Policy Brief No.115 - September, 2021 • By Ramesh Thakur
On 16 September, at the end of a virtual summit by leaders of the three countries, Australia, the UK and the US announced the conclusion of the AUKUS security agreement that commits the UK and US to unprecedented technology transfer and material assistance to help Australia acquire a fleet of eight nuclear-propelled submarines. This Policy Brief unpacks the longer term national, bilateral, regional and global reverberations and ramifications of the shock announcement of the birth of AUKUS.
Policy Brief No.112 - July, 2021 • By Herbert Wulf
In several summit meetings in June, the US administration tried to convince European allies and other G7 members to rally for a containment strategy against China. While the three summits of the G7, NATO and US-EU demonstrated harmony, there remain reservations in Europe about subscribing to the confrontational course against China. This paper will look at the reactions in Europe and assess how successful the new US administration was in convincing the G7, NATO and the EU to join hands in countering China. While the US government is pushing hard for a joint effort, European leaders are balancing the different economic, technological, political and security interests.
Policy Brief No.96 - October, 2020 • By Joseph Yun and Frank Aum2
After three years of an erratic approach to North Korea, the Trump administration has made little progress in reducing the nuclear threat and enhancing peace and security on the Korean Peninsula. The Kim Jong Un regime not only maintains its stockpile of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, but these capabilities have grown both quantitatively and qualitatively. The next US president will have to address this grave situation. This Policy Brief examines what might work and outlines four steps on a practical path to building a new framework for peace and security on the Korean Peninsula. This article was first published in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists: https://thebulletin.org/2020/10/a-practical-approach-to-north-korea-for-the-next-us-president/
Policy Brief No.91 - September, 2020 • By Ramesh Thakur
The Cold War-era weapons governance structures are no longer fit for purpose in contemporary equations where nuclear dyads have morphed into nuclear chains. In an increasingly polycentric global order, the dyadic nuclear arms control structure can neither regulate nor constrain the choices of other nuclear-armed states. Yet growing risks point to the urgent need to institutionalise a nuclear restraint regime fit for purpose in the Asia–Pacific. In this Policy Brief, Ramesh Thakur explores the merits of adapting the Open Skies Treaty and the Incidents at Sea Agreement from the North Atlantic to the Asia–Pacific, and, in the reverse direction, of universalising a no-first-use of nuclear weapons policy from China and India to all nine nuclear-armed states.
Policy Brief No.85 - August, 2020 • By Yun Sun
Until very recently, China has been seen as an important and constructive force in the crisis management in South Asia in the event of an India-Pakistan military crisis. However, due to the shifting power balance in the region and the trilateral interactions between China, the United States and India, this view has become increasingly challenged. China’s Belt and Road investments and infrastructure development is also likely to draw it into third-party crisis management. Although China is interested in preventing a nuclear war, its interest in crisis management is constantly subject to its definition of its national interest in the changing regional power balance and great power dynamics. With the deteriorating U.S.-China relations and great power competition, China’s instinct is to preserve its strategic leverage. In addition, with the border skirmishes between China and India continuing to flare up, China itself might become a party to the regional conflict.