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Keck- Final Paper Clean Copy

Keck- Final Paper Clean Copy

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Published by: Zachary Keck on Dec 12, 2012
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Keck 1Governing Nuclear Security Through Government NetworksZachary Keck This paper seeks to apply
Anne Marie Slaughter’s
(2002; also see, Slaughter 2005) concept of transnationalgovernmental networks to the issue of nuclear security in the post-Cold War era.
1
In particular, I examine the role of government networks involving nuclear scientists from the national laboratories in security nuclear weapons andnuclear weapons usable material during the post-Cold War era. The analysis centers around a case study of theCooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) Program in the former Soviet Union (FSU), with additional analysis on itsexpansion to include areas outside the FSU starting in 2003.I find strong evidence to support many of 
Slaughter’s
claims about the benefits of government networks comparedwith traditional international institutions. The transnational laboratory-to-laboratory networks allowed the U.S., theSoviet Union, and the Newly Independent States (NIS) were able to organize themselves relatively quickly to anurgent problem and remain flexible in order to deal with unique characteristics of the each weapon-usable nuclearsite. Later new informal laboratory-to-laboratory networks were created to deal with a diverse set of relationshipsand circumstances that existed between the U.S. and other nuclear weapons and fissile material producing states.At the same time, these networks exhibit few of the critiques of government networks that Slaughter responds to inher article. As I discuss in more detail below, while these scientific networks working on nuclear security arepursuing a specific and somewhat narrow goal, they are merely one part of a broader array of transnational networksand international institutions that focus on nuclear issues defined broadly. Far from displacing traditionalinternational institutions, these lab-to-lab networks are usually implementing goals set by the International AtomicEnergy Agency (IAEA) and in fact do so working in close cooperation with the IAEA and other traditionalinstitutions. While there are some issues with transparency and accountability, these issues are caused more by the
sensitive nature of nuclear security rather than the form of organization they’ve devised to carry it out.
Putdifferently, traditional international institutions would be no more, and probably less accountable and transparentthan networks in addressing the same challenges.The decision to focus on lab-to-lab networks and their work on the CTR Program was borne out of both practicaland analytical considerations. At the most basic level, the prominence of the CTR Program and nuclear securitysummits has resulted in them being documented to a degree that is uncommon for the work of government networks.By drawing on the rich government, NGO, and scholarly literature on these cases, I am able to more thoroughlyinvestigate them without conducting the type of primary research that would otherwise be necessary. Moreover, thesubject matter makes sense for studying government networks in that nuclear safety is an issue that traditionally fallsto national regulatory agencies but has increasingly taken an international character due to the transnational natureof the threat.The issue of nuclear security and these case studies are intellectually stimulating in a number of other ways. Nuclear
security is intriguing in being, paradoxically, both an “easy” and “hard” test case for government networks.
It is an
“easy” test case for government networks in that it is an issue that is likely to enjoy wide sup
port both within andacross governments. To be sure, some states may object to giving up their indigenous enrichment and reprocessingcapabilities, while others may be concerned about the national security implications of allowing foreigners to visitsensitive nuclear facilities. The degree of concern over nuclear theft also varies among different nations.Nonetheless, the basic goal of preventing non-state actors from obtaining nuclear weapons and weapon-useablenuclear materials is likely to be nearly universal among states in a way that issues like transnational justice and
1
Nuclear security is defined in different ways by different individuals and organizations. This paper adopts the
International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) definition, which defines nuclear security as “
the prevention anddetection of, and response to, theft, sabotage, unauthorized access, illegal transfer or other malicious acts involvingnuclear material, other radioactive substances or their associated facilities
” (IAEA 2007).
 
Keck 2international financial issues are not. The excessively technical nature of the subject matter also lends itself to thetype of technocrats that compromise government networks. Indeed, as discussed more below, the focus on lab-to-labnetworks is especially appropriate given the collaborative nature of scientific inquiry and the deep-seated tradition of transnational scientific collaboration.On the
other hand, nuclear security is also a “hard” test case in
that, unlike the issues that Slaughter
’s article
discusses, it is
a “hard politics” issue. Broadly speaking,
these types of issues are traditionally the domain of Realists, who emphasize the competitive pressures of the international system and the disincentives for inter-statecooperate. Moreover, when states do undertake cooperation in these hard political issues, it is likely to be carried outin a formal and centralized manner where states can carefully define the rules and nature of the cooperation, monitorcheating, and assess the relative gains or losses they derive from cooperation. In fact, few areas of cooperation canbe considered more formal and centralized than the Cold War arms control agreements between the Soviet Unionand the U.S. The fact that the post-Cold War has seen government networks and informal cooperative mechanismsincreasingly used to address nuclear issues suggests that globalization has fundamentally altered the types of nuclearthreats that states are most concerned about.The rest of this paper proceeds as follows. In the next section I give a brief overview of the general role of scientistsin nuclear weapons issues from a theoretical and historical standpoint. This includes briefly reviewing U.S.-Sovietscientific cooperation and exchanges during the Cold War. The third section is devoted to conducting an in-depthcase study of the role of lab-to-lab networks
during the 1990’s
implementing materials protection, control &accounting (MPC&A) upgrades at nuclear sites in the FSU as part of the Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR)Program.
The fourth section then examines the Obama administration’s nuclear security agenda, which centers on
biannual heads-of-state summits. The fifth and final section evaluates these case studies against the supposedadvantages and disadvantages of government networks identified in
Slaughter’s
article.
II. Scientists and Nuclear Weapons Policy
While difficult to quantify, scientists have an obvious and important role to play in nuclear issues. Although policydecisions are made based on political considerations, with nuclear issues political calculations are informed in nosmall part by scientific matters. For instance, while a leader may determine that the threats facing his or her countrywarrant acquiring a nuclear weapon, if the country greatly lacks the scientific and technical means to build one theleader may decide to pursue alternative policies for dealing with these threats. Even if a leader decided to pursuenuclear weapons despite the odds, the amount of success s/he achieves in this effort is largely a function of the
country’s scientific expertise and ability to
mobilize it.Science is arguably of greater importance to arms control agreements. The example of the Limited Test Ban Treaty(LTBT) of 1963 illustrates this dynamic. The LTBT prohibited all nuclear tests except for ones conductedunderground. The initial impetus for a test ban treaty was the much greater yields produced by hydrogen bombs, thetesting of which had brought issues like radiological fallout and other environment concerns into the mainstreampublic consciousness for the first time. The public outcry that ensued pressured the nuclear powers to explore a testban.Science also defined the scope of the treaty they concluded. Specifically, the reason that the LTBT did not proscribeall nuclear testing is because the detection capabilities at the time were not advanced enough to allow states todistinguish between an underground nuclear test and an earthquake without conducting on-site inspections, whichthe Soviet Union refused to allow. Subsequent scientific advances
, some coming as early as the 1970’s
(Barth 2006),in detecting underground nuclear tests, as well as ensuring the reliability of nuclear weapons without actually testingthem, helped facilitate the signing of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) in 1996, although it has yet to beratified by enough states to come into effect.
 
Keck 3Policymakers
reliance on scientists
’ expertise inevitable gives the latter 
a degree of influence over policy. Thisinfluence is by no means decisive in every case. Nonetheless, scientists have in some cases had an importantinfl
uence over country’s nuclear policies.
The proliferation literature has often cited scientists and science bureaucracies as catalysts for the pursuit orforeswearing of nuclear weapons.
In his seminal history of India’s nuclear weapon program, George Per 
kovich(1999) focuses on the pivot role of Dr. Homi Jehangir Bhabha, a Western-educated nuclear scientist who created and
led India’s nuclear program from its inception in the
 
late 1940’s
through his death in 1966 (see also Subletteundated). According to
Perkovich’s account,
it was
Dr. Bhabha who pressured India’s more pacifi
st-leaning politicalleaders to authorize a nuclear weapons program.Scott Sagan (1996/1997) addresses the role of scientists in nuclear proliferation from a more theoretical standpoint.Specifically, Sagan outlines a domestic/bureaucratic model of nuclear proliferation that consists of nuclear scientistsfrom the national laboratories forming a pro-nuclear weapon coalition with members of the military leadership.Once formed, this pro-nuclear coalition signals out and engages sympathetic politicians, or pressures/manipulatesanti-nuclear leaders into changing their position.On the other hand, scientists also have a rich tradition as non-proliferation and arms control advocates. In fact,arguably the first nuclear arms control advocates were the very same physicists working on the Manhattan Project,which developed the first U.S. nuclear bombs during WWII. Physicist Niels Bohr, for instance, lobbied FranklinRoosevelt and Winston Churchville to include Joseph Stalin in the Manhattan Project in order to improve thechances that nuclear weapons would be put under international (UN) control after the war. Similarly, J. Robert
Oppenheimer, the “father of the atomic bomb,” was the author 
of a U.S. government report that form the basis of theBaruch Plan, a 1946 US proposal to the UN calling for the most sensitive aspects of the nuclear fuel cycle to be putunder international control (Holloway 2012). Following the invention and testing of hydrogen bombs in 1952,leading scientists took on non-proliferation advocacy with even greater urgency. Particularly notable was the 1955Russell-Einstein Manifesto denouncing nuclear weapons that was signed by eleven leading scientists and publicintellectuals. This manifesto would lead to the first Pugwash Conference on Science and World Affairs being held in1957, which in 1995 was awarded with the Nobel Peace Prize.The role of scientists as arms control advocates was by no means limited to the Western world. Of particularimportance on the Soviet side was Andrei Sakharov, a renowned physicist who led
the Soviet Union’s program to
develop a hydrogen bomb, before becoming an outspoken critic of the Soviet Union regime and the nuclear armsrace. Even after his
vocal dissent of the Soviet regime led to his imprisonment in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s,
Sakharov continued to speak out against nuclear weapons, including having friends and colleagues sneak out anopen letter to American physicist Sydney Drell on the dangers of Thermonuclear War, which appeared in
Foreign Affairs
while Sakharov was still a prisoner (Sakharov 1983).
Sakharov and Drell’s transnational cooperation was hardly unique in their field. Scientific inquiry by its very nature
involves collaboration. As communication technology improved, this cooperation increasingly took place acrossnational borders with information being exchanged through publications in professional journals and organizinginternational conferences. The result is an accumulative process where a crucial discovery in one area of the world isquickly incorporated into the work of scientists worldwide, soon spurring new breakthroughs from those latterscientists.Nuclear science has always embodied this transnational ethos. Reed and Stillman (2009, 12) note that the topseventy nuclear discoveries and innovations in the five pivotal decades between 1897 and 1948 came from scientistsworking in nine different nations, spanning three separate continents. Even the Manhattan Project, despite beingaimed at producing a national nuclear weapon, was a multinational endeavor. Indeed, Reed and Stillman (2009, 13)survey the national origin of the leading scientists on the Los Alamos technical staff during the Manhattan Project,

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