopular among much of the public for supposedly encroaching on national sovereignty. But then Donald Trump came along and made international cooperation well-nigh impossible. While other G20 leaders discussed pandemic preparedness at their recently concluded summit, for example, Trump evidently tweeted more false accusations of electoral fraud and then played golf.

President-elect Joe Biden and his climate envoy, John Kerry, at The Queen theater.

Carolyn Kaster/AP

Analysis & Opinions - Bloomberg Opinion

What Does Success Look Like for a Climate Czar?

| Dec. 02, 2020

President-elect Joe Biden’s decision to create a new cabinet-level position for climate-related issues — and to choose so prominent a figure as former Secretary of State John Kerry to fill it — demonstrates Biden’s sincerity over putting climate at the very center of U.S. foreign policy. It is easy to understate the importance of this appointment, given the flurry of czars created by most new administrations.

US President Elect Joe Biden and the European Council

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Analysis & Opinions - The Wall Street Journal

Here’s Where Biden Will Face Early Foreign-Policy Decisions

| Nov. 30, 2020

When it comes to president-elect Joe Biden’s foreign policy in Asia, Europe and Latin America, he is likely to focus on issues like transatlantic cooperation, U.S.-China relations and immigration. Ambassador Nicholas Burns and WSJ journalists examine the impact a Biden administration could have on U.S. allies around the world. 

Protesters demonstrating against the killing of a top Iranian nuclear scientist in Tehran, Iran on Saturday.

Arash Khamooshi for The New York Times

Analysis & Opinions - The New York Times

Assassination in Iran Could Limit Biden’s Options. Was That the Goal?

| Nov. 28, 2020

The killing of Iran’s top nuclear scientist is likely to impede the country’s military ambitions. Its real purpose may have been to prevent the president-elect from resuming diplomacy with Tehran.