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,

Seeking Assurance

All eyes are on Russia’s next moves in Ukraine, and Crimea in particular, with news outlets reporting a strengthened Russian military presence on the peninsula. A referendum proposed by members of the Crimean parliament is set to take place in Crimea this Sunday, 16th March, to choose its future as part of either Ukraine or the Russian Federation, a move that could irreversibly deepen the crisis.

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.

An appeal for strategic thinking in security strategy

Obama and Cameron

President Obama will be giving his State of the Union Address tomorrow (Tuesday) night, his chance to outline his national strategy. Americans will be looking for forward-looking inspiration from their Commander-in-Chief. Less in the spotlight, on Thursday the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, will be giving evidence in front of the parliamentary Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy, where he is expected to discuss the operations of the National Security Council and his plans for the next National Security Strategy to be published after the next election in 2015.

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