One Step at a Time With Iran


As hoped, the P5+1 and Iran settled on a “first step” agreement to resolve concerns about Iran’s potential to develop nuclear weapons and its interest in doing so. We cannot predict how far this process will go or what the next step to establish a comprehensive, enduring agreement that puts the nuclear issue squarely in the past will include. But we can predict that we will never know how good a final agreement can be unless all sides work in good faith to support the process and abstain from taking actions that could potentially undermine it.

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FAS Joins Emerging Threats Working Group

Appointment provides a unique opportunity for FAS to collaborate with NATO and other Euro-Atlantic states to better address the emerging security threats arising from science and technology breakthroughs.

The rapid pace of scientific discovery and technological innovation demands the redoubling of efforts by scientists, policymakers, non-governmental experts, and the business community to adapt to the security implications. That is why FAS is pleased to announce that Michael Edward Walsh, the Adjunct Fellow for Emerging Technologies and High-end Threats at the Federation of American Scientists (FAS), was recently named to the Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes (PfPC) Working Group on Emerging Security Challenges. Continue reading

New Article in Science & Diplomacy on the International Science Partnership

We recently published an article on the International Science Partnership in the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s journal, Science & Diplomacy. The article describes our pilot project to address water and energy challenges in Yemen and places it in the broader context of engagement between the technical communities in Yemen and the United States.

Of course, the article posts against the backdrop of turmoil resulting from events of last week, when hundreds of people marched on the American embassy in Sana’a in protest to a film produced by an Egyptian-American that was denigrating to Islam. Yet the turbulence only underscores why it is important for the United States to strengthen its relationship with Yemen in order to weather these storms. To that end, the natural resource challenges facing Yemen, daunting as they are, can be seen as an opportunity for the United States to demonstrate that its interests are aligned with those of the Yemeni people.

Politics aside, it is also worth repeating that the sheer direness of Yemen’s situation demands attention. Although our ISP project focuses mainly on water and energy issues, the food crisis has become every bit as urgent. Hunger has doubled in Yemen over the past two years and now affects nearly half of the country’s 25 million people. Continue reading

The 52% Solution in Yemen

Debate has picked up on what exactly the U.S. strategy in Yemen is all about. John Brennan, the Deputy National Security Advisor for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, recently came out to explain the Administration’s policy, which had been accused of focusing narrowly on counterterrorism. Continue reading

U.S.-Yemen International Science Partnership Project Underway

The FAS International Science Partnership (ISP) pilot project is set to take off in Amman this week with a workshop hosted by the Middle East Scientific Institute for Security (MESIS). The workshop will bring together an international team of engineers from the U.S. and Yemen to design collaborative projects that help address both countries’ interests in ensuring access to a safe and reliable supply of water and energy. Continue reading

A Closer Look at “Water Security” in Yemen

A few weeks ago the State Department took advantage of World Water day to announce the release of an National Intelligence Council report entitled “Water Security,” which assessed the possible effects of water shortages on U.S. national security over the next several decades. The NIC report’s “bottom line” was that “during the next ten years, many countries important to the United States will experience water problems . . . that will risk instability and state failure, increase regional tensions, and distract them from working with the United States on important U.S. policy objectives.” Although this conclusion may very well be correct, the relationship between water security and U.S. national security is more complicated than one might infer from the framing.  Continue reading