On a stairway above first avenue in New York City, opposite the United Nations, is a wall into which are carved the famous words from the Book of Isaiah: “They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation. Neither shall they learn war anymore.”
The 9th Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) has now been underway for a week, at the United Nations Headquarters. The five-yearly “Revcon” is a crucial international meeting that has the aim of improving and strengthening one of the most important global security regimes: the nuclear nonproliferation regime.
The Swiss blog Offiziere.ch has recently published a piece by Paul Pryce, analysing the Brazilian Navy’s current endeavours whilst trying to figure out what bearing it is sailing. Pryce evaluates the ‘quiet expansion’ of the Brazilian Navy, and whilst he delivers a brief but sound level of analysis, he fails to deliver an accurate reading of some of the key underlying issues. These issues include the ‘military industrial compound’ dimension of the Navy, the often unspoken aspects of civil-military relations in Brazil and the competition for budget between branches.
In the growing literature about how to identify the presence or absence of trust, Keating and Ruzicka have written an extremely persuasive paper on the role of hedging as an indicator of a trusting relationship. Whilst the article provides an extremely important framework for analysing the dimension of hedging as an indicator of trusting relationships, however, it highlights a common problematic occurrence in the analysis of trust; the assumption that states are the primary referent for trust, and that states as a whole are responsible for any hedging behaviour.
The Institute for Conflict, Cooperation, and Security (ICCS), supported by the Centre for War Studies and the Royal Aeronautical Society, is holding a workshop this September which aims to look at and discuss “Drone Research” with particular reference to “Perspectives, Practicalities and Problems” associated with this topic and sphere of interest.
Winner of our ‘Trust, Diplomacy and Conflict Transformation’ blog competition.
Clampdown in the West Bank
Last week, Netanyahu’s speech in congress dominated the headlines from Israel/Palestine, but increased pressure on the Palestinian Authority (PA) could be reaching a boiling point. The withholding of Palestinian tax funds by Israel as well as power cuts imposed without warning on vast parts of the West Bank are putting relative stability at risk.
August 2015 will mark the 70th anniversary of the dropping of two atomic bombs, on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. While the risk of nuclear war may be low in today’s world, contemporary scenarios and risks, such as state failure or a terrorist takeover, present new dangers that increase the possibility of inadvertent or accidental nuclear use. Continue reading The Importance of Being Earnest: The P5 Process and the 2015 NPT Review Conference