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North Korea in 2018: A Q&A with Siegfried Hecker

Q&A / February 11, 2019

In May 2018, Stanford Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC) scholars Siegfried Hecker, Robert Carlin, and Elliot Serbin released an in-depth report analyzing the nuclear history of North Korea between 1992 and 2017 alongside a historical research-based “roadmap” for denuclearization.

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America’s misbegotten cyber strategy

Commentary / February 4, 2019

I used to think we didn’t have enough strategic documents guiding U.S. cyber policy. Now I think we have at least one too many. In September, the Trump administration published a National Cyber Strategy—proudly declaring that it was the first fully articulated cyber strategy in 15 years. This week, the annual intelligence threat hearing laid bare the fantasy world of that four-month-old document and the cold hard reality of, well, reality.

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The blame game begins over the INF Treaty’s demise, and Washington is losing

Commentary / January 25, 2019

In December, Secretary of State Pompeo said Russia had 60 days to come back into compliance with the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. Otherwise, the United States would suspend its treaty obligations.

The clock runs out on February 2. Unfortunately, U.S. and Russian officials, already anticipating the treaty’s demise, have turned to finger-pointing…and Washington is losing the blame game.

CHARGES OF TREATY VIOLATIONS

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Scholars examine cyber warfare in new book

News / January 15, 2019

War is changing, and the U.S. military can now use cyber weapons as digital combat power.

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Ukraine, nuclear weapons and the trilateral statement 25 years later

Commentary / January 14, 2019

Today, January 14, marks the 25th anniversary of the Trilateral Statement.  Signed in Moscow by President Bill Clinton, Russian President Boris Yeltsin and Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk, the statement set out the terms under which Ukraine agreed to eliminate the large arsenal of former Soviet strategic nuclear weapons that remained on its territory following the collapse of the Soviet Union.

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Is there a glimmer of hope for the INF treaty?

Commentary / January 7, 2019

On December 21, the United Nations General Assembly voted down a Russian-proposed resolution calling for support for the INF Treaty. That Moscow gambit failed, in large part because Russia is violating the treaty by deploying prohibited missiles.

This bit of diplomatic show came one week after Russian officials said they would like to discuss INF Treaty compliance concerns. That could be—not is, but could be—significant. Washington should test whether those suggestions represent just more Kremlin posturing or a serious effort to save the treaty.

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Former Presidential Envoy to Defeat ISIS Named Payne Distinguished Lecturer

News / January 2, 2019

The Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University is pleased to announce that Brett McGurk has been appointed the next Frank E. and Arthur W. Payne Distinguished Lecturer. He will spend the next two years at Stanford working with FSI’s Center for International Security and Cooperation.

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CISAC Faculty 2018 Winter Break Reading List

Blog / December 20, 2018

Martha Crenshaw, senior fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and professor, by courtesy, of political science, recommends:

My Brilliant Friend, by Elena Ferrante


Karl Eikenberry, Oksenberg-Rohlen Fellow at the Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center, CISAC, CDDRL, and TEC affiliate, and director of the U.S.-Asia Security Initiative at the Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center, recommends:

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Why will it take at least ten years for North Korea to abandon its nuclear program? Q&A with Dr. Siegfried Hecker

Q&A / December 19, 2018

Recently, the leaders of the two Koreas met again, and they signed a joint declaration which they said would bring peace to the Peninsula. How do you like the meeting and the declaration? Do you think it helpful to the denuclearizing? If so, how will it help?

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The divide between Silicon Valley and Washington is a national-security threat

Commentary / December 13, 2018

A silent divide is weakening America’s national security, and it has nothing to do with President Donald Trump or party polarization. It’s the growing gulf between the tech community in Silicon Valley and the policy-making community in Washington.

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New report from Stanford scholars seeks to demystify the biosecurity landscape

News / December 5, 2018

From genome editing to “hacking” the microbiome, advances in the life sciences and its associated technological revolution have already altered the biosecurity landscape, and will continue to do so. What does this new landscape look like, and how can policymakers and other stakeholders navigate this space?

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The battle for Azov: Round 1 goes to Russia

Commentary / December 3, 2018

On November 25, Russian border patrol ships attacked and seized three Ukrainian naval vessels attempting to transit from the Black Sea to the Sea of Azov via the Kerch Strait. That violated both maritime law and a 2003 Ukraine-Russia agreement that governs passage through the strait.

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Rodney Ewing awarded for distinguished public service in mineral and geologic science

News / November 30, 2018

Rodney C. Ewing, Frank Stanton professor in nuclear security and co-director at the Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC) in the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI), was awarded the Distinguished Public Service (DPS) Medal by the Mineralogical Society of America.

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Why insisting on a North Korean nuclear declaration up front is a big mistake

Commentary / November 29, 2018

My reply to the frequently asked question if Kim Jong Un will ever give up North Korea’s nuclear weapons is, “I don’t know, and most likely he doesn’t know either. But it is time to find out.” However, insisting that Kim Jong Un give a full declaration of his nuclear program up front will not work. It will breed more suspicion instead of building the trust necessary for the North to denuclearize, a process that will extend beyond the 2020 US presidential election.

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George Washington was a master of deception

Commentary / November 27, 2018

As we celebrate Thanksgiving weekend, a holiday first declared by George Washington’s presidential proclamation in 1789, it is worth remembering that deception played a pivotal role in America’s birth. Our shining city on the hill owes much to the dark arts. George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and other Founding Fathers are remembered today as virtuous creators of a bold new democracy. But they were also cunning manipulators of their information environment—a side of the founding story that has often been neglected by history.

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To save arms control, House Democrats should act like a GOP senator

Commentary / November 14, 2018

Donald Trump has stated his intention to ditch the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. He and National Security Advisor John Bolton also appear unhappy with the New Strategic Arms Reductions Treaty (New START).

Withdrawal from New START would leave Russian strategic forces wholly unconstrained and end the flow of valuable information from the treaty’s verification and on-site inspection provisions.

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Fourth Young Nuclear Professionals forum brings together U.S. and Russian scholars in Moscow

News / November 13, 2018

Persistent nuclear threats and the recent erosion of relations between the United States and Russia paint a gloomy picture for the future of cooperation between nuclear powers. Despite these enormous challenges, Stanford is leading an effort to bring young nuclear scholars from the United States and Russia together to tackle urgent problems together and share ideas.

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Beijing Workshop Explores Options for Interventions in Civil Wars

News / November 13, 2018

Shorenstein APARC’s U.S.-Asia Security Initiative (USASI), the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS), and the School for International Studies at Peking University recently co-hosted the security workshop “Civil Wars, Intrastate Violence, and International Responses.” Held in Beijing...

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John Bolton keeps citing this 2002 pact as an arms-control model. It’s really not.

Commentary / November 5, 2018

When the subject of extending the 2010 New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) arises, National Security Advisor John Bolton suggests the 2002 Treaty of Moscow model as a possible alternative. The Russians, however, would never agree to that now. Moreover, the Treaty of Moscow was not good arms control. Trying to replace New START with something like it would be foolish.

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RIP INF: The end of a landmark treaty

Commentary / October 31, 2018

President Donald Trump announced at a campaign rally on October 20 that the United States would withdraw from the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. During his October 22–23 visit to Moscow, National Security Advisor John Bolton confirmed that the president intended to withdraw from the treaty.

Keeping the treaty in place presumably would require that Trump change his mind, which at a minimum would require that the Kremlin agree to take corrective action to come back into compliance. That’s not going to happen.

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