|CCC is the principal research wing of the National Security Affairs Department at NPS.|
The Project on Advanced Systems and Concepts for Countering WMD (PASCC) supports research activities that benefit the public through analysis and engagement to reduce and counter the threats posed by WMD/WME. PASCC seeks to cultivate interconnected, mutually supportive national and international strategic research-community partnerships across domains. A second goal is to bring scientific, technical, and social science faculty/experts together and to look well into the future and help understand and anticipate WMD/WME capabilities.
|PASCC Research in Progress|
PASCC Research in Progress (RIP) sheets provide concise summaries of PASCC-sponsored projects. These "RIP sheets" describe the strategic relevance and proposed approach to each project, and are published when a project receives funding; they do not include project findings or conclusions.
All current and previous RIP sheets are now stored in Calhoun, which provides a searchable and browsable database of all PASCC projects. We especially encourage you to take a look at the new and ongoing projects PASCC will be funding in FY2013!
|Recently Released PASCC Reports and Papers|
PASCC reports have a new home! The Homeland Security Digital Library (HSDL) provides a searchable repository of PASCC reports.
Campus users: Access PASCC reports on the Homeland Security Digital Library (HSDL).
Off-campus users: Access PASCC reports on the Homeland Security Digital Library (HSDL).
Most PASCC reports are publicly available, with a small collection of For Official Use Only (FOUO) reports that require user authentication and log-on to access.
Performers: Kurt Guthe (National Institute for Public Policy).
Abstract:Recent years have seen a debate within NATO over the issue of whether U.S. nonstrategic nuclear weapons in Europe should be retained in their current status, reduced in number, or withdrawn from the Continent. Member states in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), however, are wary of changes in the nuclear posture of the alliance. This report examines the question of how the pursuit of limits on U.S. nonstrategic nuclear weapons might be balanced with the concerns of CEE allies regarding dangers posed by Russia and the value of nonstrategic nuclear weapons in mitigating those dangers. More specifically, how might nonstrategic nuclear weapons be reduced while assuring these countries of the credibility of NATO and U.S. commitments to their security?
Performers: Kavita Berger (American Association for the Advancement of Science).
Abstract:Countering biological threats presents a complexity not seen with either nuclear or chemical weapons. The pathogens and toxins used to develop biological weapons in past offensive weapons programs could be found naturally. The scientific knowledge, skills, equipment, and facilities needed to develop biological weapons are the same as those needed for "peaceful, prophylactic" research and diagnostic uses. Being able to distinguish between malicious and peaceful uses is the most difficult challenge to identifying illicit activities and developing programs to counter possible illicit activities.
This report focuses on scientific engagement to counter biological threats. It recognizes the important role that scientists can play in preventing and responding to biological risks and threats. The report builds on years of cooperative threat reduction and cooperative engagement to identify new opportunities and approaches for future engagement in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Center for Science, Technology, and Security Policy (CSTSP) received a PASCC grant to identify new opportunities and approaches for future bioengagement in the MENA region based on regional consultations with scientific and health experts. AAAS held regional consultations in Morocco and Jordan wherein regional and U.S. experts discussed gaps in bioengagement, suggested opportunities for future engagement, and explored metrics of effectiveness and long-term impact of bioengagement efforts.
PASCC Report: 2013 009. Performers: Jeffrey W. Knopf (Monterey Institute of International Studies).
Abstract:Deterrence strategies involve trying to influence the decision-making of another actor. There are several models or frameworks available that could assist with efforts to anticipate how another actor will be influenced. Debates about deterrence in the United States have tended to reflect two main approaches: the rational actor model and the unique strategic culture approach. This research project reviews three other approaches that have been applied to studying deterrence: social constructivism, domestic politics, and psychology and neuroscience. None of these approaches, either alone or in combination, offers a perfect framework for predicting the outcomes of deterrence efforts, but each adds valuable insights that are relevant to developing deterrence strategies.
This study recommends that, in thinking about whether and how to deter other actors, analysts make use of all the different models available for anticipating how the other side will be influenced. This will not guarantee success in deterrence, but compared to relying on just a single framework for thinking about deterrence, use of multiple perspectives should reduce the chances of overlooking a critical flaw in deterrence planning.
PASCC Report: 2013 008. Performers: Feroz Khan and Ryan French (Naval Postgraduate School).
Abstract:The South Asian Stability Workshop was a crisis simulation exercise held 19-22 March in Colombo, Sri Lanka, organized by the Center on Contemporary Conflict at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School. The simulation convened retired Indian and Pakistani senior military officers and civilian analysts into two teams based on country of origin (India and Pakistan). Participants were confronted with a simulated geopolitical scenario and crisis triggering event, set in the year 2018. The simulation lasted for three “moves” and was moderated by a Control Group consisting primarily of U.S. experts on south Asian security. Over three moves spanning nine “in-game” days, what began as a limited war escalated quickly to a full-scale war. Although the India team’s initial intent was to conduct limited, punitive strikes against Pakistan, military necessity on both sides led to extensive mobilizations and horizontal escalation. By the end of the third move, Pakistan was preparing to release warheads to its Strategic Forces Commands, readying nuclear missile launchers for possible battlefield deployment, and conducting nuclear signaling through missile tests and public statements. The exercise concluded at this point when neither side was able to terminate the war on its terms.
Our findings from the simulation exercise lead us to conclude that a limited war in South Asia will escalate rapidly into a full war with a high potential for nuclear exchange. Although war-games and crisis simulations are not necessarily predictive of real-world outcomes, the South Asian Stability Workshop provided significant insight into regional escalation dynamics during a period of crisis. This simulation highlights the need for confidence-building measures and a strategic restraint regime that nurtures détente. In the event of a crisis, international intervention and diplomacy must be swift in order to cool tensions and prevent full-scale conflict.
Performers: Michael Krepon and Julia Thompson, Editors (Stimson Center).
Abstract: This collection of essays, edited by Michael Krepon and Julia Thompson, captures important insights from Stimson Center workshops, roundtables and public events that have focused on deterring attacks on space assets, promoting greater cooperation between the United States and China, and avoiding military competition in space. Space’s importance is major, growing and underappreciated inside the Washington Beltway, and applying principles of deterrence to space is a relatively new field of inquiry. With PASCC's support, Stimson presents six essays that investigate the deterrence of destructive acts in space, drawing from lessons from the nuclear era. Unlike nuclear weapons, however, capabilities to harm space assets have been tested only occasionally in dramatic ways, and mostly have been pursued quietly or by indirect methods. Consequently, space warfare capabilities rarely make headlines, unlike actions signaling nuclear deterrence, which are the subject of intense public and media attention. While nuclear deterrence rests on deployed or readily deployed capabilities, the weaponization of space – defined here as the placement of dedicated war-fighting capabilities in this domain – has yet to occur. On what, then, does deterrence rest in space?
Performers: David Albright, Andrea Stricker, and Houston Wood (Institute for Science and International Security).
Abstract: For countries in the developing world, the pathway to obtaining and improving nuclear weapons will remain illicit nuclear trade. This report first characterizes the future world of illicit nuclear trade in the next five to ten years. Despite many recent, particularly United States-led, successes, stopping this trade will remain difficult. Absent mitigating actions, several existing or expected trends are projected to make it easier for smugglers to succeed in acquiring nuclear and nuclear-related goods and technology.
But future illicit trade can be stopped through measures taken today as long as the political will is there to foresee and address future threats. This report sets forth over 100 specific recommendations in 15 broad policy areas that the United States should implement. These countermeasures aim at mitigating or eliminating future threats posed by illicit nuclear trade. Specific recommendations are aimed at thwarting or slowing the efforts of developing or emerging countries that will seek nuclear weapons or sensitive nuclear fuel cycle facilities. The report discusses methods to hinder developed or newly industrialized countries from acquiring the means to make nuclear weapons. Several other recommendations concern preventing emerging markets from becoming major hubs of illicit nuclear trade. Preventing the future world of illicit trade is imperative to U.S. and international security and to the creation of a world safer from the spread and use of nuclear weapons.
Performers: James Moltz, David Yost, James Russell, S. Paul Kapur, Christopher Twomey, Wade Huntley (Naval Postgraduate School).
Abstract: In a special issue of The Nonproliferation Review, several PASCC performers present the results of their recent projects on the strategic implications of moving to low nuclear numbers. Significant nuclear reductions by the United States can affect other states in one of five ways: by directly altering their strategic calculations and postures; by indirectly altering their strategic calculations and postures by affecting the behavior of third-party states; by undermining formal US deterrence commitments; by eroding the United States's perceived ability to provide "informal" deterrence through the maintenance of an active global presence; and by creating normative pressure for states to emulate US nuclear reductions. Implementing such reductions needs to be a carefully thought-out process, and each region presents unique challenges and opportunities for the United States, which has both the most to lose if this effort goes wrong and potentially the most to gain if it can be carried out in a manner that puts all states on a path toward cooperative security, nonproliferation, and reduced nuclear tensions.
Performers: Scott D. Sagan (Center for International Security and Cooperation, Stanford University).
Abstract: Iraq represents a significant historical case for assessing the effectiveness of deterrent threats on containing the ambitions of would-be nuclear states. The Conflict Records Research Center (CRRC) at the National Defense University houses a vast collection of records captured from Saddam Hussein’s Iraq during the 2003 Gulf War, including audio recordings and direct transcripts of high-level meetings between Saddam Hussein and his advisors and senior cabinet that shed light on Saddam's thinking throughout the life of the Iraqi nuclear program.
With funding from PASCC, Dr. Sagan facilitated the translation and analysis of sources from the CRRC archives to learn lessons about preventing proliferation and deterring WMD use. Overall, the captured Iraqi records provide new evidence on the WMD program and deterrence failures in 1991 and 2003. This new research illuminates the complex history of misperceptions and ineffective signaling, and raises important questions about the degree to which we can depend on deterrence to work with potential new nuclear states in the future.
Performers: Ralph Cossa, Brad Glosserman, and David Santoro (Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)).
Abstract:The Pacific Forum CSIS, with the China Foundation for International and Strategic Studies, and with support from NPS PASCC and DTRA, held the 7th China-US Strategic Nuclear Dynamics Dialogue on Jan. 28-29, 2013. Some 80 Chinese and US experts, officials, military officers, and observers along with eight Pacific Forum Young Leaders attended, all in their private capacity. The level of the Chinese delegation was relatively senior, consistent with last year’s meeting, and included several active duty “two-star” officers, and significant participation from the Second Artillery. They joined two days of off-the-record discussions of nuclear policies, current proliferation challenges, cross-domain deterrence, crisis management, and prospects for bilateral cooperation. Additionally, there was a half-day of discussion about space policy.
Please click here to read "Progress Continues, but Disagreements Remain: The Seventh U.S.-China Strategic Dialogue on Strategic Nuclear Dynamics & The Inaugural China-US Dialogue on Space Security."
Performers: Brian Finlay, Esha Mufti, and Nate Olson (The Stimson Center).
Abstract: The interconnectivity, complexity, and fluidity of global commerce suggest that the ability of governments to control the proliferation of dangerous technologies is diminishing — at the very moment proliferation and other transnational criminal challenges are increasing. These realities are driven by three contending presumptions: First, proliferation threats are evolving because of the globalized diffusion of WMD capacities which are themselves rooted in, and facilitated by, a growing network of private sector actors. Second, this new reality necessitates renewed attention on building innovative new partnerships with industry if our efforts to prevent proliferation are to be successful. And finally, while the means of WMD production was once the exclusive purview of governments, the privatization of those capacities have led to a growing convergence between the threat of WMD proliferation and a broad array of transnational threats.
This report argues that while government regulation will remain the central element in preventing WMD proliferation and combatting other forms of transnational criminal activity, these trends also open up new opportunities to modernize our preventive toolkit to more sustainably, effectively, and efficiently address a broad array of international trafficking and proliferation threats. Developing government and private sector partnerships is widely recognized to be a critical component for successful nonproliferation and counter-trafficking efforts; however, neither the government nor the expert community has systematically developed practical collaborations that go beyond threats of additional regulation. While not a panacea, self-regulation incented by the market is an under-leveraged tool in current prevention efforts.
Performers: Elbridge Colby, Avner Cohen, William McCants, Bradley Morris, William Rosenau, (CNA).
Abstract:The Strategic Studies Division of CNA, with support from PASCC, conducted an in-depth study of the rumored Israeli "nuclear alert" during the 1973 Yom Kippur War. Drawing on interviews with key participants and experts, both American and Israeli; open source documents; and U.S. Government documents pertaining to the Yom Kippur War, this study concludes that Israel likely did take some steps associated with the readying of its nuclear weapons in the very early stages of the Yom Kippur War, but that these steps were defensive or precautionary in nature and were not a signal. The authors also assess that it is likely that the United States observed this activity and that the report of the activity was disseminated to key decision-makers – but that the report did not have any significant impact on U.S. decision-making. Rather, U.S. (and likely all nations’) decision-makers were aware of the possibility of Israeli nuclear use as an implicit reality, but they judged that it was only plausible in extremis, and American leaders did not believe the situation, even in the dark hours of October 7, had reached those depths. This case illuminates several enduring aspects of the role of nuclear weapons in international politics and conflict, such as the perceptual significance of nuclear operations, bureaucratic and organizational factors in nuclear signaling, and the role of signaling during crises.
Please click here to read "The Israeli 'Nuclear Alert' of 1973: Deterrence and Signaling in Crisis."
PASCC Report: 2013 001. Performers: Kier A. Lieber (Georgetown University) and Daryl G. Press (Dartmouth College).
Abstract: This report examines why and how regional powers armed with nuclear weapons may employ these weapons coercively against the United States or U.S. allies during a conventional war. Lieber and Press argue that intra-war deterrence – preventing nuclear-armed adversaries from escalating during a conventional conflict – is the most important deterrence challenge facing the U.S. in the 21st century. Facing conventionally superior foes, regional nuclear-armed states will worry deeply about the consequences of defeat, which are extraordinarily costly for leaders, and will therefore have substantial incentives to employ nuclear force coercively to stalemate the conflict before they suffer a battlefield defeat. The authors argue the need to incorporate escalation prevention into the goal set for U.S. planners and to assess the impact of changes to the U.S. nuclear arsenal on the ability to deter intra-war escalation.
Performers: Brad Glosserman and David Santoro, (Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)).
Abstract:The Pacific Forum CSIS, with support from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, held the Sixth US-Japan Strategic Dialogue in Maui, Hawaii on Feb. 7-8, 2013. Twenty-five experts and officials and nine Pacific Forum CSIS Young Leaders from the two countries, all attending in their private capacities, examined the impact of the 2012 elections in both countries on their relationships and the alliance, compared assessments of China and North Korea, and focused on ways to strengthen extended deterrence.
Please click here to read "Toward the Next “Strengthening” Agenda: The US-Japan Alliance in Search of a Vision."
Performers: Brad Glosserman and David Santoro, (Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)).
Abstract: The Pacific Forum CSIS, with support from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, held the Fifth US-ROK Strategic Dialogue on Maui, Hawaii on Feb. 4-5, 2013. Twenty-five experts and officials and nine Pacific Forum Young Leaders attended, all in their private capacities. They examined the impact of the 2012 elections in both countries on their relationships and the alliance, compared assessments of China and North Korea, and focused on ways to strengthen extended deterrence. While the dialogue enjoyed its usual candor, ROK participants in some cases seemed hesitant to get too far out in front of their new incoming government.
Please click here to read "Testing Resolve: The US-ROK Alliance at a Crossroads."
Performers: Katie Smallwood, Ralf Trapp, Robert Mathews, Beat Schmidt, and Leiv K. Sydnes.
Abstract:In 2012, PASCC joined several other organizations in supporting IUPAC's third international workshop to review advances in science and technology with regard to their impact on the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). For each previous workshop, the program committee prepared a report with findings and recommendations to the States Parties of the CWC and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). Review Conferences of the CWC are convened every five years in recognition of the evolutionary nature of the agreement. There exists an ability to adjust and modify the Convention in response to advances and changes, and the objective of the Review Conferences is to review the operation of the CWC, to assess the progress made with its implementation, and to provide strategic guidance for the coming years.
Please click here to read the complete report, which will help provide a baseline for the next CWC Review Conference.
PASCC Report: 2012 021. Performers: James Clay Moltz (Naval Postgraduate School).
Abstract: Conventional wisdom from the late Cold War onward suggests that the U.S. submarine force is virtually invulnerable to attack, particularly since the demise of the Soviet Union. U.S. nuclear force planning and a range of other Navy long-range procurement plans assume the safety of future SSBN and SSN operations and the relative absence of threats. This scoping study tests and challenges these assumptions by examining international trends in the proliferation of submarines and autonomous vessel technology. It begins by observing that undersea strategic stability during the Cold War relied on specific factors that may not be present in the future. The study then surveys the range of new countries and capabilities emerging in the 21st century undersea environment. It concludes by suggesting that undersea warfare is going to pose serious new challenges to the U.S. Navy, possibly putting its sea-based leg of the triad at risk as the number of operational boats declines, while also observing that overseas SSN operations will be complicated by changing conditions and ASW developments. Finally, Moltz offers several possible remedies: 1) revision of currently laissez-faire U.S. policies in the area of submarine export controls; 2) revised procurement and basing policies in regard to U.S. SSBNs to reduce emerging vulnerabilities; and 3) reconsideration of diesel/AIP boats as a supplement to U.S. SSN forces for enhanced ASW and for conducting certain domestic and overseas missions.
Abstract:In 2012, PASCC funded the European Trilateral Dialogues with a grant to the Center for Strategic and International Studies. These dialogues promote insights and policy recommendations in the United States, United Kingdom, and France on nuclear issues ranging from defining the role of nuclear weapons, promoting non-proliferation efforts, advancing NATO's nuclear policy, and enhancing material security. Please click here to read the latest consensus statement from the trilateral working group.
PASCC Report: 2012 019. Performers: Victoria Clement and Ryan Gingeras (Naval Postgraduate School).
Abstract: From October 31 to November 2, 2012, experts gathered in Istanbul for a PASCC-sponsored Track II dialogue on weapons of mass destruction and regional security. Major themes included American and Turkish perspectives on security and cooperation, extended deterrence, Iran and the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), and the NPT and U.S.-Turkish relations. Participants found consensus on the need to maintain NATO's nuclear deterrent, though there was some disagreement on the meaning and implementation of the NPT. Most American and Turkish participants agreed that the proliferation of illicit nuclear programs in the greater Middle East is not inevitable should Iran develop a nuclear weapon, and that counter-proliferation efforts in Turkey are crucial to upholding the NPT. A number of Turkish and American participants advocated the use of strategic dialogues as a means of furthering discussing issues beset by mistrust, particularly when Turkish sovereignty, American national interests, and intelligence sharing are seen to be at stake. Participants generally agreed that much work remains in developing and expanding Turkey’s capacity to confront challenges related to nuclear proliferation.