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KISG invite you to a presentation on intelligence analysis, uncertainty, and nuclear intentions in world politics.

About this event

Less than two decades after Germany had been defeated in the Second World War, there was concern on both sides of the Iron Curtain that West Germany’s “nuclear intentions” might change. Could certain pressures push West Germany to initiate a nuclear weapons program despite strong constraints? This question became increasingly urgent during the second Berlin Crisis, and in the United States it was submitted to the intelligence community for systematic elucidation.

Using recently declassified U.S. National Intelligence Estimates, this presentation highlights key NIE judgments and their evolution through the mid-1960s, compared with the perspectives of Western decision-makers. It also offers thoughts on how to wrestle with the difficulty of gauging the “nuclear intentions” of states which are perceived, or misperceived, to harbor nuclear weapons ambitions.

Andreas Lutsch is Juniorprofessor of Intelligence Analysis in the department of the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), in the Federal University of Administrative Sciences, Berlin. A historian by training, he was previously Assistant Professor at the University of Würzburg, a Nuclear Security Postdoctoral Fellow at Stanford University, and a research fellow at the University of Mainz. His first book (in German) Westbindung oder Gleichgewicht? offers a reassessment of West Germany’s nuclear security policy between the Non-Proliferation Treaty and the NATO Dual-Track Decision. His work was also published, or will soon appear, in the Journal of Strategic Studies, Journal of Cold War Studies, and Historische Zeitschrift.

Refreshments will be available from 15:00, with the talk due to start at 15:30.