FAS Roundup: October 14, 2013

New report on MANPADS threat, anniversary of LTBT, Iran’s enrichment of uranium and much more.

Publication: Report Examines MANPADS Threat and International Efforts to Address It

On November 28, 2002, terrorists fired two Soviet-designed SA-7 man-portable air defense systems (MANPADS) at an Israeli plane destined for Tel Aviv as it departed from Moi International Airport in Mombasa, Kenya. The missiles missed their target but the incident was a wake-up call for governments around the world. After the attack, the United States and several other countries launched initiatives aimed at securing and destroying stockpiles of missiles and strengthening international controls of MANPADS. Is this enough, or is there more governments can do to reduce this threat?

In a new report, “The MANPADS Threat and International Efforts To Address It”, Matt Schroeder, Director of the Arms Sales Monitoring Project, assesses the terrorist threat from MANPADS, evaluates efforts by the international community to curb this threat, and proposes additional measures that governments can take to further reduce the illicit proliferation and use of MANPADS.

The report is available here. 

Publication: The Siren Song of Zero Enrichment

The upcoming Iran nuclear talks have sparked debate as to what exactly diplomats should put on the table when they meet next week in Geneva. One constant demand is that Iran abandon its enrichment of uranium. In a new op-ed in The National Interest, Adjunct Fellow for Special Projects Mark Jansson writes that there is nothing clear-eyed or realistic about the demand for zero enrichment. Nor is it technically necessary. The right verification measures can ensure that Iran’s nuclear program remains peaceful.

Jansson writes that whatever the history of Iran’s interest in nuclear weapons, taking advantage of the opportunity before both countries to move forward should not be reduced to a choice between forcing Iran to quit uranium enrichment and accepting that it develops a bomb. Otherwise, having confused itself about what its true goals are, the United States may end up fighting yet another unnecessary counterproliferation war in the Middle East.

From the Blogs

50th Anniversary of the Limited Test Ban Treaty: On October 10, 1963, the Limited Test Ban Treaty entered into force, prohibiting all test detonations of nuclear weapons except underground. Freeman Dyson, Professor Emeritus at the Institute for Advanced Studies at Princeton University, served as FAS chairman from 1962-1963 and argued in favor of the test ban. In August 1963, Prof. Dyson testified on behalf of FAS before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations in its hearings on the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. Recently, FAS President Dr. Charles Ferguson asked Prof. Dyson to comment on the significance of this anniversary and what can be done to further reduce nuclear dangers.

CIA Halts Public Access to Open Source Service: As of December 31, 2013, the CIA will terminate public access to its open source service. The Open Source Center (OSC) provides unclassified, open source information on U.S. intelligence and its information feed is publicly accessible via the World News Connection (WNC). The WNC public feed from the Open Source Center is a highly attenuated version of what is available to official government users. Even with that significant limitation and the attendant public subscription fees, the NTIS World News Connection has remained a highly prized resource for news reporters, foreign policy analysts, students and interested members of the public.

The Dose Makes The Poison: The Linear No-Threshold (LNT) hypothesis states that any incremental amount of radiation exposure can increase our risk of developing cancer, and that this added risk increases linearly with the amount of exposure. Scientist Dr. Edward Calabrese states that the acceptance of this hypothesis as the basis of global radiation regulations is the result of a deliberate campaign that ignored a great deal of scientific evidence to the contrary. In a new post on the ScienceWonk Blog, Dr. Y writes that in addition to knowing if LNT hypothesis is accurate, it’s just as important to know whether or not it stands on solid intellectual foundations.

Event: Launch of World Nuclear Energy Report

The Heinrich Böll Foundation, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and FAS are hosting a luncheon discussion with Mycle Schneider, the lead author of the World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2013 on October 17, 2013 in Washington, DC.

The plummeting natural gas prices, sovereign debt crisis, proliferation concerns and improved economic conditions for renewable energy sources have created a challenging global environment for nuclear power. Contrary to what the nuclear industry would have us believe that we are seeing a global renaissance in nuclear power, nuclear power the world over is on the decline. The World Nuclear Industry Status Report provides a vital reality check to the current situation of the global nuclear industry as well as identifying important nuclear trends.

For more information and to RSVP click here. 

Event: The Chemicals, Conflict and Challenges in Syria


FAS and the Center for Science, Technology and Security Policy at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) are hosting an event on Wednesday,October 23 at 5 p.m. at AAAS in Washington, DC on the science and security involved in the implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention and the U.N. Security Council Resolution 2118 in Syria.

Speakers include Dr. Paul Walker, Green Cross International, Mr. Michael Moodie, International CWB Commentator and Dr. Chen Kane, Center for Nonproliferation Studies. Topics that will be discussed include: technical solutions and expertise required to ensure accelerated destruction of chemical weapons; the broader regional impact of Syria’s accession to the Chemical Weapons Convention; and the challenges involved in carrying out destruction in a civil war environment.
For more information and to RSVP click here. 

Office Space for Rent in Washington, DC

FAS has three offices for rent in the heart of Washington’s central business district, within less than a minute’s walk to Farragut North metro stop on the red line, and less than four minutes walking distance from Farragut West metro stop on the orange and blue line. The offices are 130 sqft each and are furnished.

Rent for each office is $1,200 per month; package deals with reduced rates are possible. Included is the use of one large conference room, as well as a small meeting room; kitchen; reception; the use of a copy room, and general work area; separate work area for interns.
For more information, click here.

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