Setting the tone for a potential shift in the US's policy of multilateral cooperation over North Korea, Joseph Yun, the US Special Representative for North Korea, visited Moscow from April 4-6. There he met with Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov, where both parties expressed mutual concerns over North Korea's developing missile program.
The US response to Russia’s supposed violation of the INF Treaty is a litmus test for the Trump administration’s approach to arms controls and strategic stability. It will give a clear indication of the Administration’s attitude towards relations with Russia, its NATO allies and to arms control more generally.
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
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.
BASIC's Executive Director, Paul Ingram, recently authored an article in the Huffington Post which reviews President Trump's inconsistent messages with regards to US nuclear policy. Paul explores the potential repercussions of US nuclear posture on decision-making in Westminster and further afield.
"The salience of the nuclear weapons debate in the United States and further afield has risen dramatically in recent months, with much to play for."
On 13th September 2016, BASIC, British Pugwash and the University of Leicester hosted The impact of Emerging Technologies on the Future of SSBNs in Whitehall, London. The conference welcomed contributions from 15 scientific experts and strategic thinkers on the implications of major advances in sonar, non-acoustic detection, new forms of undersea communications and autonomous maritime drones for sea-based deterrence.
On Monday night, MPs voted 472 to 117 to replace UK’s Trident nuclear weapons system, following a five and half hour Parliamentary debate. The atmosphere was tense; the united SNP benches made an impassioned case against Trident from across the room, while the Conservatives all voted in favour, but for the Chair of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee who voted against the motion. Many arguments were aired both for and against Trident. But what kind of arguments did the MPs make?