ballistic missile submarine

Voting for Trident before the Scotland question is settled is illogical

Vanguard at Faslane

The UK Parliament will be voting tonight on the principle of replacing Trident nuclear weapons system. It is a symbolic commitment, unconnected to any contracts or procurement timetable. Meanwhile, the government commitment to leave the EU is stoking calls for a second Scottish referendum. As the UK’s nuclear weapons submarines have their only base in Scotland, voting for Trident before coming to an agreement about the UK’s future makes no sense.

Understanding the new arms race

The stand-off between Russia and the West has prompted triggered fears of a renewed East-West clash. Amidst this climate of confrontation, nuclear weapons have regained some relevance for strategists on both sides, and political leaders have implied veiled nuclear threats. Against this background, the nuclear arsenals of both the US and Russian are undergoing important and costly modernisation programmes.

A Policy Proposal for the UK Government: Prevent a Nuclear Catastrophe

Paul Ingram, BASIC's Executive Director, was one of the judges in the recent Young Student Pugwash competition. Participants were asked to write a blog in response to the below challenge. The winner is Caroline Leroy. We reproduce her blog post here.
 
The Challenge: “Imagine you are advising the UK government about ways to decrease the globalthreat of Weapons of Mass Destruction. In approximately 1000 words, explain a policy, technique or approach that can reduce the threat(s) and make the world, at least a bit, safer.”
 

Blog: The Impact of Emerging Technologies on the Future of SSBNs

On the 13th September, BASIC, British Pugwash and the University of Leicester hosted a conference at the National Liberal Club, London on emerging undersea technologies and how they could affect the operation of ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs). Experts from science and technology, the defence and security community, think tanks, civil society and the media were all invited to contribute to discussions about how the latest advances in acoustic and non-acoustic detection and unmanned vehicle technology could affect sea-based deterrence strategies.

Monday's Trident Debate: What was mentioned, what was left out?

On Monday night, MPs voted 472 to 117 to replace UK’s Trident nuclear weapons system, following a five and half hour Parliamentary debate. The atmosphere was tense; the united SNP benches made an impassioned case against Trident from across the room, while the Conservatives all voted in favour, but for the Chair of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee who voted against the motion. Many arguments were aired both for and against Trident. But what kind of arguments did the MPs make?

Cost and benefits to US strategic interests from UK renewal of Trident

McCrisken
Tuesday, November 12, 2013 (All day)

BASIC's last Strategic Dialogue on nuclear weapons was held on November 12 in Washington, DC. Paul Ingram and Peter Huessy shared perceptions on Trident in the United Kingdom and the United States, and discussed what possible changes could mean for alliance security, with a focus on how the United States might view such changes. 

Getting to Zero Update

NATO proceeded quietly with its Strategic Deterrence and Defense Posture Review, while U.S. and Russian disagreements over missile defense continued. The United States was also conducting a review of nuclear targeting. In the United Kingdom, the “successor” to the Vanguard-class submarine that carries Trident missiles officially entered “Initial Gate,” or the initial design phase.

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