WMD PROLIFERATION AND INTERNATIONAL SECURITY
2013/2014, Semester 2
Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (Lee Kuan Yew School Of Public Policy)
Modular Credits: 4
PP5254: WMD PROLIFERATION AND INTERNATIONAL SECURITY
Course Summary and Objective
Proliferation of nuclear, chemical, biological, and radiological weapons (weapons of mass destruction or WMD) occupies a significant space in international politics, media and public imagination, but there is a general lack of informed debate on these issues. This elective module will provide the technical, historical, and policy background required to understand and analyze proliferation of WMD and arms control policy issues. This module will cover the basic science and policy issues concerning nuclear, chemical, biological, and radiological agents and their delivery systems, and implications for national, regional and international security. The module should help students gain a better understanding about the historical evolution of the role of WMD in military strategy and international security.
The emphasis of the module will however be the contemporary relevance of nuclear weapons and material for arms control regimes, counter-proliferation initiatives, export control, counter-terrorism, and the implications for civilian nuclear power programs worldwide. Issues specific to the Asia-Pacific context will be covered in depth. Policy issues covered in the course include but not limited to the following: global and regional WMD threats and vulnerabilities; nuclear force structure and strategic military balance in Asian countries; regional cooperation for addressing WMD proliferation; problems in accounting for the safeguarded and un-safeguarded nuclear materials around the world; challenges for nuclear security in Asia-Pacific; role of nuclear weapons in national security and international diplomacy; and bioterrorism and emerging infectious diseases.
No prerequisites required for taking this course.
T.S. Gopi Rethinaraj
Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy
Li Ka Shing Building
469C Bukit Timah Road
Class Venue: Manasseh Meyer, Bukit Timah Campus
Class Hours: TBD
Office Hours: By Appointment
Week 1. History of nuclear weapons development
Origins of Manhattan Project; Science and Secrecy during World War II; Bottlenecks faced by Hitler’s Germany in the nuclear race; Soviet success in the race to make nuclear weapons, followed by other countries in the race.
Week 2. Physics of nuclear weapons and material
Basic properties of fissile materials; Why only some materials are suited for nuclear applications; Nuclear physics for the layman; Basic understanding of nuclear explosives (simple fission weapons, boosted weapons, and thermonuclear weapons) and delivery systems.
Week 3. Civilian and military uses of nuclear energy
Atoms for peace program; The grand diplomatic bargain between nuclear states and others; Rise of civilian nuclear industry in the west and subsequent decline; Resurgence of nuclear industry in Asia; Policy dilemma in nuclear technology export; Commercial spent nuclear fuel reprocessing and nuclear proliferation issues.
Week 4. Nuclear weapons and Cold War politics
Nuclear posturing of USA and USSR during the Cold War and the policy of mutually assured destruction; Europe’s Cold War nightmares; Introduction of nuclear weapons in Asian military affairs.
Week 5. Nuclear weapons and their delivery systems
Nuclear triad of states; sea-based, land-based, and air-based nuclear delivery capabilities of nuclear states, emerging nuclear states, and non-state actors (terrorists).
Week 6. Nuclear weapons, human health & environment
Impact of nuclear explosions on human health and environment; atmospheric and underground testing; Policy initiatives to reduce impact.
Week 7. Nuclear weapons policy of P-5 countries
Nuclear force structure of USA, Russia, China, France, and UK; Current issues concerning deployment and maintenance; Ballistic Missile Defense and Theatre Missile Defense Issues
Week 8. Nuclear policy of India, Pakistan, Israel, and others
Nuclear policies of India and Pakistan; Israel’s nuclear opaqueness and the Middle East peace process; Iran’s nuclear ambitions; North Korea and other nuclear aspirants
Week 9. Nuclear terrorism and emerging security issues
Protecting nuclear weapons material and delivery systems from non-state actors; counter-proliferation initiatives; security of ports and airports; regional and international cooperative mechanisms
Week 10. Role of IAEA and other international institutions
Discussion of IAEA’s role in facilitating multilateral cooperation and increasing nuclear safety and security. Policy challenges for IAEA Arms Control Regimes; International Treaties; NPT; CTBT, and FMCT Negotiations.
Week 11. Global management of nuclear materials
Strengthening safety and security of nuclear facilities in various countries; Threat Reduction; Technical and policy measures to verify compliance by states.
Week 12. Chemical and Biological Weapons
Chemical agents, biological weapons and infectious diseases, human health and epidemics and dealing with intentional release of bio agents.
Week 13. Conflict resolution and confidence building
Policy mechanisms to build trust among countries; cooperation to reduce nuclear dangers (intentional and accidental). Issues in moving toward steep arms cuts and nuclear disarmament.
BASIS FOR FINAL GRADES
1. Midterm Assessment: 20%
2. Class Participation: 20%
3. Policy Paper: 60%
REQUIRED AND RECOMMENDED READING
The Gravest Danger, Sidney Drell and James Goodby, 2003 [Required], Free Online Version Available at:
Weekly Lecture Notes posted on ILVE [required]; Assigned Readings [Required]; Recommended Readings [Optional]. Assigned readings and recommended readings will be posted periodically.