accountability

Reframing the Narrative on Nuclear Weapons

Next Gen Final Report

Innovative thinking is needed to overcome deeply entrenched attitudes and slow progress in the shared responsibility to strengthen nuclear non-proliferation measures and achieve global security through nuclear disarmament. This publication represents 14 months of investigation into how future nuclear weapons policy can become more relevant to the concerns and the security of the next generation.

Trident: the need for a comprehensive risk assessment

HMS Victorious

The Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR), planned for publication on 23 November 2015, is expected to include an update on the Trident renewal project and financial estimates. Main Gate decision is likely to be put to Parliament early 2016. Like every major government project, MoD procurement officials will have conducted a detailed confidential risk analysis for the construction, but this project requires a far broader, comprehensive risk analysis over a set of areas, as listed in this briefing.

We now need an informed Trident debate

Trident

 Rising above petty politics

The nature and quality of the media storm since Jeremy Corbyn’s election as leader of the Labour Party, when criticising his open-ended position over the EU, his wearing a peace poppy when remembering past conflicts, or his position on Trident, betrays a group-think pack mentality that is out of touch with the disillusionment of many people with anodyne mainstream positional politics.

NPT is an Election Issue: UK Member of Elite Club of Irresponsible Nations

Nuclear weapons are attracting a higher profile in this UK election debate than they have in any nuclear weapon state in a generation. Yet the focus is dominated by symbolic prejudice (does a political leader have the necessary mettle to resist minority opinions and renew Trident?) rather than strengthening national security in the round, let alone Britain's contribution to global peace and security.

A Memo to the Next Prime Minister: Options Surrounding the Replacement of Trident

The Main Gate decision on the construction of a new fleet of nuclear ballistic missile submarines at a capital cost of £20-25bn is expected early 2016. This Memo to the Prime Minster clarifies that there will in fact be a range of options available when a decision is to be made including the commissioning of four, three or two Successor submarines, further delay in the programme or a decision to begin the process of divesting the UK of its nuclear arsenal.

Despotism or Democracy?

As the 2015 general election and the decision on whether to replace Trident approaches, it is important to consider the implications of the continued possession of nuclear weapons for British democracy. Historically, Britain’s bomb has been dependent on US support, a relationship notable for its opacity and lack of democratic accountability.

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).

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