Nautilus Peace and Security Network – 19 March 2015

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"Nautilus Peace and Security Network – 19 March 2015", NAPSNet Weekly Report, March 19, 2015,

Deterrence imageDETERRENCE: Triangular nuclear competitions, Michael Krepon, Arms Control Wonk (9 March 2015)

Krepon cites Koblentz’s portrayal of trilemmas in South Asia where actions by one nuclear weapon state against another make a third (or many states) insecure. A similar but even more complex “multilemma” exists in Northeast Asia involving North Korea due to the existence of multiple possible choices for nuclear action and response. Non-state actors add further complexity.

DPRK imageDPRK: Where’s that North Korean ICBM everyone was talking about? John Schiling, 38 North (12 March 2015)

Many signs and trade indicators show North Korea’s economy growing, albeit from a very low starting point, but there’s no conclusive evidence of that causality and even fewer signs that such growth is sustainable policy-wise. A greater economy does allow for a stronger military, but building capabilities – be they missiles or conventional forces – takes time, money and political will. Those limiting factors offer opportunities to all sides; yet some of the opportunities challenge a rules-based international order.

Gov imageGOVERNANCE AND CIVIL SOCIETY: The Fukushima disaster wasn’t disastrous because of the radiation, James Conca, Forbes (16 March 2015)

Four years after the Fukushima nuclear plant meltdown, findings are emerging that the nuclear disaster caused little health impact, particularly in regards to levels of cancer, radiation in food and contaminated areas deemed unlivable. A Hiroshima-based institute has been selected to carry out a lifetime health study of workers at the plant, but so far only 35% of targeted workers have agreed to participate in the study.

cc adapt imageCLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION: Livelihood resilience in the face of climate change, Thomas Tanner et al., Nature Climate Change, vol. 1 (January 2015) [644 KB, PDF]

Resilience has become a popular research and policy concept within climate change adaptation and development contexts; necessitating greater attention to human livelihoods to address the limits to adaptation strategies and the development needs of the planet’s poorest and most vulnerable people. Linking aspects of human agency, rights and transformation with livelihood approaches can help to overcome the challenges of using resilience thinking to inform improved climate change adaptation options on the issue of human livelihoods.

ccsec imageCLIMATE CHANGE AND SECURITY: Reflections on climate-conflict research: More confusion than knowledge, Halvard Buhaug, The Carbon Brief (6 March 2015)

Much climate-conflict analysis is hampered by poor data, naïve assumptions re causality, actor motivation and the role of other drivers. But even absent such problems, “we will never be able to predict the onset of a new violent conflict with certainty based on data alone.” Moreover, “civil war is development in reverse. Therefore, ending violent conflict may be the most efficient and cost-effective way to improve resilience to climate change.”

The Nautilus Peace and Security Weekly Report presents articles and full length reports each week in six categories: Austral security, nuclear deterrence, energy security, climate change and security, the DPRK, climate change adaptation and governance and civil society. Our team of contributors carefully select items that highlight the links between these themes and the three regions in which our offices are found — North America, Northeast Asia, and the Austral-Asia region.

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