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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2006

Marvin Baker Schaffer

The Second World War and the cold war led to a revolution in military affairs, but this article seeks to question whether the USA is equipped to respond to future conflicts in an

773

Abstract

Purpose

The Second World War and the cold war led to a revolution in military affairs, but this article seeks to question whether the USA is equipped to respond to future conflicts in an age of global terrorism.

Design/methodology/approach

The article considers recent conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as the tactics of terrorist groups, to explore how America's military forces should adapt to future needs, particularly in terms of technology and strategy.

Findings

The USA faces a military dilemma. The force numbers and the technology mix needed to cope with terrorist and insurgency warfare are currently insufficient. However, the overall US budget is too high, and defense expenditures are one of the principal causes.

Originality/value

Contributes to the debate on countering global terrorism.

Details

Foresight, vol. 8 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 June 2003

Marvin B. Schaffer

Improved nuclear reactor configurations that address major concerns of environmentalists and safety analysts are discussed. In addition to social acceptance, these new modes of…

2223

Abstract

Improved nuclear reactor configurations that address major concerns of environmentalists and safety analysts are discussed. In addition to social acceptance, these new modes of power generation have economic potential to become the dominant producers of energy in the twenty‐first century. The class of power generation with this promise is the high temperature gas reactor (HTGR); the variant we focus on is the pebble‐bed modular reactor (PBMR). We also focus on using nuclear power as an energy source for desalinating seawater. Finally, the case is made that HTGR reactors are ideal for supplying the high‐temperature heat needed for manufacturing molecular hydrogen, a leading candidate for clean fuel consumption. These three themes are developed in a broad context with the objective of recommending policy actions dealing with global warming, public health, and economic opportunity.

Details

Foresight, vol. 5 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 11 April 2008

Marvin Baker Schaffer and Leslie Schaffer Belay

The purpose of this paper is to postulate a political structure for Israel and a Palestinian State 25‐50 years from now.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to postulate a political structure for Israel and a Palestinian State 25‐50 years from now.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper speculates that a Middle East Union modeled after the EU could enable stability and prosperity on a scale not now envisioned.

Findings

The paper speculates that oil will no longer be the global fuel of choice in 50 years. It is also speculated that long‐ and short‐range missile defenses will be reliable unlike today's systems. These will create new opportunities for successful collaboration in the Middle East.

Originality/value

The paper speculates that transportation, water, and power will be the key new elements of infrastructure needed to facilitate a Middle East Union. Nuclear desalination is postulated for the water and power and a light rail system connecting 15 cities in the Palestinian areas will be required.

Details

Foresight, vol. 10 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 June 1999

Marvin Baker Schaffer and Mario L. Juncosa

This analysis develops and predicts a politically controversial idea, namely that nuclear fission power will be the dominant energy resource of the 21st century. Abundant energy…

Abstract

This analysis develops and predicts a politically controversial idea, namely that nuclear fission power will be the dominant energy resource of the 21st century. Abundant energy enables higher and more efficient utilization of resources. Energy drives the engines of industrial and food production, transportation, building construction, space heating, transformation of landscapes, recreation, etc. This article compares other energy alternatives with the potential of nuclear fission power. It predicts that several hundred nuclear plants, each nominally of 10 gigawatts capacity, could supply the world’s energy requirements without creation of polluting greenhouse gases. Moreover, the superabundance of power this would represent could feed the world, supply its drinking water, and raise the per capita income and standard of living to levels where total human population would level off at an acceptable number. However, realization of such benefits requires unprecedented world cooperation, and these issues are also treated in this article.

Details

Foresight, vol. 1 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 June 2012

Marvin Schaffer

The strategic standoff, known as mutual assured destruction (MAD) by the USA and nuclear parity by Russia, has been overtaken by the advance of technology and the demise of the

Abstract

Purpose

The strategic standoff, known as mutual assured destruction (MAD) by the USA and nuclear parity by Russia, has been overtaken by the advance of technology and the demise of the Soviet Union. Pacing technology is being exploited by an increasingly mature missile defense. If implemented comprehensively, it could have widespread and revolutionary ramifications. This paper seeks to address these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

The article describes the historical background of America's nuclear strategy, from Eisenhower to the Obama Administration. It then traces the history of missile defense and arms limitation and develops the context of the interaction between them. It is found that nuclear arsenals should not be reduced to zero because that would put rogue nations in a position where they could intimidate the world. Finally, the evolution of computer chip technology, as embodied by Moore's law, is traced. The recommendation is made to proceed with the reduction of nuclear stockpiles to the level of a few hundred each, and to proceed with the implementation of comprehensive missile defenses.

Findings

The most important is the practicality of reducing nuclear arsenals to a few hundred on either side. That strategy is called “moral deterrence” herein. It is moral because, as opposed to MAD, it does not hold extensive civilian populations of the world hostage. At the same time, it is a sufficiently strong deterrent to prevent rogue nations from acquiring and threatening with illicit nuclear weapons. Moral deterrence is a better strategic option than the “nuclear‐free world” advocated by the Obama administration since nuclear‐free does not preclude intimidation by rogues.

Research limitations/implications

Technology enabling reliable missile defense is based on high‐speed, large‐capacity, miniaturized computer chips. It permits fast and reliable computations that can process real‐time data from radar, infrared, and optical sensors so that a hit‐to‐kill capability can be realized. It also permits the implementation of deformable mirrors for the adaptive optics used in high‐energy lasers. Much of the technology for modern missile defense flowed from the Strategic Defense Initiative; it was not predicted by the critics of three decades ago.

Originality/value

The principal aspects of originality involve the analytical tradeoffs between the nuclear stockpiles of the principal powers and the viability of missile defense. The analysis indicates that if the stockpiles are reduced to a few hundred each, then even imperfect missile defense is very effective in providing protection, providing it is triply redundant. Stockpiles reduced to ten or less leave the principal powers vulnerable to intimidation by rogue nations, and should be avoided. The article also finds that missile defense has been enabled technologically by Moore's law, and that it can be expected to improve further by the year 2020.

Details

Foresight, vol. 14 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 27 February 2007

Marvin Baker Schaffer

The objective of this article is to propose the use of nuclear power to provide electricity and wide‐scale desalination to meet future population growth in Israel and a

Abstract

Purpose

The objective of this article is to propose the use of nuclear power to provide electricity and wide‐scale desalination to meet future population growth in Israel and a Palestinian State.

Design/methodology/approach

The extent of future water and power shortages in Israel and a Palestinian States expounded in the article and various methods for alleviating these shortages are explored. Comparisons are made with historical approaches.

Findings

Nuclear pebble‐bed technology is found to be the most cost‐effective way to energize future water and power needs. It is safe, non‐polluting, and terrorist resistant.

Originality/value

This article makes the case that abundant water and power in the Middle East is both a pre‐requisite and a stimulant for peace in the region.

Details

Foresight, vol. 9 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 29 August 2008

Marvin Baker Schaffer

Russian dominance of the Eurasian natural gas delivery system has put the independence of the EU's foreign policy at risk. Although Europe is struggling to counteract the threat

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Abstract

Purpose

Russian dominance of the Eurasian natural gas delivery system has put the independence of the EU's foreign policy at risk. Although Europe is struggling to counteract the threat, Russia appears to be winning the game. This paper aims to recommend significant measures to reverse the trend.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a discussion paper exploring the issues involved.

Findings

Russia's stranglehold already has acquired 25 percent of the European market. Moreover, it is installing four new pipelines, and plans to increase its market share substantially. In response, Europe is building or planning three new pipelines. The author recommends additionally: strategic gas reserves, anti‐trust prosecution, financial and political inducements, and offering WTO membership to Russia in exchange for concessions.

Practical implications

Europe can win the great natural gas pipeline game if it is played with commitment. Europe must focus on the big prize, natural gas independence.

Originality/value

This original research viewpoint contains suggestions for the EU and Europe to increase their energy security.

Details

Foresight, vol. 10 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 23 October 2007

Marvin Baker Schaffer

The purpose of this paper is to review technologies for nuclear power and to assess their suitability in pursuit of clean, safe and secure energy independence.

2643

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to review technologies for nuclear power and to assess their suitability in pursuit of clean, safe and secure energy independence.

Design/methodology/approach

Technologies and potentials associated with the industry standard, light water reactors (LWR), as well as fast breeder reactors and TRISO‐fueled reactors, are reviewed. The key features and issues include: waste disposal and toxicity, heat pollution, vulnerability to terrorist attack, proliferation of weapon materials, global fuel depletion, safety, and cost.

Findings

The paper finds that, on balance, TRISO‐fueled reactors with helium as coolant offer solutions to the issues causing public nuclear concerns, and since they have significant cost benefits they should be the design of choice for new installations.

Originality/value

Nuclear power can make a contribution to rising energy demands but raise many concerns. This paper considers the principal types of nuclear reactors and analyzes them for their potential to address those important public concerns.

Details

Foresight, vol. 9 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 April 2005

Marvin Baker Schaffer

The article aims to explore the potential for pebble‐bed high‐temperature gas reactor (HTGR) technology to meet possible future energy shortages.

2707

Abstract

Purpose

The article aims to explore the potential for pebble‐bed high‐temperature gas reactor (HTGR) technology to meet possible future energy shortages.

Design/methodology/approach

The historical evolution of nuclear power is reviewed followed by empirical data that demonstrate the finite nature of oil and gas reserves. The characteristics of HTGR technology are then explored.

Findings

A pebble‐bed HTGR ameliorates nuclear waste disposal issues, does not disgorge large quantities of excess heat, is terrorist‐resistant, solves persistent problems concerning weapon proliferation, and is inherently safe.

Originality/value

The article makes the case for the US Department of Energy to take the lead in demonstrating a pebble‐bed HTGR plant to overcome industry reluctance to invest in this technology.

Details

Foresight, vol. 7 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 1 November 2006

239

Abstract

Details

Foresight, vol. 8 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

Keywords

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