Nuclear powers are currently facing a set of difficult questions concerning the strategic roles and capabilities of nuclear weapons, adjusting to changes in the arms control regime, and preventing proliferation during a time of surging demand for nuclear energy. These challenges have underscored the need to develop comprehensive and coherent nuclear policies, both within and among countries, and to maintain strong, youthful bases of scientific and political expertise.
In response to the global nature of these problems, the CSIS Project on Nuclear Issues is becoming an increasingly international project and undertaking efforts to engage young nuclear experts from around the world. To that end, PONI has expanded international participation to include France and the United Kingdom, which are both participating in the full range of PONI activities. In addition, PONI is undertaking bilateral exchanges involving young PONI members from the U.S. and their counterparts in various countries around the world. Increasing international involvement in PONI enriches the debate on nuclear issues and develops personal connections and working rapports among future leaders in the field.
UK Project on Nuclear Issues (UK PONI)
In response to the surging interest in PONI among young members of the UK nuclear community, the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), a world-renowned strategic studies research institute, is hosting and supporting an autonomous UK Project on Nuclear Issues under the directorship of Andrea Berger, a former PONI Nuclear Scholar. UK PONI hosts an annual conference and lunchtime and breakfast debates throughout the year; details can be found on their website.
In August 2012, PONI co-hosted a meeting of next generation Turkish and U.S. nuclear weapons policy, nonproliferation, and disarmament experts in Ankara, Turkey with Turkish think tank TEPAV (Türkiye Ekonomi Politikaları Araştırma Vakfı). Participants discussed nuclear weapons issues facing the two countries, including Iranian nuclearization, the evolution of NATO, and missile defense technologies, and visited the Turkish Foreign Ministry.
In June 2011, a group of graduate students and young professionals met to discuss aspects of the nuclear relationship between the United States and China, including Conventional Prompt Global Strike, missile defense, No First Use, and the potential for trilateral arms control with the U.S., Russia, and China. The CSIS Project on Nuclear Issues and Pacific Forum CSIS Young Leaders program cosponsored the event, which featured four 90-minute sessions, each opened by presentations of two discussion papers by a U.S. and Chinese participant. The sessions were helpful in clarifying important points of disagreement and identifying areas for potential improvement in the bilateral nuclear relationship. Read the meeting summary and key takeaways in English or Chinese.
In August 2010, a small delegation of young professionals in the U.S. met with colleagues from Russia to discuss next steps in bilateral arms control, proliferation, missile defense and nuclear energy matters. The Center for Energy and Security Studies (CENESS) served as the partnering organization in Russia. The meeting was co-chaired by Matthew Rojansky of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and Anton Khlopkov of CENESS. The talks proved to be extremely fruitful and offered promise for future endeavors along these lines. Read the meeting summary.
In April 2010, PONI hosted a delegation of five graduate students from the esteemed Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi. Joining these students for a day of talks were several young PONI members. PONI Director Clark Murdock chaired the discussions, which featured rich discussion on a wide range of policy and strategy issues in South Asia and elsewhere. On day two, the group put together a short presentation summarizing key issues discussed, and that summary was later presented at PONI’s spring conference.