nuclear weapons

Arabs & Israelis meet again - good news or bad news?

Geneva

On June 24-25, representatives from Middle Eastern states, including Israel and Egypt, will meet in Geneva for the second time in the past two months to discuss the modalities and possible outcomes of the postponed 2012 Helsinki conference on the establishment of a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction (WMD).

The case for complexity

Football, the modern-day opiate of the masses, is a simple passionate game of two teams and one simple, generally zero-sum result. We have a winner and loser; even drawn matches contribute to victory and defeat in the tournament. In attempting to make meaning out of the complexity of regional and sub-regional conflict by reducing it to the binaries of the football pitch, we often make monumental errors.

Personal political interests and the Iranian nuclear negotiations

Iran and the E3+3 will be returning to the negotiating table on April 8th to begin yet another round of high level talks on the status and future of the Iranian nuclear program. As ever, there are various causes for caution, and perhaps even concern, as the Iranians and their American and European counterparts continue to disagree on central issues such as the fate of the Arak heavy water reactor and permitted levels of nuclear enrichment.

The Scottish referendum: a chance to challenge our nuclear assumptions?

With just under six months to go until the referendum on Scottish independence, there is still little clarity about how any independence agreement would shape up in practice.  A myriad of issues remains on the table, ranging from the everyday - Will there be border control? How will the postal system function? Which television stations will be available? - right up to the most complex strategic questions over currency and economic independence, membership of international organisations, and the future of the UK and Scotland’s defense policies.

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.

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.

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