Today, Barack Obama will speak about foreign policy at the Veterans of Foreign Wars national convention, followed by Mitt Romney who will speak at the same convention tomorrow. Romney, who has been criticized in the press for his lack of foreign policy and national security experience, is then scheduled to travel abroad, in an attempt to strengthen his reputation on foreign issues. He will go to London to speak at the start of the Olympics—an opportunity to build on the transatlantic relationship—and then to Israel and Palestine to speak with representatives of both nations.
Today is the 67th anniversary of the world’s first nuclear explosion test, known as “Trinity”, which used a plutonium core. It was unnecessary for the first use of a nuclear warhead, on Hiroshima three weeks later, as designers were so confident about that form of HEU ‘gun-type’ warhead.
Americans celebrate their Independence Day on Wednesday. It has been 236 years since they broke away from Great Britain, but the pair remain two of the closest allies in the world. But just how special is the so-called ‘special relationship’, and how much does this depend upon the cooperation between their nuclear weapons communities?
Arms control officials from the P5 (U.S., UK, Britain, China and France) meet in Washington from June 27-29, 2012 for a third round of discussions on meeting their commitments under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. In this background paper, Cormac Mc Garry examines progress at earlier conferences and makes recommendations for the future.
Expert government representatives from the NPT’s recognized nuclear weapon states (NWS, known as the P5 as they are also UN Security Council permanent members): China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, will gather in Washington, DC this Wednesday through Friday to discuss their cooperation on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation in the context of the Treaty.
Russia's refusal to follow the leadership of the West, and to resist attempts to strengthen multilateral sanctions, has complicated efforts to put stronger pressure on Iran over its nuclear program. It has also meant that the E3+3 (P5+1) position in talks has been less clear than negotiators would have liked. On the eve of talks in Moscow, Shivani Handa of BASIC asks what is behind this agenda in Moscow.
NATO completed its Deterrence and Defense Posture Review with mixed results. Diplomacy over Iran’s nuclear program picked up pace. A National Academies panel released its updated assessment on the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty’s implications for U.S. security, with apparent positive conclusions for supporters.
The House of Representatives resumes debate tomorrow on the energy and water appropriations bill which covers nuclear weapons and the non-proliferation program of the National Nuclear Security Administration.
BASIC in association with the Hudson Institute held a Strategic Dialogue at the Capitol Hill Club in Washington, DC on May 8, 2012. Dr. Christopher Ford of the Hudson Institute, and Dr. Barry Blechman of The Henry L. Stimson Center, engaged in a dialogue on Nuclear Deterrence: Who Needs Nuclear Weapons and Why?
Please contact BASIC for permission to use any of these photographs.
BASIC, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, the Elliott School of International Affairs, NATO Watch, and Strategy International held a conference in Washington, DC on May 14 and 15, 2012, a week before the NATO Summit in Chicago.