National Security

Critical Minerals and Emerging Technologies


Roderick G. Eggert


The federal government can help ensure that the nation has sufficient and reliable supplies of critical materials used increasingly in industry and defense. The periodic table is under siege. Or at least that is what one might imagine after hearing some of the cries of alarm that have begun echoing across the United States. We […]


This article is in Making College Affordable, Summer 2010

Perspective: Using University Knowledge to Defend the Country


Stephen M. Maurer


Everyone understands that the United States will need new ideas to meet the threat of terrorism, and indeed, history shows the way. Seventy years ago, the country’s scholars ransacked their respective disciplines for the ideas that won World War II. Academic ideas continued to produce key technologies, including hydrogen bombs and intercontinental ballistic missiles, well […]


This article is in Better U.S. Health Care at Lower Cost, Winter 2010

Perspective: A Vision for U.S.-Russian Cooperation on Nuclear Security


Linton F. Brooks


The United States and Russia have reached a new stage in their relationship, and the time is right to consider how the world’s two most powerful nuclear powers can work together to enhance global security. Cold war polarization ended more than 15 years ago. During the 1990s, attention shifted to the threat posed by the […]


This article is in The Road to a New Energy System, Fall 2009

Restructuring the Military


Lawrence J. Korb, Max A. Bergmann


U.S. armed forces are unmatched on the conventional battlefield but far less prepared to deal with the emerging irregular or nontraditional challenges they are most likely to confront in the years ahead. After more than five years of war in Iraq and almost seven in Afghanistan, the U.S. military is facing a crisis not seen […]


This article is in Questions That Blur Political Party Lines, Fall 2008

Reducing Proliferation Risk


Burton Richter


The coming expansion of nuclear power can be a security as well as an environmental blessing, but only if it comes without a great increase in the risk of the proliferation of nuclear weapons. The use of nuclear energy to produce electricity is expanding worldwide, and as it does the danger that nuclear weapons will […]


This article is in Questions That Blur Political Party Lines, Fall 2008

Sea Power in the Robotic Age


Bruce Berkowitz


The military has demonstrated the feasibility of airborne drones; the next development is likely to be a variety of remotely controlled marine vessels. Robotic weapons are revolutionizing warfare. Anyone following the media knows about so-called aerial “drones,” and soldiers and Marines are using tracked and wheeled robots in ground combat to probe enemy positions, disable […]


This article is in The Military of the Future, Winter 2014

Strengthening Nuclear Safeguards


Charles D. Ferguson


Urgent action is needed to shore up the ability of the International Atomic Energy Agency to detect nuclear weapons programs and safeguard peaceful nuclear programs. As events in Iran and elsewhere illustrate, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is confronting a crisis in its ability to detect nuclear weapons programs and to safeguard peaceful nuclear […]


This article is in Health Care Touchstones: Cost and Quality, Spring 2008

Decoupling Water and Violent Conflict


Ken Conca


Decoupling Water and Violent Conflict A basic human need, water can be the source of social conflicts. With safeguards, including informed government polices and management decisions, the dangers can be defused. As the saying goes, water is the stuff of life. It is a basic human need, the lifeblood of critical ecosystems, and a basis […]


This article is in Applying New Research to Improve Science Education, Fall 2012

Cybersecurity in the Private Sector


Amitai Etzioni


The nation’s businesses manage a significant share of online activity related to national security and must play a larger role in ensuring the overall integrity of the system. The United States is facing major cyber attacks by criminals and agents of foreign governments, with attacks penetrating the military establishment and the private sector alike. The […]


This article is in Perennial Agriculture, Fall 2011

Solving the Nation’s Security Affordability Problem


Jacques S. Gansler


With costs going up and funds going down, the Department of Defense needs to make major changes in how it operates. There is a clash coming in the next few years between the multiplicity and complexity of the security concerns facing the United States and the shrinking resources available to address them. Unfortunately, solving this […]


This article is in Affordable National Security, Summer 2011

The Energy-Climate Complex: Is Climate Change a National Security Issue?


Richard A. Matthew


The case for linking climate change and national security is robust but imperfect, and today there is a serious debate about whether it makes sense. Around the planet there is growing momentum to define climate change as a security issue and hence as an agenda-topping problem that deserves significant attention and resources. In December 2010, […]


This article is in The Energy/Climate Complex, Spring 2011

Strengthening Global Nuclear Governance


Justin Alger, Trevor Findlay


Interest in nuclear energy by developing countries without nuclear experience could pose major challenges to the global rules now in place to ensure the safe, secure, and peaceful use of nuclear power. Motivated in large part by climate change and the need for carbon-free energy sources, governments and companies around the world are pushing to […]


This article is in The Need for Geoengineering Research, Fall 2010