strategic nuclear weapon

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.

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?

There are fewer nuclear warheads than a year ago

BASIC's executive director, Paul Ingram, was quoted in this iNews article by Susie Coen about the world's number of nuclear weapons. While the reduction in numbers is a good thing, it is also a double-edged sword: “So while it is certainly to be welcomed that there are fewer warheads in the world this year than last, there are worrying dimensions beneath those figures that we need to be concerned about."

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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NATO’s Defense and Deterrence Posture Review: A French Perspective on Nuclear Issues

Paul Zajac reviews the assumptions about the apparent rift between France and Germany over nuclear weapons and NATO, and the extent to which the alliance should play a role in nuclear disarmament. He argues that allies must be careful not to let other initiatives, such as projects on missile defense or aspirations for a world without nuclear weapons, harm alliance unity around nuclear deterrence.

The United States, NATO’s Strategic Concept, and Nuclear Issues

Washington appeared satisfied with the November 2010 Lisbon Summit outcome and new Strategic Concept regarding nuclear weapons and arms control. In this article, Amb. Steven Pifer analyzes the dual tracks of the Deterrence and Defense Posture Review process and development of a U.S. approach to nonstrategic nuclear weapons for possible future negotiations with Russia.

Turkey, NATO & and Nuclear Sharing: Prospects after NATO's Lisbon Summit

Mustafa Kibaroglu presents Turkey's political, military and diplomatic views to the prolonged deployment of U.S. tactical nuclear weapons on their soil. Turkey's policy of non-proliferation contrasts with their hosting - albeit burden sharing - of NATO tactical nuclear weapons. He concludes that Turkey, preferably together with other NATO members, should take the initiative in asking the United States to draw them down and remove them entirely, in the interests of Turkish security and alliance cohesion.

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