missile defense

Deterrence, Disarmament, Non-Proliferation and UK Trident

This discussion paper is the fourth in a series and outlines the emergence of Britain's nuclear deterrence posture and thinking over the last seventy years, and how successive governments have sought to balance this with effective non-proliferation diplomacy.  Professor Simpson's paper outlines the evolution of Britain's twin-track approach of trying to address its own national security whilst strengthening global security through multilateral nuclear disarmament, and asks whether this approach has a sustained future ahead.

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Officials from China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States (“P5”) held their third special forum since 2009 to discuss nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, this time in Washington, DC. Separately, representatives from Iran and the P5 plus Germany, have met at various levels without producing a breakthrough over Iran’s nuclear program amid rising tensions in the Middle East.

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NATO completed its Deterrence and Defense Posture Review with mixed results. Diplomacy over Iran’s nuclear program picked up pace. A National Academies panel released its updated assessment on the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty’s implications for U.S. security, with apparent positive conclusions for supporters.

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BASIC recently wrapped up a series of events in Cairo, including a joint press workshop with the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) and an off-the-record seminar on the politics of regional nuclear proliferation.  BASIC staff met with senior officials and former officials to discuss the status of the 2012 conference on a WMD-Free Zone, as a piece in the complex jigsaw of regional politics currently unfolding.

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