Nonproliferation Policy Education Center (NPEC)

Nonproliferation Policy Education Center (NPEC) Nonproliferation Policy Education Center (NPEC) is DC-based nonprofit org that focuses on nuclear policy issues. The Nonproliferation Policy Education Center (NPEC), a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, is a nonpartisan, nonprofit, educational organization founded in 1994 to promote a better understanding of strategic weapons proliferation issues.

NPEC educates policymakers, journalists, and university professors about proliferation threats and possible new policies and measures to meet them.

Mission: Combating the spread of strategic weapons has been at the very top of President Clinton's and President Bush's list of foreign policy objectives. Iraq's and North Korea's development of long-range missiles, and nuclear, chemical and biological weapons has reinforced the gravity of this issue. Yet, for so important a topic, America's fight against strategic weapons proliferation has generally been ineffective. Neither its policies nor the actions taken to implement them have been very successful. Powerful public officials may intone gravely about curbing the spread of particularly dangerous technology, but when confronted with cases that require tough action or some sacrifice, concessions are the norm. Part of the problem is that the reasons for acting against proliferators stemming the flow of "destabilizing technology" or promoting international "norms" of nonproliferation are too nebulous and abstract for busy policy makers. In contrast, confronting a nation engaged in proliferation runs risks that are real and negative. Thus, policy officials are normally unenthusiastic about taking firm stands until the problem is so advanced it is largely unmanageable. Moreover, when action is finally taken it is frequently ineffective or counterproductive. For example, America's initial response in the 1980s to Iraq's and North Korea's development of nuclear weapons capabilities was to allow "civilian" nuclear activities in exchange for inspections. This did little to stop either program. Yet, in the absence of sounder alternatives, we can expect that simply doing more of this sort of bargaining is only likely to make matters worse. Dangerous technology is dangerous, after all, because it can be converted into strategic weapons so quickly that no inspection regime can effectively safeguard it against being diverted. By failing to recognize this and making such technology available over the last 40 years (under the U.S. Atoms and Space for Peace nonproliferation programs), the United States and its allies have actually made it possible for nations like Iraq to "safeguard" their way to strategic weapons capabilities. To the extent that exchanging dangerous technology for peaceful pledges and "safeguarding" are also now being heralded as the way to address chemical, biological and missile proliferation problems, serious trouble is also likely arise in these nonnuclear fields. Unfortunately, neither the United States nor the developed nations that depend on US guidance have come to terms with these problems. The long-term implications of maintaining our current nonproliferation policies may prove perilous. At a minimum, new nuclear problems in Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, India and North Korea will worsen. Even more daunting, however, is the prospect that instability in Russia and assertiveness and strategic modernization on the part of China may pose proliferation challenges to US and global security that are more intractable. Unless we reevaluate what we have been doing and fundamentally change our nonproliferation approach, proliferation developments in the 1990s will not be merely an academic worry or a troublesome facet of military engagements like Desert Storm, but precursors to the type of wars the world experienced in the 1910s and 1930s. However, getting policy makers to recognize the problems in our current nonproliferation policies and the dangers of failing to develop sounder alternatives will not be easy. First, there is tremendous bureaucratic inertia behind the current approach. Second, both the press and academia are relatively new to this topic and have tended to focus on the most urgent or narrow aspects of proliferation. There is a large literature on a variety of specific proliferation issues but little understanding, inside or outside of government, of the policy relevance of this material. What's lacking among policy makers, academics and the media, however, is the broader perspective necessary to give meaning to this analysis and to suggest sensible ways out of our proliferation predicament. In order to develop a truly effective nonproliferation policy that busy policy makers can embrace, it is necessary to shift the focus of the current debate away from academic stability arguments and traditional concerns about maintaining international norms to the more pressing proliferation problems now emerging and the solutions they will require. Why might a "little" strategic weapons proliferation be so intolerable? Where has U.S. nonproliferation policy been effective; where has it failed; and how does this history relate to our current problems? Does it matter for US nonproliferation policy what new security alliance structures are established to replace Cold War arrangements? Should we employ Cold War arms and export control concepts for nonproliferation purposes? Is it more realistic to monitor dangerous strategic technology that we want to prevent from being militarized than to try to discourage these activities or does monitoring these activities, in effect, make them legitimate? How sound are the economic or developmental justification for the world's advanced nations to continue to offer the world's lesser powers sensitive nuclear and space technology for "peaceful" purposes? Can progress in promoting liberal democracy and market economies among developing nations significantly reduce these nations' demand for strategic military systems or is this a false hope? What long-term strategies must the U.S. and its friends employ against the most implacable proliferators (e.g., North Korea, Iraq, Iran, Libya)? Is regime change required in each case? If so, how is this to be accomplished without all-out wars? How should these strategies differ from those we might employ against proliferators we have diplomatic and commercial relations with (e.g., China, Russia, Pakistan, India, and Israel)? What long-term strategies might key proliferators be implementing against the U.S., its allies or interests? The Nonproliferation Policy Education Center's (NPEC) aim is to address these questions and explain why US nonproliferation policy will need to change to answer them correctly. NPEC will convey its message not only to policy makers, but to the next generation of officials men and women who are currently being educated in our universities and think tanks. University courses on proliferation are just now beginning to be created and there is a special need for teaching materials to guide professors through the existing literature. Filling critical gaps in the literature concerning key perspectives on nonproliferation policy. NPEC commissions papers that are mailed to policy makers, academics and reporters. The monographs are serving as the basis for a book for the academic, national security think tank and policy making communities. Promoting a deeper understanding of the relevance of various perspectives on proliferation. NPEC will bring together Congressional staff, administration officials, and the press to discuss pressing proliferation policy issues with NPEC's monograph authors and other academic specialists at a series of nonproliferation policy forums. Institutionalizing teaching about proliferation issues. NPEC makes teaching and research materials available to college and graduate school professors and conducts week-long seminars for key national security professors around the country. Given the breadth of support any significant change in US nonproliferation policy will require, NPEC takes care to avoid partisanship. All of NPEC's activities involve key administration officials, members of Congress, national security experts, government contractors, legislative staff and academics known for their work in the proliferation field.

What if a nuke reactor had been the target of Iran’s accurate missile attack on Saudi Arabian oil facilities? We might n...
10/28/2019
The ultimate Middle East missile target: Nuclear reactors

What if a nuke reactor had been the target of Iran’s accurate missile attack on Saudi Arabian oil facilities?

We might now be mopping up a Middle East Chernobyl. Clear lesson: Don’t build more radioactive sitting ducks.
https://t.co/pFymNsXHmg?amp=1

What if a nuclear reactor had been the target of last month’s accurate missile attack on Saudi Arabian oil facilities? We might now be mopping up a Middle East Chernobyl. The lesson should be clear: Don’t build more large reactors in the region. They’re radioactive sitting ducks.

A description and critique of the US Army’s plans to develop small reactors for forward bases overseashttp://ow.ly/71ck5...
08/28/2019
A New Kind of Nuclear War

A description and critique of the US Army’s plans to develop small reactors for forward bases overseas
http://ow.ly/71ck50vKlaR

The idea of deploying portable nuclear reactors into combat is as outlandish—economically and environmentally—as it sounds.

Enforcement of civil nuclear cooperation peaceful end use pledges and the gold standard:  What’s the connection?http://o...
08/27/2019
Nuclear Power Must Not Lead to Nuclear Bombs

Enforcement of civil nuclear cooperation peaceful end use pledges and the gold standard: What’s the connection?
http://ow.ly/5gJU50vKl0i

The answer to the problems posed by easy access to nuclear explosives does not lie in nuclear safeguards laboratories. It flows from a realistic assessment of the prospects for enforcement.

08/26/2019
Japan warns North Korea now has miniaturized nukes

Japanese defense chiefs determine that North Korea has miniaturized nuke warheads for its missiles, describes this as a “serious and imminent threat” to Japan
http://ow.ly/qNFE50vKiD6

Japan's military last year said it was 'possible' that North Korea had achieved miniaturisation, but Tokyo now appears to have upgraded its assessment (pictured, a recent North Korean weapons test).

There are only two days left to apply to NPEC's Public Policy Fellowship! Learn more about the scientific, tech, legal, ...
08/12/2019

There are only two days left to apply to NPEC's Public Policy Fellowship! Learn more about the scientific, tech, legal, and historical backgrounds needed to gain a deeper understanding of civil and military nuclear policy! To learn more click here: http://ow.ly/zdWZ50uMLwb

Interested in nuclear policy? The deadline for our 2019 Public Policy Fellowship is only one week away! Click here to le...
08/07/2019

Interested in nuclear policy? The deadline for our 2019 Public Policy Fellowship is only one week away! Click here to learn more: http://ow.ly/aEHB50uMLn5

Want to understand civil and military nuclear policy? Check out NPEC's Public Policy Fellowship and apply here! http://o...
08/02/2019

Want to understand civil and military nuclear policy? Check out NPEC's Public Policy Fellowship and apply here! http://ow.ly/B9FV50uSPt8

There are less than three weeks left to apply to NPEC's 2019 Public Policy Fellowship! Check here for more information: ...
07/26/2019

There are less than three weeks left to apply to NPEC's 2019 Public Policy Fellowship! Check here for more information: http://ow.ly/EAgn50uLODT

What are the nuclear proliferation trends of the last half century? What is likely to occur over the next few decades? A...
07/19/2019

What are the nuclear proliferation trends of the last half century? What is likely to occur over the next few decades? Answer these questions and more through NPEC's Public Policy Fellowship. Check here for more information: http://ow.ly/45Ga50uS69c

Learn the fundamentals of nuclear policy this fall by applying to NPEC's Public Policy Fellowship. Click here to learn m...
07/12/2019

Learn the fundamentals of nuclear policy this fall by applying to NPEC's Public Policy Fellowship. Click here to learn more: http://ow.ly/ifPf50uLOPV

"Earlier this year, two utilities that service the New York City area stopped accepting new natural-gas customers in two...
07/11/2019
The U.S. Is Overflowing With Natural Gas. Not Everyone Can Get It.

"Earlier this year, two utilities that service the New York City area stopped accepting new natural-gas customers in two boroughs and several suburbs... Meanwhile, in West Texas, drillers have so much excess natural gas they are simply burning it off, roughly enough each day to fuel every home in the state"
http://ow.ly/fmGU50uXSgD

U.S. gas production is at a record high, but the infrastructure needed to move the fuel around the country hasn’t kept up. The result is price spikes, uneven distribution and fears of stifled economic growth.

Following the release of the hit miniseries Chernobyl, Professor Kate Brown writes about five myths and misconceptions s...
07/10/2019
Perspective | Five myths about Chernobyl

Following the release of the hit miniseries Chernobyl, Professor Kate Brown writes about five myths and misconceptions surrounding the 1986 Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant explosion http://ow.ly/vh9z50uXScy

No, wildlife isn’t thriving in the zone around the nuclear plant.

Missed the early decision deadline for NPEC's Public Policy Fellowship? Don't worry! We will be accepting regular decisi...
07/05/2019

Missed the early decision deadline for NPEC's Public Policy Fellowship? Don't worry! We will be accepting regular decision applications until August 14th. Learn more on how to apply here: http://ow.ly/PxyS50uLOaX

What if the INF Treaty between the U.S. and Russia only outlawed nuclear-armed short and intermediate-range land-based m...
07/04/2019
A short and practical take on the INF: Small (and focused) is beautiful - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

What if the INF Treaty between the U.S. and Russia only outlawed nuclear-armed short and intermediate-range land-based missiles from the west of the Ural mountains? http://ow.ly/PNkH50uSPg2

Let us focus on a modification of the INF between the United States and Russia that outlaws nuclear-armed short and intermediate-range land-based missiles in Europe, from Portugal and Ireland to the Ural mountains. Missile batteries can be located by national technical means, and any of those in Eur...

Erdoğan says he is pulling the plug on the Japanese nuclear power project in Turkey http://ow.ly/NJvJ50uSOSe
07/03/2019
Turkey set to pull out of nuclear power project with Japan | Ahval

Erdoğan says he is pulling the plug on the Japanese nuclear power project in Turkey http://ow.ly/NJvJ50uSOSe

Turkey's President Erdoğan said the country's second nuclear power plant project, which had been slated for construction in Turkey’s Black Sea province of Sinop under a Japanese-French partnership, is set to be terminated, Japanese newspaper Nikkei reported on Wednesday.

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Congratulations to MacArthur grantee Nonproliferation Policy Education Center (NPEC) on 25 years of educating policymakers, journalists, and academics about nuclear proliferation.