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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: 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: Afrah Nasser
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: After Yemen’s 2011 uprising broke out, the country went through a series of political upheavals and cycles of violence that tore the country apart, including the start of a full-scale civil war in 2014 and the Saudi- and UAE-led intervention in 2015. In a context where civilians have been deliberately attacked by all sides, COVID-19 has added a new layer to the unspeakable suffering for millions of civilians in Yemen, whilst Europe has reacted with development aid but has thus far failed to support need for accountability in the conflict.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Health, War, Coronavirus, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Yemen, Saudi Arabia
  • Author: Wilfred Wan
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: In a difficult geopolitical environment marked by increased tensions among nuclear-armed and nuclear-allied states, there has emerged an urgent and widespread call for the implementation of practical measures to reduce the risk of nuclear-weapon use – whether intentional or inadvertent. A concerted effort to take risk reduction forward must address the spectrum of use scenarios by drawing on past activities, building on existing agreements and considering innovative approaches. NATO will have a key role to play, given the nuclear nature of the Alliance and the involvement of its members in strategic and regional competition. Alliance activities past and present can provide insight relevant to the development of multilateral risk-reduction measures. At the same time, in highlighting the dynamism and multi-faceted nature of risk, they underline the scale of the challenge ahead.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, Risk, Transatlantic Relations
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe
  • Author: Rose Gottemoeller, Steven Hill
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Times may be tough in the field of arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation (ADN). But ADN is by no means dead. This is a moment of opportunity, a chance to look to the future and consider what we should be doing differently to improve the international architecture for ADN in the future. NATO is in the process of considering how it can adapt to continue to be relevant in the changing global security environment. The time is therefore ripe for the Alliance to take on an enhanced role in preserving and strengthening more effective ADN. There are a number of areas in which it can support these efforts. These include specific steps to preserve and implement the Non-Proliferation Treaty, modernise the Vienna Document, adapt nuclear arms control regimes and deal with emerging and disruptive technologies (EDTs). NATO should position itself as a focal point for innovation in the ADN area, including promoting advances in verification, improving the multinational sharing and use of data, and advancing dialogue related to outer space.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Nonproliferation, Transatlantic Relations
  • Political Geography: Europe, North America, United States of America
  • 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
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs
  • Abstract: This is a Pugwash document concerning nuclear problems and tensions in the time of COVID-19. This document has been co-signed by an extensive list of Pugwash colleagues and personalities. We hope that it might promote debate about how to improve international cooperation and, in particular, the reduction of international tensions that may bring new risks
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, Military Strategy, Nonproliferation, Public Health, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs
  • Abstract: On July 9, 1955, two of the most eminent intellectuals of the 20th century, Bertrand Russell and Albert Einstein, issued an appeal to humanity, urging that the immense peril associated with nuclear weapons be recognized by governments and publics alike. The Russell-Einstein Manifesto warned that nuclear weapons pose a threat to the survival of the human species and called for major efforts to address and contain nuclear dangers. One of the consequences of the Manifesto was the holding of the first Pugwash conference in 1957. The origins and goals of Pugwash are contained in the Russell-Einstein Manifesto: to highlight the dangers of nuclear weapons, to call for the elimination of nuclear weapons, and to promote peaceful resolution of conflicts. Today, July 9, 2020, is the 65th anniversary of the Russell-Einstein Manifesto. We ask, how is the situation now, 65 years later?
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Human Rights, Nuclear Weapons, Conflict, Peace
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Alistair Millar
  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Fourth Freedom Forum
  • Abstract: The Trump administration was handed a resounding defeat in the United Nations Security Council at the end of last week when it offered a new resolution to indefinitely extend the UN arms embargo on Iran… Not only is the outcome of this vote embarrassing for the United States, it was the first salvo in a dangerous game of brinksmanship that is likely to be the biggest test of the Security Council’s resolve in the 75-year history of the United Nations.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Diplomacy, United Nations, UN Security Council, Donald Trump
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, North America, 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: Antoine Bondaz
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
  • Abstract: The North Korean nuclear and ballistic missile crisis is the most serious proliferation crisis the European Union (EU) and its member states currently face on the world stage. Despite the staging of diplomatic meetings, the threat caused by this crisis to European interests, in terms of proliferation, instability and to prosperity, persists. It is now essential that the EU and its member states move from a strategy of critical engagement to implementing a more proactive strategy of credible commitments in four areas: political engagement, non-proliferation, the implementation of restrictive measures and engagement with the North Korean people. Such a renewed strategy should be highly coordinated, build on the many initiatives already being taken and facilitated by the appointment of an EU Special Representative on North Korea.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, European Union, Disarmament, Engagement
  • Political Geography: Europe, Asia, North Korea
  • Author: Tytti Erästö
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
  • Abstract: The erosion of the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement poses a risk for both Middle East regional security and the global nuclear non-proliferation regime. At the same time, it highlights the need to build a more sustainable regional foundation for conflict resolution and arms control in the Middle East. This paper argues that the arms control– regional security nexus should be better reflected in European policy. While maintaining the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and preventing further US–Iranian escalation should be the European Union’s (EU) first priority, the paper urges the EU to develop a more comprehensive approach in support of regional security, arms control and disarmament in the Middle East. In addition to resolving inconsistencies in current EU policies on regional security, arms control and arms exports to the Middle East, the EU should consider throwing its political weight behind two emerging processes that could provide a much-needed opening for regional cooperation: security dialogue in the Gulf and the annual Middle East weapons of mass destruction (WMD)-free zone conferences at the United Nations. If it involved regional non-proliferation cooperation, the former process could also help manage the negative consequences of the potential collapse of the Iran nuclear agreement.
  • Topic: Security, Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, European Union, Disarmament
  • Political Geography: Europe, Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Elizabeth I-Mi Suh
  • Publication Date: 09-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
  • Abstract: This paper maps activities undertaken to educate the next generation of Europeans on non-proliferation and disarmament-related topics with a view to training future scholars and professionals, excluding capacity-building efforts. Most members of the European network of independent non-proliferation and disarmament think tanks conduct informal and formal educational activities, ranging from courses for students to workshops for young professionals, internships, networking events and mentoring programmes. However, the geographic distribution and dominant political science focus of these efforts illustrate the lack of accessibility and multidisciplinarity of non-proliferation and disarmament education currently available in Europe. Treating education as empowerment rather than a one-way process of recruitment can facilitate the introduction of new approaches and tools. Education can tap into existing potential among the next generation, such as intercultural competencies, multilingualism or technical know-how. Forms of participatory learning and autonomous project work place more responsibility on the learner to develop the skills required to deal with tasks.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Education, Disarmament, Nonproliferation
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Federica Dall'Arche
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
  • Abstract: Global efforts to eliminate weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and regulate small arms and light weapons (SALW) have gradually increased over the past four decades but the number of women involved in these efforts remains alarmingly small. Women face enormous obstacles when it comes to their participation in diplomatic negotiations and decision-making processes, and arms control, non-proliferation and disarmament diplomacy is no exception. Women continue to be excluded or marginalized from these procedures and when they do participate it is often in low-level positions from which exerting influence is difficult. Studies have shown that women represent only 32 per cent of all participants in official arms control, nonproliferation and disarmament forums and that heads of delegations, as well as speakers in related events and conferences, are almost exclusively men. This paper investigates the possible causes of this imbalance and shows why a continuing gender disparity among experts and practitioners in the field is problematic. It demonstrates that the inclusion of women has positive effects on the outcome of negotiations and examines why this is the case. Finally, it discusses the ways in which the European Union (EU) in particular, and the international community in general, can increase the number of women involved in the field.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Gender Issues, European Union, Women
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Ian Stewart
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies
  • Abstract: The EU’s annual report on arms export control presently lags behind the national reports of many countries. The introduction of a searchable online database will be a substantial step in increasing the user-friendliness of the report. This paper makes recommendations with regard to readability, comprehensiveness and comparability. Perhaps the principal recommendation is that steps be taken to harmonise the data provided under the categories ‘licensed value’ and ‘actual exports’, which are presently not consistently interpreted across the EU. The main argument of this paper is that the EU should move towards using data visualisation to complement the lengthy statistical tables in the annual report and thus make it more readable. The EU and its Member States should also explore opportunities to enhance the data contained in the report to include additional identified data fields, narrative sections to complement the statistical data, and disaggregated data on licence denials. In identifying additional data fields that could be included, the paper also examines the challenges associated with the provision of the data in each case.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Regional Cooperation, European Union, Exports, Illegal Trade
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • 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: Richard Nephew
  • Publication Date: 09-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on Global Energy Policy (CGEP), Columbia University
  • Abstract: For several months, it has seemed likely that the Trump administration would elect to pursue the reimposition, or snapback, of UN Security Council (UNSC) sanctions against Iran. For those less steeped in the terminology, the concept of sanctions “snapback” is one developed as part of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). It refers to the ability of the United States and other partners to quickly reimpose the sanctions that were suspended as part of the quid pro quo that saw Iran accept significant restrictions and transparency requirements for its nuclear program. Conceptually, this was necessary because Iran had the ability to restart its nuclear program if the United States or others were seen as cheating on the deal. The United States and its partners needed some assurance that, if Iran were found to be cheating, they could react just as swiftly. On August 20, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo finally submitted the notification that, according to the US government, would trigger a 30-day timeline for the reimposition of these sanctions. In the US view there is now no stopping the return of the UNSC’s original Iran sanctions regime, though there may be some procedural wrangling over how and when the measures will be reimposed. It is not clear, however, whether this will be the case. A fair amount of analysis has gone into the fundamental question of whether the United States has the standing to trigger snapback, which is an issue I explored in 2019.[1] European, Russian, Chinese, Iranian, and other observers argue that the United States has no such standing, because, under the terms of the UN Security Council resolution that created the snapback mechanism (UNSCR 2231), it is no longer a “participant” of the JCPOA following its withdrawal in 2018. Even former National Security Advisor John Bolton—who was in large part responsible for the US withdrawal from the JCPOA—tends to agree with this reading.[2] The Trump administration obviously disagrees. It is an important question, and one that speaks to the underlying credibility and integrity of the US snapback decision as well as its results. But, ultimately, there is no way of finding a conclusive answer. International law being what it is, there are no authoritative arbiters available to determine whether the United States or its many critics are right. Snapback is happening and will have consequences, we now need to shift to considering what comes next. I see four main outcomes that are directly relevant to this decision and the future of US sanctions policy and negotiations.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, United Nations, Military Strategy, Sanctions, JCPOA
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Tanya Ogilvie-White
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Institute for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Collaborative efforts to build a new arms-control architecture are urgently needed following the demise of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty) – especially in the Asia-Pacific, where arms-racing pressures are unbridled. High-level discussions within the Trump administration on deploying previously prohibited ground-based INF-range (500–5,500 kilometres) missiles in the Asia-Pacific could hamper progress; rather than convincing Beijing to engage in (as-yet-unspecified) trilateral arms-control negotiations, they could increase strategic risks, strain relations between the United States and its allies in the region (Australia, Japan and South Korea) and encourage closer Sino–Russian military cooperation. Efforts to create arms-control momentum are welcome, but to be politically viable, new initiatives need to be fair, equitable and underpinned by strategic empathy, reciprocity and mutual restraint. A more constructive approach would see the US and its Asia-Pacific allies using their combined diplomatic capital to push for a formal regional arms-control dialogue, which could initially focus on confidence building and strategic-risk reduction, and over the longer term help lay the foundations for a new arms-control regime.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Diplomacy, Military Strategy, INF Treaty
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Sarah Minot Asrar
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Meeting the security challenges of the future will require a sustained effort over the long-term by a multidisciplinary cadre of nuclear experts who are equipped with critical knowledge and skills. The Project on Nuclear Issues (PONI) runs two signature programs – the Nuclear Scholars Initiative and the Annual Conference Series – to engage emerging nuclear experts in thoughtful and informed debate over how to best address the nuclear community’s most pressing problems. The papers included in this volume comprise research from participants in the 2018 Nuclear Scholars Initiative and the PONI Conference Series. These papers explore such topics as the impacts of emerging technologies and capabilities, deep-diving on nuclear strategy and national policies, proposing paths forward for addressing proliferation challenges, and enhancing arms control in contentious environments.
  • Topic: Security, Arms Control and Proliferation, Energy Policy, Environment, Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The European Trilateral Track 2 Nuclear Dialogues, organized by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in partnership with the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) and the Fondation pourla Recherche Stratégique (FRS), has convened senior nuclear policy experts from the United Kingdom, France, and the United States (P3) for the past ten years to discuss nuclear deterrence, arms control, and nonproliferation policy issues and to identify areas of consensus among the three countries. The majority of the experts are former U.S., UK, and French senior officials; the others are well-known academics in the field. Since the Dialogues’ inception, high-level officials from all three governments have also routinely joined the forum and participated in the discussions. The Dialogues have been unique in bringing U.S., UK, and French representatives into a trilateral forum for discussing nuclear policy. The United States, United Kingdom, and France hold common values and principles directed toward a shared purpose of global peace and security, as well as an understanding of their respective roles as responsible stewards of the nuclear order. Their sustained engagement will thus, irrespective of political shifts in any of the three countries, remain unique in the context of international alliances and partnerships and essential into the foreseeable future. In 2018, the group’s discussion addressed a range of issues in the Euro-Atlantic security environment and beyond, prompting agreement among the group’s nongovernmental participants to issue the following statement reflecting the consensus views of the undersigned. All signatories agree to this statement in their personal capacity, which may not represent the views of their respective organizations.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Diplomacy, International Cooperation, Nuclear Weapons, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe, France, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The analysis concludes that the sudden breakdown in the latest round of U.S.-Korean nuclear arms control talks in Vietnam should scarcely come as a surprise to anyone. Both sides sought too much too soon and did so despite a long history of previous failures. Heads of state engaged before their staffs had reached a clear compromise and did so seeking goals the other leader could not accept. It is not clear that an agreement was reachable at this point in time, but each side's search for its "best" ensured that the two sides could not compromise on the "good." This failure sent yet another warning that agreements like the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear arms agreement with Iran that offers major progress in limiting a nation's nuclear weapons efforts can be far better than no agreement, and of the danger in letting the perfect become the enemy of the good. The failed U.S. negotiations with Korea sends a warning that any set of compromises that preserves Iran's compliance with the JCPOA, and creates a structure where negotiation can continue, will be better than provoking a crisis with Iran that can end in no agreement at all and alienate America's European allies in the process.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Diplomacy, Military Strategy, Denuclearization, JCPOA
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, Asia, South Korea, North Korea, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Tapio Juntunen
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The current discussion on the possible repercussions of the INF crisis have largely concentrated either on great power relations or on the level of NATO-Russia relations and the future of the transatlantic ties. This Working Paper aims to broaden the present discussion by reflecting on the potential implications of the negative trends in nuclear weapons politics and arms control from the perspective of the Nordic region. One of the key concerns for the Nordic countries in this regard is Russia’s significant arsenal of non-strategic nuclear weapons in the immediate vicinity of the region. The prospect of a looming nuclear weapons buildup in the North Sea areas and around its key locations is also something that the Nordic countries should be concerned about together with their allies and key partners. The Nordic countries should also aim to increase their agency in relation to the stalling nuclear arms control agenda. In addition to supporting the efforts to open up different possibilities to salvage the INF Treaty, the Nordic countries also have self-interest when it comes to integrating other categories of non-strategic nuclear weapons into these discussions. Tapio Juntunen
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Nordic Nations
  • Author: Tom Plant
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Over the last twenty years, the UK has researched nuclear arms control and disarmament verification in increasing breadth and depth. Although this principally technical activity has not yet been directly linked to any of the UK’s nuclear weapons stockpile reductions or postural changes, it does form much of the UK’s recent disarmament diplomacy. This is because more effective techniques for verification of nuclear arms control and disarmament are widely regarded as essential for the multilateral regimes that might be necessary if global nuclear stockpiles are to reduce. Thus, the UK balances its retention of nuclear weapons with plans – or at least the appearance of plans – for future disarmament. This balance stems in part from the degree of internal conflict in the UK about its nuclear weapon status, and the perceived need to take the lead in nuclear disarmament matters, set against decreasing room for manoeuvre in terms of substantive reductions to its declared nuclear arsenal; in the future it is likely to be increasingly central to the UK’s disarmament diplomacy. The degree to which UK verification research is genuinely intended to make a tangible disarmament contribution therefore merits scrutiny. This is particularly true for those states that are also working in the field or are interested in doing so. This paper lays out how Finland and other Nordic states could contribute by encouraging the UK to take more meaningful action, inter alia by linking UK verification research and its modernisation programme to potential arms control futures.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons, Military Strategy, Disarmament
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs
  • Abstract: On 1 February 2019 Pugwash held a consultation in collaboration with the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in Washington, D.C., to assess the perspectives of the American strategic community on the prospects for arms control. The meeting gathered 20 experts and former officials from across the political spectrum, and took place immediately following a set of meetings with senior Russian officials in Moscow by a Pugwash delegation, as well as a similar consultation with the Russian strategic community in December 2018.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Diplomacy, International Cooperation, Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Sergio Duarte
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs
  • Abstract: On 17 June 2019 Pugwash President Sergio Duarte published a commentary on the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty on the InDepthNews website.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons, Military Strategy, Nonproliferation
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs
  • Abstract: On 23-24 June 2019 a delegation from Pugwash travelled to Iran to participate in a specially-arranged two-day meeting organized together with the Institute for Political and International Studies (IPIS) in Tehran. The central focus of the discussions was the current status of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), more than one year after the United States withdrew from implementing it, and the ensuing program of ever-tightening sanctions imposed by the US on Iran that has dramatically increased tension in the Middle East. The meeting also put this into context by looking at the regional situation of arms control, as well as Iran’s relations with China, Russia, the EU, and its neighbours including Afghanistan.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons, JCPOA
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Sergio Duarte
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs
  • Abstract: On 18 November 2019 The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists published a piece by Pugwash President Sergio Duarte examining the health of the nuclear non-proliferation regime in anticipation of the 2020 NPT Review Conference.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, Military Strategy, Nonproliferation
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs
  • Abstract: From 19-22 November 2019 Pugwash President Sergio Duarte attended the opening of general debate of the conference convened in accordance with General Assembly decision A/73/546, entitled “Convening a conference on the establishment of a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction”. A decision had been taken by the President of the Conference, Ambassador Bahous of Jordan, and participating States to allow invited NGOs to participate as observers through the opening sessions. The First Session of the Conference was convened by the UN Secretary General pursuant to Resolution 73/546. Amb. Sima Bahous of Jordan was elected President. 23 States from the region participated, plus four NWS invited as observers. It was agreed to proceed by consensus on both procedural and substantive issues, pending final agreement on the rules of procedure, which will be considered in the intersessional period. The thematic debate centered on principles and objectives, general obligations on nuclear weapons and other WMD, peaceful uses, international cooperation, institutional arrangements and other aspects. Representatives of existing NW Free Zones will be invited prior to the Second Session to share good practices and lessons learned. The Conference adopted a Political Declaration and a Report. The next Session will be held in New York from 16 to 20 November 2020. The Declaration stated the belief of participating States that a verifiable ME Zone free of Nuclear Weapons and other WMD would greatly enhance regional and international peace and security and stated further their intent to pursue in an open and inclusive manner the elaboration of a legally binding treaty on the basis of arrangements freely arrived at by the States of the region. In that spirit, the Conference extended an open-ended invitation to all those States to support the Declaration and join in the process. Participating States also undertook to follow-up on the Declaration and on the outcomes of the Conference.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, United Nations, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Military Strategy, Nonproliferation
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Sergey Batsanov, Kevin Miletic
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs
  • Abstract: he Pugwash Foundation supported an international Pugwash workshop on hypersonic weapons, which took place in Geneva on 9 and 10 December 2019. The meeting brought together 30 international participants from various continents, including current and former government officials, scientists, engineers, academics and experts from think tanks and other non- governmental organisations. The workshop aimed at fostering a constructive exchange of views on hypersonic weapons. Participants discussed factors driving the development, roles and purposes of hypersonic weapons, as well as the risks associated with their deployment and use. Based on the workshop’s discussions, the Pugwash Foundation produced a series of briefing papers on hypersonic weapons.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Military Strategy, Weapons , Hypersonic Weapons
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Sergey Batsanov, Kevin Miletic
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs
  • Abstract: he Pugwash Foundation supported an international Pugwash workshop on hypersonic weapons, which took place in Geneva on 9 and 10 December 2019. The meeting brought together 30 international participants from various continents, including current and former government officials, scientists, engineers, academics and experts from think tanks and other non- governmental organisations. The workshop aimed at fostering a constructive exchange of views on hypersonic weapons. Participants discussed factors driving the development, roles and purposes of hypersonic weapons, as well as the risks associated with their deployment and use. Based on the workshop’s discussions, the Pugwash Foundation produced a series of briefing papers on hypersonic weapons.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Development, Military Strategy, Weapons , Hypersonic Weapons
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Sergey Batsanov, Kevin Miletic
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs
  • Abstract: he Pugwash Foundation supported an international Pugwash workshop on hypersonic weapons, which took place in Geneva on 9 and 10 December 2019. The meeting brought together 30 international participants from various continents, including current and former government officials, scientists, engineers, academics and experts from think tanks and other non- governmental organisations. The workshop aimed at fostering a constructive exchange of views on hypersonic weapons. Participants discussed factors driving the development, roles and purposes of hypersonic weapons, as well as the risks associated with their deployment and use. Based on the workshop’s discussions, the Pugwash Foundation produced a series of briefing papers on hypersonic weapons.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Military Strategy, Weapons , Hypersonic Weapons
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Sergey Batsanov, Kevin Miletic
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs
  • Abstract: he Pugwash Foundation supported an international Pugwash workshop on hypersonic weapons, which took place in Geneva on 9 and 10 December 2019. The meeting brought together 30 international participants from various continents, including current and former government officials, scientists, engineers, academics and experts from think tanks and other non- governmental organisations. The workshop aimed at fostering a constructive exchange of views on hypersonic weapons. Participants discussed factors driving the development, roles and purposes of hypersonic weapons, as well as the risks associated with their deployment and use. Based on the workshop’s discussions, the Pugwash Foundation produced a series of briefing papers on hypersonic weapons.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Military Strategy, Weapons , Hypersonic Weapons
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Sergey Batsanov, Kevin Miletic
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs
  • Abstract: he Pugwash Foundation supported an international Pugwash workshop on hypersonic weapons, which took place in Geneva on 9 and 10 December 2019. The meeting brought together 30 international participants from various continents, including current and former government officials, scientists, engineers, academics and experts from think tanks and other non- governmental organisations. The workshop aimed at fostering a constructive exchange of views on hypersonic weapons. Participants discussed factors driving the development, roles and purposes of hypersonic weapons, as well as the risks associated with their deployment and use. Based on the workshop’s discussions, the Pugwash Foundation produced a series of briefing papers on hypersonic weapons.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Military Strategy, Weapons , Hypersonic Weapons
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Sergey Batsanov, Kevin Miletic
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs
  • Abstract: he Pugwash Foundation supported an international Pugwash workshop on hypersonic weapons, which took place in Geneva on 9 and 10 December 2019. The meeting brought together 30 international participants from various continents, including current and former government officials, scientists, engineers, academics and experts from think tanks and other non- governmental organisations. The workshop aimed at fostering a constructive exchange of views on hypersonic weapons. Participants discussed factors driving the development, roles and purposes of hypersonic weapons, as well as the risks associated with their deployment and use. Based on the workshop’s discussions, the Pugwash Foundation produced a series of briefing papers on hypersonic weapons.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Military Strategy, Weapons , Hypersonic Weapons
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Sergey Batsanov, Kevin Miletic
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs
  • Abstract: he Pugwash Foundation supported an international Pugwash workshop on hypersonic weapons, which took place in Geneva on 9 and 10 December 2019. The meeting brought together 30 international participants from various continents, including current and former government officials, scientists, engineers, academics and experts from think tanks and other non- governmental organisations. The workshop aimed at fostering a constructive exchange of views on hypersonic weapons. Participants discussed factors driving the development, roles and purposes of hypersonic weapons, as well as the risks associated with their deployment and use. Based on the workshop’s discussions, the Pugwash Foundation produced a series of briefing papers on hypersonic weapons.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Military Strategy, Weapons , Hypersonic Weapons
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs
  • Abstract: On 4-5 December 2019 Pugwash and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences organized a discussion meeting in Shanghai as part of the ongoing project “Achieving Strategic Stability: A New Era of Great Powers Dialogue”. The meeting was supported and hosted by the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences. Five American scholars and former officials joined 20 Chinese scholars and former officials for a dialogue over two days, broadly centred on the strategic relationship of the US and China, but with particular focus on the status and future possibilities of arms control, as well as regional proliferation challenges.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, Military Strategy, INF Treaty
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs
  • Abstract: On 23-24 June 2019 a delegation from Pugwash travelled to Iran to participate in a specially-arranged two-day meeting organized together with the Institute for Political and International Studies (IPIS) in Tehran. The central focus of the discussions was the current status of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), more than one year after the United States withdrew from implementing it, and the ensuing program of ever-tightening sanctions imposed by the US on Iran that has dramatically increased tension in the Middle East. The meeting also put this into context by looking at the regional situation of arms control, as well as Iran’s relations with China, Russia, the EU, and its neighbours including Afghanistan.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons, Military Strategy, European Union, JCPOA
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Europe, Iran, Middle East, Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Tobias Vestner
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Geneva Centre for Security Policy
  • Abstract: This Geneva Paper shows that ATT states parties generally implement the ATT’s prohibitions set forth in Article 6 through national laws and policies. This paper also demonstrates that exporting states implement the ATT’s obligations regarding export assessment contained in Article 7 in many different ways. While the spectrum of how exporting states parties consider an arms exports’ potential effect on peace and security is very broad, their national frameworks contain similar or nearly identical export criteria on assessing the risk of arms being used for serious violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law. Few states parties have national export criteria regarding terrorism, transnational organized crime and gender-based violence. States also consider national criteria other than those specified in Article 7 before authorizing arms exports, including positive consequences of arms exports. Finally, states parties’ national frameworks mostly do not define clear thresholds for denying arms exports. Given this divergence in states party implementation, in addition to a remaining lack of clarity on how states apply the ATT provisions in practice, this paper recommends reinforcing dialogue on ATT implementation. This could lead to better understanding and implementation guidance that strengthens the emergence of common standards and improves the quality of national export assessments. To increase states parties’ knowledge on risks to be avoided, institutionalizing cooperation with human rights bodies and establishing an ATT internal information exchange mechanism is also recommended.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Treaties and Agreements, United Nations, Arms Trade
  • Political Geography: United Nations, Global Focus
  • Author: Miroslav Tuma
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute of International Relations Prague
  • Abstract: Miroslav Tůma in his new Policy Paper titled "The Importance of Verification and Transparency in the Nuclear-Arms Control, Nonproliferation and Disarmament Process" explained how monitoring and verification procedure associated with the nuclear-arms control, nonproliferation and disarmament process is nowadays important, especially in the sphere between US and Russia, which posses 90% of nuclear weapons all over the world. The author also analysed the development of the verification procedure in this field and its future curse. Should be the engagement of verification activity in a straight line with international law? What attitude should the Czech Republic take towards this problem in the near future?
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, Disarmament
  • Political Geography: Russia, Eurasia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Siemon T. Wezeman
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
  • Abstract: The security environment of South East Asia is making more and more headlines and is increasing cause for concern. While old tensions and conflicts remain, China’s rise as a military power and its claims on the South China Sea not only add a new element of insecurity but also draw other powers into the mix. As this paper documents, states in South East Asia have significantly increased their military spending, their arms acquisitions and their arms inventories over the past decade. This growth has outpaced the global trend and the trends of most other regions. While the growth of military capabilities is not an uncontrollable arms race, there is cause for real concern. The increased size and capabilities of most armed forces in South East Asia—coupled with increased tensions in the region, especially over the South China Sea—lead to more military forces operating in close proximity to ‘unfriendly’ forces. Mechanisms and agreed rules to deal with the overall tensions or with unexpected confrontations of opposing military forces are lacking, which does not make it easy to prevent incidents from escalating. Furthermore, weak transparency in foreign and defence policy poses a risk of misunderstandings about why South East Asian states acquire weapons, what their ‘red lines’ are and what the response to crossing those lines would be.
  • Topic: Security, Arms Control and Proliferation, Military Affairs, Weapons
  • Political Geography: Asia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Nikolai Sokov
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies
  • Abstract: On November 7, 2019, the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies and the Center for Energy and Security Studies held a forum titled “US-Russia Dialogue on Nuclear Issues: Does Arms Control Have a Future?” Dr. Nikolai Sokov, a senior fellow with the Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation, prepared the briefing paper, “Avoiding a Post-INF Missile Race,” to address the concerns about a new arms race in Europe arising after the end of the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. Though comparisons to the Euromissile crisis of the early 1980s are inevitable, the present situation is different in one important respect: neither Russia nor NATO want a new arms race, and both have demonstrated a degree of restraint. “Nevertheless,” Dr. Sokov argues in the paper, “the situation is fragile, and it is difficult to predict how long mutual restraint can hold.” Furthermore, the military balance today includes additional, complicating features, including the replacement of nuclear weapons’ missions with high-precision long-range conventional weapons, the enlargement of NATO and the collapse of the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty, the risk of escalation presented by increased dual-capable delivery systems, as well as the role of Asia in the global strategic balance. The window of opportunity for addressing these rising concerns is relatively narrow. Since “full-scope arms-control negotiations aiming at legally binding and verifiable treaties are hardly feasible in the current and projected political and security environment,” this CNS brief suggests a “more modest” approach to expanding and securing the restraint that exists, before it disappears altogether.
  • Topic: NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Diplomacy, Nonproliferation, Missile Defense, Deterrence, Arms Race
  • Political Geography: Europe, Asia, North America
  • Author: Bruno Hellendorff
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: EGMONT - The Royal Institute for International Relations
  • Abstract: On 1 February 2019, the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that his country had suspended its compliance with the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty, or INF Treaty, and would withdraw from it within six months. The INF Treaty, little known outside of arms control and disarmament circles, was a landmark Cold War agreement between the United States of America and the USSR – the first to ban an entire category of weapons (ground-based medium- and intermediate-range missiles). The US withdrawal, announced in dramatic terms by President Donald Trump in October 2018, followed the claim that Russia had recently developed and fielded a missile with performances forbidden by the INF Treaty. The end of this little-known treaty is not anecdotal. Not only will it further strain the US-Russia relationship and antagonise allies, it will also contribute to the erosion of what is left of the global arms-control architecture and incentivise arms-race behav- iours among great powers. In a world where security is increasingly less a question of multilateral deliberation and rules-based interactions, the end of the INF Treaty is a further signal that missile technologies are again becoming a venue for competition between great powers: only this time, at least three are playing the game (United States, China and Russia) rather than two (United States and USSR). Additionally, missile technology proliferation has turned into a major dimension of contemporary battlefield realities, and missile programmes of countries such as Iran and North Korea continue to pose important diplomatic and non-proliferation challenges. Meanwhile, Europe is, by and large, left watching as its regional security architecture erodes. Welcome to what US National Security Advisor John Bolton recently termed ‘a multipolar missile world’. The EU should not try to salvage the INF Treaty. Its diplomatic capital might be better spent in areas where it could potentially make a difference, rather than in a treaty to which it is not even party. Existing multilateral regimes and agreements with the EU or its Member States as parties are already in dire need of reinforcement in the face of technological progress, a volatile diplomatic environment and self-centred, competitive political narratives. These include, inter alia, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) framework (including its Structured Dialogue), multilateral export control regimes (MECR) like the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), transparency and trust-building mechanisms like the Hague Code of Conduct against missile proliferation (HCoC), and nuclear-related frame- works like the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA or ‘Iran deal’) or the Non- Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Process. These, however, may simply fail to meet the challenge of a multipolar missile world. Renewed efforts, both conceptual and in the realm of capabilities, are needed in a NATO framework to reinforce the linkage between deterrence and diplomacy. NATO-EU dialogue and cooperation on defence issues could be further enhanced, and European countries should work more with like-minded partners at both bilat- eral or multilateral levels on the challenges of non-proliferation and disarmament in the twenty-first century. The demise of the INF Treaty should therefore re-energise the debate on European strategic autonomy, help support collective capability building – not least in NATO – and prompt new discussions on stronger multilateral rules on missile development, use and proliferation.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Treaties and Agreements, Military Strategy, European Union
  • Political Geography: Europe, North Atlantic, North America
  • Author: Didier Audenaert
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: EGMONT - The Royal Institute for International Relations
  • Abstract: On 2 August both the US and the Russian Federation will no longer be restrained by the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty (1987). Early this century it gradually became clear that Russia wanted to step out of the Treaty, by which it felt itself to be solely restrained. European nations should now take up a greater share of the burden of missile defence, which should get a broader mission than it has today. The debate on EU strategic autonomy can be an instrument in this endeavour. Because of the worsening security environment NATO’s non- strategic nuclear capability becomes even more important. European NATO allies and EU member states may very soon be confronted with difficult and fundamental choices for a future without the INF Treaty, which need to be communicated and explained to their national population.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Diplomacy, Military Strategy, European Union, INF Treaty
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe
  • Author: Nancy Gallagher, Ebrahim Mohseni, Clay Ramsay
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM)
  • Abstract: The Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM) has been conducting in- depth surveys of Iranian public opinion on nuclear policy, regional security, economics, domestic politics, and other topics since the summer of 2014. Each survey includes a combination of trend-line questions, some going as far back as 2006, and new questions written to assess and inform current policy debates. This report covers findings from three surveys fielded in May, August, and early October 2019 to evaluate how the Trump administration’s “maximum pressure” campaign is affecting public opinion in Iran. The United States withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in May 2018, and began re-imposing sanctions on Iran that the Obama administration had lifted under the terms of the 2015 agreement it had negotiated with Iran, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China. In the fall of 2018, it blacklisted hundreds of Iranian entities and threatened to impose secondary sanctions on anyone who did business with them. In spring of 2019, it tried to prevent Iran from getting any revenue from oil sales, its main export, by ending exemptions for key customers. In the summer of 2019, it tightened constraints on Iran’s access to the international financial system, including channels that had been used to pay for medicines and other humanitarian goods that were officially exempted from earlier sanctions. It also sanctioned Iran’s foreign minister, complicating his ability to interact with U.S. officials, experts, and media figures. The Trump administration’s stated objective is to keep imposing more sanctions until Iran acquiesces to a long list of U.S. demands articulated by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. The original twelve points include the types of restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program that the government rejected during previous negotiations and that the Iranian public has consistently opposed. It also includes stopping development of nuclear-capable missiles, ending support for various groups throughout the Middle East, halting cyberattacks and other threatening activities, and releasing all U.S. and allied detainees. Pompeo subsequently added other demands related to civil liberties in Iran. The Iranian public enthusiastically supported the JCPOA when it was first signed, partly due to unrealistic expectations about how much and how quickly economic benefits would materialize. After the International Atomic Energy Agency certified in January 2016 that Iran had met all of its nuclear obligations and implementation of sanctions relief began, foreign companies were slow to ramp up permissible trade with Iran or to make major investments there before they knew how the next U.S. president would view the JCPOA. By the end of the Obama administration few Iranians said that they had seen any economic benefits from the deal and most lacked confidence that the other signatories would uphold their obligations. But a solid majority of Iranians (55%) still approved of the agreement.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Diplomacy, International Cooperation, Nuclear Weapons, Military Strategy, JCPOA
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Leo Michel, Matti Pesu
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: One of the most notable consequences of the end of the Cold War was the diminished role of nuclear weapons in international relations. The world’s primary nuclear weapon powers, the United States and the Russian Federation, made considerable reductions in their nuclear forces. The climax of the process was the New START Treaty signed in 2010. Now, the optimism that characterized the first decades of the post-Cold War era is rapidly evaporating. Geopolitical competition again dominates global and regional security dynamics. Nuclear powers are modernizing their forces and introducing novel systems that may affect strategic stability. At the same time, existing arms control regimes are crumbling. This report takes stock of recent developments in deterrence in general, and nuclear deterrence in particular. Its main ambition is to understand how deterrence has changed in light of certain post-Cold War trends. To this end, the report introduces the basic principles of deterrence. It also explores the nuclear-related policies and capabilities of the four nuclear weapon states most directly involved in European security affairs – Russia, the United States, France, and the United Kingdom. Importantly, the report also analyses the implications of the recent trends in strategic deterrence for Northern Europe. This report is part of a research project conducted by the FIIA entitled ‘New Challenges for Strategic Deterrence in the 21st Century’. The project is part of the implementation of the Government Plan for Analysis, Assessment and Research 2018.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons, Military Strategy, Deterrence
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, United Kingdom, Europe, France, North America
  • Author: Paolo Cotta-Ramusino
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs
  • Abstract: The following text is a paper prepared by the Secretary-General of Pugwash, Paolo Cotta-Ramusino, for three conferences in Moscow, Madrid, and Bergen between 6-15 June 2018.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, Military Strategy, Denuclearization
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs
  • Abstract: On 6-7 December 2018, Pugwash organized a seminar, “Avoiding Nuclear Destabilization”, and other side meetings in Moscow in cooperation with the Russian Pugwash Committee and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. This was interconnected with the Russian Congress of Political Scientists organized by the Russian Political Science Association, MGIMO-University under the Russian Foreign Ministry, and the Financial University under the Government of Russia, which allowed some Congress participants to take part in the Pugwash debates. These consultations with Russian experts were designed to seek out reaction in Moscow and the Russian strategic community to the US Administration’s announcement to withdraw from the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) and survey current opinion on the future of arms control.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Diplomacy, International Cooperation, Nuclear Weapons, Military Strategy, Denuclearization, INF Treaty
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, North America, United States of America
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Geneva Centre for Security Policy
  • Abstract: GCSP's Senior Programme Advisor and Arms Proliferation Cluster Leader, Marc Finaud, together with the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), Parliamentarians for Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament and the University of London (SOAS), are working on a joint project that aims to provide parliamentarians from around the world with documents and material about arms control and disarmament agreements to help them monitor the actions of their governments.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Treaties and Agreements, Disarmament, Data
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Kolja Brockmann, Robert E. Kelley
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
  • Abstract: Additive manufacturing (AM) machines are multipurpose manufacturing instruments that rely on the transfer of build-information in a digital form. AM is a rapidly developing technology with a growing range of applications, especially in the aerospace and defence industry. It is also generating concerns about its potential to create ways of weakening or circumventing dual-use and arms export controls. This SIPRI Paper examines (a) the state of the art in AM; (b) its ability to produce military equipment and dual-use items; (c) the application of export controls to AM and their implementation at the national level; and (d) the challenges that implementation and compliance present for governments, companies and research institutes. The conclusions summarize potential options and considerations when expanding controls on AM. This is one of two research papers that address the closely related issues of controlling transfers of software and technology and applying exports controls to AM. Taken together, the papers examine some of the most challenging issues that governments, companies and research institutes in the European Union (EU) and the wider world are facing when they seek to effectively implement dual-use and arms export controls. The papers also address a range of topics that are under active discussion within the multilateral export control regimes and in connection with the recast of the EU Dual-use Regulation. For the second paper, 'The Challenge of Software and Technology Transfers to Non-proliferation Efforts: Implementing and Complying with Export Controls', see here. Funding for the concept paper was provided by the US Department of State’s Export Control and Related Border Security (EXBS) Program.
  • Topic: Security, Arms Control and Proliferation, Science and Technology, Military Affairs, Disarmament, Exports
  • Political Geography: Europe, Global Focus
  • Author: Jack O Nassetta, Ethan P. Fecht
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies
  • Abstract: Though much of the scrutiny into foreign interference in US political debates focuses on long-term election operations, foreign actors have now turned to social media to conduct short-term tactical operations. These operations aim to affect American attitudes toward specific US foreign and military policy, and ultimately affect the policy itself. In recent years, state actors and loosely affiliated patriotic operators have inorganically inserted themselves into the political discussion surrounding US intervention in Syria following the use of chemical weapons. Through continually evolving techniques, these “synthetic actors” are likely the main driving force behind shaping the character of the counternarrative discussion surrounding the use of chemical weapons in Syria. “All the World is Staged: An Analysis of Social Media Influence Operations against US Counterproliferation Efforts in Syria,” CNS Occasional Paper #37, seeks to analyze the tradecraft, trends, themes, and possible effects of disinformation produced by suspected synthetic actors (i.e., bots, trolls, and cyborgs) on Twitter concerning chemical weapons use in Syria. Although it is highly likely these synthetic actors exist on other social media platforms as well, this analysis focuses exclusively on Twitter, since the open nature of the platform allows for study without special access. Furthermore, we aim to improve public and academic awareness of foreign, inorganic disinformation efforts against our domestic decision-making processes. We hope that this text contributes to the efforts to prevent the erosion of the integrity of the political conversations that matter most. It concludes with salient recommendations for both policy makers and social network companies, focusing on how they can prevent synthetic actors from abusing their platforms for influence operations.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Military Strategy, Nonproliferation
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Syria, North America, United States of America