Options for arms control to reduce the role of nuclear weapons in NATO

Ever since the Harmel report, NATO has been committed to a broad approach to security, including arms control, disarmament and other co-operative security tools as necessary complement to military capabilities. The declaration on Alliance security adopted by the 2009 Strasbourg summit reflects this twofold approach by restating that deterrence, including through nuclear capabilities, will remain a core element of NATO strategy, while at the same time NATO will continue to play its part in reinforcing arms control and promoting nuclear and conventional disarmament and non-proliferation.

UK and France sign landmark defence agreements

At the UK-France summit in London earlier today, David Cameron and Nicolas Sarkozy issued a declaration and signed a formal Defence Treaty that signalled a new era of defence cooperation. Letters of intent were exchanged and a Road Map agreed for deeper cooperation in the future. Three years in the making, the arrangement focuses on joint capabilities and procurement, but also to a limited extent, operations. There are two areas of specific note in the nuclear field:

Leading Experts on NATO's Nuclear Policy and Turkish Security [JTW Interview]

"The threat perceptions of Turkey and the other NATO alliances are overlapped to some extent but not completely....... That's where the real debate inside NATO comes from; it's from differing threat perceptions."

Dr Ian Kearns, BASIC's Research Director was interviewed after the roundtable along with other particpants.

Read more: "http://www.turkishweekly.net/news/108218/-jtw-interview-leading-experts-...">

A Progressive Nuclear Policy: Rethinking Continuous-at-sea deterrence

The United Kingdom has maintained unbroken nuclear weapons patrols since 1968. The rationale for this doctrine of continuous deterrence has been based on several pillars that are irrelevant in today’s environment. Rather than an absolute need for continuous deterrent, there is instead a great opportunity for Britain to take the lead as the most progressive of the nuclear weapons states by reducing the readiness and size of its
strategic force. Article originally published in RUSI Journal, Vol. 155, No. 2.

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Nuclear Security after the Washington Summit

The Washington summit on nuclear security delivered some positive outcomes. But it is imperative that states do not now become complacent; there is much still left to do to ensure that nuclear weapons and material do not fall into the wrong hands. The ultimate gauge of the summit’s success will be whether actions now follow words. Published originally in the RUSI Journal, June/July 2010, Vol. 155, No. 3.

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Latest on the Trident replacement delay

Suggestions surfaced publicly today that the UK Ministry of Defence is considering a delay to the main gate for Trident replacement – the point at which a decision is taken to start actual construction of the submarines – until 2015/16, after the next election.

BASIC understands that these discussions have been ongoing throughout August, and that the decision has been made on the basis of accountability and the political context.

The thinking goes something like this.

Time to reassess Trident options amid funding crisis: BASIC report


It is time to reassess options for the replacement of the Trident nuclear missile submarines in the light of indications that the capital cost of doing so could run to 28 billion pounds over the next 10-15 years, according to a new report by the British American Security Information Council (BASIC).


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A crisis in financing Britain’s replacement of Trident?

It is time to reassess options for the replacement of the Trident nuclear missile submarines in the light of indications that the capital cost, to be funded from the Defence Ministry's core budget, could run to 28 billion pounds over the next 10-15 years. But Paul Ingram and Nick Ritchie also argue that it would be a mistake to base a decision on cost alone.

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