Articles

114 Items

The United States hosted the fourth and final Nuclear Security Summit in Washington D.C. this spring.

Ben Solomon

Magazine Article - Courier

Strengthening Nuclear Security in a Post-Summit World

| Summer 2016

This spring, the United States hosted the fourth and final Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, DC. Senior representatives of more than 50 nations convened to mark the end of an unprecedented international initiative over the last six years to strengthen security measures aimed at preventing nuclear terrorism. During that time, many states made significant progress, but more work is needed.

Diplomacy and Sanctions, Yes. Left Unspoken on Iran? Sabotage.

Wikimedia

Newspaper Article - The New York Times

Diplomacy and Sanctions, Yes. Left Unspoken on Iran? Sabotage.

| January 20, 2016

WASHINGTON — President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry have a simple explanation for their surprising success in getting Iran to dismantle much of its nuclear infrastructure, ship out 98 percent of its nuclear fuel and release five American prisoners: Patient diplomacy, backed by escalating economic sanctions, accomplished more than military action ever could have.

Journal Article - Arms Control Today

How to Strengthen Nuclear Security in China

| March, 2015

"China is a nuclear-weapon state and rising power entering an era of particularly rapid nuclear energy growth and fuel-cycle development. China’s approach to strengthening the security of its nuclear weapons, materials, and facilities is important because of the quantity of materials involved and the role that China plays in facilitating strong global action on nuclear security..."

Journal Article - China Nuclear Power

Securing Chinese Nuclear Power Development: Further Strengthening Nuclear Security

| September, 2014

Chinese President Xi Jinping addresses China’s new concept of nuclear security with four “equal emphasis” at the third Nuclear Security Summit, and makes four commitments to strengthen nuclear security in the future. To convert President Xi’s political commitments into practical, sustainable reality, China should take further steps to install a complete, reliable, and effective security system to ensure that all its nuclear materials and nuclear facilities are effectively protected against the full spectrum of plausible terrorist and criminal threats. This paper suggests the following measures be taken to improve China’s existing nuclear security system, including updating and clarifying the requirements for a national level DBT; updating and enforcing existing regulations; further promoting nuclear security culture; balancing the costs of nuclear security, and further strengthening international cooperation on nuclear security.

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.

Test launching of Pakistan-made Ghaznavi missile at undisclosed location in Pakistan Thursday, May 10, 2012. Pakistan successfully test-fired a short-range missile capable of delivering a nuclear warhead, Pakistan's military said.

AP Photo/ Uncredited

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Why States Won't Give Nuclear Weapons to Terrorists

    Authors:
  • Keir A. Lieber
  • Daryl Press
| Summer 2013

Many experts consider nuclear terrorism the single greatest threat to U.S. security. The fear that a state might transfer nuclear materials to terrorists was a core justification for the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and, more recently, for a strike against Iran’s nuclear program. The logical basis for this concern is sound: if a state could orchestrate an anonymous nuclear terror attack, it could destroy an enemy yet avoid retaliation. But how likely is it that the perpetrators of nuclear terrorism could remain anonymous? Data culled from a decade of terrorist incidents reveal that attribution is very likely after high-casualty terror attacks. Attribution rates are even higher for attacks on the U.S. homeland or the territory of a major U.S. ally—97 percent for incidents in which ten or more people were killed. Moreover, tracing a terrorist group that used a nuclear weapon to its state sponsor would not be difficult, because few countries sponsor terror; few terror groups have multiple sponsors; and only one country that sponsors terrorism, Pakistan, has nuclear weapons or enough material to manufacture them. If leaders understand these facts, they will be as reluctant to give weapons to terrorists as they are to use them directly; both actions would invite devastating retaliation.

Vice President Joe Biden, standing, is applauded by, from left; Undersecretary of State Ellen Tauscher; Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak; Nigeria's Acting President Goodluck Jonathan; Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung; Thai Deputy Prime Minist

AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

Magazine Article

Making a Difference: Creating and Implementing the Prague Agenda

| June 01, 2013

What is the value of nongovernment organizations, both in the academy and think tank worlds, to government policymakers? How are such outsiders useful (or not) to policymakers and what can be done to make them more useful? I’ve considered these questions from all three sides—as a government official, foundation funder, and think tanker. Most recently, from 2009 to 2013, I served as a political appointee, as President Obama’s White House coordinator for arms control, nonproliferation, and WMD terrorism, and now I’m back on the outside as executive director for research at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School.