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Latest Policy Briefs and Reports

Cooperative Security, Arms Control and Disarmament

Nuclear-Armed Cruise Missiles: Towards a Global Ban? Russia’s Perspective

Policy Brief  No 24 - October, 2018

This analysis addresses Russia’s perspective regarding an eventual agreement on eliminating nuclear cruise missiles from strategic equations—in particular, as a means of maintaining the integrity of the INF Treaty.

Cooperative Security, Arms Control and Disarmament

The Presidential Nuclear Initiatives of 1991-1992

Policy Brief  No 23 - October, 2018

On 27 September 1991, U.S. President George H.W. Bush announced unprecedented changes to U.S. nuclear forces and practices. Known as the Presidential Nuclear Initiative (PNI), the measures were unilateral-reciprocal—the U.S. would act on its own, but also challenge the Soviet Union to take comparable steps. Bush declared additional PNI actions on 28 January 1992. Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev responded on 5 October 1991, and Russian President Yeltsin on 29 January 1992.i The U.S. nuclear stockpile fell by 50 percent between 1990 and 1994. No other period in U.S. nuclear history saw such a large numerical reduction in so short a time. The extent of Soviet and Russian implementation, however, remains uncertain. Given the current political and military environment between the U.S. and Russia, any return to the PNI approach seems unlikely.

Social Media and Peacebuilding

Social Media Impacts on Social & Political Goods: A Peacebuilding Perspective

Policy Brief  No 22 - October, 2018

The Toda Peace Institute and the Alliance for Peacebuilding are hosting a series of policy briefs discussing social media impacts on social and political goods. Over the next several months, top experts and thought leaders will provide insight into social media’s threats and opportunities. This first briefing provides a conceptual summary, and a set of policy recommendations to address the significant threats to social and political goods. The Full Report provides a more in-depth literature review and explanation of key themes.

Cooperative Security, Arms Control and Disarmament

The Presidential Nuclear Initiatives, 1991-1992: An Assessment of Past Performance and Future Relevance

Policy Brief  No 21 - October, 2018

The fabric of US-Russian nuclear arms reductions is unravelling. Among the indications of the tenuous nature of the current bilateral arms control regime are: Diminished prospects for extension of New START, which is set to expire in 2021. Increased probability that the 1987 INF Treaty will collapse under the weight of mutual accusations of noncompliance. Pursuit by both the United States and Russia of nuclear force modernisation. Uncertain prospects for continuation of bilateral consultations on strategic stability. Unusually vitriolic exchanges between the two former nonproliferation partners at the 2018 NPT Preparatory Committee meeting. At the same time, there have been occasional signs that arms control progress is not impossible. At a time when re-starting formal arms control negotiations is likely to meet major resistance, especially in the United States, it is worthwhile to recall less formal options for pursuing nuclear arms reductions. These include measures that can be undertaken by the Executive without Congressional/Parliamentary approval. The most relevant example of that approach is the 1991/1992 Presidential Nuclear Initiatives (PNIs), which resulted in deep reduction of tactical (non-strategic) nuclear weapons.

Climate Change and Conflict

Climate Change in Pacific Island Countries: A Review

Policy Brief  No 20 - September, 2018

This review investigates the climate change problem at a global level, specifically temperature limits and how much carbon we can burn globally to avoid reaching a point at which global temperature increase cannot be stopped by further human action due to ecological feed-back effects (such as polar ice melting and permafrost areas releasing methane). The Pacific Region is discussed in the global context, particularly the Pacific involvement in setting temperature limits and the specific vulnerabilities of the island nations. A review is given of the Pacific Island Countries Second National Communications (SNCs) and the Initial Nationally Determined Contribution or INDCs submitted to the Paris Agreement. It is concluded that the position of the Pacific nations is becoming more fragile every year with serious problems ahead.