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.
Today, Russia and the US possess approximately 95% of the world’s nuclear weapons, and bilateral nuclear relations between these two countries still constitute one of the main issues in global nuclear disarmament.
The international diplomatic, economic and intelligence conflict over Iran’s nuclear program has now been in full flow for over a decade. Few crises have lasted this long at such tempo. It has involved complex games of diplomatic poker, missed opportunities and overplayed hands. Proposals have come and gone involving careful balancing of red lines and attempts to find common interest.
The latest installment of the negotiations between Iran and the E3+3 (P5+1: United States, United Kingdom, China, Russia, France, and Germany) will resume on Tuesday and Wednesday in Geneva. Negotiations with Iran on its nuclear program are now into their 10th year, and each year brings about more disappointment and more anxiety over concerns of nuclear proliferation.
The public discourse around nuclear weapons policy can be deceptively binary: countries should retain nuclear capabilities or they shouldn’t; nuclear weapons provide security and strategic stability or they don’t. However, it is generally only the tip of the iceberg that makes its way into mainstream debate. In reality, a web of incredibly technical, expert discussion takes place below the surface which defines how substantive nuclear policy decisions are taken.
Despite notes of caution and a lack of concrete offers, Presidents Obama and Rouhani set the stage for increased engagement at the UN last week. With calls for a WMD-free zone in the Middle East reaffirmed, Israel's game plan will be central.
All eyes were on the UN last week, as Presidents Obama and Rouhani took historic steps towards breaking the long-standing mutual mistrust between the US and Iran, and the Security Council unanimously passed a resolution calling for the destruction of chemical weapons in Syria.