tactical nuclear weapon

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.

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."

TNW, The Quiet Menace: How the Threats to Europe, the Middle East and South Asia are Linked

London’s International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS; what – you haven’t applied for membership yet?) recently published their annual review of world affairs, Strategic Survey 2013. In its chapter on strategic policy issues, the Survey covers an important topic, the complex nuclear arms race underway in South Asia among India, Pakistan and China.

Why diversity matters to the nuclear debate

The public discourse around nuclear weapons policy can be deceptively binary: countries should retain nuclear capabilities or they shouldn’t; nuclear weapons provide security and strategic stability or they don’t. However, it is generally only the tip of the iceberg that makes its way into mainstream debate. In reality, a web of incredibly technical, expert discussion takes place below the surface which defines how substantive nuclear policy decisions are taken.

Theater Nuclear Weapons - A Direct Threat to European Security

BASIC has had a lot to say over the years about U.S. theater nuclear weapons (TNW) in Europe. (I will repeat here, ad nauseam for some, that it is a grave mistake to call such weapons ‘tactical’; any deliberate nuclear explosion must have strategic consequences. ‘Theater’, meanwhile, simply denotes their basing posture and connotes their intended use, from within a military theater of operations.)

NATO’s Nuclear Guardians: Why NATO’s bureaucracy is unable to initiate change to, or support reform of, Alliance nuclear policy

BASIC senior consultant Ted Seay explores the institutional history of NATO’s theater nuclear weapons (TNW) and explains why in recent years the Alliance has been slow to move forward with changes that could further reduce this arsenal.

NATO’s Nuclear Guardians: Why NATO’s bureaucracy is unable to initiate change to, or support reform of, Alliance nuclear policy

NATO Flags

BASIC senior consultant Ted Seay explores the institutional history of NATO's theater nuclear weapons (TNW) and explains why in recent years the Alliance has been slow to move forward with changes that could further reduce this arsenal.

UN First Committee and NATO Defence Ministers meeting

The United Nations General Assembly First Committee opens today in New York, the UN forum for disarmament and international security affairs. Its month-long session contains an ambitious program of work, including discussion on nuclear weapons and other WMDs, in the weaponisation of space, conventional weapons, regional disarmament and security, and disarmament machinery (conventions and treaties).

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