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.
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.
Verification remains a key challenge on the road to nuclear disarmament and the continued non-proliferation of WMD. It is complex, politically and technically, and ultimately can only be sustainable in the long run if it is freely entered into, non-discriminatory, universally applicable and credible. Does the OPCW hold lessons for confidence in multilateral nuclear disarmament?
I found this picture on the internet. I was searching for an image that I could use in a presentation to make people think about nuclear missiles. It’s an extraordinary picture. The caption reads, “AFP: This file picture taken on March 18, 2008 of Russian Topol ICBMs behind a barbed-wire fence during a repetition for the nation's annual May 9 Victory Day parade 50 km outside Moscow in Yushkovo.”
After three decades of broken or faltering diplomatic ties between Iran and the West, and a decade of tension over the Iranian nuclear programme, the E3+3 (UK, France, Germany, US, Russia and China - also referred to as the P5+1) and Iran finally made a historic step forward over the weekend.
BASIC held this Strategic Dialogue on nuclear weapons on November 12 in Washington, DC. Paul Ingram and Peter Huessy shared perceptions on Trident in the United Kingdom and the United States, and discussed what possible changes could mean for alliance security, with a focus on how the United States might view such changes. BASIC's Chair, Dr. Trevor McCrisken, opened the event, at the Capitol Hill Club.
BASIC's last Strategic Dialogue on nuclear weapons was held on November 12 in Washington, DC. Paul Ingram and Peter Huessy shared perceptions on Trident in the United Kingdom and the United States, and discussed what possible changes could mean for alliance security, with a focus on how the United States might view such changes.
Our calculations about risk are not always rational. Many people are more afraid of a shark attack or plane crash than they are about driving a car or crossing the street. Statistically, the latter two are far more dangerous (worldwide, shark attacks account for around 4.4 fatalities each year; road accidents: 1.3 million) but, somehow, the familiarity of driving and a sense of control make the risks feel lower.
Saying that nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament are interlinked may seem like a spectacular statement of the obvious. Non-proliferation - that is, preventing the further spread of nuclear weapons - relies heavily on our ability to simultaneously deliver results on disarmament - that is, getting rid of the nuclear weapons that currently exist around the world.