• Politics and Strategy

    Mark Fitzpatrick: Time for Israel and Egypt to abjure chemical weapons

    06 August 2014.  On the centennial of the outbreak of the war that saw massive use of chemical weapons, and given Syria’s chemical disarmament, isn't it time for Egypt and Israel also to do the right thing and verifiably rid themselves of these abhorrent weapons? Syria’s accession to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) leaves only six countries outside this treaty. Two of them – Myanmar and Angola – have begun steps toward accession, and...

  • Politics and Strategy

    Mark Fitzpatrick: Survival article on eliminating nuclear weapons eliminates author’s job

    01 August 2014.  The best Survival article with which I have been associated is James E. Doyle’s powerful piece, ‘Why Eliminate Nuclear Weapons?’, in the February–March 2013 edition. It also turned out to be the most troublesome – for the author. I did not agree with everything Jim wrote; I believe that nuclear deterrence has played a key role in keeping the peace between major powers. But he offers strong arguments for why...

  • Survival

    The Ukraine Crisis and Nuclear Order

    25 July 2014. 

    On some issues, particularly Iran, the fallout has been negligible, yet there is still reason for concern. The gravest dangers are the devaluing of security assurances and cracks in the credibility of extended deterrence.

  • Strategic Comments

    Iran nuclear talks extended for four more months

    23 July 2014. 

    Deep differences over the allowable size of Iran's nuclear programme and how long restrictions on it should remain in place proved insurmountable in the latest round of negotiations. Iran and the six powers known as the E3+3 now have a further four months to determine whether they can summon the political will to bridge the gap.

  • Politics and Strategy

    Mark Fitzpatrick: Continue the Iran talks, but lock in a deal on Arak

    16 July 2014.  In a friendly Twitter debate this week, I was asked why I advocated rejecting an imperfect Iranian offer for a nuclear deal when the alternative – a return to escalation and probable conflict – is so dire. My answer was that there is a third option: to continue negotiations beyond the 20 July deadline. Indeed, that is the path that both Iran and the US now seem set on taking...

  • IISS Voices

    Dina Esfandiary: Iran and the question of ICBMs

    14 July 2014.  By Dina Esfandiary, Research Associate, Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Programme A US Pentagon report from January 2014 (but only released in early July) seems to have revised earlier US intelligence assessments that Iran could test an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) by 2015. Indeed, although Iran has an advanced missile programme, the state of its current industrial base, research and development, and decades of being under sanctions led the IISS to assess in...

  • Politics and Strategy

    Mark Fitzpatrick: Preventing Wars of Mass Destruction

    30 June 2014.  Next month marks the centenary of the outbreak of what was called the Great War, and once, the ‘war to end all wars’. It consumed about 15 million lives, including up to 1 million British citizens and left another 1.6 million British soldiers wounded. It did not end all wars, of course. A generation later, another global war commenced, this time killing four times as many, plus 20 million more in...

  • Politics and Strategy

    Mark Fitzpatrick: Russia’s solidarity with the West in the Iran nuclear talks

    26 June 2014.  Amid ongoing tensions over Ukraine, it is worth noting that Russia continues to cooperate closely with the West over Iran. Far from using the Iran issue to retaliate against US and European sanctions, as Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov ill-advisedly warned it might in mid-March, Russia has helped bolster the US position on the most sensitive aspect of the Iran negotiations: demands for cutbacks in the centrifuge programme. The most interesting...

  • Politics and Strategy

    Mark Fitzpatrick: Divining ‘bilats’ in Geneva

    12 June 2014.  By happenstance, I was in Geneva this week concurrent with the direct Iran–US talks that were taking place. The closest I got to the action was on Tuesday evening when I walked by the US mission apartment on Quai Wilson, where what I presumed to be members of the US delegation and their hangers-on were holding a soirée. Somebody who resembled Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns was in a...

  • Politics and Strategy

    Jeffrey Mazo: Legacies of war

    06 June 2014.  A few days ago, walking along the top of the sea cliff in Ventnor on the south coast of the Isle of Wight, I was startled to see a low-flying Second World War-era Spitfire making a pass over the town. Although there is a workshop on the island that rebuilds Spitfires from damaged airframes and salvaged parts – the only such workshop in the world – seeing one of these...

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