News + Media

Satellite images of nuclear powered cruise missile launch site

In the News

October 20, 2020

Satellite images indicate Russia is preparing to resume testing its nuclear-powered cruise missile

Zachary CohenCNN

Vipin Narang quoted: “A nuclear powered cruise missile gives a low-flying, radar-evading, nuclear-capable missile intergalactic range that can pose a challenge to national missile defenses,” he told CNN, adding that indications Russia may be preparing another test show “how much our missile defenses drive their developments and how scared they are of them, not today, but tomorrow.” They are also highly controversial “because it's crazy to put an unshielded nuclear reactor on a missile to power it,” Narang added, noting that the consequences of testing this type of weapon can be catastrophic if something goes wrong.

students holding up a globe


October 19, 2020

MISTI global seed funds program supports global engagement

MISTI Global Seed Funds program enables participating teams to collaborate with international peers, either at MIT or abroad, with the aim of developing and launching joint research projects.  The GSF application cycle is now open with a deadline of December 14, 2020.

Fotini Christia

In the News

October 14, 2020

Fotini Christia named director of the Sociotechnical Systems Research Center

Terri Park, Schwarzman College of ComputingMIT News

Fotini Christia has been named the director of the Sociotechnical Systems Research Center (SSRC) at MIT. The interdisciplinary center, part of the Institute for Data, Systems, and Society in the MIT Stephen A Schwarzman College of Computing, focuses on the study of high-impact, complex societal challenges that shape our world.

Erik Lin Greenberg

In the News

October 14, 2020

A new world of warcraft

Leda ZimmermanPolitical Science

Political scientist Erik Lin-Greenberg explores how a burgeoning high-tech arsenal is shaping military conflict

Anat Biletzki

In the News

October 13, 2020

Anat Biletzki on the Human Rights and Technology Fellowship Program

MIT News

Anat Biletzki is a founding co-director of the Center's Human Rights and Technology Fellowship Program. The program offers research fellowships to MIT students and invites proposals for its 2020-21 cohort of fellows through October 26. She speaks here on the fellowship program.

A man watches a television showing North Korea’s military parade while at the Seoul Railway Station on October 10, 2020, in Seoul, South Korea. Chung Sung-jun/Getty Images

In the News

October 13, 2020

North Korea has unveiled new weapons, showing Trump failed to tame its nuclear program

Alex WardVox

Vipin Narang quoted: “The temperature is down because Trump is happy to live in denial,” MIT nuclear strategy expert Vipin Narang told me. “The problem with that is when the temperature inevitably turns back up.”

Topol TEL in Military Historical Museum of Artillery, Engineers and Signal Corps St. Petersburg

Analysis + Opinion

October 13, 2020

Vipin Narang on the global nuclear landscape: hype and reality

The Diplomat

With many nuclear powers pushing their envelope and, in some cases, luck, and the future of arms control under stress, the current nuclear environment is defined by several challenges around proliferation and escalation risks.

This image made from video broadcast by North Korea’s KRT shows what appears to be a new intercontinental ballistic missile during a parade in Pyongyang on Oct. 10. (AP)

In the News

October 12, 2020

Threat from nuclear weapons and missiles has grown since Trump entered office

Paul SonneThe Washington Post

Vipin Narang quoted: Trends were already moving in a worrisome direction before Trump took office, and any administration would struggle to strike substantive new arms control deals in the current environment, said Vipin Narang. But Trump has exacerbated the challenges, he argued. “It’s not just we are building and modernizing our nuclear weapons program; we are doing it at a time when states are seeking riskier behavior with each other also.”

This image made from video broadcasted by North Korea's KRT, shows a military parade with what appears to be a possible new solid-fuel missile at the Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020. KRT VIA AP

In the News

October 11, 2020

North Korea unveils ‘very destabilizing’ ICBM

Patrick TuckerDefense One

Vipin Narang quoted: MIT associate professor Vipin Narang echoed Lewis’ analysis that the ICBM was no surprise, and that it was likely intended to deliver multiple defense-thwarting warheads. “Be thankful we didn’t see a solid fuel ICBM!” tweeted Narang, a member of MIT’s Security Studies Program.

President Trump had been taking a steroid that doctors say can produce euphoria, bursts of energy and even a sense of invulnerability. Trump wearing a mask in front of White House pumping his fist. Credit...Doug Mills/The New York Times

In the News

October 11, 2020

Trump’s virus treatment revives questions about unchecked nuclear authority

David E Sanger and William J BroadThe New York Times

Vipin Narang quoted: “The history of obfuscating the medical condition of presidents is as old as the Republic,” said Vipin Narang. “The issue here is that the dex” — shorthand for dexamethasone — “can make you paranoid and delusional.” “We don’t know how much he was given,” Mr. Narang said. “And if he gives an order in the middle of the night, and no one is there to stop him, we are dependent on his military aide not to transmit the order or the duty officer at the national military command center to stop it.”