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  • Author: Katarzyna Kubiak
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The global treaty-based nuclear order is running out of steam. The problems facing it are progressively building up, while problem-solving is losing momentum. The search for a “golden key” to address disarmament and non-proliferation in a way fit for the 21st century prompts decision-makers to look for novel approaches. NATO needs to actively shape this newly emerging space. Acting today from within a tight policy and institutional “corset”, the Alliance should strengthen its non-proliferation and disarmament portfolio, and harness its consultative and coordination strengths for agenda-setting, norm-shaping and awareness-raising within the international community.
  • Topic: NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, Nonproliferation
  • Political Geography: Europe, North America, Global Focus
  • Author: Pat Shilo, Todd Rosenblum
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Third Way
  • Abstract: President Biden has announced plans to re-engage with Iran on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the Iran Nuclear Deal. In this paper, we briefly outline the five most likely pathways ahead, each of which has strengths and challenges: Return to the JCPOA as it was. Return to the JCPOA plus new commitments that address other security concerns with Iran. Restore the JCPOA as it was plus a set of confidence-building measures to address other security concerns. Formally link a requirement for Iran to address our other concerns as a pre-condition for further talks. Return to the pre-JCPOA Middle East, where US and allies work to rollback Iran’s nuclear program and actively deter its regional actions by confrontation, punishment, and isolating measures. Each path carries risk and opportunity for restoring American leadership in the world, and congressional Democrats should remember the perfect deal does not exist. Members of Congress would be wise to measure the next deal against the status quo ante: an unconstrained, belligerent Iran again racing to a bomb.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons, Treaties and Agreements, Military Strategy, Denuclearization, JCPOA
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Rachel Stohl
  • Publication Date: 08-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
  • Abstract: The rate at which states are joining the 2013 Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) has naturally slowed. Universalization efforts have been carried out through a variety of different frameworks, both within the ATT regime—including the Working Group on Treaty Universalization (WGTU), a sponsorship programme and the Voluntary Trust Fund (VTF)—and by the United Nations, regional organizations and civil society. Universalization of the ATT contributes to the development of standards and norms in the international arms trade. If a party flouts the treaty’s require­ments, it undermines the treaty and makes universal­ization less meaningful. Thus, universalization means both expanding the number of states parties and ensuring that they live up to their obligations. This is one of a series of five papers that are being produced as part of a wider project aimed at taking stock of specific aspects of the ATT—its scope, the application of the risk-assessment criteria, its processes and forums, universalization efforts, and international assistance to support ATT implementation.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Treaties and Agreements, United Nations, Arms Trade, Risk
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Paul Holtom
  • Publication Date: 08-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
  • Abstract: The scope of the 2013 Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) refers to the conventional arms, ammunition/munitions, and parts and components that are covered by the treaty. ATT stakeholders are providing guidance and assistance for states parties to implement provisions on scope contained in Articles 2–5 of the Treaty. ATT Article 17(4) provides for the Conference of States Parties (CSP) to review the treaty’s scope to take into account relevant technological developments in the field of conventional arms. Now is an opportune moment to explore mechanisms to review the scope of the Treaty to keep it in line with, at least, the coverage of the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms (UNROCA). This is one of a series of five papers that are being produced as part of a wider project aimed at taking stock of specific aspects of the ATT—its scope, the application of the risk-assessment criteria, its processes and forums, universalization efforts, and international assistance to support ATT implementation.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Treaties and Agreements, Arms Trade
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Roberto Dondisch
  • Publication Date: 08-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
  • Abstract: The 2013 Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) has a number of attached processes and forums that are aimed at enabling and promoting both the effective implementation of the treaty by states parties and its further universalization. In order to operate effectively these processes and forums need to be designed and operated in ways that reflect the ATT’s unique status as a trade treaty with a core humanitarian objective. The ATT states parties must consider the current support architecture and the challenges that it faces. These include effectively transitioning from a negotiation to an implementation framework; avoiding inherent risks to the treaty’s objective; implementing the risk-mitigation clause; maintaining the balance between exporters and importers; preserving transparency; and implementing possible good practice options. This is one of a series of five papers that are being produced as part of a wider project aimed at taking stock of specific aspects of the ATT—its scope, the application of the risk-assessment criteria, its processes and forums, universalization efforts, and international assistance to support ATT implementation.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Treaties and Agreements, Arms Trade
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Giovanna Maletta, Sibylle Bauer
  • Publication Date: 08-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
  • Abstract: The provision of international assistance is key to achieving the effective implementation of the 2013 Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). Assistance instruments include the ATT’s own Voluntary Trust Fund (VTF), mechanisms established by the United Nations and the European Union (EU), and efforts by other international and regional organizations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). The donors, implementers and ATT states parties should reflect on the role played by the assistance instruments in improving implementation of the treaty. To strengthen the role of international assistance in supporting implementation of the ATT, the ATT Secretariat and ATT-related processes and assistance programmes should enhance the sustainability and effectiveness of assistance efforts and further improve coordination. This is one of a series of five papers that are being produced as part of a wider project aimed at taking stock of specific aspects of the ATT—its scope, the application of the risk-assessment criteria, its processes and forums, universalization efforts, and international assistance to support ATT implementation.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Treaties and Agreements, Arms Trade
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: George Perkovich
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: For decades, policy debates in nuclear-armed states and alliances have centered on the question, “How much is enough?” What size and type of arsenal, and what doctrine, are enough to credibly deter given adversaries? This paper argues that the more urgent question today is, “How much is too much?” What size and type of arsenal, and what doctrine, are too likely to produce humanitarian and environmental catastrophe that would be strategically and legally indefensible? Two international initiatives could help answer this question. One would involve nuclear-armed states, perhaps with others, commissioning suitable scientific experts to conduct new studies on the probable climatic and environmental consequences of nuclear war. Such studies would benefit from recent advances in modeling, data, and computing power. They should explore what changes in numbers, yields, and targets of nuclear weapons would significantly reduce the probability of nuclear winter. If some nuclear arsenals and operational plans are especially likely to threaten the global environment and food supply, nuclear-armed states as well as non-nuclear-weapon states would benefit from actions to physically reduce such risks. The paper suggests possible modalities for international debate on these issues. The second initiative would query all nuclear-armed states whether they plan to adhere to international humanitarian law in deciding if and when to detonate nuclear weapons, and if so, how their arsenals and operational plans affirm their intentions (or not). The United Kingdom and the United States have committed, in the words of the 2018 U.S. Nuclear Posture Review, to “adhere to the law of armed conflict” in any “initiation and conduct of nuclear operations.” But other nuclear-armed states have been more reticent, and the practical meaning of such declarations needs to be clarified through international discussion. The two proposed initiatives would help states and civil society experts to better reconcile the (perceived) need for nuclear deterrence with the strategic, legal, and physical imperatives of reducing the probability that a war escalates to catastrophic proportions. The concern is not only for the well-being of belligerent populations, but also for those in nations not involved in the posited conflict. Traditional security studies and the policies of some nuclear-armed states have ignored these imperatives. Accountable deterrents—in terms of international law and human survival—would be those that met the security and moral needs of all nations, not just one or two. These purposes may be too modest for states and activists that prefer the immediate prohibition and abolition of nuclear weapons. Conversely, advocates of escalation dominance in the United States and Russia—and perhaps in Pakistan and India—will find the force reductions and doctrinal changes implied by them too demanding. Yet, the positions of both of these polarized groups are unrealistic and/or unacceptable to a plurality of attentive states and experts. To blunt efforts to stifle further analysis and debate of these issues, the appendix of this paper heuristically rebuts leading arguments against accountable deterrents. Middle powers and civil society have successfully put new issues on the global agenda and created political pressure on major powers to change policies. Yet, cooperation from at least one major nuclear power is necessary to achieve the changes in nuclear deterrent postures and policies explored here. In today’s circumstances, China may be the pivotal player. The conclusion suggests ways in which China could extend the traditional restraint in its nuclear force posture and doctrine into a new approach to nuclear arms control and disarmament with the United States and Russia that could win the support of middle powers and international civil society. If the looming breakdown in the global nuclear order is to be averted, and the dangers of nuclear war to be lessened, new ideas and political coalitions need to gain ascendance. The initiatives proposed here intended to stimulate the sort of analysis and debate from which such ideas and coalitions can emerge.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Environment, Nuclear Power, Weapons , Deterrence
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Russia, China, India, Global Focus, United States of America
  • Author: Henry Sokolski
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Nonproliferation Policy Education Center
  • Abstract: In the next decade, it is all too likely that the past success of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in preventing the further spread of nuclear weapons among the world’s nations will be reversed. Three trends make more proliferation likely. First is the decay of nuclear taboos. Second, and arguably worse, is renewed vertical proliferation—the increase in size and sophistication of nuclear arsenals by states that already have them. Third, the technical information to fuel nuclear breakouts and ramp-ups is more available now than in the past. These trends toward increased proliferation are not yet facts. The author describes three steps the international community could take to save the NPT: making further withdrawals from the NPT unattractive; clamping down on the uneconomical stockpiling and civilian use of nuclear weapons materials (plutonium and highly enriched uranium); and giving real meaning to efforts to limit the threats that existing nuclear weapons pose.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, Treaties and Agreements, Nuclear Power, Disarmament, Nonproliferation
  • Political Geography: Russia, North Korea, Global Focus, United States of America
  • Author: Miroslav Tuma
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute of International Relations Prague
  • Abstract: The political declaration with an annex entitled Advancing Nuclear Disarmament, Securing Our Future was adopted on 25 February 2020 in Berlin by the Foreign Ministers of the fifteen countries associated in the prestigious Stockholm Initiative for Nuclear Disarmament. They call on all NPT participating countries to discuss and adopt the proposed stepping stones. According to the authors of the declaration, the implementation could contribute to averting the dangerous development of the security situation and to the gradual realization of the generally supported vision of creating a world without nuclear weapons. Due to the global pandemic caused by COVID-19, the 10th NPT Review Conference was postponed indefinitely.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, Nonproliferation
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Angela Kane, Noah Mayhew
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for Development and Peace
  • Abstract: Many consider the Reagan-Gorbachev prin- ciple that “nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought” (Joint Soviet-United States Statement 1985) to be the clarion call for arms control. With this, US and Soviet leaders put words to the fundamental under- standing that arms control was sacrosanct in the context of other, unrelated issues in inter- national security. In 2020, we live in a different reality where arms control by some experts has been reduced to “nuclear identity politics” (Ford 2020) while others claim that it is “practical- ly exhausted” (Yermakov 2020). Disconcert- ing as these sentiments may be, they contain a kernel of truth. Arms control in 2020 is still oriented to realities of the past. But if the arms race spirals into full force, it is humans who will be the losers. Hence, it is unhelp- ful to dismiss arms control as an obsolete manifestation of Cold War nightmares. But it is time for an update to address new global challenges, in particular quickly evolving geo- political realities and emerging technologies. Furthermore, the silos in the debate on arms control need to be overcome.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons, Military Strategy, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus