In 2014 BASIC launched the Next Generation project in order to inspire the next generation to think differently about nuclear weapons by injecting fresh thinking into the nuclear weapons discussion.
BASIC is seeking to foster informed debate over Britain’s nuclear weapon system, which is currently composed of a fleet of four Vanguard SSBN submarines carrying US-supplied Trident missiles with British nuclear warheads.
Rethinking Nuclear Weapons
One of the most important and unremarked trends in nuclear weapons thinking is the constant change in the perceived capabilities and value of nuclear weapons. Hailed as miracle weapons in 1945, able to “assure success in negotiations,” prevent attacks, and guarantee great power status, the record of nuclear weapons has been one of continual disappointment.
Non-proliferation and Disarmament in the Middle East
International concern has been focused on Iran’s uranium enrichment program and Tehran’s potential and intention to develop nuclear weapons. Many leaders and constituencies are also worried about Israel's nuclear arsenal, the only one in the Middle East. In addition, there could be a growing ambiguity around the long-term nuclear ambitions of other Gulf states.
Iran's nuclear program
BASIC has been tracking and commenting upon the issues related to Iran’s nuclear program since 2003. Concerned at the consequences for proliferation stemming from Iran’s lack of full disclosure on past activities, the IAEA Board of Governors and the UN Security Council have been attempting to prevent Iran from developing a full fuel cycle, but Iranian authorities have resisted.
Arms Control, Non-Proliferation & Disarmament
BASIC has followed developments around nuclear arms control, non-proliferation and disarmament treaties for almost thirty years. This page includes links to issue areas for recent coverage, factsheets and other resources for key treaties, initiatives and dialogues that BASIC has focused on as key steps in achieving progress towards our vision.
NATO's Nuclear Posture
As part of its military doctrine, NATO relies on nuclear deterrence based upon the strategic nuclear arsenals of the United States and the United Kingdom. There are also U.S. B61 tactical gravity bombs based in five other member states as part of NATO’s nuclear sharing arrangements. Leaders and constituencies from NATO member states hold different views on how much emphasis the Alliance should place on the nuclear component of its military doctrine, and what the composition of the nuclear forces should look like.
All Party Parliamentary Group on Global Security and Non-proliferation
BASIC collaborates closely with the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Global Security and Non-Proliferation. The purpose of the APPG is to encourage discussion and debate, on the basis of expert information and opinion from across the political spectrum, on matters relating to global security and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction – whether nuclear, chemical or biological. Its clerk, Lorna Richardson, is formally a BASIC employee but is seconded wholly to work with the APPG.