Policy Forum

Nautilus Institute’s Policy Forum‘s focus is on the timely publication of expert analysis and op-ed style pieces on the foremost of security-related issues to Northeast Asia. Its mission is to facilitate a multilateral flow of information among an international network of policy-makers, analysts, scholars, media, and readers. Policy Forum essays are typically from a wide range of expertise, political orientations, as well as geographic regions and seeks to present readers with opinions and analysis by experts on the issues as well as alternative voices not typically presented or heard. Feedback, comments, responses from Policy Forum readers are highly encouraged.

NAPSNet, Policy Forum

Atomic Insurance for Atomic Insecurities

In this essay, Nikhil Desai explains the fears of anti-nuclear activists in India regarding its government’s alleged violation or weakening of the Indian law on civil nuclear liability as part of the Prime Minister’s visit to Washington, DC the weekend of 27th September 2013. He argues that the government’s opponents refuse to accept the reality of nuclear trade and operations, and should be more concerned about the institutional competence of India to manage the nuclear enterprises, civil or otherwise.

Nikhil Desai is an energy and environmental economist now dividing his time between Washington, DC and Ahmedabad, India. He is a Nautilus Institute Associate and a contributor to Nautilus’ Weekly Report.

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Networks for Climate Adaptation in South Asia

Saleem Janjua stresses the need for creation of some innovative climate adaptation networks amongst South Asian countries working on climate adaptation. Practitioners, researchers, and policy-makers from across the South Asian region will be able to collaboratively use such networks to share evidence-based understandings from which they can design solutions to the many problems that will face people and places in coping with climate change.

Saleem Janjua is a Nautilus Institute Associate, the editor of the Climate Change Adaptation bi-weekly report (ADAPTNet) and a contributor to Nautilus’ Weekly Report.

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Thinking About The Thinkable: DPRK Collapse Scenarios Redux

In the following Policy Forum Peter Hayes analyzes Preparing for the Possibility of a North Korean Collapse by RAND analyst Bruce Bennett. Hayes states “Bennett’s report is salutary reading and should be read widely, including in Pyongyang.  Anyone who hopes (as against feels obliged to prepare) for DPRK collapse or who thinks that “bringing it on” is likely to incur less costs for the most vulnerable populations than transforming the DPRK inside-out as-fast-as-possible via engagement aimed at non-collapse should read chapter 3 on the horrendous humanitarian consequences of a collapse and possible war.”

Peter Hayes is Professor of International Relations, School of Global, Urban and Social Studies, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University, Australia and Director, Nautilus Institute.

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O Divine Art of Subtlety and Secrecy in the Age of Nuclear Byzantine Generals

Peter Hayes writes: “Ultimately, commanders have to trust themselves, their staff, and their organization. But if …problem[s] reside in the nature of nuclear warfare itself, and the organizations are incapable of perfect implementation of nuclear strategy…then nuclear weapons are fatally flawed as a means of warfare…” Hayes quips, “Perhaps [we] should revise [the NRA] slogan: “Guns don’t kill people, people do” to: “Nuclear weapons don’t start nuclear wars; nuclear weapons organizational systems and people do.”

Peter Hayes is Professor of International Relations, School of Global, Urban and Social Studies, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University, Australia and Director, Nautilus Institute.

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Could a Maritime Conflict Start a Sino-American War?

Mark Valencia writes, “There is now little doubt that China and the West are going to clash. They are already competing in both military and civilian areas and more fundamentally in values and the pursuit of political power. The as yet unanswered questions are will the conflicts become “physical” and, if so, how and why?”

Mark Valencia is Senior Visiting Scholar at the National Institute for South China Sea Studies in Haikou, China and a Nautilus Institute Associate.

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Rolling Reforms: Reflections on Visits to Kim Jong Un’s North Korea

On visits to North Korea since Kim Jong Un came to power, Rudiger Frank has seen growing evidence of a more diverse and cash-based economy. These signs of creeping reform are evidence of North Korea’s desire for change, but achieving real transformation remains a long and delicate process.

Rudiger Frank is Chair Professor of East Asian Economy and Society at the University of Vienna and Head of the Department of East Asian Studies. He has visited North Korea numerous times.

This report was originally published by Global Asia in June of 2013 (V8N2).

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The Case of the Rescinded Invite

Roger Cavazos asks, “What happened to Ambassador Robert King’s invite to North Korea?”  How could things have gone so disastrously off-track in 72 hours and what does it mean for the future of the relationships between the U.S. and North Korea?   Roger Cavazos is a Nautilus Institute Associate and retired US military officer with assignments in the intelligence and policy communities.

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Learning as a Change Catalyst for Climate Adaptation

Saleem Janjua advocates an analysis of how organizations learn from their own experience, other organizations, and how they develop their own internal understanding and framework for action under climate change.

Saleem Janjua is the Climate Change Adpation contributor to the NAPSNet Weekly Report, and the Editor of AdaptNet.

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Non-State Nuclear Attack Urban Target Arrays—Pathways and Risk Reduction Strategies

In this policy forum essay, Peter Hayes argues that a determined non-state nuclear terrorist can choose to threaten any one of hundreds of cities, with a nuclear weapon, with a radiological weapon, or by attacking nuclear facilities.  The key risk reduction measures are to reduce numbers and increase security of nuclear weapons; favor urban form that increases urban resilience; and ensure spent fuel and reactors are extremely difficult to attack.

Peter Hayes is Professor of International Relations, School of Global, Urban and Social Studies, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University, Australia and Director, Nautilus Institute.

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A New Day in Northeast Asia?

James Goodby and Markku Heiskanen assess the significance of the recently reached agreement to reopen the Kaesong Industrial Complex. They write: “it shows a readiness to negotiate on both sides and could be seen as a first success for “trustpolitik,” President Park’s description of her hopes for North-South relations. Perhaps it signals the beginning of a new day in Korea.”
James Goodby is a former US ambassador to Finland now affiliated with Stanford University’s Hoover Institution and with the Center for Northeast Asian Policy Studies at the Brookings Institution.

Markku Heiskanen is a retired Finnish diplomat, now program director of The Asia Institute in Seoul.

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