James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS)
CNS News & Views:
September 2018
UN High Representative for Disarmament Izumi Nakamitsu.
UN High Representative for Disarmament Izumi Nakamitsu Visits CNS

On August 16, 2018, UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Izumi Nakamitsu visited the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) for consultations with staff and students. During her visit, High Representative Nakamitsu discussed new UN initiatives related to disarmament and nonproliferation education and the intersection of gender and nonproliferation, among other issues.

A highlight of Ms. Nakamitsu's visit was a public talk she delivered on the UN secretary-general's new agenda for disarmament in the twenty-first century. The seminar, moderated by CNS Director Dr. Bill Potter, focused on means to secure the common future of humankind in the face of new and enduring challenges.During her visit, Ms. Nakamitsu also met with participants in the Center's Summer Undergraduate Nonproliferation Program. 

How Trump Could Trigger Armageddon with a Tweet

" No matter how odd it might seem, foreign governments have little choice but to read and consider what President Trump says, no matter where he says it. North Korea is no exception," warns Jeffrey Lewis, director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program at CNS, in a recent piece for Wired Magazine. Lewis describes an all-too-plausible scenario in which a crisis could escalate into nuclear catastrophe. 

Kenshin Cho
Protectionist Export Controls May Hinder Nonproliferation

Export controls are an important tool, but when they are used primarily to advance protectionism they can actually jeopardize US national security and undermine proliferation efforts, writes CNS Summer Undergraduate Fellow Kenshin Cho in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.
Occasional Paper #37
New Report on Tactical Disinformation Campaigns 

"All the World is Staged: An Analysis of Social Media Influence Operations against US Counterproliferation Efforts in Syria," CNS Occasional Paper #37, seeks to analyze the tradecraft, trends, themes, and possible effects of disinformation produced by suspected synthetic actors (i.e., bots, trolls, and cyborgs) on Twitter concerning chemical weapons use in Syria.

Authors Jack O. Nassetta and Ethan P. Fecht, both participants in the CNS Summer Undergraduate Nonproliferation Program, examine Twitter as an example case of what is likely a much wider network of synthetic actors.

The Washington Post's Monkey Cage blog published a summary of the report's findings, on the eve of another suspected chemical weapon attack in Syria, as evidence of Russia's impending disinformation campaign mounted.

"Saudi Arabia's nuclear energy program is barely in its infancy but has already spurred much controversy," writes Chen Kane, Director of the Middle East Nonproliferation Program at CNS.

" Amid a regional standoff between Saudi Arabia and Iran and provocative comments from Saudi leaders, some observers worry that the program is little more than a pretext for developing nuclear weapons. Others, however, point to what they see as legitimate peaceful motivations for the program."

Raymond Zilinskas
Remembering Raymond Zilinskas

The Middlebury Institute community is mourning the loss of one of its longtime members, Dr. Raymond A. Zilinskas, who passed away last week after a brief illness. Zilinskas was one of the world's foremost experts on chemical and biological weapons. He directed the Chemical and Biological Weapons Program at the CNS and taught courses on the subject since joining the Institute in 1998.

Zilinskas's career as a researcher, writer, and teacher leaves a remarkable legacy of scholarship and mentorship that will live on through the work of his students and colleagues.

"For two decades, Ray was the 'go-to' person at CNS on all things related to CBW,"   writes Director of CNS Bill Potter. " A friend and mentor to students, faculty, journalists, and government officials, he will be missed greatly."