The need for nuclear disarmament through multilateral diplomacy is greater now than it has been at any stage since the end of the Cold War. Trust and confidence in the existing nuclear non-proliferation regime is fraying, tensions are high, goals are misaligned, and dialogue is irregular.
In Meaningful Multilateralism, BASIC and UNA–UK offer 30 multilateral disarmament proposals for the incoming UK Government after the General Election on the 8th June, themed according to three types of leadership the UK has previously shown in disarmament:
What are states' responsibilities around the possession of nuclear weapons?
Our latest report, written in partnership with the Institute for Conflict, Cooperation, and Security (ICCS), at the University of Birmingham, seeks to foster an international dialogue about the responsibilities of nuclear-armed states.
The volatile security environment of South Asia has traditionally been dominated by on-going tensions and conflicts between Pakistan and India, who have held a tense and inimical relationship since their emergence as separate nations in 1947. The threat perception arising out of the historical tension and enduring rivalry between both countries has put them in a security dilemma in which the risk of nuclear conflict simply cannot be ruled out.
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.
Russia and the United States have begun the exchange of information on their nuclear arsenals under the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) as they assess next steps on arms control and also try to resolve their differences over missile defense. The Iranian and North Korean nuclear situations showed no signs of resolution, and instead pointed to more difficulties ahead.
The United Kingdom has maintained unbroken nuclear weapons patrols since 1968. The rationale for this doctrine of continuous deterrence has been based on several pillars that are irrelevant in today’s environment. Rather than an absolute need for continuous deterrent, there is instead a great opportunity for Britain to take the lead as the most progressive of the nuclear weapons states by reducing the readiness and size of its strategic force. Article originally published in RUSI Journal, Vol. 155, No. 2.
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The Obama Administration today published its Nuclear Posture Review, sold as an indication of the reduced but continuing US reliance on nuclear forces for global deterrence and assurance. Paul Ingram, BASIC's Executive Director described the document as "an unconvincing balancing act."