Middlebury Institute of International Studies
September 2020
New Podcast: The Deal
Dr. Jeffrey Lewis, director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program, hosts a brand-new podcast, "The Deal," which tells the story of the Iran nuclear deal, how it came together, how it fell apart, and what it means for the rest of us.

Episodes 1–3 are already out and available from wherever you get your podcasts (Apple, Stitcher, or Spotify).
Elayne Whyte Gómez Joins IAC
H.E. Elayne Whyte Gómez of the Costa Rican Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Strategic Futures Group, has joined the CNS International Advisory Council as its newest member.

An alumna of the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, Ambassador Whyte is an accomplished diplomat and prominent leader in the international community. Most notably, she successfully presided over the 2017 negotiations at the United Nations of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

“It is with sincere pleasure that we welcome Elayne back ‘home’ to CNS as a member of our esteemed International Advisory Council,” said Dr. William C. Potter, CNS founding director. “Her diplomatic acumen, tenacity, and skills will be a tremendous asset to CNS as we continue to expand our efforts at training and educating the next generation of nonproliferation specialists.”

Missile defense database for NTI
New data on missile defense: Tests well, performs poorly
Missile-defense systems designed to intercept ballistic missiles have become a common-place piece of military equipment for many countries. At least 26 countries either possess or are in the process of purchasing missile-defense systems. Israel, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States have all used missile-defense systems in combat. The commonplace nature of missile-defense systems has led to a widespread assumption that these systems are as effective as advertised. 

A new, robust database compiled by Shea Cotton and Jeffrey Lewis for the Nuclear Threat Initiative does not support such confidence. Instead, the research shows a substantial gap between the effectiveness of missile-defense systems in combat and the public statements from government and industry officials about their effectiveness.

Explore the Tableau-powered interactive database, or download the Excel format. Read more about Shea's methodology and read the analysis.
Toward the Tenth NPT Review
Though there are few silver linings to be found in the COVID-19 pandemic, the postponement of the Tenth Review Conference of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) may actually be one of them. States parties have been given additional time to prepare for what many see as a refractory task of achieving consensus.

In this comprehensive and insightful contribution to the CNS Working Group on New Approaches to Disarmament, Dr. Harald Müller argues that the European Union could play an important, consensus-building role, though not without first overcoming its own internal challenges.

Bonus watch: Central to the "fabric" of the NPT is the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), according to International Organizations Program Director Gaukhar Mukhatzhanova in her remarks to a panel organized by the Arms Control Association. NPT parties, then, must uphold the importance of the CTBT, even as they recognize that its entry-into-force is probably not on the near-term horizon.
New Thinking for New Nuclear Audiences
"Recently, there has been a renewed push to get new and diverse voices into the field," writes Jamie Withorne for Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, "And many of these efforts have relied on the use of popular culture and media to attempt to get people interested in reducing the nuclear threat. But 99 Luftballons and Dr. Strangelove can only go so far. It may come as a shock to those already in the nuclear policy space, but, as a borderline Gen Z/Millennial, I often think that these traditional nuclear pop culture media are old and outdated."

In "Lo-fi Beats to Save the World," Jamie discusses the work of pioneering new thinkers and creators such as MIIS alumna Lovely Umayam's Bomshelltoe project, or the N Square collaborator Cool Mint, which are "creating content not to please the executive directors of arms control organizations, but rather, specifically, to attract new audiences."

Bonus: Check out Jamie's Inkstick piece on the curious connection between radium and the color green.
New COVID-19 Resources
Six months into the COVID-19 pandemic, and we continue to learn more about the novel coronavirus, its effects, and how societies are adapting to its continued presence.

New resources in our World War "V" portal are available and include:

Pamela Berenbaum, director of the Middlebury College Global Health Program and a CNS non-resident scholar, led a webinar on the current inequities in COVID-19 infection and mortality rates among people of color. She discusses the social and structural determinants of health and their utility for understanding how legacies of marginalization and racism are putting people of color into positions of higher risk.

Dr. Christopher Murray, director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, offers a webinar on Global COVID-19 Modeling, as part of the International Biosecurity and Prevention Forum and European Commission Joint Research Centre's ongoing series.

ALSO: During the annual consultative meeting of the EU Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Consortium, VCDNP Executive Director Elena Sokova argued that the pandemic has reinforced negative trends in arms control, nonproliferation, and disarmament, and limited the international community's ability to address these issues. Six months in, and we continue to grapple with the new geopolitical reality without fully understanding the extent of the pandemic's effects.

James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies

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Monterey, CA 93940 USA

Email: cns@miis.edu
Phone: +1 (831) 647-4154
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