Stokes writes that the Chinese Communist Party’s Central Military Commission “maintains strict control over China’s operational nuclear warheads through a centralized storage and handling system managed by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Second Artillery.” In peacetime, warheads are managed through a system that is “separate and distinct” from PLA Second Artillery missile bases as well as apart from China’s system for keeping tabs on its civilian-use fissile materials. In addition, he says, the Second Artillery appears to control and manage nuclear warheads that could be used by the PLA’s air force and navy.
The Center for Security Studies (CSS) has released the inaugural publication, Strategic Trends 2010. Offering a concise annual analysis of major developments in world affairs, Strategic Trends’ primary focus is international security.
Along with the publication, the CSS has also launched the website Strategic Trends Analysis, where you will find both Strategic Trends and the complementary policy brief series CSS Analysis in Security Policy. The website also features graphics, audio and video podcasts, and a discussion forum on current security issues. You can also sign up for the Strategic Trends newsletter to learn about new publications.
Last year was noted as a year of crisis by our in-house policy experts, but 2010 remains a highly uncertain period for recovery. This is not only relates to economics, but broader security threats.
Geoeconomic shifts eastward, energy security, nuclear proliferation, a crisis of political conflict management, and US approaches toward South Asia and the Middle East will be most critical challenges hitting international headlines in 2010.
Sitting at the heart of these policy dilemmas remains a lack of effective global governance. We were presented with formidable challenges in 2009. This year, novel ideas have either been lacking or proven politically impossible to implement. With power gradually shifting from the West to the East, finding effective solutions to global governance questions will become ever more complex.
- Oliver Thränert analyzes the main issues to be discussed at the May 2010 Review Conference of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). According to him, the challenges of the Iranian and North Korean nuclear programs make it difficult to achieve agreement. He also point out to the discord among state parties over whether to
prioritize non-proliferation or disarmament.
- Stephen Aris examines the role of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in Central Asia. He argues that it is not as anti-western as you would think. Taking into account the growing importance of the SCO to the region, he writes, the West should not exclude a priori the idea of selective cooperation with the SCO on common security interests.
What are the effects of Iran’s domestic crisis on the nuclear issue?
Roland Popp, senior researcher at the CSS, argues that the weakening of the Iranian regime is unlikely to ease negotiations with Tehran over the nuclear issue.
You can download the paper here.
A ”mathematical genius”, statistics wonk, the man behind the escalation of the Vietnam War, the longest-serving US defense secretary, controversial World Bank president and nuclear disarmament advocate: Robert S. McNamara left big footprints in post-World War II international politics – for better and for worse. He died yesterday at the age of 93 at his Washington home. » More