The independent resource on global security


Global security norms and institutions: struggling with new and old uncertainties

Recent editions of the SIPRI Yearbook have pointed to persistent contemporary trends that define and shape developments in global and regional security, armaments and disarmament.

A tale of two summits: the Group of Eight and NATO

Dr Ian Anthony

Next month's NATO summit will be held in Chicago, in an election year. While it will be hard to find anyone willing to go on record as saying that the choice of location is intended to be a boost for President Obama, it's difficult to interpret it any other way. The NATO summit will take place at the same time as a meeting of leaders of the most industrialized countries, the Group of Eight (G8). Perhaps unfortunately for NATO, both the agenda and the format of the G8 summit make it the more interesting and important of the meetings.

Using nuclear forensics to increase international nuclear security cooperation

Vitaly Fedchenko

Nuclear forensic analysis (nuclear forensics) has gained prominence as a tool to detect, prevent and deter acts of nuclear terrorism and illicit trafficking of nuclear materials. However, the potential applications of nuclear forensics go beyond nuclear security and demonstrate that cooperation can be achieved in and between a number of international security frameworks.

Feb. 12: Overseas citizen protection: a growing challenge for China

Mathieu Duchâtel

This year, more than 60 million citizens of the People’s Republic of China will travel abroad, a sixfold increase since 2000. In addition, more than 5 million Chinese nationals work abroad, a figure sure to increase significantly in the years ahead. As recent events in Libya, Egypt and Sudan have shown, the growing number of Chinese citizens travelling and working overseas is forcing some unprecedented choices in China about the protection of its citizens on foreign shores. What changes can we expect in China’s government organization and in its foreign policy to deal with this new and growing challenge? What are the implications for security cooperation with major governments, such as in Europe or the United States?

Jan. 12: Nuclear arms programme charge against Iran is no sure thing

Robert E. Kelley

The conflict between Iran and the West just keeps heating up, with the Iranians announcing earlier this month that they had begun to enrich uranium at a second major facility, Fordo, located in a well-defended tunnel complex outside the city of Qom.

Riot control agents: improve knowledge to improve safety

Dr Sadik Toprak

A number of recent incidents have reinforced renewed concern regarding states' use of so-called riot control agents (RCAs)particularly tear gases and pepper sprayagainst civilians.

The Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention—approaching a mid-life crisis?

Dr John Hart

The 1972 Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC) is one of the most widely ratified multilateral treaties concerning armed conflict since the Geneva Conventions. Its core principle has not been challenged: no country argues that the use of biological weapons is legitimate.

Libya at the crossroads—the challenge of consolidating peace

The Libyan rebels have swept to almost certain victory over the regime of Muammar Gaddafi on a wave of international goodwill and support.

Oct. 11: The UN Security Council: relevance without reform?

Dr Ian Anthony

On the occasion of United Nations Day, 24 October, it seems only fair to counter some of the more pessimistic assessments of the UN's role in relation to global security.

Arctic cooperation must become more inclusive

Kristofer Bergh

July 2011 saw the lowest extent of Arctic sea ice for that month since satellite measurements began in 1979.