US

Europe and the INF Treaty: Defending restraint in international diplomacy

On 20th October, President Trump announced his intention to “terminate” the INF Treaty, indicating that the United States would withdraw from the deal. His move comes as a blow to international arms control, and especially to US allies in Europe, showing a careless disregard for diplomacy. If the INF Treaty collapses, and Russia and the United States fail to extend New START beyond 2021, the world could be left without any limits on nuclear weapons.

Europe and the Iran Deal: Between a rock and a hard place

After more than a year of uncertainty, President Trump announced that the United States would reimpose sanctions against Iran in violation of the JCPoA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action), more commonly known as the Iran Deal. This leaves the multilateral agreement the US signed with China, France, Germany, Iran, Russia, the UK and the EU in 2015 to prevent Iranian nuclear proliferation in limbo. Now Washington finds itself at loggerheads with its European allies.

Trump’s Nuclear Posture Review endangers Europe

Last Friday, the United States published its Nuclear Posture Review. If enacted this would undermine attempts to reduce nuclear tensions in Europe since the end of the Cold War. While most Europeans would consider nuclear weapons to be a last resort, President Trump intends to increase the US’ reliance on non-strategic nuclear weapons and develop a range of new nuclear weapons for new missions across Europe.

The First Trends of Trump’s Nuclear Policy Emerge: 27 March 2017

As the Senior Director for Weapons of Mass Destruction and Counter-Proliferation of the National Security Council, Chris Ford plays perhaps the most important role in the US Government for defining the Trump Administration’s upcoming Nuclear Posture Review.

Opening Salvos in the Trump Administration’s Nuclear Debate: 10 Feb 2017

The US President has the authority to launch the US nuclear arsenal at any time and without reference to any other authority. During the Presidential election Democrats attempted to discredit Trump’s ability to handle the grave responsibilities of office that come from control of the country’s thousands of nuclear warheads. US nuclear posture and doctrine is now set to remain a high-profile, contentious issue in the first year of the Trump Administration.

The LRSO: It’s Time for Arms Control

The Pentagon’s plans to acquire a new nuclear air-launched cruise missile (ALCM), known so far as the Long-Range Standoff Weapon (LRSO), remain live. On 16th June, the House of Representatives rejected an amendment to reduce funding for the development of the LRSO. If adopted, the cut would have slowed the development of the new weapon by three years, perhaps buying enough time to reconsider the wisdom behind the programme.

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.

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