BASIC News January – February 2013

The BASIC Trident Commission continued its deliberations on multiple aspects of the United Kingdom’s nuclear posture. Also in the first part of the year, BASIC organized sessions focused on U.S. nuclear weapons and extended deterrence in both London and Washington, engaging with a range of political and international perspectives.


BASIC Trident Commission
Principal Funders: Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, Polden Puckham Foundation, Nuclear Education Trust, and the Mulberry Trust
  • The BASIC Trident Commission is drafting chapters of its final report, which it currently plans to publish this year. It will also be publishing in March a briefing by Professor John Simpson on Britain’s deterrence and non-proliferation policies.
  • The Commission recently received the following evidence in January:
    Letter from the Rt. Hon. Lord David Owen
    – “Reflecting on the Current Strategic Context”, paper by CND

NATO\’s Nuclear Posture

Principal funder: William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
In partnership with Arms Control Association and Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy at the University of Hamburg (IFSH)

  • Theatre Nuclear Weapons and the next round of bilateral New START Treaty follow-on talks, January 16 – BASIC Senior Consultant and former advisor to the U.S. Ambassador to NATO, Ted Seay, reviewed the military and arms control history of tactical nuclear weapons in NATO and highlighted Russian concerns around forging a new agreement on remaining U.S. and Russian warheads. He concludes the paper by assessing several options for the United States and NATO. This briefing is the 12th in a series on NATO nuclear policy.
  • Roundtable on British policy towards NATO\’s nuclear posture – BASIC hosted a private roundtable discussion on the United Kingdom’s approach to nuclear deployments in Europe and NATO’s nuclear posture after the Chicago Summit of 2012. Post-Summit analyses seem to agree that although a clear consensus on the general direction of NATO’s nuclear policy has been achieved, there is uncertainty over how long this will last.



Strategic Dialogues
Principal Funder: The Prospect Hill Foundation
  • Strategic Dialogue on Nuclear Weapons Spending: What Does the United States Need and Why? – BASIC held its fourth Strategic Dialogue event on January 18, asking Dr. Christopher Ford (Hudson Institute) and Amb. Steven Pifer (U.S.-ret.) (Brookings Institution) to reflect on how the United States should approach possible spending cuts to its nuclear forces. The event was held in a room of the House Armed Services Committee with professional staff members in attendance.  Visit the event page for text and audio of the main presentations.
  • Nuclear Deterrence Summit – Paul Ingram moderated a BASIC panel on “European Perspectives on Nuclear Deterrence in the 21st century” at the annual Deterrence Summit run by the Exchange Monitor, near Washington, DC on February 20.  Lord (Des) Browne of Ladyton (former UK Defence Secretary), François Delmas (Counsellor, French Embassy), Lukasz Kulesa (PISM) and Simon Lunn (ELN / RUSI / Carnegie) joined in the discussion.  C-SPAN broadcast the full day’s program, including BASIC’s session, which lasted 90 minutes.
                 -Watch the event on C-SPAN
                 -Read Paul Ingram’s reflections on the conference:
The U.S. Nuclear Deterrent: An International Perspective


  • Ottawa, CanadaBASIC has made arrangements for a private roundtable discussion on the Fissile Material (Cutoff) Treaty (FMCT) in Ottawa in March, and a follow-on report.
  • Istanbul, Turkey – BASIC will hold a conference on Nuclear Non-proliferation in the Gulf on March 25-26.  BASIC will post more information soon on our Events page.
  • The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office recently approved BASIC’s project bid on non-proliferation – for project work in the Middle East: £96,000/,000
  • Also, the Mulberry Trust and the Network for Social Change have both awarded BASIC £10,000/,000 for work on the Trident Commission

Thank you to all of our funders, both institutional and individual!

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