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British Policy
South Asia
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Disarmament Diplomacy

Issue No. 28, July 1998

Editor's Introduction

The centrepiece of July's issue is the British Strategic Defence Review (SDR), the most extensive review of British defence policy for many years. Substantial extracts from the Review, and supporting documentation, are featured. In addition, six short papers consider different aspects of the Review's findings: Michael Clarke, Director of the Centre for Defence Studies, Paul Rogers, Head of Bradford University's Department of Peace Studies, and Rebecca Johnson, Executive Director of the Acronym Institute, while each welcoming aspects of the Review, all find fault with its baseline assumptions and analytic scope; from very different perspectives, Robert Green, Chair of the World Court Project in the UK, and Eric Grove of the University of Hull respond to the Review's defence of, and adjustments to, British nuclear policy and posture; and Lorna Richardson cautiously welcomes the Review's commitment to the use of military forces to provide humanitarian assistance and relief.

Rebecca Johnson also contributes a Commentary, weighing the international implications of the nuclear tests conducted in May by India and Pakistan. Emphasising the relationship between de-escalating tension in South Asia and promoting non-proliferation and disarmament globally, Johnson's central message is that "now, more than ever," it is "necessary to demonstrate the futility of security based on nuclear threat. "

Documents and Sources includes material on Brazil's ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT); US-Russian agreements on plutonium disposal and nuclear expertise; an investigation by Russia into nine organisations suspecting of providing proliferation-related equipment and technology to Iran; President Clinton's amendment of an Executive Order on proliferation-related exports; State Department testimony on the US-North Korea Framework Agreement; a conference in Oslo on small arms proliferation; and the IAEA's interim report to the Security Council on the status of Iraq's nuclear programme.

News Review includes coverage of many of these stories, plus an important meeting of Russia's Security Council to discuss nuclear weapons policy; the diplomatic aftermath to the nuclear tests in South Asia, and an alarming new study on the ballistic missile threat to the United States. The next issue of Disarmament Diplomacy will appear in late September.

© 1998 The Acronym Institute.

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