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Carnegie Renews DACS Support

The Carnegie Corporation of New York has awarded a $1.2-million, three-year grant in renewing its support for the MIT Defense and Arms Control Studies (DACS) Program.

The Carnegie Corporation also announced a separate grant of $150,000 to support a study of nuclear arms control in the Middle East. The study is linked administratively to the DACS Program, which is part of the Center for International Studies (CIS).

The awards were announced by Professor Harvey M. Sapolsky of the Department of Political Science, who directs the DACS Program, and Myron Weiner, Ford Professor of Political Science and director of the CIS.

"We are pleased with the continued confidence in our program expressed by the renewal of support by the Carnegie Corporation of New York," Professor Sapolsky said. "This support recognizes that the special strengths of the MIT program-knowledge of defense institutions and technologies-remain relevant for a world seemingly being reshaped for the better but still retaining much of its customary uncertainty."

Professor Weiner said the Carnegie Corporation support will enable the DACS Program to continue to develop its "high level of competence in security studies that we believe is vital to maintain at this time of dramatic changes in the world. The end of the Cold War has reduced greatly the likelihood of a military confrontation between the former Soviet Union and the United States, but it has not eliminated the need to be concerned about international security issues."

The DACS Program is a graduate-level undertaking that is MIT's principal means for increasing public understanding and improving policy in weapons acquisition, national defense, arms control and international security.

Among the questions the DACS will explore in the next several months are:

  • What levels of strategic offensive and defensive weapons are needed?
  • How can the spread of nuclear weapons be contained?
  • How should the United States share its self-assumed responsibilities for peacekeeping with other nations?
  • What dangers do regional conflicts hold for US security?
  • ������With the Cold War at an end, how large a military should be maintained?
  • What can be done to ease the economic consequences of defense reductions here and elsewhere?

The separate study on nuclear arms control in the Middle East is headed by Dr. Marvin M. Miller, senior research scientist in the Department of Nuclear Engineering and a member of the CIS staff, and Dr. Avner Cohen, a visiting CIS/DACS scholar from the Department of Philosophy, Tel Aviv University, Israel.

"The Gulf War has only accentuated the importance of addressing the question of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East," they said in requesting the support. "The issue is riper for serious consideration than ever before, and the dangers of not addressing it, within the context of a political settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict, are grave.

"For the Gulf War may well be the last major war in the Middle East to be fought solely with conventional weapons."

A version of this article appeared in the April 8, 1992 issue of MIT Tech Talk (Volume 36, Number 26).

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