Tuesday will be the 20th anniversary of the announcements made by U.S. and Russian Presidents Clinton and Yeltsin that the two countries agreed to detarget their nuclear weapons so that none would be aimed at the other nation.
The new year will bring with it a host of issues for the international community to contend with. High on the agenda will be implementation of the interim deal over the Iranian nuclear program, which was agreed to in 2013 after intense negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 (the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia, and China).
Absent any major catastrophe involving a nuclear weapon (which isn’t out of the question but let’s all hope we don’t get to that point), established nuclear-weapons policies look unlikely to shift dramatically in 2014. Predictably, for an issue involving diverse interests, entrenched mistrust and engagement across the entire international community, the rate of change often feels glacial.
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.
The following weeks are likely to be challenging ones, domestically and internationally, for the Obama administration. While the interim deal over the Iranian nuclear programme has been welcomed as a positive first step by many in the international community and in arms control circles, US congressional support has been less full-throated.
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, representatives of Iran and the P5+1 (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States; plus Germany), also known as the E3+3, will meet in Geneva on Thursday and Friday in an attempt to make progress on resolving the standoff over Iran’s nuclear program. Anticipation is now building for some clear signs that each side is agreeing to measures that will convince the other side of intentions to follow through on a long-term game plan.