• Strategic Comments

    Major exercise tests CTBT verification regime

    17 December 2014. 

    Held in Jordan in November, Integrated Field Exercise 2014 was a chance to test the efficacy of the verification regime that will support the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty when it comes into force.

  • Adelphi Books

    Chapter Two: Nuclear-weapons design and testing

    05 December 2014. 

    China’s emphasis on the development of a small number of large-yield thermonuclear weapons reflects the strategic rationale outlined by the head of China’s nuclear-weapons programme, Nie Rongzhen, in 1961.

  • Adelphi Books

    Chapter Three: China’s fissile-material production

    05 December 2014. 

    The availability of fissile material was from the outset a major factor shaping the pace and scope of Chinese nuclear-weapons deployments.

  • Strategic Comments

    North Korea: growing threat despite charm offensive

    25 November 2014. 

    North Korea poses an array of security threats to its neighbours and the wider world, and these threats continue to grow. But for a short period this autumn, North Korea appeared to be making efforts on nearly every front to improve its image.

  • Politics and Strategy

    Mark Fitzpatrick: I expect no Iran nuclear deal. I hope I’m wrong

    20 November 2014.  I do not expect that the talks in Vienna on the Iranian nuclear issue will produce a comprehensive agreement, at least not by the 24 November deadline. But I hope I am wrong about this. A deal that verifiably blocks all of Iran’s potential paths to a nuclear weapon – which is the only deal that the Western nations will accept ­– and that allows Iran to resume unfettered international...

  • Politics and Strategy

    Mark Fitzpatrick: Testing nuclear-test-ban treaty preparations

    17 November 2014.  Standing on a rocky hill on the banks of the Dead Sea, I heard a small thud, meant to simulate the tiny aftershocks of a nuclear test explosion. I was there on 15 November to observe one day of the largest-ever field exercise carried out by the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO). When the CTBT will come into effect is anybody’s guess. In the 18 years since...

  • IISS Voices

    Matthew Cottee: The 2016 Nuclear Security Summit – a bridge too far for Obama?

    12 November 2014.  By Matthew Cottee, Research Analyst, Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Programme In a serious setback to Barack Obama’s presidential legacy, last week Russia announced that it will boycott the final Nuclear Security Summit (NSS), an international gathering of world leaders convened to discuss how to prevent the threat of nuclear terrorism. The fourth iteration of the event, to be held in the United States in 2016, was apparently requested by Obama personally, despite...

  • Events

    Did the Nuclear Negotiations include Iran's Ballistic Missiles?

    12 November 2014. 

    IISS-US Lecture Series
    Michael Elleman
    Consulting Senior Fellow for Middle East Security Cooperation, IISSn
    IISS-US, Washington DC
    Friday 12 November 2014, 2-3pm EST/ 7-8pm GMT

  • Strategic Comments

    Humanitarian Campaign’s challenge to nuclear-weapon states

    21 October 2014. 

    As the next NPT review conference approaches, a new movement to ban and eliminate nuclear weapons is gathering strength. The next few months will provide a crucial test for the world's diplomats and the robustness of the basic bargain at the heart of the NPT.

  • Politics and Strategy

    Mark Fitzpatrick: Who is first in North Korea, and what’s this about ‘no first use’?

    13 October 2014.  The wait for Kim Jong-un is on day 40. It’s been that long now since his last public appearance on 3 September, watching a concert with his wife and senior officials. As in the biblical sense, 40 days and 40 nights is a long time. The official line of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), as reported by state television in late September, is that the 31-year-old leader is...

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