New study examines nuclear weapons proliferation in South Asia

Author: Kristen D'Arcy

p. “South Asia at the Nuclear Crossroads,” a new study sponsored in part by the Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame, examines the threat posed by nuclear weapons proliferation in South Asia.
p. Coauthored by David Cortright, a visiting fellow in the Kroc Institute, and Samina Ahmed, a research fellow in the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University, “South Asia at the Nuclear Crossroads” urges policymakers to employ a more effective use of economic sanctions and incentives to curtail nuclear proliferation and defuse tension between India and Pakistan.
p. Cosponsored by the Kroc Institute, the Managing Atom Project at the Belfer Center and the Fourth Freedom Forum in Goshen, Ind., the study analyzes attempts by the United States to contain nuclear danger through the use of sanctions and incentives. The authors assess the limitations of past strategies and offer suggestions for more refined and effective future actions.
p. Among the study’s proposals is a “debt for disarmament” plan that would forgive Indian and Pakistani external debt obligations in exchange for concrete steps toward arms removal. Cortright and Ahmed hope the study “will be of value as the new U.S. administration reviews policy options toward nuclear proliferation in South Asia.”
p. The publication was presented to policymakers at the U.S. Departments of State and Defense and to analysts at the Stimson Center in Washington D.C. It currently is being released to policymakers and scholars in the United States and other countries.
p. Cortright is president of the Fourth Freedom Forum, a private operating foundation that researches international economic sanctions and incentives. Ahmed previously was affiliated with the Pakistan Institute of International Affairs in Karachi.


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