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.
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.
In 2016, for only the second time in Britain’s history as a nuclear power, Parliament is expected to vote to decide the future of the United Kingdom’s strategic nuclear deterrent. Britain’s nuclear policy is heavily influenced by the ideological positions of Britain’s three dominant political parties. Each of the parties has a spread of opinion within them.
This morning, the Scottish government published the long-awaited White Paper on Scottish Independence as promised. Scotland’s Future - Your Guide, it is hoped, will act as a comprehensive manual for an independent Scotland. But apart from formally setting out the manifesto points which have already been widely discussed, there are no new surprises concerning the future of Trident concealed within its 670 pages.
It is increasingly likely that the British people will be given a say on membership of the European Union by the end of the next Parliament. Although it remains to be seen whether this will take the form of an “in-out” referendum or a more limited “renegotiation” of the relationship between London and Brussels, the scene is set for a meaningful debate over Britain’s place in Europe and its role in the wider world.
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.
This week we will witness several examples of multilateral cooperation on non-proliferation and regional security. Beginning today, it was reported that representatives from Middle East states are convening in Switzerland at a meeting organized by Finnish Ambassador Jaakko Laajava, the facilitator of the official conference to establish a zone free of nuclear and WMD in the Middle East.
The latest installment of the negotiations between Iran and the E3+3 (P5+1: United States, United Kingdom, China, Russia, France, and Germany) will resume on Tuesday and Wednesday in Geneva. Negotiations with Iran on its nuclear program are now into their 10th year, and each year brings about more disappointment and more anxiety over concerns of nuclear proliferation.