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Nuclear Strategy and the Crisis of World Order

November 2 – 6, 2015   |   Washington, D.C.
Applications are now closed.

Instructors: Eric Edelman, Stephen Rosen, Dima Adamsky, Jacqueline Deal, and Richard Wagner
Stipend: $1,000 (D.C. area residents); $2,000 (Domestic U.S. and Canada); $3,000 (International)

300x300-nuclearAre we entering a dangerous new age of nuclear proliferation? A world in which the use of nuclear weapons is truly imaginable or even likely? And do the democratic nations of the world—including America and Israel—have a strategy to preserve order and protect themselves in this brave new world?

Since 1945, the nuclear arsenal of the United States has underwritten its security and augmented its ability to project American strength abroad. But the United States has not built a new nuclear weapon since 1988, and has not tested an existing nuclear weapon since 1991. All the while, the risks of an increasingly proliferated world are growing. North Korea has tested nuclear weapons on numerous occasions, and India, Pakistan, and China are all growing their nuclear stockpiles. Despite renewing the spirit of disarmament in 2010 with the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) signed by President Obama and President Medvedev, Russia continues to modernize its nuclear force.

And then there is Iran. A series of high-level meetings throughout the Spring of 2015 between the foreign ministers of the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, Germany, France, China, the European Union, and Iran have yielded an international framework that will likely legitimize Iranian nuclear power, and that would allow for the Iranian regime to maintain and develop weapons grade uranium. The prospect of a nuclear Iran has provoked Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and others, to begin exploring their own domestic nuclear programs. And a nuclear Iran brings about special concern in Israel, given the Iranian regime’s apocalyptic rhetoric seeking the full-scale destruction of the Jewish State, its quest for regional supremacy, and its support of terrorist proxies on Israeli’s borders.

The Cold War paradigm has been obsolete for decades, and yet thinkers and policy-makers have been slow to confront the strategic challenges of the new moment. Learning from the best of earlier nuclear strategy, and acutely aware of current realities, a fundamental reassessment is needed. Does the proliferation at the dawn of the 21st century lower the threshold for nuclear use, and how should one think about the use of tactical nuclear weapons? How has the nuclear science changed, and how has missile defense technology changed? Do the differing cultural, political, and strategic contexts of new and prospective nuclear states force us to reconsider our traditional cost-benefit approach to decision making? What novel strategies of deterrence, defense, or preventive war are needed to preserve regional order and global peace?

Led by former under-secretary of defense Eric Edelman, who helped manage the nuclear portfolio for the Bush administration, Harvard professor Stephen Rosen, one of the nation’s preeminent nuclear strategists, and IDC Herzliya professor Dima Adamsky, an expert in Israeli national security policy, this seminar will try to assess the real strategic, moral, and political challenges of the current nuclear era.

A note to our alumni: In the interest of bringing more new faces into the Tikvah community, we are not taking applications this round from past participants in Tikvah programs. We have a limited number of auditor seats in the programs that we are always thrilled to give to alumni of past programs. If you are interested in attending a program as an auditor please write to info@tikvahfund.org.

This institute is offered in conjunction with the Hertog Foundation: