United States

Clarifying Command on US Nuclear Weapons

Here’s a terrifying prospect: President Donald Trump with his finger on the nuclear button. This erratic narcissist with little knowledge of the world and, according to his former ghost writer, an attention span of five minutes, with the power to set off a nuclear war.  This seems unlikely to come about now, with Trump trailing in the polls, but the election is some way off and it cannot be ruled out.

Understanding the new arms race

The stand-off between Russia and the West has prompted triggered fears of a renewed East-West clash. Amidst this climate of confrontation, nuclear weapons have regained some relevance for strategists on both sides, and political leaders have implied veiled nuclear threats. Against this background, the nuclear arsenals of both the US and Russian are undergoing important and costly modernisation programmes.

America needs the LRSO... just in case

Lord Salisbury said once that if generals were left to their own devices, they might well decide to put garrisons on the Moon to defend us from Mars. Envisioning worst-case scenarios and drawing up contingency plans for them is part of what the military does to get its job right. The problem with this professional reflex is that it often fails to assess comparative risk effectively, and in particular fully account for the risks of unintended consequences or the impacts on others. When it comes to nuclear policy and procurement decisions, the temptation for overkill is high.

Hair Trigger Alert

 Russian aircraft make intrusions into the air space of the Baltic states and skirt the air space of Britain. Russian bombers attack targets in Syria, and America is advised to keep its aircraft out of the way. Russia may have designs on the Baltic States, and is certainly playing a role in Syria. Possibilities arise of a clash that could lead to escalation.

US Must Avoid ‘Quick Fixes’ in Gulf Security

This week on May 13-14, President Obama will be meeting with the heads of state or their deputies from Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries at the White House and Camp David, in meetings that could have important lasting impacts on US relations throughout the region, the prospects for regional security and for nuclear non-proliferation.

Knowledge, Accessibility and Awareness of Nuclear Weapons

In the early 1980s, a number of educators and organizations sought to bring a highly controversial issue back into American classrooms: nuclear weapons. Unlike their parents’ generation, students would not be learning how to “duck and cover” in the event of a nuclear attack but would discuss the choices involved in averting nuclear warfare.

What’s behind the deepening US-UK nuclear weapon cooperation?

The Mutual Defense Agreement (MDA) lies at the heart of the special nuclear relationship between the United States and United Kingdom. The nuclear relationship set up by the MDA is seen to be beneficial to both the US and UK by cementing the bilateral relationship in sharing of nuclear weapons technology, as well as enshrining a certain uneven power structure in law.

The Nuclear Factor in the Crimean Security Crisis

The current security crisis in Crimea has, up to this point in time, mostly involved conventional army and navy forces of the Russian Federation and Ukraine. Nuclear weapons, however, have the potential to rear their ugly head. Both the United Kingdom and the United States have particular responsibilities too, as signatories to the 1994 agreement on security assurances for Ukraine,

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