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Is Nuclear Arms Control Dead?

Michael Nacht

Thomas and Alison Schneider Professor of Public Policy, Goldman School of Public Policy, UC Berkeley.  Assistant Secretary of Defense for Global Strategic Affairs (2009-2010, on leave from UC Berkeley)

Mon, 11/13/2017 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm
3105 Etcheverry Hall
Fall 2017 Colloquium Series

co-hosted by the Nuclear Science and Security Consortium (

The tense international environment with poor U.S.- Russia relations, and great tensions in US-North Korea and US-Iran relations, has called into question whether negotiated nuclear arms control agreements have any future. If not, what does this portend for nuclear weapons proliferation and even nuclear weapon use?


Topics being covered: 

1.  Value of bilateral and multilateral nuclear arms control in the past

2.  The Obama legacy and the response of Russia ("escalate to deescalate"), China, India, Pakistan

3.  Current Issues:

    a.  New START Treaty
    b.  INF Treaty

    c.  NPT

    d.  CTBT

    e.  Space and Cyber Issues

 4. Nuclear Proliferation Prospects

    a.  North Korea  -  South Korea, Japan, Taiwan

    b.  Iran and the JPCOA

    c.  Others - Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Egypt, others (?)

    d.  Nuclear Terrorism - ISIS, AL QAEDA

  5.  Trump Administration Nuclear Posture Review (Spring 2018)

About the Speaker: 

Michael Nacht holds the Thomas and Alison Schneider Chair in Public Policy.  From 1998-2008 he was Aaron Wildavsky Dean of the Goldman School.  He is a specialist in U.S. national security policy; science, technology and public policy; and management strategies for complex organizations.

He is the author or co-author of six books and more than eighty articles and book chapters on nuclear weapons policy; regional security issues affecting Russia and China, the Middle East and East Asia; cyber and space policy; counter-terrorism and homeland security; international education; and public management.  He recently co-edited and co-authored Strategic Latency and World Power:  How Technology Is Changing Our Concepts of Security published by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Center for Global Security Research.

Nacht served as Assistant Secretary of Defense for Global Strategic Affairs (2009-2010), after unanimous U.S. Senate confirmation, for which he received the Distinguished Public Service Award, the Department’s highest civilian honor.  Previously, he was Assistant Director for Strategic and Eurasian Affairs of the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (1994-97), during which time he participated in five Presidential summits, four with Russian President Yeltsin and one with Chinese President Jiang Zemin.

He is currently chair of the Policy Focus Area for the Nuclear Science and Security Consortium led by the U.C. Berkeley Department of Nuclear Engineering. He is also co-investigator of a new Department of Defense Minerva Research Project on “Deterring Complex Threats” with colleagues from UC San Diego.

He received a B.S. in Aeronautics and Astronautics and an M.S. in Operations Research from New York University and a Ph.D. in Political Science from Columbia University.