Middlebury Institute of International Studies
Monitoring Iran During Recent Escalations
The new decade has brought increased tensions in the Middle East, and with it, high media demand for CNS expertise.

Within hours of Iran retaliating for the US assassination of Iranian Major General Soleimani by firing ballistic missiles at US bases in Iraq, East Asia Program Director  Jeffrey Lewis and Senior Research Associate   David Schmerler  had processed and analyzed satellite images from Planet Labs showing the damage.

In the following days, they and other CNS experts such as  Fabian Hinz Joshua Pollack Michael Duitsman Nikolai Sokov Miles Pomper , and   Margaret Croy  shared their expertise and observations with national and international media on the attacks, the future of the Iranian nuclear deal, and the downing of a Ukrainian passenger plane shortly after take-off from Tehran airport.

Empowering Women in Ukraine and Morocco
CNS experts visited Ukraine and Morocco for events promoting and empowering women in the nuclear sector. The events were organized by several alumni of CNS training programs, demonstrating the sustained, international impact of these programs.

A t the conference, “Promoting Nuclear Security Education and Creating Gender Awareness in Ukraine,” organized by the  National Technical University’s Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute , the  Ministry of Energy and Environmental Protection of Ukraine , and the  Swedish Radiation Safety Authority, Scientist-in-Residence Ferenc Dalnoki-Veress delivered a lecture about the effects of nuclear weapons and proliferation challenges by emerging technologies. Senior Program Manager Margarita Kalinina-Pohl contributed to the portion devoted to gender awareness, and helped organize the Women in Nuclear Forum, along with former CNS Visiting Fellows Nataliia Klos from the Ministry of Energy and Environmental Protection and Sarmite Andersson from SSM, as well as other colleagues from Kyiv Polytechnic Institute.

Kalinina-Pohl also delivered a presentation at the "Promoting and Strengthening Women in Nuclear Africa" conference held at the University of Ibn Tofail in Morocco. On the second day, during the roundtable discussion on empowering women in nuclear sector, Kalinina-Pohl also shared her experience from the Women in Nuclear Forum in Ukraine and promoted CNS's forthcoming  nonproliferation course for women in STEM from North Africa , which will take place in Rabat, Morocco, March 9–13, 2020.
Image credit CTBTO
Will Trump "Un-Sign" the CTBT?
Eurasia Program Director Sarah Bidgood addressed the rumors that the Trump administration may be planning to "unsign" the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT).

Writing in the National Interest, Bidgood warns "that leaving the CTBT would deal a serious blow to US national security." Not only would the US lose access to data gathered by the CTBT Organization's International Monitoring System, but Russia would likely follow suit, leaving a pathway toward the development of new nuclear weapons.

Moreover, she warns us to "consider how North Korea might react if the United States were to lower the barriers to resume its own explosive testing." At the very least, it would undermine Kim Jong Un's rationale for concluding its testing moratorium, she argues.
The Memeification
of International Security
What can the next generation's use of new media tools tell us about public perceptions and awareness of national security policies?

Research Associate Jamie Withorne took to Inkstick to analyze the tweets, Tiktoks, and memes that flooded social media in the wake of rising escalations in Iran. She concludes that "Generation Z's" general lack of knowledge about Middle East history and its aversion to war inform our national security debate and constitute "an important building block toward a more diplomacy-oriented national security policy."

PBS Newshour picked up this story.

Red Horizon exercise at Harvard
"Red Horizon" DPRK Simulation
Nine students from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies and CNS participate in the immersive global crisis exercise, “ Red Horizon: Force and Diplomacy in Eurasia, ” held at Harvard University. Over 70 participants took part, including senior officials from foreign ministries, the US military and government, as well as Harvard affiliates, allowing experienced and rising specialists on security to work together and challenge their negotiation and diplomacy skills.

The exercise simulated the unexpected collapse of the North Korean government. Chinese military forces swept in quickly to stabilize the region. The events put the US government and its allies in Europe, NATO forces, and Russia on high alert. Participants were challenged to use calculated deliberation, decision making, and statecraft as part of a specialized government or military profile they were assigned to play on one of four teams: Russia, the US, China, or NATO.

VCDNP Visiting US Scholar and Practitioner Fellowship

The VCDNP invites applications for its new Visiting Scholar and Practitioner Fellowship for US citizens.

The Fellowship is open to junior/mid-career as well as senior scholars and practitioners. The duration of the fellowship is two to five months.

During her/his Fellowship, the fellow will be expected to conduct research and publish/prepare for publication an article or report on nonproliferation, nuclear disarmament, or related issues; contribute to ongoing research and programmatic activities at the VCDNP; and participate and contribute to professional development courses at the VCDNP and conduct public outreach and engagement as appropriate.

James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies

460 Pierce Street
Monterey, CA 93940 USA
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