Nick Ritchie

Researcher

Nick researches and teaches in the areas of international relations and international security at the University of York. His particular focus is on nuclear disarmament, proliferation and arms control and US and UK national security.

After completing his PhD thesis at the University of Bradford in 2007 on the evolution of US nuclear weapons policy after the Cold War, Nick spent four years researching and teaching at Bradford’s Department of Peace Studies before joining York in 2011. He previously worked for five years at the Oxford Research Group, an independent Non-Governmental Organisation working with policy-makers and independent experts on the challenges of global security and nuclear disarmament.

Read Nick Richie’s Content

Discover below Nick’s posts ordered from newest to oldest

Feeding the ‘Monster’: Escalating Capital Costs for the Trident Successor Programme

In October 2015 Jon Thomson, Permanent Under Secretary at the Ministry of Defence, described the Trident Successor programme as a “monster” that kept him up at night, “the biggest project the Ministry of Defence will ever take on” and “an incredibly complicated area in which to try to estimate future costs.”  

Response to the Trident Commission Concluding Report

The Commission’s concluding report, published on 1 July 2014, is intended to inform a more considered debate over Britain’s nuclear weapon policy focused on national security, mindful of the politics and the strategic and diplomatic context. This is a direct response to the report and represents the views of the author. BASIC publishes it here as part of an ongoing discussion.

It’s crunch time on Trident for Miliband and his party

Nick Ritchie's op-ed in the Guardian highlights the political decisions that need to be made following the release of the government's Trident Alternatives Review. Ritchie refers to his recent co-authored report with Paul Ingram, 'Trident in UK Politics and Public Opinion'.

Read the op-ed on the Guardian's website:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jul/17/crunch-trident-miliband-labour-statesmanship

Trident in UK Politics and Public Opinion

Nuclear weapons policy looks set to feature as a political issue in the 2015 general election. A broad consensus on UK nuclear weapons policy since of the end of the Cold War amongst the party leaderships of the three main Westminster parties has been disturbed by the debate on whether and, if so, how to replace the current Trident nuclear weapons system. This has been exacerbated by a coalition government in which the Liberal Democrats have broken ranks and moved towards active consideration of a smaller, cheaper replacement for Trident that does not entail continuous deployment of nuclear weapons at sea.

Op-Ed: David Cameron’s nuclear fantasy land

David Cameron insists we must replace the Trident nuclear weapon system because the future is uncertain. None of us has a crystal ball so we had better keep Trident just in case. He points to the dangerous escalation of tension by the Kim regime in North Korea and Iran’s suspected nuclear weapons programme as justification. All well and good, until you scratch beneath the surface and realise what a highly contingent argument this is for the economic, political, opportunity, and moral costs at stake (yes, moral, because the practice of ‘nuclear deterrence’ rests inescapably on the threat of use – the threat of indiscriminate and catastrophic nuclear violence).

Beyond the Trident Alternatives Review

This brief, authored by Dr. Nick Ritchie, outlines opportunities and challenges arising from the UK government's ongoing Trident Alternatives Review. This briefing critiques weaknesses within the current thinking around Trident, outlines the key issues that need to be addressed, and highlights the opportunities that Britain has to demonstrate leadership on nuclear disarmament. Ritchie claims that this is a unique opportunity in the UK for an informed debate and addresses the key questions:

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