BASIC NEWS: OCTOBER-DECEMBER 2012

BASIC Trident Commission

London


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

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Global Security and Non-Proliferation featured the Trident Commission’s work in an event in Parliament titled ‘The Trident Commission: work in progress’ on December 5th. In front of a crowded room of Members of Parliament and members of the public, authors of the Trident Commission’s second and third briefing reports--Professor Keith Hartley and Bruno Tertrais-- discussed their publications alongside of Trident Commission co-chair, Lord Browne of Ladyton, who explained the progress of the Commission’s work todate.

DEADLINE: The deadline for submitting evidence to the Trident Commission is January 31, 2013. Please send submissions to rstaley@basicint.org.
Check theTrident Commission website for further developments.

 

WMD-Free Zone in the Middle East 

Istanbul

Principal Funders: UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office and The Prospect Hill Foundation

BASIC held a roundtable in Istanbul, on October 24 and 25 in support of a conference in Helsinki on a WMD-free zone in the Middle East. The Track II event, held in coordination with the office of the conference facilitator, Jaakko Laajava of Finland, was attended by regional and international expert and government representatives. Participants engaged on government commitments to the overall process and on the importance of involvement by all countries of the region. Ideas about the scope of the agenda and reassurances to countries were also discussed. BASIC’s Executive Director, Paul Ingram, moderated the proceedings and produced a detailed report on its themes and conclusions.

Although the United States formally announced later in November that the Helsinki conference would not happen in 2012, there is still hope that the conference will happen early in 2013.

BASIC published in November the briefing paper by Shivani Handa of BASIC, ‘Russia in the Middle East: exploring Russia’s regional relationships and influence’, available on the website: http://www.basicint.org/sites/default/files/basic_brief_russia_in_the_middle_east_nov2012.pdf


Strategic Dialogues

Washington,DC


Principal Funder: The Prospect Hill Foundation

BASIC, in cooperation with Peter Huessy of the Air Force Association and GeoStrategic Analysis, held the third in a series of Strategic Dialogues on nuclear weapons and security policy. Amb. Linton Brooks, Senior Advisor with the Center for Strategic and International Studies and former head of the National Nuclear Security Administration, and Hans Kristensen, Director of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists, shared their views on “Nuclear Modernization”: What Does it Mean and What Is Required for U.S. Security? The nuclear weapons experts found some common ground on the necessity of fiscal constraints curtailing aspirations for the nuclear weapons complex, and neither saw reasons for the United States to resume nuclear-explosive testing. However, they differed on a number of issues, including over the level of urgency in making reductions to save money, and over the level of importance international perceptions of U.S. commitments to nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation should play in modernization decisions.


Please visit BASIC’s Strategic Dialogue III eventpage for more information, including audio and a transcript of the discussion.

 


 

Hans Kristensen, Paul Ingram, and Amb. Linton Brooks discuss

 nuclear modernization at the Capitol Hill Club on November 13.

NATO’s Nuclear Posture

Principal funder: William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

Modernizing NATO’s Nuclear Forces: Implications for the Alliance’s defense posture and arms control, Hans M. Kristensen, November 2012,ACA/BASIC/IFSHNuclear Policy Paper No. 11. 

All-Party Parliamentary Group on Global Security and Non-Proliferation 

London

Prospects for President Obama’s Prague Agenda during his second term with Deepti Choubey, Senior Director for Nuclear and Bio-Security at the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI), December 11.

The Trident Commission: work in progress with Bruno Tertrais, Senior Research Fellow, Fondation pour la Recherche Stratégique, France, and author of “Entente Nucleaire”, a briefing prepared for the Trident Commission; Professor Keith Hartley, Emeritus professor of Economic, University of York, and author of “Defence-Industrial Issues: Employment, Skills, Technology and Regional Impacts”, a briefing prepared for the Trident Commission; and Lord Browne of Ladyton, Co-chair of the Trident Commission, an independent, cross-party panel to examine the UK’s nuclear weapons policy and the issue of Trident renewal, December 5. 

Future prospects for the non-proliferation regime with Ambassador Thomas Graham, Jr, non-proliferation expert and former U.S.diplomat, October 18. 

Looking Ahead

BASIC is some way down the line organizing seminars in London on the future of NATO’s nuclear posture, in Ottawa on the international efforts to kick start talks on a Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT), and the next Washington Strategic Dialogue.