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Three CISAC scientists have joined 26 of the nation’s top nuclear experts to send an open letter to President Obama in support of the Iran deal struck in July.

“The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) the United States and its partners negotiated with Iran will advance the cause of peace and security in the Middle East and can serve as a guidepost for future non-proliferation agreements,” the group of renowned scientists, academics and former government officials wrote in the letter dated August 8, 2015.

“This is an innovative agreement, with much more stringent constraints than any previously negotiated non-proliferation framework.”

CISAC senior fellow and former Los Alamos National Laboratory director Sig Hecker is a signatory to the letter, along with CISAC co-founder Sid Drell, and cybersecurity expert and CISAC affiliate Martin Hellman.

Six Nobel laureates also signed, including FSI senior fellow by courtesy and former Stanford Linear Accelerator director Burton Richter.

The letter arrives at a crucial time for the Obama administration as it rallies public opinion and lobbies Congress to support the Iran agreement.

You can read the full letter along with analysis from the New York Times at this link.

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For many people, nuclear weapons feel like something out of a history book rather than a news headline, a remnant left over from the era of go-go boots and rotary phones rather than the age of social media and quantum computing.

But Vladimir Putin’s veiled threats of a possible tactical strike against Ukraine are a stark reminder that nuclear weapons are still a major factor in strategic defense and deterrence policies.

In a geopolitical landscape like this, the perspective of scholars like Rose Gottemoeller, formerly the Deputy Secretary General of NATO and currently the Steven C. Házy Lecturer at the Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC) at Stanford University’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, is more important than ever.

Currently, she is acting as an advisor to the Strategic Posture Commission of the House and Senate Armed Services Committee and to the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Strategy Administration (NNSA), but this is far from the first time she has been called on from Capitol Hill or the executive branch.

From her start as a Russian language major at Georgetown University, Gottemoeller’s expertise in arms control, nuclear nonproliferation, and political-military affairs has made her an invaluable resource to fellow academics and policymakers alike as they work to tackle the nuanced diplomatic challenges of our times.

A Missed Phone Call and a New Career

Gottemoeller’s most recent government service came with a few hiccups. In December of 2008, she was living in a small, bare-bones rental unit in Moscow while she finished the last few weeks of her tenure as the director of the Carnegie Moscow Center. Just a few weeks earlier, Barack Obama had been elected to the presidency of the United States, and the interim period of administration-building between Election Day and Inauguration Day was fully under way.

5,000 miles away from Washington D.C., Gottemoeller’s American cell phone rang. Racing across the apartment to try and answer it, the call ended before she could answer. Due to technological constraints at the time, there was no way to listen back to the voicemail on the Russian network.

Recounting the experience on “The Negotiators” podcast, Gottemoeller explained, “All I was thinking was, ‘Oh man, what is that, was the White House calling, or the Obama campaign? What if I’ve just lost my chance?’”

As soon as she landed back at the Washington Dulles airport, she got her answer. A return call to the number put her in touch with Secretary of State-designate Hillary Clinton’s office, where an offer to discuss the position of assistant secretary responsible for arms control issues was still on the table.

Rose Gottemoeller [left] stands with Hillary Clinton [right] in the Treaty Room at the U.S. Department of State in Washington D.C.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, along with Rose Gottemoeller (left) delivers remarks on the ratification of the new START treaty in the Treaty Room at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., on August 11, 2010. U.S. Department of State (Flickr)

“Before I had even collected my luggage, I was on the phone letting them know I would be very glad to come interview with her,” said Gottemoeller.

That initial interview was nerve-wracking, to say the least. Walking into a borrowed New York apartment above Central Park where Clinton had set up her temporary office, Gottemoeller was grilled on nuclear deterrence, U.S. strategic policies, and strategic arms reductions by the future secretary and her two deputies for several hours.

“I thought it was going terribly. It was an exhausting hour and a half,” admits Gottemoeller. “I was convinced I hadn’t done very well.”

But a call the next day proved otherwise. Not only did Secretary Clinton offer her the job of assistant secretary responsible for arms control matters, but also put Gottemoeller’s name forward to the incoming White House to be the chief negotiator for the next strategic arms reduction treaty, what would eventually become the New START Treaty.

The New START Treaty, Then and Now

Formalized in 2010, the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, or New START, builds on prior agreements put in place between the United State and Russia through the 1970s and 80s to actively reduce and limit the number of strategic nuclear weapons.

As the lead (and first female) negotiator of the treaty for the U.S. side, Gottemoeller knows its strengths and holes better than almost anyone. Building on the progress made by the START I Treaty in 1994, the New START Treaty has successfully reduced the number of deployed strategic nuclear weapons Russia to 1,550, a 30 percent reduction from the approximately 6,000 deployed warheads that existed in 2000, and an astonishing 87 percent reduction from the estimated 12,000 deployed nuclear warheads available to the USSR and United States at the end of the Cold War.

Rose Gottemoeller listens during a press conference on Capitol Hill about the New START Treaty.
Rose Gottemoeller led the U.S. side of negotiations with the Russian Federation for the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START). Getty

New START continues to limit the number of strategic nuclear warheads that Russia and the United States are permitted to deploy, and it sets extensive protocols for monitoring and controlling such warheads in both countries. However, it has proven much more difficult to count and verify Russian warheads once they have been removed from their delivery vehicles and sent into storage.

“One of the major developments moving forward needs to be this more direct kind of constraint and oversight of warheads,” says Gottemoeller. “We’ve made some baby steps in that direction, but there’s certainly more we could and should be pushing for.”

Similarly, while New START has clear protocols for managing strategic nuclear warheads, there are gaps in constraining Russia’s stockpile of non-strategic nuclear warheads. Strategic nuclear weapons, as defined by NATO, constitute “weapons to whose use or threat of use only the highest authority of the State can resort, conceptually and structurally.” In the popular imagination, these are the weapons of M.A.D, or “mutually assured destruction,” which rests on the idea that the United States and Russian hold each other at constant risk of nuclear annihilation. A legitimate strategic calculation, this also serves as the basis for the "nuclear Armageddon" trope of Hollywood.

By contrast, non-strategic nuclear weapons, also referred to as “tactical nuclear weapons,” often carry smaller explosive yields, are carried on shorter-range delivery vehicles, and are designed to be used on the battlefield in combination with conventional forces. It is this type of weapon — not strategic missiles — which has caused concerns in the course of Putin’s invasion and ongoing bombardment of Ukraine.

The Invasion of Ukraine and Nuclear Sabre-rattling

Gottemoeller is clear on the repercussions that Vladimir Putin’s veiled threats of a possible tactical nuclear strike against Ukraine are having.

“Putin and his coterie have been extremely irresponsible in their rattling of the nuclear sabre,” she says. “There's absolutely no reason to be threatening nuclear use in Ukraine. This is a war of choice and invasion that Putin decided to undertake, not something he was provoked into by Ukraine, or NATO, or anyone else for that matter.”

Having watched and worked in Putin’s orbit on-and-off for decades, Gottemoeller believes that Putin and those in his inner circle understand that a strategic nuclear exchange of any kind would be “suicide.” But the escalatory risks inherent in a single tactical nuclear strike are still high.

“Threatening nuclear use, even if it’s a single, non-strategic use, is playing with fire,” warns Gottemoeller. “It’s dangerous. There is still far too much potential for escalation in that scenario.”

Intended or not, Putin’s nuclear posturing has also brought the discussion of nuclear weapons and the policies governing their use back to the forefront for people both in and out of government.

“In some ways, that’s not a bad thing,” Gottemoeller acknowledges. “Younger people in particular don’t pay as much attention to nuclear weapons. They’re much more gripped by environmental threats and the threat of climate change.”

The two existential threats are not unrelated, however. Citing an MIT study, Gottemoeller points out that a nuclear exchange would have a profound effect on the climate, potentially even leading to an extinction event for large portions of the global population.

“The notion that we could see nuclear escalation in this war in Ukraine is very, very serious,” says Gottemoeller. “It’s brought these issues into much sharper focus than it has been since the Cold War.”

Threatening nuclear use, even if it’s a single, non-strategic use, is playing with fire.
Rose Gottemoeller
Steven C. Házy Lecturer at CISAC

Developing Nuclear Policies for the Future

Meaningful nuclear policy has often been born out of such moments of sharp focus. The first major treaty, the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), first came into force in 1970 following the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. The treaty created the first binding commitments toward the goal of disarmament for the nuclear powers at the time — the United States, USSR, and United Kingdom — as well as setting policies of nonproliferation for an additional 46 party states. To date, a total of 191 states have joined and upheld the treaty, including the five current nuclear-weapon states of the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, and China.

The work that Rose Gottemoeller is currently undertaking as an advisor to the Strategic Posture Commission and National Nuclear Strategy Administration aims to provide the necessary legwork and critical expertise needed to prepare policymakers for high-level negotiations on future nuclear treaties. New START, currently the last remaining nuclear arms agreement between the United States and Russia, will expire in 2026, and cannot be renewed again without re-ratification by the U.S. Senate. Given the uncertainty surrounding the Kremlin’s actions regarding tactical nuclear weapon use, the importance of providing this type of in-depth policy expertise cannot be understated.

At the Strategic Posture Commision, Gottemoeller is working alongside other experts on a committee chaired by Madelyn Creedon, an expert in national security and defense and former assistant secretary of defense for global strategic affairs at the Pentagon. Working under bi-partisan leadership from both the House and Senate, this commission is in the process of evaluating the long-term strategic posture of the United States. This includes nuclear weapons, but also conventional weapons, trade agreements, economic progress, arms control diplomacy, and other capabilities of United States national power.

In this realm, Gottemoeller stresses that while nuclear weapons will never cease to be important, new defense strategies need to be focused on emerging technologies rather than the nuclear standoffs of the past. Writing in the August 2022 edition of Foreign Affairs, she stresses that:

“New defense innovations promise not just to transform warfare but also to undermine the logic and utility of nuclear weapons. With advances in sensing technology, states may soon be able to track and target their adversaries’ nuclear missiles, making the weapons easier to eliminate. And with nuclear weapons more vulnerable, innovations such as drone swarms — large numbers of small automated weapons that collectively execute a coordinated attack—will increasingly define war. A fixation on building more nuclear weapons will only distract from this technological revolution, making it harder for the United States to master the advances that will shape the battlefield of the future.”

At the National Nuclear Security Administration, Gottemoeller is similarly applying her expertise to develop better policies to monitor the nuclear warheads already in existence. Launched by Jill Hruby and Frank Rose, the leaders of NNSA, the purpose of this review is to determine how to improve the nonproliferation tools and instruments, one of the Biden administration’s key missions. Working alongside partners at the National Nuclear Laboratories, the NNSA is developing innovative ways to monitor and verify constraints on warheads and their delivery vehicles, including exotic delivery vehicles such as the Russian hypersonic Kinzhal air-launched ballistic missile.

“I do really see that there has been a lot of progress in this area and I feel like we are well prepared for a new negotiation,” says Gottemoeller.

The Power of Academia for the Good of Government

Thinking about her own dual career in government and academia, Gottemoeller is quick to point out the immense value that collaboration between the two brings to the policymaking process.

“Over the years, Stanford has been very active in these kinds of discussions and it's been extremely valuable, I think. The academic community plays a super important role for the policy community in Washington,” she says.

In her own recent experience, that has included a meeting with Secretary of State Antony Blinken, alongside fellow nuclear expert Scott Sagan, also of FSI’s Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC).

Gottemoeller points out that sometimes academics and their institutions can go where governments can’t. These so-called “track-two” settings create opportunities for experts, academics, and professionals from various states to come together for discussion and discourse even if formal “track-one” government negotiations are stalled or stagnant. Even as the war in Ukraine has intensified the divide between the governments in Washington and Moscow, non-governmental experts from the U.S. and Russia continue to meet to ensure lines of communication and understanding regarding key issues remain open.

The academic community can help in dialogues like this. Places like FSI attract very senior figures with immense amounts of policy experience, and we can be a resource for the government back in Washington.
Rose Gottemoeller
Steven C. Házy Lecturer

Gottemoeller believes institutes like FSI and other academic organizations can play a similarly important role in advancing discussion with China, particularly in the realm of nuclear security and weapons modernization. Some of these discussions, such as collaborations between the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Scientists Group on Arms control (of which Gottemoeller is a participating member), are already underway.

“I think dialogues like this are a way in which the academic community can help develop an environment in which the Chinese will then eventually be willing to come to the table in an official government-to-government way,” she explains.

As for her own academic home at the Freeman Spogli Institute, Gottemoeller is grateful for the work the institute and her fellow scholars allow her to do.

“Organizations like FSI and CISAC are a great home for practitioners as well as academic experts. The Freeman Spogli Institute attracts very senior figures with immense amounts of policy experience to come and work here. It’s clearly a resource for the government back in Washington, and I think these groups will continue to play that role very well for a long time.”

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New START: Why An Extension Is In America's National Interest

Failing to renew the New START arms control treaty with Russia “is not a wise direction of travel,” said Rose Gottemoeller, a former Deputy Secretary General of NATO who ranked as one of President Barack Obama’s top nuclear security experts.
New START: Why An Extension Is In America's National Interest
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From a missed phone call in Moscow to becoming the lead U.S. negotiator of the New START Treaty, scholars like Rose Gottemoeller demonstrate the importance of collaboration between scholars in academic institutions and policymakers in government.

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Co-sponsored with Stanford University Libraries

About the Event: Join us for an engaging conversation with the Ambassador of Estonia to the U.S. Kristjan Prikk, Rose Gottemoeller, and Steven Pifer, who will discuss Russia's war in Ukraine - what's at stake and what we should do about it.
Russia's unprovoked war against Ukraine has brought about the most serious reassessment of the European security realities since the end of the Cold War. The epic clash of political wills, the magnitude of military operations, and the scale of atrocities against the Ukrainian people are beyond anything Europe has seen since World War II. The past nine months have forced many to reassess what is possible and impossible in international security A.D. 2022. What is this war about, after all? What's at stake in this – to paraphrase former British PM Chamberlain – "quarrel in a faraway country, between people of whom most Americans know nothing?" What should be the lessons for U.S. strategists and policymakers? What are the wider implications for U.S. national security interests, particularly those related to the Indo-Pacific? How has the Alliance supported Ukraine since the war started? What should the end of this war look like and how to get there?

All these questions are relevant and should be carefully weighed with current information from the war as well as historic perspective and regional knowledge in mind.

About the Speakers: 

Estonia's Ambassador to the U.S. Mr. Kristjan Prikk started his mission in Washington, D.C. in May 2021. He is a graduate of the USA Army War College and has served as the National Security Coordinator to the Prime Minister. Prior to arriving in D.C., he was the Permanent Secretary of the Estonian Ministry of Defense. Among his previous assignments are two other tours in Washington as an Estonian diplomat and work on NATO-Russia and NATO-Ukraine topics at a time when these relationships were considerably less charged than today.

Rose Gottemoeller is the Steven C. Házy Lecturer at Stanford University's Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and its Center for International Security and Cooperation. Before joining Stanford, Gottemoeller was the Deputy Secretary General of NATO from 2016 to 2019, where she helped to drive forward NATO's adaptation to new security challenges in Europe and in the fight against terrorism.  Prior to NATO, she served for nearly five years as the Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security at the U.S. Department of State, advising the Secretary of State on arms control, nonproliferation and political-military affairs. 

Steven Pifer is an affiliate of the Center for International Security and Cooperation as well as a non-resident senior fellow with the Brookings Institution. He was a William J. Perry Fellow at the center from 2018-2022 and a fellow at the Robert Bosch Academy in Berlin from January-May 2021. Pifer's research focuses on nuclear arms control, Ukraine, Russia, and European security. A retired Foreign Service officer, Pifer's more than 25 years with the State Department focused on U.S. relations with the former Soviet Union and Europe, as well as arms control and security issues, and included service as the third US ambassador to Ukraine.

 All CISAC events are scheduled using the Pacific Time Zone.

Green Library, East Wing 

Kristjan Prikk
Rose Gottemoeller
Steven Pifer
Seminars
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Seminar Recording

About the Event: Before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Biden administration insisted in arms control talks with Russia that a follow-on agreement to the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) should cover all nuclear weapons and that such an agreement should focus on the nuclear warheads themselves. This would represent a significant change from previous agreements, which focused on delivery vehicles, such as missiles. The United States has been particularly interested in potential limits on nonstrategic nuclear warheads (NSNW). Such weapons have never been subject to an arms control agreement. Because Russia possesses an advantage in the number of such weapons, the US Senate has insisted that negotiators include them in a future agreement, making their inclusion necessary if such an accord is to win Senate approval and ultimately be ratified by Washington. In the wake of Russian nuclear threats in the Ukraine conflict, such demands can only be expected to grow if and when US and Russian negotiators return to the negotiating table.

Such an agreement will face major negotiating and implementation challenges—not only between Washington and Moscow, but also between Washington and NATO European allies. That is because the US side of such an agreement would primarily affect an estimated 100 US B61 gravity bombs deployed at European bases in NATO countries. Yet, these allies have not played a substantive role in US-Russian arms control negotiations since the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty was completed in the 1980s; inspections under the treaty ended in 2001.1 As a result, many of these allies and NATO officials have recognized the need to “do their homework” so they can be prepared to engage in substantive consultations with the United States during negotiation of such a treaty and to implement it once it enters into force.

To stimulate this process, four NATO allies (Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, and Norway) and one NATO partner (Sweden) funded a research team led by the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies and former NATO Deputy Secretary General and New START lead negotiator Rose Gottemoeller. The research focused on the negotiating, policy, legal, and technical issues that allies will likely have to address to reach such an accord. The research team also carried out a series of interviews to understand the views in NATO states on such an agreement and to gauge the constraints they could be expected to face in the process. The interviews and the primary drafting of the report occurred before Russia’s February 2022 invasion of Ukraine and the report was first presented at a conference on “Maintaining Strategic Stability amid a Detoriorating European Security Environment” in Copenhagen in May. Mr. Pomper will discuss the paper and ongoing efforts to build Allied capacity to tackle these issues. 

In addition, prior to this paper US and allied research on verification measures for NSNW had largely focused on scientific and technical tools to conduct on-site inspections. The research team developed an original and unique methodology for a data exchange employing historic stockpile data and taking advantage of past US-Russian cooperation and cryptography. This data exchange would serve as the critical backbone for other verification measures, no matter the type of warhead or the type of agreement (freeze, limitation, or reduction). As Mr Moon will explain, his technical team with support from colleagues at Stanford and the State Department Verification Fund is now preparing a proof-of-concept demonstration of this approach and then will develop the framework for a full verification protocol. 

About the Speakers: 

Miles A. Pomper is currently leading a project to build NATO capacity for addressing deterrence, arms, control and verification issues, supported by Denmark, Germany, and Sweden as well as a parallel technical project funded by the U.S. State Department.  He is the lead author of Everything Counts: Building a Control Regime for Nonstrategic Nuclear Warheads in Europe co-authored by Rose Gottemoeller, Bill Moon, and other leading experts. Miles is a Senior Fellow at the Washington, DC, office of the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. He has authored or co-authored several other reports and book chapters on nonstrategic nuclear warheads, arms control, and deterrence in Europe, including Ensuring Deterrence Against Russia: The View from NATO States (2015). He is also the author or co-author of dozens of other reports and book chapters on nuclear arms control, nuclear nonproliferation, and nuclear and radiological terrorism. He is the former editor of Arms Control Today, the former lead foreign-policy reporter for the Capitol Hill publication CQ Weekly, and a former diplomat with the US Information Agency. He holds master's degrees in international affairs from Columbia University and in journalism from Northwestern University and a B.A. in history from Columbia. 

William M. Moon is currently the technical lead on a project to build NATO capacity for addressing deterrence, arms, control and verification issues, supported by Denmark, Germany, and Sweden as well as a parallel technical project funded by the U.S. State Department.  He is a co-author of Everything Counts: Building a Control Regime for Nonstrategic Nuclear Warheads in Europe co-authored by Miles Pomper, Rose Gottemoeller, and other leading experts. Bill is a Non-resident Fellow at the Stimson Center and an Independent Consultant.  He has authored a series of reports on nuclear security and the Cooperative Threat Reduction program based on his experiences leading the CTR Global Nuclear Security program for over 25 years at the Defense Threat Reduction Agency.  He holds master's degrees in international affairs from Columbia University and in Resourcing National Security from the National Defense University, and a B.A. in Government and Russian Studies from Hamilton College.

 All CISAC events are scheduled using the Pacific Time Zone.

William J. Perry Conference Room

Miles Pomper
William Moon
Seminars
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About the Event: A panel discussion convened in partnership with the Institute for Nonviolence and Social Justice, University of San Francisco, the Center for International Security and Cooperation, Stanford University, and the World House Project, Center for Democracy, Development and Rule of Law, Stanford University.

About the Speakers:

Scott D. Sagan is the Caroline S.G. Munro Professor of Political Science, the Mimi and Peter Haas University Fellow in Undergraduate Education, and Senior Fellow at the Center for International Security and Cooperation and the Freeman Spogli Institute at Stanford University. He also serves as Chairman of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences’ Committee on International Security Studies. Before joining the Stanford faculty, Sagan was a lecturer in the Department of Government at Harvard University and served as special assistant to the director of the Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the Pentagon.

Clayborne Carson, the Martin Luther King, Jr., Centennial Professor of History, emeritus, at Stanford University, has devoted his professional life to the study of Martin Luther King, Jr., and the human rights movements inspired by King, Mohandas K. Gandhi, and other visionaries. His award-winning first book, In Struggle: SNCC and the Black Awakening of the 1960s, was published in 1981 and remains the definitive study of the courageous activists and organizers who challenged the strongholds of segregation. In 1985, Mrs. Coretta Scott King chose Dr. Carson to edit and publish a definitive, multi-volume edition of her late husband’s speeches, sermons, correspondence, publications, and unpublished writings. In addition to publishing numerous other books and scholarly articles, Carson has also reached broader audiences as a senior advisor to the Eyes on the Prize series and his contributions to more than two dozen subsequent documentaries. After launching the online Liberation Curriculum for K-12 students, Carson founded Stanford's Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute in 2005 to disseminate King-related educational resources to a global audience. After retiring as the King Institute’s Director, Carson has continued his online educational efforts by establishing The World House Project to collaborate with other human rights advocates to realize King's vision of a global community in which all people can "learn somehow to live with each other in peace.”

Rose Gottemoeller is the Steven C. Házy Lecturer at Stanford University's Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and its Center for International Security and Cooperation. Before joining Stanford Gottemoeller was the Deputy Secretary General of NATO from 2016 to 2019, where she helped to drive forward NATO’s adaptation to new security challenges in Europe and in the fight against terrorism.  Prior to NATO, she served for nearly five years as the Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security at the U.S. Department of State, advising the Secretary of State on arms control, nonproliferation and political-military affairs. While Assistant Secretary of State for Arms Control, Verification and Compliance in 2009 and 2010, she was the chief U.S. negotiator of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) with the Russian Federation.

David Holloway is the Raymond A. Spruance Professor of International History, a professor of political science, and an FSI senior fellow. He was co-director of CISAC from 1991 to 1997, and director of FSI from 1998 to 2003. His research focuses on the international history of nuclear weapons, on science and technology in the Soviet Union, and on the relationship between international history and international relations theory. His book Stalin and the Bomb: The Soviet Union and Atomic Energy, 1939-1956 (Yale University Press, 1994) was chosen by the New York Times Book Review as one of the 11 best books of 1994, and it won the Vucinich and Shulman prizes of the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies. It has been translated into seven languages, most recently into Chinese. The Chinese translation is due to be published later in 2018. Holloway also wrote The Soviet Union and the Arms Race (1983) and co-authored The Reagan Strategic Defense Initiative: Technical, Political and Arms Control Assessment (1984). He has contributed to the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Foreign Affairs, and other scholarly journals.

 All CISAC events are scheduled using the Pacific Time Zone.

Virtual

Scott Sagan Stanford Center for International Security and Cooperation
Clayborne Carson Stanford Department of History
Rose Gottemoeller Stanford Center for International Security and Cooperation
David Holloway Stanford Center for International Security and Cooperation
Seminars
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Seminar Recording

About the Event: In this talk, Dr. Kassenova will share highlights from her recently released book Atomic Steppe: How Kazakhstan Gave Up the Bomb. She will share the history of Soviet nuclear tests in the Kazakh steppe, their harm to the people and the environment, and the story of the public anti-nuclear movement that led to the closure of the nuclear testing site. She will also explain why Kazakhstan decided to give up its nuclear inheritance, including more than a thousand nuclear weapons, more than a hundred intercontinental ballistic missiles, tons of nuclear materials, and critical nuclear infrastructure. 

About the Speaker: Dr. Togzhan Kassenova is a Washington, DC-based senior fellow at the Center for Policy Research, SUNY-Albany and a nonresident fellow in the Nuclear Policy Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. She is an expert on nuclear politics, WMD nonproliferation, and financial crime prevention. She currently works on issues related to proliferation financing controls, exploring ways to minimize access of proliferators to the global financial system. Kassenova holds a Ph.D. in Politics from the University of Leeds and is a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS). From 2011 to 2015 Kassenova served on the UN Secretary-General’s Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters.

 All CISAC events are scheduled using the Pacific Time Zone.

William J. Perry Conference Room

Togzhan Kassenova Center for Policy Research, SUNY-Albany
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Steven C. Házy Lecturer, Rose Gottemoeller, testified today before the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) in Washington D.C., on the United States' nuclear strategy and policy. While testifying, Gottemoeller emphasized the following three points:

  1. New START constraints continue to serve U.S. national interests as we modernize our arsenal. If unchecked, Russia could dramatically expand its missel and warhead arsenal.
  2. We must focus on the race in emerging technologies, considering China's deep investments in that area, but be ready to respond if they rush a nuclear buildup.
  3. Arm's control is in the U.S. interest, and engaging both Russia and China in the sphere will be necessary.

 

Read the full opening statement below.

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Rose Gottemoeller's main takeaways from her opening statement while testifying before the SASC

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Debak Das
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India accidentally fired a cruise missile into Pakistan on March 9, 2022. The missile was not armed and only damaged some property. (No lives were lost.) Both sides projected calm in the incident’s aftermath. The Indian government issued a brief statement noting that the missile launch was “a technical malfunction” during routine maintenance. It also ordered “a high-level court of inquiry.” Pakistan publicly called out India’s mistake, asked for an explanation, and called for a “thorough and transparent investigation” to be conducted jointly by both countries. Cool heads prevailed.

Read the rest at the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

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India accidentally fired a cruise missile into Pakistan on March 9, 2022. The missile was not armed and no lives were lost. Both sides projected calm in the incident’s aftermath. Still, the incident raises questions about the safety of India’s cruise missile systems, especially given the real risk of accidental escalation between nuclear-armed adversaries.

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Herbert Lin
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Putin has made thinly veiled threats about using nuclear weapons against those who interfere with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The logic of nuclear deterrence suggests that it’s never in the interest of a nuclear power to engage in war with another country possessing nuclear weapons, as that would lead to mutually assured destruction. But preventing nuclear war is not the sole goal of any nuclear power. Putin might well believe that a world without Russia in its rightful position of power is not worth existing. We can’t be sure of what Putin is thinking, or whether his decision making is compromised – all we can do is prepare for the possibility of Russia’s use of nuclear weapons, writes Herbert Lin.

Read the rest at iai news

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Putin might well believe that a world without Russia in its rightful position of power is not worth existing. We can’t be sure of what Putin is thinking, or whether his decision making is compromised – all we can do is prepare for the possibility of Russia’s use of nuclear weapons.

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