Issue Briefs

FAS issue briefs provide the public and policymakers with a concise overview of a specific, current security threat. Past issue briefs have examined topics such as Iran’s enrichment of uranium, sanctions in North Korea and regulation of Japan’s nuclear power program post- Fukushima.

Examining Global Biosecurity Engagement Programs

Global biosecurity engagement programs are designed to prevent the harmful use of biological agents and pathogens. It is difficult to measure the effectiveness of these programs in improving biosecurity given that there have been relatively few attempts to misuse the life sciences. To understand how biosecurity engagement is conducted and evaluated, Michelle Rozo, Ph.D. candidate at Johns Hopkins University, interviewed more than 35 individuals in the United States and abroad (including government officials and their non-governmental partners) regarding current and future programs that can be used to create a cohesive, global health system approach to biosecurity.

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Japan’s Role as Leader for Nuclear Nonproliferation

A country with few natural resources, first Japan began to develop nuclear power technologies in 1954. Nuclear energy assisted with Japanese economic development and reconstruction post World War II. However, with the fear of lethal ash and radioactive fallout and the lingering effects from the 2011 accident at Fukushima-Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, there are many concerns related to Japanese nonproliferation, security and nuclear policy.

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Sanctions and Nonproliferation in North Korea and Iran

The international responses to Iranian and North Korean proliferation bear many similarities, particularly in the use of economic sanctions as a central tool of policy. This issue brief contains an comparative analysis of U.S. policy toward Iran and North Korea.

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A Nuclear- Free Mirage

The issue brief takes a deeper look at the nuclear policies of the Obama administration—polices that Dr. Norris terms “radical” with regard to their vision of a nuclear weapon free world.

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The B61 Life-Extension Program: Increasing NATO Nuclear Capability and Precision Low-Yield Strikes

A modified U.S. nuclear bomb currently under design will have improved military capabilities compared with older weapons and increase the targeting capability of NATO’s nuclear arsenal. The B61-12, the product of a planned 30-year life extension and consolidation of four existing versions of the B61 into one, will be equipped with a new guidance system to increase its accuracy.

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