2022 Undergraduate Fellow Spotlight: Clara Masback

Clara Masback is a rising junior at The College of William & Mary studying International Relations. Her interest in nonproliferation studies stems from the International Politics and International Security courses she has taken at W&M. Her interests include politics of nonproliferation, national and international security, and Hispanic studies. Her internship last summer at Geospark Analytics introduced her to the intersection of qualitative and quantitative data analytics applied to global risk and threat assessment monitoring. This coming fall she will be studying as a Gates Scholar at King’s College London taking War Studies courses and traveling in Europe. Outside of school she is on the executive board of, and a counselor for, Kesem at W&M and enjoys going on walks and bullet journaling in her free time. 

Final Presentation: Cuban Missile Crisis & Russia’s War on Ukraine: A Comparative Analysis

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The Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 created the what is widely considered to be the period of the most heightened tensions between the U.S. and Soviet nuclear powers. While the crisis was terrifying as the world was brought to the brink of a global thermonuclear war, the following years and decades brought forth a series of cooperative arms control measures, including the Limited Test Ban Treaty and Nonproliferation Treaty – which are still in effect today. However, in the past five months, due to the Russian war against Ukraine, tensions have risen dramatically, now holding arms control at significant risk. Is this simply a finite period of peril for bilateral agreements between the United States and Russia, or does it represent a dangerous inflection point? In this project I will endeavor to compare and contrast the Cuban Missile Crisis with the war in Ukraine, and use those observations to opine whether the war will act as a wake up call to the states for further arms control or if we have entered a new era of poor or non-cooperation.