PONI Debates the Issues: New START

November 30 – December 1, 2010

On November 30, 2010, the CSIS Project on Nuclear Issues (PONI) hosted its tenth live debate as part of the " PONI Debates the Issues " series.  The topic for the debate will be the New START Treaty.  The speakers will be:

Mort Halperin
Senior Advisor at the Open Society Institute, and

Paula DeSutter
former Assistant Secretary of State for Verification and Compliance.

As Congress continues to weigh the ratification of New START, this debate brings together these two distinguished experts at a timely juncture to explore the Treaty’s main points of contention and agreement.

As an extension of the PONI Debates the Issues (PDI) blog, the live debate series brings together experts from the field to explore urgent or otherwise controversial nuclear issues and policies in a live debate format. The debate format permits a more dynamic, free-flowing exchange of ideas than what typically transpires during moderated panel discussions, lectures, and presentations, resulting in an enriched yet focused examination of critical issues. The objective is to explore a topic in a manner that elucidates underlying assumptions about the issue at-hand and identifies specific points of agreement and departure. A thorough understanding of the information and assumptions that inform divergent viewpoints on nuclear issues can ultimately lead to better approaches and policy options.


Morton H. Halperin is a senior advisor to the Open Society Institute. In this capacity, he provides strategic guidance on U.S. and international issues. Dr. Halperin previously served as director of U.S. Advocacy for OSI. He has a distinguished career in federal government, having served in the Clinton, Nixon, and Johnson administrations. His former positions in government include director of the Policy Planning Staff at the Department of State, special assistant to President Clinton, senior director for democracy at the National Security Council , consultant to the secretary of defense and the under secretary of defense for policy.

Dr. Halperin also has a long record as a Washington advocate on national and international issues. He served as the director of the America Civil Liberties Union’s Washington office and as the director of the Center for National Security Studies. He has been associated with a number of universities and think tanks including Harvard University, the Council on Foreign Relations and the Center for American Progress (CAP). He serves on the boards of the Center for Democracy and Technology, ONE, the Partnership for a Secure America, and The Constitution Project, and is the chair of the advisory board of the Center for National Security Studies. Dr. Halperin holds a PhD in International Relations from Yale University. He received his BA from Columbia College.

Paula A. DeSutter is a former Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Verification, Compliance, and Implementation. As the Assistant Secretary she was the principal policy liaison to the U.S. Intelligence Community for verification and compliance issues. Ms. DeSutter has an extensive background in verification and a career focus on national security and intelligence.

Ms. DeSutter served for over four years as a Professional Staff Member of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI). Ms. DeSutter was professional staff liaison to Senator Jon Kyl and was responsible for legislation and oversight of intelligence collection, analysis and activities related to proliferation, terrorism, arms control, the Persian Gulf States, India, Pakistan, China, and Afghanistan. Prior to her work in the Senate, Ms. DeSutter held numerous positions in the Verification and Intelligence Bureau in the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (ACDA). Ms. DeSutter holds a Master of Arts in International Relations, a Master of Science degree in National Security Strategy from the National War College, a Master of Arts in Economics, and a B.A. in Political Science.

 To RSVP for the event, please contact Chris Jones.

Clark A. Murdock

Clark A. Murdock

Former Senior Adviser (Non-resident), International Security Program
Linton Brooks
Senior Adviser (Non-resident), Project on Nuclear Issues