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  • Mon

    NPWG Hosts Dr. Heather Williams on Asymmetric Arms Control

    5:30 pmRSVP at

    Join us as we welcome Dr. Heather Williams, who will be presenting "The Future of Arms Control: Great Power Competition and Emerging Technology"!

    "The Future of Arms Control: Great Power Competition and Emerging Technology"

    Arms control for emerging technology presents a paradox. On the one hand, new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and hypersonic glide vehicles have the potential to escalate crises, and therefore would benefit from arms control efforts to manage these risks. On the other hand, states are unlikely to limit their development and deployment of a new technology that could give them a strategic advantage. These new technologies, along with shifting geopolitics, has created asymmetries in the strategic balance between nuclear possessors, particularly the United States, Russia, and China. Arms control can help to strengthen strategic stability, however it is currently in peril with the end of agreements such as the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty and an uncertain future for the New START agreement. This presentation will first discuss the current arms control landscape and its challenges. It will then explore the impact of emerging technologies on strategic stability, and conclude with policy options for the future of arms control, to include trilateral cooperation. Ultimately, I argue that arms control has to become more flexible and account for asymmetries, particularly due to emerging technologies.

    Dr. Heather Williams is a Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Security Studies Program (SSP). She is visiting from King’s College London, where she is a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in the Centre for Science and Security Studies and Defence Studies Department. She is also an adjunct Research Staff Member in the Strategy, Forces, and Resources Division of the Institute for Defense Analyses in Alexandria, Virginia, where she has worked since 2008 on U.S. nuclear policy for the U.S. Department of Defense. She currently leads projects on emerging technology and the future of arms control, risks of social media to conflict escalation, and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

    Dr Williams is also a Member of the Wilton Park Advisory Council, an Associate Fellow at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), and a Senior Associate Fellow with the European Leadership Network. From 2018 to 2019 Heather served as a Specialist Advisor to the House of Lords inquiry into the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and Disarmament. Until January 2015, Heather was a Research Fellow on Nuclear Weapons Policy at Chatham House. Dr Williams completed her PhD in the Department of War Studies at King’s College London, and she has a BA in International Relations and Russian Studies from Boston University, and an MA in Security Policy Studies from The George Washington University.

    If you have any issues accessing the Zoom meeting, or do not receive a Zoom link after RSVPing, please send us a message through the contact form!

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