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BASIC is the only peace and security non-governmental organization that is British-American in composition and focus. With programs that address diplomacy and decision-making around nuclear weapons, we work on both sides of the Atlantic to encourage sustainable transatlantic security policies and to develop the strategies that can achieve them. We have charitable status in the United Kingdom and in the United States. We operate with offices in London and Washington, a small but committed sta ...
 
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show series
 
What the heck is going on with the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Planet? Aaron and Jeffrey walk through the safety situation, the open source assessments of what is going on, and what appears to be a Russian strategy to....steal a power plant? Links of Note: Russia Tries to Steal a Nuclear Power Plant, Cheryl Rofer Support us over at Patreon.com/acwpo…
 
Why isn't North Korea testing nukes? What are the signals and signs that precede a test? Jeffrey and Aaron talk testing indicators, the logistics of detonating a nuclear device in North Korea, and the proper use of the Chatham House Rule... The team talks about the impact of Michael Krepon on the field and on us personally. He will be greatly misse…
 
As the President visited various states in the Middle East, Jeffrey and Aaron sat down to eulogize the JCPOA renegotiation attempts as they slowly slide farther off the rails. Iran's programs continue and it looks like the U.S. is preparing to continue into the sanctions and containment realm, as Israel continues its seemingly ineffective hardware …
 
Jeffrey and Aaron walk through a piece of foundational field canon, The Wizards of Armageddon by Fred Kaplan, discussing its coverage of institutional and personal decisionmaking, picking apart the concepts of deterrence and compellence, and discussing the seemingly crystalized debate on the same core tenets, decades after the initial events. Suppo…
 
The war in Ukraine has led to a fundamental shift in public perceptions of the military utility of drones. Until now, most people saw drones either as a more or less harmless toy with certain implications for privacy on one hand, and as a complex military system that roams the skies searching for terrorists on the other. The proliferation of drones…
 
After a brief hiatus due to Jeffrey's house catching on a lil' bit of fire, the Arms Control Wonk team is back to take a look at North Korea's triple missile launch and looming possible nuclear test. Jeffrey and Aaron discuss the North Korean nuclear testing schedule, the expectations of precision that open source intelligence has generated, and wh…
 
Turkey is nominally a close military and political ally of the United States and other NATO countries, as well as an important economic partner to the European Union. But reading headlines in recent months and years, one wonders how close the Turkish government really feels to its western partners. Under President Erdogan, Turkey has waged war agai…
 
The U.S. has unilaterally committed to not conducting destructive anti-satellite missile tests! Jeffrey and Aaron walk through what the U.S. has actually normatively committed to, what this means for potential future attempts at arms control in space, and some of the institutional hurdles the U.S. must overcome for a long-lasting commitment to spac…
 
The first space race, between the United States and the Soviet Union, was a geopolitical and ideological struggle between superpowers. Now five decades in the past, it pushed the limits of technology to extremes and realized some long-held dreams of humanity, like putting a human on the moon. But after the enormous gains of the 1950s and 60s, space…
 
Gerry Doyle and Blake Herzinger join Jeffrey to talk about their new book: Carrier Killer: China's Anti-Ship Ballistic Missiles and Theater of Operations in the early 21st Century. The group sits down to talk through China's DF-21D and DF-26 missiles. Do they work? What do they do? What can they actually accomplish? How do navies adapt to the new t…
 
In 2019, Ethiopia’s young and dynamic prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to resolve the longstanding tensions between his country and Eritrea. His announcement of domestic political reforms were received well both abroad and at home, many Ethiopians had felt excluded by a political system seen as having be…
 
French President Emmanuel Macron is comfortably ahead in the polls for the first round of France’s presidential election, which takes place Sunday. With far-right candidate Marine Le Pen likely to finish second, the second-round runoff is shaping up to be a repeat of 2017. But while Macron won in a landslide in 2017 with more than 60 percent of the…
 
...get a pod. North Korea has conducted three (and, as I'm typing this, apparently four), ICBM (or ICBM element) tests, with two labelled as "satellite" system tests. Jeffrey and Scott talk through an OSINT Oreo: Good OSINT to identify ICBM tests, BAD OSINT claiming that some agricultural fields were missile support areas, and then more good OSINT …
 
Should we be worried that Russia may intentionally use nuclear weapons in Ukraine? Jeffrey and Aaron discuss the role nuclear weapons, conspiracy theories, and misinformation play within conventional wars and escalation dynamics. Aaron posits the Bunga Bunga Theory of Deterrence, wherein an individual actor's rationality can be gauged by the compan…
 
Plastics, e-waste and other hazardous waste are routinely traded across borders in what amounts to an “out of sight, out of mind” approach for the rich countries that produce them. The story is more complicated for the communities that receive and dispose of the waste. Hazardous waste poses risks to the health of local communities and the environme…
 
Russia has invaded Ukraine, and some folks are arguing that Ukraine could've deterred Russia "if it had never given up nuclear weapons." But they never "had" nuclear weapons. Jeffrey and Aaron talk through the control of nuclear weapons in Ukraine during the Cold War, and the "return" of those weapons to Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union. S…
 
In many countries, COVID-19 has robbed an entire generation of at least a year of education and child care, not to speak of many social connections. Climate change is already threatening the wellbeing of young people around the world and will negatively impact them and future generations for decades to come. And the impacts of many social problems …
 
Jasmine Owens, Lead Organizer and Policy Coordinator at the Physicians for Social Responsibility, joins Jeffrey to discuss social justice and nuclear weapons. Jasmine and Jeffrey attack the tough issues facing culture within the nuclear security field, embedded bias, and the disproportionate impact these weapons have on minority and oppressed commu…
 
The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty’s 10th Review Conference has been postponed repeatedly due to the coronavirus pandemic, perhaps a symbol of the degree to which global efforts to curb the proliferation of nuclear weapons and reduce global stockpiles have stalled in recent years. North Korea continues to expand its nuclear capabilities, and the …
 
Dr. Michal Onderco, Associate Professor of International Relations in the Department of Public Administration and Sociology at Erasmus University Rotterdam, joins Jeffrey to talk about his new book, Networked Nonproliferation: Making the NPT Permanent. Dr. Onderco and Jeffrey talk about the history of the NPT extension, interpersonal relationships …
 
Mock amphibious assaults, regular intrusions into Taiwan’s air defense zone and the militarization of artificial islands in the South China Sea are just some of the headlines that China’s military buildup has generated in recent years. Under the leadership of President Xi Jinping, China has combined advances in electronic warfare with state-of-the-…
 
Around the world in recent years, the enthusiastic embrace of globalization has given way to a backlash against liberalized trade. Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, that shift toward a generalized closure, both between and within nations, has become almost a default setting, on display in everything from governments’ rush to close border…
 
North Korea tested what appears to be a maneuverable reentry vehicle (MaRV), which could support a tactical nuclear mission and subvert ballistic missile defenses. Jeffrey and Aaron talk through the difference between a MaRV and a hypersonic glide vehicle, discuss the development of the DPRK missile industry, and walk through North Korea's tactical…
 
Earlier this month, senior U.S. and Chinese trade negotiators held a virtual round of talks to discuss concerns over the state of bilateral commercial ties. The meeting came after U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai said in public remarks that she would seek “frank conversations” with her Chinese counterpart “that will include discussion over C…
 
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