Imagining the Unimaginable: War, Weapons, and Procurement Politics
Wednesday, February 14, 2024 at 12:00pm to 1:30pm
E40-496, in-person limited to the MIT Community
SSP Wednesday Seminar with speaker Sanne Verschuren, Assistant Professor of International Security at Boston University. The talk will be broadcast live on the MIT Security Studies Program Youtube channel.
Summary/abstract: Why and how do states decide to develop different weapon systems within a similar domain of warfare? For example, why does the United States invest in ever-more expansive forms of national missile defense, while France briefly dabbled in such matters and the United Kingdom has been reluctant to do so? Contrary to the assumption in the existing literature that states know their future threat environment and are able to develop suitable military technology in response to it, I argue that ideas about the future play a critical role in shaping states’ decisions about military technology. I explore these dynamics through an in-depth case study of the development of missile defense capabilities in the United States from the 1980s until the mid-1990s.