Reports & Papers

15 Items

Participants attend the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting Saturday, June 8, 2019, in Fukuoka, western Japan.

AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko

Report

Emerging Issues in Economic Diplomacy

| April 2020

The nine issue papers contained in this report were proposed and written by graduate students at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard Kennedy School. They present fact-based, nonpartisan analysis to help focus the next Administration on the key policy debates that must be resolved. And, they aim to create a platform for our students to engage with the most pressing policy issues of the day as they continue their careers in public service.

Report

Digital Currency Wars: A National Security Crisis Simulation

On November 19, 2019, the Belfer Center’s Economic Diplomacy Initiative hosted a national security crisis simulation in the JFK Jr. Forum to a packed audience from the Harvard and MIT communities. 

Drawing on the experience of Belfer Center members who have served in the highest levels of the U.S. government, the event explored the nexus of U.S. economic power and its national security interests.

A Tajik conscript looks out over remote stretches of northern Afghanistan from a border outpost near Khorog, Tajikistan.

Photo by David Trilling (c)

Report - Russia Matters

Jihadists from Ex-Soviet Central Asia: Where Are They? Why Did They Radicalize? What Next?

| Fall 2018

Thousands of radicals from formerly Soviet Central Asia have traveled to fight alongside IS in Syria and Iraq; hundreds more are in Afghanistan. Not counting the fighting in those three war-torn countries, nationals of Central Asia have been responsible for nearly 100 deaths in terrorist attacks outside their home region in the past five years. But many important aspects of the phenomenon need more in-depth study.

This research paper attempts to answer four basic sets of questions: (1) Is Central Asia becoming a new source of violent extremism that transcends borders, and possibly continents? (2) If so, why? What causes nationals of Central Asia to take up arms and participate in political violence? (3) As IS has been all but defeated in Iraq and Syria, what will Central Asian extremists who have thrown in their lot with the terrorist group do next? And (4) do jihadists from Central Asia aspire to acquire and use weapons of mass destruction? If so, how significant a threat do they pose and who would be its likeliest targets?

    Representatives of participating companies sign containers with uranium to be used as fuel for nuclear reactors, prior to loading them aboard Atlantic Navigator ship, in St. Petersburg, Russia, November 14, 2013.

    AP

    Report - National Academies Press

    Reducing the Use of Highly Enriched Uranium in Civilian Research Reactors

    | January 28, 2016

    Reducing the Use of Highly Enriched Uranium in Civilian Research Reactors is a report of the Committee on the Current Status of and Progress Toward Eliminating Highly Enriched Uranium Use in Fuel for Civilian Research and Test Reactors. The committee was established by the Nuclear and Radiation Studies Board, Division on Earth and Life Studies and the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The report is the result of a congressionally mandated study (P.L. 112-239, Section 31781) to assess improvement in reducing highly enriched uranium use in fuel for civilian research and test reactors.

     

    Belfer Center Senior Fellow William Tobey is a member of the Committee that produced the report.

    Negotiations over Iran's nuclear program in Lausanne, Switzerland, Mar. 2015.

    AP

    Report

    Inspections in Iran: What Would Inspectors Need? What Are the Lessons Learned from Iraq?

    | June 3, 2015

    As nuclear negotiations with Iran near their final stage, the question of inspections has come to the fore. If a final agreement is reached, inspections will be a principal means of assuring that Iran does not develop nuclear weapons, either by “breakout” at declared facilities, or by “sneakout” using secret sites. Given the importance being placed on inspections, what type will be necessary?  What inspection and verification regime will be needed to facilitate compliance, detect violations, and ensure effective enforcement?

    Global diplomats after reaching an interim agreement with Iran over its nuclear program on November 24, 2013.

    AFP/Getty Images

    Report

    A Final Deal with Iran: Filling the Gaps

    | May 14, 2014

    What would be the consequences if the interim deal became, de facto, permanent?  Does the interim deal have gaps that would be fatal to any long-term arrangement?  What are the consequences if no deal is reached?  And, are such consequences better or worse than those resulting from an extension of the interim deal, or from a deal that fails to meet minimum acceptable standards? These questions, among others, were addressed at a private roundtable discussion hosted by the Wisconsin Project on Nuclear Arms Control on April 25, 2014.

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    Paper

    Russia’s “Black Widows”: Organization Behind Sensation

      Author:
    • Nabi Abdullaev
    | November 8, 2013

    This article analyzes female suicide bombings in Russia in order to prove that suicide terrorism in the largest of the post-Soviet states is an organizational rather than trauma-driven phenomenon.While female suicide bombers have so far used conventional explosives in their attacks, one can imagine how much havoc a suicide terrorist or terrorists could wreak if they got their hands on radioactive materials to make a dirty bomb, or penetrated a nuclear facility to sabotage it.

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

    Transcending Mutual Deterrence in the U.S.-Russian Relationship

    | September 30, 2013

    Even as this paper was being written and edited, U.S.-Russian relations have warmed and chilled. Today, as we are about to go to press, marks a particularly chilly period in recent history, with the cancellation of a planned Moscow Summit in September 2013. To some, this cold spell might signal an inapt moment to consider issues related to transcending mutual deterrence. Such a view would overlook the aims of the paper, which attempts to assess the central and enduring interests of the United States and Russia, the extent to which they coincide or conflict, and whether or not in light of these interests mutual deterrence should remain a fundamental feature of the relationship.

    Delay barriers at the U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration's Y‐12 facility

    NNSA Production Office

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

    Defining and Implementing Best Practices in Nuclear Security

    | Dec. 14, 2012

    This paper analyzes the contribution that best practices can make to the field of nuclear security by doing the following:

    • Defining what is meant by best practice
    • Specifying a methodology for deriving it
    • Understanding the resulting characteristics of the method
    • Comparing its pros and cons to other methods contributing to security, such as guidelines and regulations

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

    What Happened to the Soviet Superpower’s Nuclear Arsenal? Clues for the Nuclear Security Summit

    | March 2012

    Twenty years ago Russia and fourteen other newly-independent states emerged from the ruins of the Soviet empire, many as nations for the first time in history. As is typical in the aftermath of the collapse of an empire, this was followed by a period of chaos, confusion, and corruption. As the saying went at the time, “everything is for sale.” At that same moment, as the Soviet state imploded, 35,000 nuclear weapons remained at thousands of sites across a vast Eurasian landmass that stretched across eleven time zones. 

    Today, fourteen of the fifteen successor states to the Soviet Union are nuclear weapons-free. This paper will address the question: how did this happen? Looking ahead, it will consider what clues we can extract from the success in denuclearizing fourteen post-Soviet states that can inform our non-proliferation and nuclear security efforts in the future. These clues may inform leaders of the U.S., Russia, and other responsible nations attending the Seoul Nuclear Security Summit on March 26-27, 2012. The paper will conclude with specific recommendations, some exceedingly ambitious that world leaders could follow to build on the Seoul summit’s achievements against nuclear terrorism in the period before the next summit in 2014. One of these would be to establish a Global Alliance Against Nuclear Terrorism.