Will Russian Scientists Go Rogue? A Survey on the Threat and the Impact of Western Assistance

PDF Version Also Available for Download.

Description

The collapse of the Soviet Union sparked fears throughout the world that rogue nations and terrorist organizations would gain access to weapons of mass destruction (WMD). One specific concern has been 'WMD brain drain.' Russians with knowledge about nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons could now depart to any country of their choice, including rogue nations seeking to produce WMD. Meanwhile, Russian science fell into a protracted crisis, with plummeting salaries, little funding for research, and few new recruits to science. These developments increased both the incentives and the opportunities for scientists to sell their knowledge to governments and terrorist organizations ... continued below

Physical Description

PDF-file: 2 pages; size: 57.4 Kbytes

Creation Information

Ball, D Y & Gerber, T P December 27, 2004.

Context

This article is part of the collection entitled: Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports and was provided by UNT Libraries Government Documents Department to Digital Library, a digital repository hosted by the UNT Libraries. More information about this article can be viewed below.

Who

People and organizations associated with either the creation of this article or its content.

Publisher

Provided By

UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Serving as both a federal and a state depository library, the UNT Libraries Government Documents Department maintains millions of items in a variety of formats. The department is a member of the FDLP Content Partnerships Program and an Affiliated Archive of the National Archives.

Contact Us

What

Descriptive information to help identify this article. Follow the links below to find similar items on the Digital Library.

Description

The collapse of the Soviet Union sparked fears throughout the world that rogue nations and terrorist organizations would gain access to weapons of mass destruction (WMD). One specific concern has been 'WMD brain drain.' Russians with knowledge about nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons could now depart to any country of their choice, including rogue nations seeking to produce WMD. Meanwhile, Russian science fell into a protracted crisis, with plummeting salaries, little funding for research, and few new recruits to science. These developments increased both the incentives and the opportunities for scientists to sell their knowledge to governments and terrorist organizations with hostile intentions toward the United States. Recognizing the threat of WMD brain drain from Russia, the United States, and other governments implemented a host of programs designed to reduce the risk. Despite, or perhaps partly because of, massive assistance from the West to prevent scientists with WMD knowledge from emigrating, the threat of Russian WMD brain drain has recently faded from view. Yet we have seen no evidence that these programs are effective and little systematic assessment of the current threat of WMD migration. Our data from an unprecedented survey of 602 Russian physicists, biologists, and chemists suggest that the threat of WMD brain drain from Russia should still be at the forefront of our attention. Roughly 20 percent of Russian physicists, biologists, and chemists say they would consider working in rogue nations such as North Korea, Iran, Syria, or Iraq (still considered a rogue state at the time of the survey). At the same time, the data reveal that U.S. and Western nonproliferation assistance programs work. They significantly reduce the likelihood that Russian scientists would consider working in these countries. Moreover, Russian grants do not reduce scientists' propensity to 'go rogue'. These survey findings have clear policy implications: the U.S. and its allies must continue to adequately fund nonproliferation assistance programs rather than hastily declare victory. The U.S. should remain engaged with former Soviet WMD scientists until they are willing and able to find support for their research from competitive, civilian-oriented, privately funded projects. Otherwise, we run a great risk that WMD expertise will migrate from the former Soviet Union to countries or organizations that harbor hostile intentions toward the U.S. Assistance programs work to reduce the threat of WMD brain drain, but their task is not complete. Now is not the time to pull back.

Physical Description

PDF-file: 2 pages; size: 57.4 Kbytes

Source

  • Presented at: Program on New Approaches to Russian Security Policy Conference, DC, DC, United States, Feb 04 - Feb 04, 2005

Language

Item Type

Identifier

Unique identifying numbers for this article in the Digital Library or other systems.

  • Report No.: UCRL-CONF-208787
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-48
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 917884
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc881372

Collections

This article is part of the following collection of related materials.

Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

What responsibilities do I have when using this article?

When

Dates and time periods associated with this article.

Creation Date

  • December 27, 2004

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 22, 2016, 2:13 a.m.

Description Last Updated

  • Dec. 9, 2016, 1:07 p.m.

Usage Statistics

When was this article last used?

Yesterday: 0
Past 30 days: 0
Total Uses: 1

Interact With This Article

Here are some suggestions for what to do next.

Start Reading

PDF Version Also Available for Download.

Citations, Rights, Re-Use

Ball, D Y & Gerber, T P. Will Russian Scientists Go Rogue? A Survey on the Threat and the Impact of Western Assistance, article, December 27, 2004; Livermore, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc881372/: accessed December 14, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.