James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS)
CNS News & Views:
December 2016
Dear friends and colleagues, 
As the final days of 2016 draw to a close and we begin to prepare for the unforeseeable challenges in the year to come, please consider a contribution to support CNS. Your investment will help ensure that the Center continues its core mission to provide cutting edge WMD nonproliferation education, training, outreach, and problem solving. 
Wishing you a happy holiday season and a peaceful and productive 2017! 
A US-made pressure transducer at an enrichment facility in Natanz, Iran
Outlawing State-Sponsored Nuclear-Procurement Programs 

A new CNS Occasional Paper by Deputy Director Leonard S. Spector examines the crucial role that state-sponsored illicit nuclear-procurement activities have played in advancing the nuclear programs of Iran and North Korea and the absence of sufficient condemnation and punitive actions by the international community in response.


The study proposes to outlaw such activities through the accretion of declarations by international and multilateral bodies condemning this conduct and expressing the intention to consider punitive measures in future cases. 


The CNS Washington office will host a launch event of the study next month. Contact Noah Williams for details.


Read the occasional paper. 

US and Russian negotiating teams headed by Gerald Ford and Leonid Brezhnev, respectively, circa 1974. Source: WikiCommons
A Non-Ideological Reframing of the US-Russian Arms-Control Agenda
US-Russian nuclear arms control has remained deadlocked since the conclusion of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) in 2010. The absence of progress hasn't, however, been a major concern in either country. A new CNS Issue Brief by Senior Fellow Nikolai Sokov argues that now is the time to move beyond this previously tolerated deadlock and for the United States to engage in arms control.

Dr. Sokov argues that, as the United States's superiority in non-nuclear capabilities dissipates, it will soon face an unrestricted arms races in several key weapons categories and an increased risk of direct military confrontation with Russia (or between Russia and US allies, friends, and clients) with unpredictable escalatory paths. For that reason, a new effort at an agreement with Russia will be in the US national interest and should transcend ideological, political, or party divides.

Canada's House of Commons
CNS Expert Testimony in Canadian Parliament

On November 30, CNS Senior Research Associate Melissa Hanham testified to Canada's Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development regarding North Korea's WMD programs and the impact of sanctions on them. 

"North Korea has a very complicated system of evading sanctions, and it has been very successful in evading US, EU, Canadian, and UN sanctions in the past. They have advance money-laundering techniques as well as very simple 'suitcases full of money' techniques. They have used flags of convenience in the past. They have used front companies located within and outside of their own borders. They have even used their own diplomatic embassies as locations for receiving goods that can be used in WMD programs. That makes your job extremely difficult, and it makes me very sympathetic to Canadian businesses that must contend with these types of tactics."

Coverage of the CIF in Nagasaki Shimbun. Image courtesy @CNS_MasakoToki
2016-17 Critical Issues Forum Kicks Off
The 2016-17 Critical Issues Forum (CIF), a CNS flagship education project, kicked off with an online teachers' workshop at the end of November.  This year's topic, "Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) and its Role for a World Free of Nuclear Weapons," is particularly timely as 2016 marks the twentieth anniversary of the treaty's opening for signature.

For nearly twenty years, CIF has effectively promoted awareness of disarmament and nonproliferation, reaching thousands of high school students and teachers around the world. 
Image courtesy of @FMWG
CNS at the IAEA Ministerial
Several CNS experts, including William C. Potter, Margarita Kalinina-Pohl, and Sitara Noor, delivered presentations at the International Atomic Energy Agency's Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Security in Vienna, Austria. 

To capitalize on the ministerial meeting, the Fissile Materials Working Group (FMWG) organized a lunch event, featuring presentations by several CNS experts, including  Elena Sokova and Miles Pomper. The multicultural, distinguished panel of experts that  provided different perspectives, analysis, and recommendations on how to maintain the momentum on nuclear security improvements after the end of the Nuclear Security Summit processes.

Gene drive interactive created for Nuclear Threat Initiative by David Schmerler, illustrations by David Steiger and Grace Liu, and video editing by Eduardo Fujii.
Gene Drives: Panacea or Pandora's Box? 
CNS Research Associate Gabrielle Tarini and Director of Chemical and Biological Weapons Nonproliferation Program Raymond A. Zilinskas created a new tutorial for the Nuclear Threat Initiative exploring one of the newest challenges to biosecurity: gene drive system.

The online tutorial explains what these systems are, how they work, why they pose a threat to biosecurity, and suggests steps the international community can do to meet this emerging challenge. 

Nuclear Security Summit, Source: European External Action Service via Flickr
New Analysis
Four new articles by CNS and VCDNP experts explore three different aspects of nuclear security and policy: 
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