deterrence

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:

Getting to Zero Update

The debate over Trident was heating up with questions about how the United Kingdom will cover costs during a time of tightening defense budgets. In the United States, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee sent the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty to the full Senate, but doubts remained as to whether the Senate would approve the treaty before the end of the year. Thirty-six members of the European Leaders Network called on NATO to increase its role in nuclear arms control just as the Alliance was circulating a draft of its new Strategic Concept, which was last revised in 1999.

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"NATO's Deterrence Posture & Turkish Security" Seminar Held at USAK

This roundtable meeting, jointly organized by the Arms Control Association, the British American Security Information Council, the Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy Hamburg, International Strategic Research Organization, aimed to evaluate the role that deterrence and nuclear weapons play in Turkey's security policy and NATO's defense posture.

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Prominent Europeans call for change in NATO nuclear policies

Prominent European statespeople who form a sub-group of the European Leaders Network have released a letter calling on NATO to make "disarmament a core element of its approach to providing security." In their letter, they encourage the Alliance to "review its entire nuclear policy and posture with a view to facilitating progress in arms control, in a manner consistent with effective burden sharing and alliance cohesion, effective deterrence and a demonstrable commitment to collective defence."

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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NATO's Nuclear Posture discussed at the NPT Review Conference

The prospect of a shift in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's position on tactical nuclear weapons in Europe in 2010 was the subject of a BASIC event held at the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference.Ambassador James Goodby, senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and BASIC Board member pointed out that the debate within NATO is taking place against a backdrop of the goal of eliminating nuclear weapons.

April 2010

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