Michael Krepon – USA

Linked with STIMSON.org, and with Does Threat Reduction Require Threat Inflation?

Michael Krepon is Co-founder of the Henry L. Stimson Center and the author or editor of thirteen books and over 350 articles. Prior to co-founding the Stimson Center, Krepon worked at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the US Arms Control and Disarmament Agency during the Carter administration, and in the US House of Representatives, assisting Congressman Norm Dicks. He received an MA from the School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University and a BA from Franklin & Marshall College. He also studied Arabic at the American University in Cairo, Egypt. Krepon divides his time between Stimson’s South Asia and Space Security projects. The South Asia project concentrates on escalation control, nuclear risk reduction, confidence building, and peace making between India and Pakistan. This project entails field work, publications, and Washington-based programming, including a visiting fellowship program. The Space Security project seeks to promote a Code of Conduct for responsible space-faring nations and works toward stronger international norms for the peaceful uses of outer space. Krepon also teaches in the Politics Department at the University of Virginia. (on STIMSON.org).

… Michael Krepon is available to talk about nuclear threat and terrorism in the region. Sample quote: “Mumbai has already suffered three 9/11-type attacks” … (full text).
Michael Krepon divides his time between the Stimson Center’s South Asia and Space Security projects. He is one of the leading experts on nuclear weapons issues in India and Pakistan, including escalation control, nuclear risk reduction, confidence building and peace making.  The Space Security project seeks to promote a Code of Conduct for responsible space-faring nations and works toward stronger international norms for the peaceful uses of outer space.  Prior to co-founding the Stimson Center, Krepon worked at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, and in the U.S. House of Representatives. (on PloughsharesFund.org).


Michael Krepon

Watch the following videos:

He says: … “I’d be surprised if the Bush administration were satisfied with the steps that the Pakistan government has taken so far. These steps are welcome, but the infrastructure for the LeT is far greater than a couple of camps outside of Muzzaffarabad. So, more needs to be done,” … (full text).

… A fourth abolitionist wave is now building. This wave is unusual because it is moving from the center outward. Its leading advocates—statesmen like George Shultz, Sam Nunn, Henry Kissinger, William Perry and Max Kampelman—have long resumes of distinguished public service. Because of their leadership, the fourth wave has more potential than its predecessors. When foreign policy realists who have served in positions of great responsibility in the Nixon, Ford, Carter and Reagan Administrations join with a Democratic presidential candidate like Barack Obama in calling for nuclear abolition, clearly something noteworthy is unfolding … (full text).


Then he says: … “Well India has experience multiple 9-11’s, Ray. In the 1990s there was an attack on the Mumbai stock exchange and other targets: 250 dead, 700 wounded. There was an attack on the mass transport system in Mumbai in 2006. Another horrendous casualty list. So, the people of India have reason to ask their leaders to come together and to do a better job. This is all compounded by the fact there is a national election coming up next year in India. And the current government of India which is led by the Congress Party—Dr. Manmohan Singh –is under a lot of pressure to show he has got some mettle” … (full interview text, December 2, 2008).

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… Michael Krepon, a co-founder of the Henry L. Stimson Center who has worked at the State Department and on Capitol Hill, said policy-makers should question expert judgments that prompt such levels of fear. “We’re not going to hell in a hand basket,” he said, speaking yesterday at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. “There is reason to believe that we can succeed in preventing acts of nuclear terrorism and further nuclear proliferation. We’ve got to do more in order to have reason for optimism. But we can do this. We know how to do this.” Krepon said arms control agreements, threat reduction measures and nonproliferation regimes implemented over the past few decades have helped prevent disaster. A taboo against the use of nuclear weapons has held firm since the end of World War II, he noted … and: “A fear-based strategy of reducing nuclear dangers is not politically sustainable,” Krepon said. “A fear-based strategy can lead to significant errors in judgment and policy” … (full text).

He says also: … “The signal is that we want to change the rules of the game. Other nuclear suppliers will be very free to reinterpret the rules as they like in subsequent cases” … and: “This is a big deal for Pakistan. If an exception is to be made for India, it should be made for Pakistan, as well. That’s Pakistan’s position” … and: “This is a very serious competition. If present trends continue, India and Pakistan could very well have greater nuclear capabilities than France and Great Britain, looking down the road” … and:       “Iran is a much tougher climb diplomatically [than North Korea]” … and: “[However, naysayers are warning that the major shift envisaged by the Joint Declaration,] If implemented, would result in new rules of global nuclear commerce that the Bush administration has previously opposed, … Is the US-India Nuclear Cooperation Good or Bad for Proliferation?” … and: “After 300 years of colonial rule, India will not follow the beat of a distant drummer, nor accept a junior partnership to Washington” … (more quotes).

… The report does not specify how exactly American superiority in space should be achieved. The details were left to the incoming president and the Pentagon, which Rumsfeld now heads. And President Bush has yet to tip his hand and show what steps he plans to take. But if Rumsfeld and Bush get serious about seizing the strategic high ground of space, the fallout from their decision will be severe. The repercussions will include new international competition to put weapons in space, further strains in alliance relations, closer strategic cooperation between Russia and China, deeper partisan division at home, weakened nonproliferation treaties, and, ironically, greater difficulties in developing one of the Bush administration’s cherished goals – missile defense. For these many reasons, the temptations to embark on a new, armed space race must be avoided … (full interview text).

And he says: … “Well, the Chinese take an indirect approach with India and vice versa. Neither country directly opposes the other’s nuclear ambitions. China is probably the most likely supplier of nuclear power plants in Pakistan if Pakistan gets a similar exemption. I think there will still be great reluctance on the part of nuclear suppliers to treat Pakistan on the same footing as India. Another interesting question is whether or not the government of Israel will seek exemptions from the typical rules of nuclear commerce, not necessarily for power plants, but perhaps for desalinization plants, that’s another possibility. I think the ramifications of an Israeli attempt to get exemptions from nuclear controls are worth considering” … (full interview text).

Question: But coming back to my earlier question, as to what do you do when India makes the argument that it is growing exponentially as is China and that if you don’t find some alternatives to meet your energy requirements, it’s going to be bad news for everyone, including US interests?
MK: I am actually sympathetic to that argument. I am not opposed to changing the rules. (But) my argument is if you are going to change the rules, make sure you are taking measures to ensure that proliferation does not become worse. I don’t see that from this administration. I don’t see it frankly from New Delhi either. Both New Delhi and Washington are equally opposed to a test ban treaty. Both are opposed to a verifiable cut-off of fissile material. So I don’t see the compensatory steps that would make me feel better about this agreement. Just the opposite. I see a treaty regime, the rules of non-proliferation being weakened by this sweetheart deal. I have a problem with that because if proliferation explodes then both Washington and New Delhi are worse off and everybody else is too … (full interview text, September 01, 2005).


Kashmir: Heaven Under Siege, 2.48 min, October 31, 2008;

U.S. Military Intentions in Outer Space are Focus of U.N. Debate, February 13, 2008;

Ballistic Missile Defense: House Government Reform and Oversight, Subcommittee on National Security, 30 May 1996.

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