BASIC's Executive Director reflects upon the Nuclear Deterrence Summit, which included a BASIC event on "European Perspectives on Nuclear Deterrence in the 21st Century" on February 20, 2013. This brief paper includes summaries of views expressed by a number of international participants at the conference, with a focus on transatlantic relations.
NATO’s Defense Ministerial meeting is set to take place in Brussels Thursday and Friday this week. The anticipated drawdown of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) from Afghanistan in 2014 and the continued unrest in Syria and Mali are expected to dominate the agenda.
President Obama will address the American public in his State of the Union address tomorrow. Last week U.S. Vice President Joe Biden spoke in Munich, suggesting that the President will address their shared interests in “advancing a comprehensive nuclear agenda to strengthen the non-proliferation regime, [and] reduce[d] global stockpiles of nuclear materials”.
This week in the United States, Chuck Hagel’s nomination to the position of Secretary of Defense is expected to come up for a vote in the Senate Armed Services Committee as early as Thursday, where the former Senator recently underwent a fiery barrage of questioning from fellow Republicans over his positions on Iran and the U.S. nuclear arsenal last week.
This week the 24th United Nations Conference on Disarmament Issues, 'Creating a Peaceful and Safe Future: Pressing Issues and Potential Solutions', takes place in Shizuoka, Japan. Topics delegates will be discussing this year include humanitarian issues on the use of nuclear weapons, Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zones, current challenges to the nuclear non-proliferation regime, the role of civil society and nuclear safety and security.
Leading U.S. statesman, Ambassador Max Kampelman died last Friday. He has been credited with shaping US policy in the arena of human rights relations with the Soviet Union in the early 1980s, and as helping to create the diplomatic conditions that preceded the end of the Cold War.