15 Items

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

Evaluating the Nuclear Posture Review

In February, the Pentagon released a new Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), a comprehensive overview of the nation’s nuclear forces, their disposition, and plans for the future. Here, Belfer Center experts share their assessments of this NPR and the future of America’s nuclear capabilities.

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

Iran: Insight and Thoughts on the Iran Nuclear Agreement

Graham Allison, Laura Holgate, Payam Mohseni, Gary Samore, Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, Ariane Tabatabai, William Tobey, and Jon Wolfsthal provide insight and thoughts on the Iran Nuclear Agreement.

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

Blocking All Paths to an Iranian Bomb: How the West Can Avoid a Nuclear Maginot Line

| June 2014

"In concentrating so much of their mindshare on imposing constraints on Iran's known nuclear facilities at Natanz, Fordow, and Arak, are the US and its five negotiating partners at risk of creating a nuclear Maginot line?" In this discussion paper, Director of the Belfer Center Graham Allison and MTA/ISP Research Fellow Oren Setter explore what the US might be missing: alternative pathways for Iran to acquire nuclear weapons.

Blog Post - Nuclear Security Matters

Lessons from The Hague Peace Palace for the Nuclear Security Summit

| Mar. 24, 2014

Presidents Obama, Xi, Chancellor Merkel and 40 other heads of state assemble in the Netherlands early this week for the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit.  The meeting is in The Hague, home of the iconic Peace Palace.  We can hope that the briefing books for those attending the summit include a photo of the Palace and enough about its history for them to recognize not only the irony but also lessons from its story for the work they are undertaking.

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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.

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Analysis & Opinions

Nuclear Security Summit: One Year On and Looking Ahead

We asked nuclear policy experts in Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs to summarize in one paragraph the achievements in the year since President Obama convened a summit on nuclear security on April 12-13, 2010. And we asked for a second paragraph on what needs to be done in the year before the follow-up summit planned for Seoul, South Korea.

U.S. President Barack Obama chairs a U.N. Security Council meeting in New York on Sept. 24, 2009. The council unanimously adopted a U.S.-sponsored resolution seeking to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and promote nuclear disarmament.

AP Photo

Journal Article - Foreign Affairs

Nuclear Disorder: Surveying Atomic Threats

| January/February 2010

The current global nuclear order is extremely fragile, and the three most urgent challenges to it are North Korea, Iran, and Pakistan. If North Korea and Iran become established nuclear weapons states over the next several years, the nonproliferation regime will have been hollowed out. If Pakistan were to lose control of even one nuclear weapon that was ultimately used by terrorists, that would change the world. It would transform life in cities, shrink what are now regarded as essential civil liberties, and alter conceptions of a viable nuclear order.

IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei

AP Photo

Analysis & Opinions

Reinforcing the Global Nuclear Order: The Role of the IAEA

| June 13, 2008

The high-level Commission of Eminent Persons advising the International Atomic Energy Agency concluded that meeting the current nuclear challenges and seizing the current opportunities will require a fundamentally reinvigorated global nuclear order, featuring a strengthened IAEA with "additional authority, resources, personnel, and technology." Without a "bold agenda" of steps to strengthen the nuclear order, the Commission warned that there were real risks that terrorists might get a nuclear bomb, that a nuclear accident might occur, or that, as the UN High-Level Panel warned, the world could suffer "a cascade of nuclear proliferation." Preventing such events, the Commission emphasized, is essential for nuclear energy to grow enough to contribute to mitigating climate change, making safety, security, and nonproliferation essential foundations for nuclear energy's future.