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IAEA Technical Cooperation: Sustainable Development with a Nuclear Twist

by Audrey Williams | August 11th, 2015 | |Subscribe

Audrey Williams is a Program Associate at PSA, where she contributes to programs on the IAEA, conflict resolution, and bipartisan foreign policy. She was previously a Herbert Scoville Jr. Peace Fellow at The Stimson Center, where she published a report on IAEA technical cooperation in the 21st Century.


IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano visist the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute in 2013.  Photo Credit: Conleth Brady / IAEA

IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano visist the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute in 2013. Photo Credit: Conleth Brady / IAEA


In the fall of 2014, as the Ebola crisis raged in West Africa, a seemingly unlikely actor entered the effort to prevent the disease’s spread: the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). In the case of the Ebola crisis, the IAEA sent material support to Sierra Leone to help achieve faster diagnoses, which were crucial to both treating and preventing the spread of the disease. Months later, the IAEA brought together 20 experts from 13 African countries for a project to strengthen early detection of disease outbreaks on the continent.

The IAEA is often called a “nuclear watchdog,” and it is certainly a crucial international actor in the effort to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons. Yet the Agency’s contributions to peace and security go beyond safeguards and verifications. It is a little known fact that the IAEA has long been a development actor, carrying out projects across food and agriculture, human health, the environment, and other themes in 131 countries and territories through its Technical Cooperation Programme.


‘No’ to Iran Means No Forever

by PSA Staff | August 11th, 2015 | |Subscribe

Samuel Berger is the former White House national security advisor and current co-chair of Albright Stonebridge Group. He is a member of PSA’s Advisory Board. This article originally appeared in Politico.

There is a notion cultivated by opponents of the Iran nuclear agreement, attractive to members of Congress under intense pressure to vote no, that congressional rejection of the agreement will enable U.S. negotiators to reach a better deal. The expectation is, that with a further turn of the screws, we can pressure the Iranians to give more and/or we give less. But it can’t happen.


Don’t Forget our Daughters: The Importance of Girls in Guaranteeing Future Security

by PSA Staff | August 3rd, 2015 | |Subscribe

*Kyleanne Hunter is a PhD Candidate at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver.  Prior to entering academia, she served as a United States Marine Corps Officer for over a decade, flying the AH-1W “Super Cobra” in multiple combat deployments, and serving as the liaison officer to the House of Representatives.

An 8 year old girl and a backpack.  This is a seemingly innocent and innocuous image.  Yet she is perhaps one of the strongest allies the US has in its fight against terrorist-producing extremism and the destabilizing effects of failed states.  In the past decade, numerous studies and reports have linked state stability, security, and profitability to women’s equality.  Of particular note are the findings in the seminal work Sex and World Peace[1] linking gender equality to a lack of involvement in either intra or inter state armed conflict.  While much attention has been paid to the important role women play in stabilizing previously conflict-ridden countries, there is still woefully little done to ensure this positive trend remains well into the future.


Libya: Making a Friend out of the Enemy of our Enemy

by PSA Staff | July 29th, 2015 | |Subscribe

*Alex Braha is a Senior Associate at Andreae & Associates in Washington, DC, where she focuses on political and security issues in Africa and the Middle East. She received her M.A. in International Security from the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver.

The beginning of this month saw glimmers of hope quickly turn back to stalemate with the UN-led negotiations to solve the crisis in Libya. July began with Abdullah al-Thinni, the prime minister for the internationally recognized government currently in power in Tobruk, proclaiming his hopes that a peace deal could be signed at the latest round of talks. This was followed a few days later by the refusal of the rival government in Tripoli to show at the peace talks, expressing their rejection of the UN proposal and suggested amendments from the Tobruk government. The latest iteration of a peace plan is the fourth draft undertaken by UN envoy Bernadino Leon, and the closest he has been to consensus. But with the last minute refusal by the Tripoli government, how many more chances remain to get a deal?


How Iran turns lemons into high-octane lemonade

by PSA Staff | July 10th, 2015 | |Subscribe

Robert C. “Bud” McFarlane served as President Ronald Reagan’s National Security Advisor from 1983-1985, and is a member of PSA’s distinguished Advisory Board. This post originally appeared in the Washington Times

In 2009, as intelligence reports confirmed that Iran — the world’s leading state-sponsor of terrorism — had resumed its nuclear weapons development program, the efforts of American policy officials to reverse it focused first on Iranian vulnerabilities. What critical commodity or service essential to daily life in Iran might be restricted by sanctions and thereby influence the government of Iran to change course? It didn’t take long to identify such a strategic commodity: gasoline.


Lee Hamilton: Despite Growing Tensions, US Must Move Forward on Cooperation With China

by PSA Staff | July 1st, 2015 | |Subscribe

Published in the Huffington Post:

Lee H. Hamilton is a Distinguished Scholar, Indiana University School of Global and International Studies; Professor of Practice, IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs; Chairman, Center on Congress at Indiana University. He served as U.S. Representative from Indiana’s 9th Congressional District from 1965-1999.

He is a co-founder of the Partnership for a Secure America and sits on the PSA Advisory Board.

We routinely slam each other’s records on human rights. We accuse them of stealing commercial secrets, as we unabashedly acknowledge our own attempts to uncover security secrets. We debate which of our systems of government — capitalism or communism — truly works best, and we squabble over our respective responsibilities in addressing the potential catastrophic impact of climate change. (more…)

Madeleine Albright Says: Learn to Interrupt, But Only If You Know What You’re Talking About

by PSA Staff | June 24th, 2015 | |Subscribe

Madeleine K. Albright was U.S. Secretary of State and Ambassador to the United Nations, and is a member of PSA’s distinguished Advisory Board. This article originally appeared in NY Magazine.

This week, the Cut is talking advice — the good, the bad, the weird, and the pieces of it you really wish you would have taken. Here, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright on learning to get things done in the United Nations.

Probably every woman you know, certainly every woman I know, has been in meetings where you’re the only woman in the room, and you want to make some kind of a comment and you think, Okay, I’m not going to say that, because it sounds stupid. And then some man says it, and everybody thinks it’s completely brilliant, and you’re really mad at yourself for not having spoken. I had that experience most of my life.


World losing battle against terror, climate change & cyberattacks: Albright

by PSA Staff | June 17th, 2015 | |Subscribe

Madeleine K. Albright was U.S. Secretary of State and Ambassador to the United Nations, and is a member of PSA’s distinguished Advisory Board. Ibrahim A. Gambari was Foreign Minister of Nigeria and U.N. Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs. This article originally appeared at USA Today.   

As the United Nations marks its 70th anniversary later this year, there is mounting evidence that the international community is losing the fight against the most pressing security and justice challenges of our time. From Syria to sub-Saharan Africa, a marked increase in mass atrocities has undermined basic human rights and reversed the trend of declining political violence that began with the end of the Cold War. Climate change, cyberattacks, and the threat of cross-border economic shocks also pose grave implications for global security and justice.


Doomsday: The Coming Collapse of North Korea

by Jamie Metzl | June 15th, 2015 | |Subscribe

Jamie Metzl is co-chair of PSA’s Board of Directors. He is the author of Genesis Code and a Senior Fellow of the Atlantic Council. He served in the U.S. National Security Council, State Department, and Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Follow him on Twitter @JamieMetzl. This article originally appeared at The National Interest.

Doomsday: The Coming Collapse of North Korea

As a member of the U.S. National Security Council staff in the later 1990s, I worked with colleagues on plans for responding to the potential collapse of the North Korean government. As a self-induced famine ravaged the country, we considered what we might do when the regime finally succumbed to the inevitable consequence of its own insanity. Almost twenty years later, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is still there and those predicting its imminent collapse have continually been proven wrong. But today, the North Korean madness may well be nearing its endgame. I predict it will be gone within a decade.


Peace envoy Gary Hart: America will invest in Northern Ireland, but only if there is political and economic stability

by PSA Staff | June 15th, 2015 | |Subscribe

Retired United States Senator Gary Hart (D-CO) is the personal representative of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and a member of PSA’s Advisory Board. This article originally appeared in the Belfast Telegraph.

America will invest in Northern Ireland, but only if there is political and economic stability

Most of us think of ourselves either as a citizen of a nation, or a follower of a religion, or both. In many older societies, identity is shaped by family, or tribe.

Even within nations, there are cultural divisions, such as the Walloons and the Flemish in Belgium, or the Ossetians and the Abkhazians in Georgia. Within religions there are Catholic, Protestant, Greek Orthodox and other sects in Christianity and Shia and Sunni within Islam.

In the United States, it is still quite common to have people and neighbourhoods described as Italian-American, Irish-American, Cuban-American and so on. There are fewer tribal, ethnic and cultural identities in more unitary nations, such as Poland and Italy.

These sociological reflections are of little importance on a day-to-day basis, unless one kind of discrimination, or another, occurs, or unless ongoing sectarian conflicts perpetuate themselves over centuries, as in the Middle East.


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All blog posts are independently produced by their authors and do not necessarily reflect the policies or positions of PSA. Across the Aisle serves as a bipartisan forum for productive discussion of national security and foreign affairs topics.