About the Project

Improvements to strategic situational awareness (SA) – the ability to characterize the operating environment, detect and respond to threats, and discern actual attacks from false alarms across the spectrum of conflict – have long been assumed to reduce the risk of conflict and allow for the more successful management of crisis and conflict when they occur. In nuclear policy jargon such impacts are considered “stabilizing” because they reduce the risk of escalation to higher levels of violence. However, with the rapid development of increasingly capable strategic SA-related technology, the growing co-mingling of conventional and strategic strategic SA requirements and capabilities, and an increasing risk of conventional conflict between nuclear armed adversaries, this may no longer be the case.

Emerging technology may be transforming the strategic SA space from a relatively passive and secure realm with clear firebreaks between conventional and nuclear systems to an ecosystem that is much more active, dual-use, and crowded. The emerging strategic SA ecosystem may be dramatically more capable, but potentially more vulnerable and disruptive as well.

In light of these dynamics, the Project on Nuclear Issues at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and the Nuclear Policy Working Group at the University of California, Berkeley, have launched a two-year long project to study the impact of emerging technologies that affect situational awareness on strategic stability. In addition to producing analysis on these issues, the project will engage and support next generation researchers by involving them directly in research and providing them with opportunities and forums – including this website – to engage and collaborate across communities.

The site, On the Radar, serves as a platform to report analysis and findings, share resources, and involve a diverse group of experts in the project. Here, users will find primers on individual technologies, analysis of specific countries’ strategic SA capabilities, and interactive tools to explore the projects’ analysis and assessments. The website will also host a comprehensive database of relevant work on emerging technology and strategic stability.

This project was made possible by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. All views expressed on the website should be understood to be solely those of the authors.

About PONI

The core mission of PONI is to develop the next generation of policy, technical, and operational nuclear professionals by fostering, sustaining, and convening a networked community of young professionals prepared to meet the nuclear challenges of the future.

PONI works to achieve this mission through several objectives:

  • Identifying emerging thought leaders and providing them with the opportunity to develop and present new concepts and ideas.
  • Sponsoring new cutting-edge research.
  • Encouraging thoughtful and informed debate.
  • Engaging a broad and diverse community across the country and internationally.
  • Providing a networked platform for information-sharing and collaboration across the broad nuclear community.
  • Cultivating young professionals through opportunities to build relationships, deepen understanding, and share perspectives across the full range of nuclear issues and communities.

About the Nuclear Policy Working Group

The Nuclear Policy Working Group (NPWG) is a research-based educational programming effort that provides opportunities for students from a variety of fields to conduct multidisciplinary research on topics in nonproliferation and nuclear security. The NPWG has a three-fold mission: (1) to educate students on contemporary issues in nuclear security, (2) to foster collaboration across the technical and social science fields, and (3) to generate original policy-relevant publications. The group strives to minimizes knowledge gaps across disciplines by providing relevant material to participants through interactive seminars and events hosted throughout the academic year.

Principal Researchers

Rebecca Hersman

Director, Project on Nuclear Issues and Senior Advisor, International Security Program

Bethany Goldblum

Associate Research Engineer in the Department of Nuclear Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, and Founder and Director, Nuclear Policy Working Group

Eric Brewer

Deputy Director, Project on Nuclear Issues, and Fellow, International Security Program, Center for Strategic and International Studies

Andrew Reddie

Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of California, Berkeley, and Deputy Director, Nuclear Policy Working Group

Bernadette Stadler

Graduate Student, Harvard University

Reja Younis

Program Manager and Research Associate, Project on Nuclear Issues


Kate Charlet

Director, Technology and International Affairs Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Jarred Dunnmon

Postdoctoral Fellow, Computer Science, Stanford University

Michael Horowitz

Professor of Political Science and Associate Director, Perry World House, University of Pennsylvania

Elsa Kania

Adjunct Senior Fellow, Technology and National Security Program, Center for a New American Security

Philip Reiner

CEO, Technology for Global Security

Paul Scharre

Senior Fellow and Director, Technology and National Security Program, Center for a New American Security

Development Team

On the Radar is a product of the Andreas C. Dracopoulos iDeas Lab, the in-house digital, multimedia, and design agency at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

About CSIS

Established in Washington, D.C. nearly 60 years ago, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) is a bipartisan, nonprofit policy research organization dedicated to advancing practical ideas that address the world’s greatest challenges. CSIS is ranked the number one think tank in the United States by the University of Pennsylvania’s annual think tank report. To learn more about CSIS, visit www.CSIS.org.