• Strategic Comments

    North Korea’s fifth nuclear test

    05 October 2016. 

    North Korea conducted its fifth and most powerful nuclear test on 9 September, and is moving towards mounting a nuclear bomb on ballistic missiles of increasing range. The Obama administration's policy of strategic patience may now be insufficient. Pyongyang is unlikely to restrain its nuclear bomb and ballistic missile development in the absence of greater US and Chinese assertiveness and more creative strategies.

  • Politics and Strategy

    Mark Fitzpatrick and Marc Barnett: Putin’s petulance shouldn’t stop US disposal of excess plutonium

    05 October 2016.  Russia’s announcement on 3 October that it was suspending the 2000 agreement with the US to each dispose of 34 tonnes of excess military-use plutonium is an unfortunate departure from what had been the heyday of cooperation between the two superpowers in reducing nuclear dangers. The 68 tonnes of plutonium in question could produce on the order of 17,000 nuclear weapons. Removing it from military arsenals and making it unusable...

  • Strategic Dossiers

    Chapter 3: Neutralising the Missile Threat

    29 September 2016. 

    Terminal defences provide the most effective and reliable means for blunting the Iranian missile threat. To take full advantage of existing technology, individual defence systems should be integrated.

  • Strategic Dossiers

    Conclusion: The Way Forward for Missile Defence

    29 September 2016. 

    The political sensitivities of defence design and command and control may appear to be insurmountable. Yet, for GCC states, negotiations on these issues may provide a means to start the integration of their ballistic-missile defences.

  • Strategic Dossiers

    Chapter 4: Notional Missile-Defence Architectures

    29 September 2016. 

    Layering defences using a combination of upper-tier and lower-tier systems greatly enhances performance. A layered defence depends on the comprehensive integration of sensors across systems, as well as the creation of a centralised battle-management hub.

  • Strategic Dossiers

    Chapter 2: Security Cooperation on the Arabian Peninsula: Challenges and Prospects

    29 September 2016. 

    Dependence on outside powers for ensuring regional security and stability has left Gulf leaders with little desire to overcome their mistrust of one another – and to accept the compromises to absolute sovereignty that come with security and defence integration.

  • Strategic Dossiers


    29 September 2016. 

    The history of the GCC is one of occasional cooperation, as its members have put aside mutual suspicion only when they have perceived external threats to outweigh concerns over sovereignty and autonomy.

  • Strategic Survey

    Chapter 3, Part III: The Drift Away from Nuclear Disarmament

    27 September 2016. 

    If arms control is to have a future, it may need to prioritise unilateral measures.

  • Survival

    Dangerous Games

    12 September 2016. 

    How does contemporary Russia view NATO’s public attempts at thinking through scenarios for East–West conflict?

  • Politics and Strategy

    Mark Fitzpatrick: The security risks of nuclear weapons in Turkey outweigh the benefits

    29 July 2016.  Of the five NATO allies that still host United States nuclear weapons, I used to think that Turkey would be the last to see them removed. Unlike in Germany, Netherlands, Belgium and (less so) Italy, there has been very little domestic opposition to the nuclear weapons in Turkey. In the aftermath of the 15 July failed coup, I now expect they will be the first to go. There have been sound...

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