Month: March 2007

The Trident Dispatches No. 6: Reaction to the vote

The Trident Dispatches No. 6: Reaction to the vote

After Prime Minister Tony Blair relied on Conservative leader David Cameron to force through the white paper on renewing Trident, MPs from several parties joined protesters outside the Houses of Parliament and vowed to continue the campaign to persuade the government to implement its treaty obligations and eliminate Britain's nuclear arsenal. In rallies in Edinburgh and London, they made clear that this was a long-term security issue, and it would have to be won by long-term, persistent campaigning.

Animals: The world’s best (and cheapest) biosensors

Animals: The world’s best (and cheapest) biosensors

While policy makers fret over the obstacles in developing biosensor technology, the best and cheapest biosensors are already distributed globally but generally ignored: They’re called animals. The United States has spent millions of dollars to develop biosensors that would detect bioterrorism or other deadly agents. But so far, the technology has not met expectations and questions have arisen as to whether additional spending is warranted for civilian applications.

The Trident Dispatches No. 5: Voting day

The Trident Dispatches No. 5: Voting day

On March 9, later than expected, the British government published the motion that it wants the House of Commons to vote on March 14: "This House supports the government's decision as set out in the white paper, 'The Future of the United Kingdom's Nuclear Deterrent' (CM6994), to take the steps necessary to maintain the U.K. minimum strategic nuclear deterrent beyond the life of the existing system and to take further steps towards meeting the U.K.'s disarmament responsibilities under Article VI of the [Nuclear] Non-Proliferation Treaty."

Defense spending: Embarrassment of riches

Defense spending: Embarrassment of riches

The United States seems to be experiencing a never-ending, rapidly growing demand for money from the armed services and Defense Department. On an upward slope since 2001, this demand now stands at unprecedented levels. If Congress provides all of the resources requested by Defense in its new budget, the United States will spend more on defense in comparable (constant) dollars than at any time since World War II.

Lessons from the Somalia bombing

Lessons from the Somalia bombing

When the U.S. military struck at suspected Al Qaeda terrorists in Somalia, it showed its ability to strike anywhere in the world. Unfortunately, the response afterward also showed that the United States still lacks a clear vision or strategy concerning how it should integrate “hard power” counterterrorism tactics with more “soft power” capabilities.

A nuclear-weapon-free world: Prohibition versus elimination

A nuclear-weapon-free world: Prohibition versus elimination

Today, a world free from nuclear weapons would be a safer world, and a United States within a nuclear-weapon-free world would be a safer country. Yet nuclear weapons cannot be uninvented. Two nuclear weapons used over Hiroshima and Nagasaki killed one-quarter of a million people. Since then, however, nuclear weapons have not been used in anger, and arguably, the existence of nuclear weapons has deterred major world wars since 1945. But during this time period, there have been about 100 armed conflicts.