Asia & the Pacific

24 Items

Analysis & Opinions - Project Syndicate

The Global Economy Confronts Four Geopolitical Risks

| December 28, 2015

The end of the year is a good time to consider the risks that lie ahead of us. There are of course important economic risks, including the mispricing of assets caused by a decade of ultra-low interest rates, the shifts in demand caused by the Chinese economy’s changing structure, and European economies’ persistent weakness. But the main longer-term risks are geopolitical, stemming from four sources: Russia, China, the Middle East, and cyberspace.

Although the Soviet Union no longer exists, Russia remains a formidable nuclear power, with the ability to project force anywhere in the world. Russia is also economically weak because of its dependence on oil revenue at a time when prices are down dramatically. President Vladimir Putin has already warned Russians that they face austerity, because the government will no longer be able to afford the transfer benefits that it provided in recent years.

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.

US Secretary of State John Kerry (right) and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif meet in Paris to discuss the Iranian nuclear deal.

United States Department of State

Analysis & Opinions - The National Interest

Assessing an Iran Deal: 5 Big Lessons from History

| July 7, 2015

As the policy community prepares to assess an agreement between the U.S. and its P5+1 partners and Iran, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker asked me to review the history of analogous agreements for lessons that illuminate the current challenge. In response to his assignment, I reviewed the seven decades of the nuclear era, during which the U.S. negotiated arms-control treaties, including the Non-Proliferation Treaty of 1968; strategic arms limitation talks and agreements from SALT to New Start; the North Korean accord of 1994; the agreements that helped eliminate nuclear weapons in Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Belarus in the early 1990s; and the pact that eliminated the Libyan nuclear weapons program in 2003.

Among many lessons and clues from this instructive history, five stand out

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..."

Gas centrifuges for uranium enrichment recovered en route to Libya in 2003.

U.S. Department of Energy

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

The Nonproliferation Emperor Has No Clothes: The Gas Centrifuge, Supply-Side Controls, and the Future of Nuclear Proliferation

| Spring 2014

Policymakers have long focused on preventing nuclear weapons proliferation by controlling technology. Even developing countries, however, may now possess the technical ability to create nuclear weapons. The history of gas centrifuge development in twenty countries supports this perspective. To reduce the demand for nuclear weapons, policymakers will have look toward the cultural, normative, and political organization of the world.

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

Summer 2014 Belfer Center Newsletter

| Summer 2014

The Summer 2014 issue of the Belfer Center newsletter features recent and upcoming activities, research, and analysis by members of the Center community on critical global issues. This edition highlights the Belfer Center’s longtime efforts to improve nuclear security and the Center's critical role in the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit to prevent nuclear terrorism. This issue also features a timeline and analysis of significant events in Ukraine during the past 20 years. We also note a bright spot in U.S.-Russian relations – a statement by the Elbe Group of retired Russian and U.S. generals cautioning the two governments not to let Ukraine and Crimea interrupt the joint efforts of the two countries to protect “our shared strategic interests.”

And much more...

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry chats with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Andrii Deshchytsia before the two joined with Russian and EU officials for 4-way talks about Ukraine in Geneva, Switzerland, on April 17, 2014.

State Dept. Photo

Analysis & Opinions - The National Interest

Blowback: Why Getting Tough on Russia over Ukraine Might Backfire

| May 16, 2014

"Washington needs to make a decision about its foreign-policy priorities, if tensions in eastern Ukraine are not reduced. Giving the events in Ukraine priority over all other international developments is a hazardous strategy. Negotiations have gotten us nowhere, and way more assertive steps against Russia are not likely to make Putin give in, since he seems to be determined not to lose his influence over eastern Ukraine and eager to demonstrate Russia's power."

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

Belfer Center Newsletter Winter 2011-2012

| Winter 2011-2012

The Winter 2011-2012 issue of the Belfer Center newsletter features news, analysis and insight by Belfer Center scholars on issues that include increasingly important info-tech policy challenges and the first U.S.-Russian joint threat assessment on nuclear terrorism. The Center’s deepening impact on defense policy is highlighted with an article about the recent appointments of Ashton B. Carter and Eric Rosenbach to senior Pentagon posts and a Q&A with Carter, the new deputy secretary of defense. Additional articles focus on issues ranging from the Palestinian bid for statehood to Calestous Juma’s role in Lagos’ launch of the first innovation advisory council in Africa.