What are the Benefits of a CTBT?

by PSA Staff | January 22nd, 2014 | |Subscribe

Jenifer Mackby is a Senior Adviser at Partnership for a Secure America. She worked on the negotiations and implementation of the CTBT and has served in senior positions at a number of international organizations focusing on nuclear, biological, and conventional weapons issues. Mackby is the co-author of several books on these subjects and has appeared in The New York Times, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, and National Defense University publications.

What are the Benefits of a CTBT?

While waves of generations in many countries have fought for a treaty to ban nuclear weapon test explosions, the U.S. Congress has been divided on the issue in recent decades. The Senate rejected the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) in 1999 by a vote of 51-48, putting it on the same side of the street as those it finds most unsavory– North Korea, Iran, Pakistan. In a 2009 bipartisan Congressional Commission on the Strategic Posture of the U.S., the CTBT was the only issue on which they could not agree. However, given new political realities and new scientific findings about verification capabilities, many in the national security community now support the treaty and believe it should be re-visited.


A Challenge to America: Develop Fusion Power Within a Decade

by PSA Staff | April 3rd, 2013 | |Subscribe

This article is by Norman R. Augustine and Gary Hart. Norman Augustine is a board member of the American Security Project, a nonpartisan public policy and research organization, and has been chairman of the Council of the National Academy of Engineering. Gary Hart is a former senator from Colorado, a member of PSA’s bipartisan advisory board, and is chairman of the American Security Project. This originally appeared in Forbes.

A Challenge to America: Develop Fusion Power Within a Decade

America’s economy and security depend upon reliable sources of power. Over the next few decades, almost all of the power plants in the U.S. will need to be replaced, and America’s dependence on fossil fuels presents serious national security concerns. They sap our economy, exacerbate climate change, and constrict our foreign policy. Our newfound boom in natural gas and oil production will ease but not eliminate these underlying issues.

The only way that we can resolve these challenges, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions in a timeframe that avoids the worst consequences of climate change, is to develop next-generation sources of clean base load power. In short, America needs to produce energy that is clean, safe, secure and abundant, and to do it now.


Comprehensive Mental Health Treatment Is A Strategic Imperative

by PSA Staff | September 17th, 2012 | |Subscribe

This article was written by two Spring 2012 Participants in PSA’s Congressional Partnership Program.  All CPP articles are produced by bipartisan groups of Democrat and Republican Hill Staff who were challenged to develop opinion pieces that reach consensus on critical national security and foreign affairs issues.


As during past transitions from wartime to peacetime, today’s military and civilian leaders are in a position to reassess mistakes made over the last decade and develop new policies to avoid them in future conflicts.  Among the most important of these is the introduction of a comprehensive strategy to address the devastating impact that mental health issues have had on our force.


Academics Suggest Science Diplomacy Strategy with North Korea

by Dr. Stuart Thorson and Dr. Hyunjin Seo | December 30th, 2011 | |Subscribe

Stuart Thorson is Donald P. and Margaret Curry Gregg Professor at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University. Hyunjin Seo is assistant professor in the William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Kansas.

It has now been over a week since the announcement of Kim Jong Il’s death. We learned the news in Seoul and observed shocked but calm South Koreans diligently following events.

The sense of calmness in Seoul reflects that there appears to be an orderly transition of power within North Korea. Of course, no one knows for sure what exactly is going on and what is going to happen in North Korea. That said, we hope, once an appropriate period of mourning is concluded, that steps toward positive engagement in such areas as humanitarian food assistance and nuclear talks that were underway at the time of Kim’s death will continue to move forward.

However, hope is not enough. We must recognize that even in places such as North Korea the future doesn’t simply happen. Rather, the future there as elsewhere is, to a significant degree, the result of a complex interplay of ideas and action. U.S. history provides a clear demonstration that among the most powerful of those ideas are notions of widely available education and open scientific inquiry. One need look only to the actions associated with U.S. support for these ideas in the countries of Western Europe following the Second World War. Or perhaps even more relevantly, consider programs such as the U.S. State Department funded Minnesota Project which developed sustained medical, engineering, and agricultural support to a South Korea suffering from the consequences of the Korean Conflict. Or the Fulbright Program which has served to help in the transformation of higher education throughout much of the world.


Science Diplomacy gets a Boost with New Bipartisan Bill

by Cathy Campbell | March 18th, 2010 | |Subscribe

Last Friday, Reps. Howard Berman (D- CA) and Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) introduced the Global Science Program for Security, Competitiveness, and Diplomacy Act, which proposes an increase in the application of science and scientific engagement in America’s foreign policy.  This follows the recent appointment of U.S. Science Envoys by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, and according to its authors, “formalizes the Obama Administration’s intention to enhance international science cooperation.”

Science and technology (S&T) remain among the most admired aspects of American society, even among nations without a wholly favorable opinion of the U.S.  Science has the power to inform decisions and serve as a core instrument of diplomacy.  Science cooperation is critical to America’s ability to win worldwide respect and support and can help build bridges for peace and prosperity worldwide. (more…)

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.