strategic nuclear weapon

What's next with Trident in the United States?

The United States and the United Kingdom have collaborated very closely for many decades on their submarine-based nuclear weapons systems, and developments in one country are likely to continue having an impact on the other. This brief reviews the United States' strategic nuclear submarine program within the context of U.S. and U.K. plans for replacing the fleets.

Getting to Zero Update

The Obama Administration was hoping for the U.S. Senate to ratify the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) now that the U.S. mid-term elections are over. If the treaty is not brought to the floor before the end of the year, then prospects for the treaty dim in a Senate where more members will be reluctant to hand the President a foreign policy achievement, and votes in favor of the treaty will be more difficult to muster.

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Prime Minister confirms Trident decision delayed "until around 2016"

Prime Minister David Cameron confirmed before Parliament today that based upon a completed "value for money review" of the United Kingdom's deterrent, "the decision to start construction of the new submarines need not now be taken until around 2016."

The Prime Minister also highlighted other changes in the nuclear posture:

Getting to Zero Update

The debate over Trident was heating up with questions about how the United Kingdom will cover costs during a time of tightening defense budgets. In the United States, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee sent the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty to the full Senate, but doubts remained as to whether the Senate would approve the treaty before the end of the year. Thirty-six members of the European Leaders Network called on NATO to increase its role in nuclear arms control just as the Alliance was circulating a draft of its new Strategic Concept, which was last revised in 1999.

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US Senate Foreign Relations Committee votes to send New START to the full Senate

The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee agreed by a 14-4 vote to send the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) to the full Senate for advice and consent to ratification.

The treaty requires support from two-thirds of the full Senate. It is uncertain whether this process will be completed by the end of the year. If the treaty is approved by both Russia and the United States, it will limit their arsenals to 1,550 deployed strategic nuclear warheads on each side.

For more information on the New START agreement and the U.S. Senate, see:

US Senate Foreign Relations Committee sends nuclear weapons treaty to full Senate

The US Senate Foreign Relations Committee today voted to refer the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) to the full Senate. If the treaty successfully goes through the ratification processes in the United States and Russia, the treaty will cap deployed strategic nuclear warheads at 1,550 in both countries and establish a set of mutual inspections that have not had a formal framework since the first START treaty lapsed last December.

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Time to reassess Trident options amid funding crisis: BASIC report

 

It is time to reassess options for the replacement of the Trident nuclear missile submarines in the light of indications that the capital cost of doing so could run to 28 billion pounds over the next 10-15 years, according to a new report by the British American Security Information Council (BASIC).

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