Holdren tried to organize the problem of applying science and technology into different tasks, and these might be undertaken in different fora. One task is that of “sharing and comparing.” The two countries could share and compare perceptions, practices, experiences, and analytical results relating to different threats and responses. They could also share and compare technology, designs and hardware, and intelligence.
A second approach would go beyond sharing and comparing. It would involve the joint analysis of threats and responses and codesign of strategies, laws, and regulations. It would also involve working together to develop, improve, and test technologies; to build individual and institutional capacity; to educate the public and policy makers; and to implement the identification of actual emergent threats, and the interdiction and defense against them in recovery from attacks if they cannot be prevented. There would also be joint work to conduct what Holdren called “integrated assessment” of an area of terrorist threat and response; for example, what does the whole landscape look like, what more could be done, what are the unexploited opportunities, what are the areas where resources are being wasted, what are the areas where resources are inadequate? Those are all forms of joint work that could be envisioned.
Next, there was the practical question of how the two countries would interact and cooperate. Is it best done with ad hoc workshops, lab-to-lab working parties (of the sort that had taken place between the United States and Russia on such problems as nuclear materials protection, control and accounting, and, briefly, between the United States and China)?
Other forms of interaction include standing joint committees for oversight and analysis (such as an existing committee within the National Academies and Russian Academy of Sciences for oversight and analysis of U.S.-Russian cooperation on nuclear nonproliferation and counterterrorism). There are also joint centers for analysis and technologies, and various joint operations for implementation, identification, interdiction, defense, and recovery.
Another way to characterize these kinds of cooperation is by asking who organizes them? What are the organizing entities, academies, think tanks, universities, national laboratories, and institutes, for example, the Indo-U.S. Science and Technology Forum, the Nuclear Threat Initiative, and various combinations of United Nations’ agencies, such as the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)? Holdren noted that in his paper he had applied this framework to develop an architecture for actual and potential forms of Indo-U.S. cooperation on nuclear threats.
Holdren noted that this was the moment to start thinking systematically about recommendations for cooperation. He added that there is the further issue of relevant criteria; that is, we need to identify the intersection points between the most dangerous threats and the most compelling opportunities. It is particularly important that the subject chosen should have some chance of delivering helpful results quickly: it does not make sense to pick important problems that were close to impossible to solve.
Two interventions from earlier discussions were especially relevant to the question of selecting topics for joint U.S.-India research. Marco DiCapua suggested that there might be separate matrices for India and the United States—the weight that the threat represents, the ease or difficulty of implementation, and the strength of each country to engage in dealing with that threat. There might be activities where India has strengths that would greatly benefit the United States and vice versa. For the United