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Posts tagged ‘terrorism’

Securing China’s Nuclear Energy Development

Hui Zhang

Hui Zhang

By Hui Zhang

Senior Research Associate, Project on Managing the Atom, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Chinese president Xi Jinping said in his address at the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit that, “we should place equal emphasis on development [of nuclear energy] and security, and develop nuclear energy on the premise of security.” He further emphasized that,developing nuclear energy at the expense of security can neither be sustainable nor bring real development. Only by adopting credible steps and safeguards can we keep the risks under effective control and develop nuclear energy in a sustainable way.”

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Turncoats and Converts Make a Deadly Terrorist Mix

 

Simon Saradzhyan

Simon Saradzhyan

By Simon Saradzhyan

This is an extended version of the author’s “Mixing Turncoats and Terrorism” op-ed published in The Moscow Times on September 9, 2012.

Events of one August day in Russia’s volatile republic of Dagestan have once again highlighted how turncoats can enhance terrorists’ capabilities to carry out deadly attacks in the North Caucasus and other regions of Russia.

On Aug. 28, Aminat Kurbanova, an ethnic Russian woman whose original name is Alla Saprykina, visited Said Afandi al-Chirkawi, the spiritual leader of two major Sufi orders in the North Caucasus. The prominent sheikh was initially reluctant to meet Kurbanova, but the 29-year-old woman said she was a Russian who wanted to convert to Islam and he eventually agreed to receiver her in his village home. In reality, this former actress-cum-dancer had not only already converted to Islam, but had also joined the ranks of the believers in Salafiyyah, the so-called pure Islam.  Once in the same room with the sheikh, the woman detonated the bomb concealed under her clothes to kill him and seven others, including herself. Read more

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Do U.S. drone strikes on al-Qaida make us safer?

Sean M. Lynn-Jones

Sean M. Lynn-Jones

By Sean M. Lynn-Jones

On June 4, a missile fired from a pilotless U.S. drone reportedly killed Abu Yahya al-Libi, said to be al-Qaida’s second-in-command, in a remote region of Pakistan. Just over a year earlier, U.S. special forces stormed Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abbotabad, Pakistan, and shot him dead. In September 2011, a U.S. drone attack in Yemen killed Anwar al-Awlaki, an American radical Islamic cleric who had become an al-Qaida regional commander. Numerous other al-Qaida leaders have been killed in U.S. attacks in recent years. The Obama administration has made such decapitation attacks a central element in the U.S. struggle against al-Qaida and similar militant organizations. Read more

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After Fukushima: Seizing the chance to strengthen nuclear safety and security

Matthew Bunn

Matthew Bunn

By Matthew Bunn

Associate Professor of Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School; co-principal investigator, Managing the Atom Program, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.

Olli Heinonen and I have written a piece just out in Science (log in required) on nuclear safety and security in the aftermath of Fukushima.  We call for more stringent national regulations and international standards, expanded and strengthened safety and security peer reviews, and beefed-up emergency response. Read more

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The world needs to deny this crazed killer a pulpit

Rolf Mowatt-Larssen

Rolf Mowatt-Larssen

By Rolf Mowatt-Larssen

Belfer Center Senior Fellow

I am a Norwegian-American. My parents were immigrants who came to the U.S. seeking an opportunity to make a decent living and raise a family. They became part of the American dream. Like my parents, I am proud of my Norwegian heritage. Before 9/11, I had the opportunity to serve in Norway in the U.S. Embassy in Oslo. I worked closely with the Norwegian government on our mutual national security interests. We had many conversations, and shared similar concerns about terrorism, in all its forms, foreign and domestic. Nonetheless, this attack was a shock – an almost inconceivable turn of events. As I reflect on it, it reminds me of the unfortunate truth that some catastrophes may simply be unpreventable, in spite of all our efforts, and resolve, to prepare for them. Read more

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Leveraging smart power against terrorists

Joseph S. Nye

Joseph S. Nye

Some hawks have cited the skillful military operation that killed Osama Bin Laden as proof that terrorism must be dealt with by hard power, not soft power. But such conclusions are mistaken. A smart strategy against terrorism also requires a large measure of soft power.

Terrorists have long understood that they can never hope to compete head on with a major government in terms of hard power. Instead, they use violence to create drama and narrative that gives them the soft power of attraction. Terrorists rarely overthrow a government. Instead, they try to follow the insights of jujitsu to leverage the strength of a powerful government against itself. Terrorist actions are designed to outrage and provoke over-reactions by the strong. Read more

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Killing bin Laden’s myth and his brand

Joseph S. Nye

By Joseph S. Nye

Killing Bin Laden does not end terrorism. In the short run, it may even lead to a spurt of decentralized revenge attacks, but in the longer term it deals Al Qaeda a severe blow. Over the past decade, Al Qaeda became a loose network, almost a franchise, where much of the activity was developed by local terrorist entrepreneurs. Now the value of the brand name is diminished, and that makes the franchise less valuable.

As I describe in The Future of Power, terrorism is not about military strength or military victory. In an information age, it is not always whose army wins, but also whose story wins. Read more

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Some perspective on the Japan nuclear plant crisis

By William H. Tobey

By William H. Tobey

The Power & Policy Fellows’ Forum

By William H. Tobey

(Before he became a senior fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Will Tobey was Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation at the National Nuclear Security Administration. Last week, he was asked by an ABC News editor to share some perspective on the Japan nuclear reactor situation. Here are his observations).

Here is what I have told family and friends:

There are no absolutely safe options; all forms of reliable energy generation carry risk to human life and health.  In the United States alone last year 48 Americans were killed in coal mining accidents and 11 were killed on the Deep Water Horizon Offshore rig.  Many more died earlier than otherwise because of the health effects of fossil fuel pollution. Read more

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A Better Way to Deal with Dirty-Bomb Threats

By Arnold Bogis

By Arnold Bogis

The Power & Policy Fellows Forum

By Arnold Bogis

The latest diplomatic cables released by Wikileaks are filled with descriptions of smuggled radioactive materials. Director of the National Counterterrorism Center Michael Leiter recently testified to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence that the likelihood of a dirty bomb attack may be as high as one with biological weapons. Two years ago, radioactive materials, ingredients for explosives, and literature on dirty bombs were discovered in a dead man’s house.  Afghanistan or Pakistan?  No: Belfast, Maine.  Police responding to a domestic dispute discovered the dead man and the materials at the scene. Read more

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