nuclear policy review

Trump’s Nuclear Posture Review endangers Europe

Last Friday, the United States published its Nuclear Posture Review. If enacted this would undermine attempts to reduce nuclear tensions in Europe since the end of the Cold War. While most Europeans would consider nuclear weapons to be a last resort, President Trump intends to increase the US’ reliance on non-strategic nuclear weapons and develop a range of new nuclear weapons for new missions across Europe.

Report: Meaningful Multilateralism: 30 Nuclear Disarmament Proposals for the Next UK Government

The need for nuclear disarmament through multilateral diplomacy is greater now than it has been at any stage since the end of the Cold War. Trust and confidence in the existing nuclear non-proliferation regime is fraying, tensions are high, goals are misaligned, and dialogue is irregular. 

In Meaningful Multilateralism, BASIC and UNA–UK offer 30 multilateral disarmament proposals for the incoming UK Government after the General Election on the 8th June, themed according to three types of leadership the UK has previously shown in disarmament:

Report: Responsible Nuclear Sovereignty and the Future of the Global Nuclear Order

Responsible Nuclear Sovereignty

What are states' responsibilities around the possession of nuclear weapons?

Our latest report, written in partnership with the Institute for Conflict, Cooperation, and Security (ICCS), at the University of Birmingham, seeks to foster an international dialogue about the responsibilities of nuclear-armed states.

Voting for Trident before the Scotland question is settled is illogical

Vanguard at Faslane

The UK Parliament will be voting tonight on the principle of replacing Trident nuclear weapons system. It is a symbolic commitment, unconnected to any contracts or procurement timetable. Meanwhile, the government commitment to leave the EU is stoking calls for a second Scottish referendum. As the UK’s nuclear weapons submarines have their only base in Scotland, voting for Trident before coming to an agreement about the UK’s future makes no sense.

New Nukes, New Missions, New Insecurities: Implications of the Nuclear Posture Review for Europe

The US’ Nuclear Posture Review, to be published early next year, will make decisions on modernising the US nuclear arsenal that could impact on systems operational until the end of the century. Speculation abounds, and many fear the the NPR could expand the size and remit of nuclear operations. It was reported that Congress and US allies were briefed this September on its progress. According to Julian Borger of The Guardian, the NPR is considering:

Nuclear Ascendency: The Emerging Importance of Nuclear Weapons for Trump’s Foreign Policy Coalition: 8 March 2017

Some clarity has started to emerge on how important the military and nuclear weapons are to the new administration. On 28th February, Trump announced a ‘historic increase in defense spending to rebuild the depleted military,’ and reports talked of a 10% increase. His $603 billion budget is to be funded by cuts to the State Department and US foreign aid. And the White House is expected to publish detailed proposals by the end of March.  

Trump's Nuclear Rhetoric and its implications for European Security: 27 Feb 2017

Trump’s Nuclear Rhetoric and its implications for European Security

Further questions were raised over the direction of US nuclear posture review last week. In an exclusive interview with Reuters, Trump opined that the US has 'fallen behind on nuclear weapon capacity' and pledged the US to be 'top of the pack' when it comes to nuclear weapons.

Implications of President Obama’s speech in Berlin and nuclear strategy review

—Progress on nuclear reductions will require more successful engagement with Russia
President Barack Obama set out his second term nuclear agenda on June 19, 2013 in a major speech in Berlin, and in tandem released elements of his long-awaited Nuclear Weapons Employment Strategy. No major policy shifts were revealed in his speech, other than issuing the conclusion that the United States could reduce its deployed strategic nuclear arsenal down to about 1,000 warheads if Russia is willing to make similar reductions. The Obama Administration will need to proactively engage Russia and manage potential obstacles in Congress if he is to follow through on this agenda.

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