Cluster for Natural and Technical Science Arms Control Research (CNTR)

The Cluster for Natural and Technical Science Arms Control Research (CNTR) researches militarily relevant new technologies and developments in the natural sciences from an interdisciplinary perspective. Military innovations, digital warfare and disinformation influence the balance of power and create uncertainty. In order to provide impetus for arms control at the international level, it is important not only to identify emerging problems at an early stage, but also to have the technical competence to address these problems. The CNTR team of researchers from different disciplines investigates impacts on international security, classifies them in a scientifically sound manner and, on this basis, develops recommendations for action to strengthen arms control.

At the same time, CNTR combines basic research and know­­ledge transfer in line with the motto of the Leibniz Asso­ciation “Theoria cum praxi”. In addition to disse­mi­nating research results via publi­ca­tions and various other formats, PRIF is there­fore deve­lop­ing a “CNTR Monitor: Techno­logy and Arms Control” together with the univer­­sities of Darm­­stadt and Giessen, which will provide annual infor­mation on new develop­­ments in arms control research starting in 2024.

The project is funded by the German Foreign Office for a period of four years (January 2023 to December 2026) and consists of three research groups:

1. Emerging Disruptive Technologies (Heads: Prof. Dr Dr Christian Reuter and Dr Niklas Schörnig)

The Emerging Disruptive Technologies research group firstly examines the dangers posed by the military use of new technological developments from a security policy, ethical and legal perspective. Second, it asks how verification measures need to be tailored to enable effective arms control of modern military technologies in the first place. Third, it examines how new technologies can contribute to the development of more reliable instruments for arms control and verification. The group focusses on the future and primarily looks at techno­logies that are considered as emer­ging disruptive techno­logies – that is, techno­logies which are capable of over­turning previous power struc­tures and might allow weaker challen­gers to overtake the milita­ries of previous­ly stronger players using inno­vations. These techno­logies include hyper­sonic missiles, mili­tary robotics, remotely piloted as well as autono­mous and semi-autono­mous weapon systems, nano­techno­logy, various forms of human enhance­ment, cyber opera­tions, militarily used Artificial Intel­ligence (AI) and Machine Learning, or even the military use of quantum computers.

More information on the research group Emerging Disruptive Technologies

2. Chemical and Biological Weapons Arms Control (Heads: Dr Una Jakob and Prof. Dr Peter R. Schreiner, PhD)

The use of chemical weapons in Syria, the attacks with nerve agents and the Russian dis­in­formation campaign on alleged bio- and chemi­cal weapons activities in Ukraine have once again brought these weapons to the fore as threats to peace and security. Moreover, the pandemic ex­pe­rience of recent years has shown the impact that even unin­ten­tio­nal global disease out­breaks can have. It is therefore crucial to address the entire spectrum of chemi­cal and biolo­gical hazards as part of a com­pre­hensive peace and security policy. Particu­larly in con­junction with other new techno­­logies, such as arti­ficial intel­ligence or infor­mation techno­logy, scientific and techno­­logical develop­­ments in biology and chemistry could, on the one hand, change military calcu­­lations about the use­ful­ness of bio­lo­gical and chemi­cal weapons and, on the other, open up new oppor­tu­nities for streng­th­ening inter­na­tional bans on both categories of weapons. In view of the close inter­con­nection of political and techno­­logical aspects, CNTR’s research in this area is conducted on an inter­­disciplinary basis with strong partici­pation of scientific exper­tise and in coope­ration with the Depart­­ment of Biology and Chemistry at the Justus Liebig University of Giessen.

More information on the research group “Chemical and Biological Weapons Control”

3. Science for Nuclear Diplomacy (Head: Prof. Dr Malte Göttsche)

The Science for Nuclear Diplomacy Group conducts research in experimental physics and computational nuclear engineering to support the nonproliferation, arms control, and disarmament of nuclear weapons. It is co-located at TU Darmstadt and PRIF. We focus on the development of novel verification techniques to assess compliance with corresponding treaties. Furthermore, proliferation potentials of new nuclear technologies are assessed. Lastly, the group explores avenues towards reductions in nuclear weapon arsenals and weapons-usable fissile materials.

More information on the research group “Science for Nuclear Diplomacy”

 

The natural and technical science research is complemented by the research area “Arms Control Law” (Prof. Dr Thilo Marauhn).


CNTR has its own website: www.cntrarmscontrol.org CNTR is on TwitterMastodon and Bluesky.

1
Segmentierung des Cyberspace? Chinas und Russlands Decoupling-Bestrebungen und ihre Konsequenzen | 2024

Reinhold, Thomas (2024): Segmentierung des Cyberspace? Chinas und Russlands Decoupling-Bestrebungen und ihre Konsequenzen, PRIF Spotlight 3/2024, Frankfurt/M, DOI: 10.48809/prifspot2403.

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2
Additive Manufacturing – Application and Use in Defence Technology | 2024

Suckau, Liska (2024): Additive Manufacturing – Application and Use in Defence Technology, CNTR Fact Sheets, 29.4.2024.

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3
Towards a Peaceful Development of Cyberspace: De-Escalation of State-Led Cyber Conflicts and Arms Control of Cyber Weapons | 2024

Reinhold, Thomas (2024): Towards a Peaceful Development of Cyberspace: De-Escalation of State-Led Cyber Conflicts and Arms Control of Cyber Weapons, Wiesbaden: Springer Fachmedien, https://link.springer.com/book.

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4
Quantentechnologie und ihre Sicherheitsrelevanz | 2024

Bühring, Lena / Gräfe, Markus (2024): Quantentechnologie und ihre Sicherheitsrelevanz, CNTR Fact Sheets, 29.2.2024.

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5
Verbesserte Glaubwürdigkeit: Zur Bedeutung der F-35A für die nukleare Teilhabe | 2023

Kuhn, Frank (2023): Verbesserte Glaubwürdigkeit: Zur Bedeutung der F-35A für die nukleare Teilhabe, PRIF Spotlight 12/2023, Frankfurt/M, DOI: 10.48809/prifspot2312.

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6
B-Waffen-Übereinkommen: Neunte Überprüfungskonferenz 2022 | 2023

Jakob, Una (2023): B-Waffen-Übereinkommen: Neunte Überprüfungskonferenz 2022, in: Vereinte Nationen, 6/2023, 276, https://zeitschrift-vereinte-nationen.de/(...).

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7
Making Nuclear Sharing Credible Again: What the F-35A Means for NATO | 2023

Kuhn, Frank (2023): Making Nuclear Sharing Credible Again: What the F-35A Means for NATO, War on the Rocks, 14.9.2023.

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8
Das Raketenabwehrsystem Arrow 3: Eine fragliche Beschaffung | 2023

Kuhn, Frank (2023): Das Raketenabwehrsystem Arrow 3: Eine fragliche Beschaffung, PRIF Blog, 25.8.2023.

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9
Friedensinformatik: heute und morgen | 2023

Gonsior, Anja-Liisa / Riebe, Thea / Schmid, Stefka / Reinhold, Thomas / Reuter, Christian (2023): Friedensinformatik: heute und morgen, in: FIfF-Kommunikation, 34–37, https://peasec.de/paper/2023.

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10
Kampfflugzeuge für die Ukraine und das Risiko der Eskalation: Ein Realitätscheck | 2023

Kuhn, Frank (2023): Kampfflugzeuge für die Ukraine und das Risiko der Eskalation: Ein Realitätscheck, PRIF Blog, 7.3.2023.

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