The arms control negotiation simulation class taught by Dr. William Potter, director of the Monterey Institute’s James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, has always been one of the most highly regarded and talked about classes offered at the school, and an overview of this semester’s activities in “IPOL 8586: US-Russian START Follow-on Arms Control Simulation” should serve as a reminder of why.
First, there was the unparalleled nonproliferation experience and knowledge offered by Dr. Potter and his CNS colleague Dr. Nikolai Sokov, a former Russian arms control negotiator. Second, the class offered students the opportunity to simulate the negotiation process with great detail and realism, taking on assigned roles as members of the U.S. and Russian delegations for the entire semester, while hearing from a number of experts with insights into the real-life negotiating process.
Perhaps the highlights of the course came, though, when the entire class had the opportunity to interact in person with Ambassadors James Goodby and Linton Brooks, and meet via video conference with Assistant Secretary of State Rose Gottemoeller, the chief U.S. negotiator on the “New START Treaty” currently under review by the U.S. Senate. It’s difficult to imagine a more practical real-life learning opportunity in the field of nonproliferation.