nuclear weapon states

'Defending the Future': A rational approach to Britain's future nuclear arsenal

The UK faces a major strategic choice at the 2015 election over whether to renew the UK’s nuclear weapons systems beyond 2042. This briefing was commissioned by BASIC and WMD Awareness for the Liberal Democrat Party Annual Conference this month. It outlines the debate, the options, and other considerations that need to be taken into account by decision makers during this time of deliberation.

Trident: the vanguard of the UK's defence policy?

The Voice of Russia's Scott Craig interviewed Paul Ingram and a panel of experts on the subject of Trident and the UK's defence policy. Paul Ingram stressed that nuclear policies in Europe are based on fear and a legacy that we are struggling to overcome. We need to look forward towards the 21st century and out of Cold War mentality where war can no longer be contemplated and nuclear weapons can be abolished.

Cold War thinking and nuclear deterrence in the 21st century

BASIC’s This Week released on Monday July 29th focuses on the prevailing Cold War mentality that pervades strategic thinking in many of the nuclear armed states. These are the same states that continue to slow progress on global nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament efforts. With 190 states (if one includes North Korea) signed up to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), we need to get better at identifying and deconstructing the obstacles to progress.

BASIC 2012 Annual Activities Report

A Summary of BASIC's activities for Advisors, Patrons, Donors, and Partners

Throughout 2012, large scale endeavors at international and regional levels examined ways to advance international security and reduce threats of nuclear proliferation: in South Korea, heads of state meet at the second Nuclear Security Summit in March; the 2015 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty review process commenced with a Preparatory Committee meeting in Vienna in April; the NATO Alliance delivered a new Deterrence and Defense Posture Review in May; and throughout the year, regional actors in the Middle East and beyond endeavored to meet in Helsinki to establish a WMD-free zone.

Countdown to Chaos?: Timelines and Implications of Procurement Decisions for NATO's Dual-Capable Aircraft

NATO Flags

NATO's nuclear sharing program is in trouble. The United States has continuously maintained nuclear weapons in Europe since March 1954 (and NATO has agreed to this policy since December of that year). Since 1991, the only U.S. nuclear weapons in NATO’s arsenal have been B61 gravity bombs, designed for delivery to target by “dual-capable” fighter-bomber aircraft (DCA). These aircraft are rapidly reaching the end of their normal service lives, however, and are the only means by which NATO shares the threat of nuclear attack on potential opponents in times of crisis among several Allied nations.

The British Trident debate: an opportunity for progress?

Whether you support or oppose them, nuclear weapons have become an entrenched part of the British security discussion, with periods of major debate - in the 1960s and 1980s especially - leaving a lasting impact on the national psyche. But it’s rare that we have the chance to see governments - in the UK or elsewhere - step back and engage in truly forward-thinking, public consideration of why that is the case, and what the alternatives might be. This could be one of those moments for the UK. Could. Whether it will or not, remains to be seen.

Trident in UK Politics and Public Opinion

Nuclear weapons policy looks set to feature as a political issue in the 2015 general election. A broad consensus on UK nuclear weapons policy since of the end of the Cold War amongst the party leaderships of the three main Westminster parties has been disturbed by the debate on whether and, if so, how to replace the current Trident nuclear weapons system. This has been exacerbated by a coalition government in which the Liberal Democrats have broken ranks and moved towards active consideration of a smaller, cheaper replacement for Trident that does not entail continuous deployment of nuclear weapons at sea.

The Future of Nuclear Weapons

On 11th June, Warwick University's Politics and International Studies department (PAIS) hosted a meeting in collaboration with BASIC entitled 'The Future of Nuclear Weapons: Between Disarmament and Proliferation'. The event, which brought together experts from diverse backgrounds and with significant experience on these issues, consisted of two roundtable discussions on the future of Trident and British nuclear weapons policy and prospects for non-proliferation and disarmament in the Middle East.

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