non-nuclear weapon states

Nuclear security: continued breakthrough or stalled progress?

On October 11, 2001, a month following the catastrophic events of 9/11, a CIA report concluded that Al-Qaeda infiltrates planned to detonate a 10-kiloton nuclear bomb at the heart of New York City. Though later deemed as a false alarm, the motivation to conduct a nuclear attack by non-state actors, combined with the widespread availability of fissile material often stored under subpar conditions,

Autonomous & nuclear weapons systems: the humanitarian dimensions

We are witnessing shifts in the global security debate as nations are beginning to emphasize human security in the face of far reaching advancements in military technology. The recent development of autonomous weapons systems or lethal autonomous robots (LAR) that are being manufactured without a “human in the loop” have triggered serious ethical concerns and as a result, civil society and NGOs began talks in Geneva last year on the humanitarian implications.

The meaning of Nayarit

On February 13th and 14th, the government of Mexico hosted the Second Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons. Representatives of 147 countries came to the beautiful coast of Nayarit, Mexico to talk about nuclear weapons.

Russian-U.S. nuclear arms control malaise

This week, while all eyes are on the Olympic games in Russia, there may be brewing a quandary for the Obama Administration over how to address an alleged breach of the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty between the two countries. Although the Administration has not formally confirmed its view on whether a violation occurred, several U.S. Congressmen are putting pressure on the Administration to take action (GSN/Feb. 7) against Russia.

Rethinking nuclear catastrophe

It is ironic, but not completely surprising, that our desire for nuclear disarmament has its roots in the same principles that drive our continued military investment in nuclear weapons: predominantly the dire humanitarian consequences that would result from a nuclear attack or accident.  The potential consequences are what inspire the global community to keep pressing for change. But the belief in deterrence, that our ability to inflict huge reciprocal damage is what keeps others from attacking us, is also what makes proponents of nuclear weapons feel protected.

Nuclear disarmament ambitions in 2014

Absent any major catastrophe involving a nuclear weapon (which isn’t out of the question but let’s all hope we don’t get to that point), established nuclear-weapons policies look unlikely to shift dramatically in 2014. Predictably, for an issue involving diverse interests, entrenched mistrust and engagement across the entire international community, the rate of change often feels glacial.

Nuclear Diplomacy in 2014

Looking ahead to this coming year, 2014 is full of opportunities for reducing the value of nuclear weapons and developing arms control in ways that could improve security relations. Enough time remains before policymakers and analysts start talking about how we must focus on “managing expectations” for the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference in the spring of 2015.


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