Reports & Papers

15 Items

A satellite view of Shigatse, Tibet, home to the PLA’s 6th Border Defense Regiment, near the China-India border.

Maxar Technologies / CNES Airbus via Google, used with permission

Report - Managing the Atom Project, Belfer Center

The Strategic Postures of China and India: A Visual Guide

| March 2020

Fueled by aggressive rhetoric from both capitals, Indian and Chinese ground forces engaged in a standoff between June and August 2017. The Doklam crisis, as it became known, stimulated introspection among officials and experts in both states about the future of their relationship. Politically, both strategic communities largely concluded that the peaceful resolution of border disputes is now less likely, forecasting more rivalry than cooperation. Militarily, Indian discussions on the strength of its military position against China in their disputed ground frontier areas have converged on the view that China holds the conventional and nuclear edge over India in this domain.

Based on our analysis of data on the location and capabilities of Indian and Chinese strategic forces and related military units, we conclude that this assessment of the balance of forces may be mistaken and a poor guide for Indian security and procurement policies. We recommend that instead of investing in new nuclear weapons platforms that our analysis suggests are not likely to be required to deter China, New Delhi should improve the survivability of its existing forces and fill the gap in global arms control leadership with an initiative on restraint and transparency.

Los Alamos National Laboratory, National Security Science, July 2015

Los Alamos National Laboratory

Discussion Paper - Managing the Atom Project, Belfer Center

When Did (and Didn’t) States Proliferate?

| June 2017

In this Project on Managing the Atom Discussion Paper, Philipp C. Bleek chronicles nuclear weapons proliferation choices throughout the nuclear age. Since the late 1930s and early 1940s, some thirty-one countries are known to have at least explored the possibility of establishing a nuclear weapons program. Seventeen of those countries launched weapons programs, and ten acquired deliverable nuclear weapons.

Britain's Foreign Secretary Michael Stewart signs the treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons at Lancaster House, London, watched by the Soviet Ambassador (left) and the US Ambassador (right). July 1, 1968.

Getty Images

Paper

Five Challenging Decades of IAEA Safeguards

| July 2014

Since 1972, IAEA safeguards has played a pivotal role in providing assurances that states live up to their NPT commitments. Today, the NPT and the IAEA continue to remain as foundations to the peaceful use of nuclear energy and preventing proliferation. Over the span of time over which international safeguards has been around, it has been far from a static story.

The National Nuclear Security Administration’s Pantex Plant is the only U.S. serial  production facility.

NNSA

Report - Nuclear Threat Initiative

Innovating Verification: New Tools & New Actors to Reduce Nuclear Risks

    Author:
  • Verifying Baseline Declarations of Nuclear Warheads and Materials Working Group
| July 2014

Part of NTI's Innovating Verification reports series, Verifying Baseline Declarations of Nuclear Warheads and Materials analyzes how baseline declarations can contribute to near- and long-term arms control and non-proliferation goals and how to verify them without compromising sensitive information.

Winning the Peace

Photo by Martha Stewart

Report

Winning the Peace

May 16, 2014

The last seven decades without war among the great powers – what historians describe as “the long peace” – is a remarkable achievement. “This is a rare and unusual fact if you look at the last few thousand years of history,” said Graham Allison, director of the Belfer Center and moderator of the IDEASpHERE panel “Winning the Peace.” “Furthermore, it is no accident. Wise choices by statesmen have contributed to ‘the long peace,’ which has allowed many generations to live their lives.”

Paper

Strengthening Global Approaches To Nuclear Security

| July 1, 2013

Despite substantial progress in improving nuclear security in recent years, there is more to be done.  The threats of nuclear theft and terrorism remain very real.  This paper recommends learning from the much stronger national and international efforts in nuclear safety, and in particular taking steps to build international understanding of the threat; establish effective performance objectives; assure performance; train and certify needed personnel; build security culture and exchange best practices; reduce the number of sites that need to be protected; and strengthen the international framework and continue the dialogue once leaders are no longer meeting regularly at the summit level.

Report - Centre for International Governance Innovation

Unleashing the Nuclear Watchdog: Strengthening and Reform of the IAEA

| June 2012

This report marks the culmination of a two-year research project that examined all aspects of the mandate and operations of the International Atomic Energy Agency, from major programs on safeguards, safety, security, and the peaceful uses of nuclear energy to governance, management, and finance.

Paper - American Academy of Arts & Sciences

Nuclear Collisions: Discord, Reform & the Nuclear Nonproliferation Regime

    Authors:
  • Wael Al-Assad
  • Jayantha Dhanapala
  • C. Raja Mohan
  • Ta Minh Tuan
| April 2012

Nearly all of the 190 signatories to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) agree that the forty-two-year-old treaty is fragile and in need of fundamental reform. But gaining consensus on how to fix the NPT will require reconciling the sharply differing views of nuclear weapon states and non-nuclear weapon states. Strengthening the international rules is increasingly important as dozens of countries, including some with unstable political environments, explore nuclear energy. The result is an ever-increasing distribution of this technology. In this paper, Steven E. Miller outlines the main points of contention within the NPT regime and identifies the issues that have made reform so difficult.

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

Ensuring Strategic Stability in the Past and Present: Theoretical and Applied Questions

    Author:
  • Andrei A. Kokoshin
| June 2011

In the Foreword to this paper by Andrei Kokoshin, Belfer Center Director Graham Allison writes: "The global nuclear order is reaching a tipping point. Several trends are advancing along crooked paths, each undermining this order. These trends include North Korea’s expanding nuclear weapons program, Iran’s continuing nuclear ambitions, Pakistan’s increasing instability, growing doubts about the sustainability of the nonproliferation regime in general, and terrorist groups’ enduring aspirations to acquire nuclear weapons. Andrei Kokoshin, deputy of the State Duma and former secretary of Russia’s Security Council, analyzes these challenges that threaten to cause the nuclear order to collapse in the following paper."

Mar. 29, 2010: a poster in Lahore, Pakistan, shows Pakistani nuclear scientist A.Q. Khan. As U.S. President Barack Obama hosted a nuclear security summit in April 2010, many states remained weak links in the global defense against nuclear terrorism.

AP Photo

Report - Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies

The Armageddon Scenario: Israel and the Threat of Nuclear Terrorism

| April 2010

The following study focuses on the threat of nuclear terrorism facing Israel. It begins with an overview of the nature of the threat, before turning to the potential perpetrators of nuclear terrorism against Israel, possible delivery mechanisms and targets, and the specific scenarios under which the threat to Israel might materialize. The study then presents possible policy options for Israel to deal with the threat, both unilaterally and in conjunction with the United States.