BASIC News Spring-Summer 2013

BASIC closely monitored developments coming out of the recently released Trident Alternatives Review and continued to facilitate the final term of the Trident Commission. President Barack Obama’s speech in Berlin provided additional impetus for BASIC’s continuing engagement on U.S. and NATO nuclear posture issues. With ongoing uncertainties in the Middle East, BASIC followed the recent regime change in Egypt and has explored options for future work in the region.

Read BASIC’s New Blog!
BASIC launched its blog in May of this year, as a forum for further engagement. The blog aims to explore topics of interest, create a channel for discussion, and make nuclear weapons issues more accessible.

Selected Blog articles

Other publications

  • Fighting a Prevailing Cold War Mentality, Open Security, second in a series of new articles by Rebecca Cousins in Open Democracy, July 29
  • Implications of President Obama’s speech in Berlin and nuclear strategy review, BASIC news analysis, Chris Lindborg, June 21.


BASIC Trident Commission
Principal Funders: Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, Polden Puckham Foundation, Nuclear Education Trust, and the Mulberry Trust

Reactions to the Trident Alternatives Review (TAR)

Separate from the Trident Commission activities, BASIC also responded to the Trident Alternatives Review (TAR).

  • Podcast: Listen to Paul Ingram discuss the implications of the Trident Alternatives Review in an interview with the Pod Delusion, July 18
  • Read Paul Ingram’s commentary on the TAR here, July 16
  • Also see the broader analysis by scholar Nick Ritchie (University of York), and Paul Ingram: Trident in UK Politics and Public Opinion, July 15

PAIS/BASIC Nuclear Weapons Conference: The Future of Nuclear Weapons – Between Disarmament and Proliferation
Principle Partners: Warwick University’s Political and International Studies department (PAIS)

BASIC and PAIS held a one-day conference on nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament, which merged academia, policy-making, and NGOs in a forum to discuss the future of British nuclear weapons policy, and the prospects for non-proliferation and disarmament in the Middle East, June 10. Read the conference summary.


NATO’s Nuclear Posture
Principal funder: William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
BASIC project in partnership with the Arms Control Association and Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy at the University of Hamburg (IFSH)

Roundtable events:



Strategic Dialogues
Principal Funder:The Prospect Hill Foundation

  • In July, BASIC brought together Dr. Oliver Meier, Associate of the International Security Division of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs, and François Rivasseau, Deputy Head of Delegation of the European Union to the United States, for a discussion on European Perspectives on Nuclear Burden-Sharing. The event was held at The Capitol Hill Club, with a full house of about 40 people in attendance, including Hill staffers, industry officials, diplomats, and experts. Read a summary of the discussion.


Non-Proliferation in the Middle East
Principal Funder: UKFCO


Unjamming the FM(C)T
In Partnership with: the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs at Carleton University and the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University and with funding from The International Security Research and Outreach Programme (ISROP) of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Canada.

  • On March 8, 2013, BASIC organized a closed roundtable between experts and officials, which addressed the political and strategic dynamics around a Fissile Material (Cut-off) Treaty [FM(C)T] negotiations and the possibility of moving talks forward, with a focus on the Group of Governmental Experts (GGE), which will meet in 2014 and 2015.
  • BASIC produced a backgrounder on the FM(C)T and a report on the roundtable discussion.


Scholar Ward Wilson joined BASIC in March as Senior Fellow and Director of the Rethinking Nuclear Weapons Project. His book, Five Myths about Nuclear Weapons, is a groundbreaking rethinking of nuclear weapons based on recently uncovered and reanalyzed facts from Cold War archives.

Read his commentary on the Open Ended Working Group for BASIC’s Blog.

THANK YOU to interns Philip Kirby, Georgi Ivanov, Helen Martin, Victoria Godfrey, and Maria Looney, who wrapped up their service to BASIC during the first half of 2013. This spring and summer, BASIC’s London and Washington offices welcomed interns Anna Sliwon, Simon Heuberger, Cassandra Lee, Sarah Gilcrest, and Mac Caille Petursson.

  • The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office has awarded BASIC a grant to address nuclear non-proliferation in the Middle East with a focus on the Gulf region.
  • The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation approved a grant for BASIC to continue work related to NATO’s nuclear posture.
  • The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs awarded a grant for the ReThinking Nuclear Weapons Project, led by Ward Wilson.

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

Please join them, by donating to BASIC today!

BASIC will increase its activities on the Trident issue in London and Washington, especially as the Trident Commission enters its final phase. The Washington office will also be planning for two more Strategic Dialogues this fall.

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