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The New Realities and Next Steps for Nuclear Disarmament and Security 

natoOn 15 November 2010,  the Federation of American Scientists and the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs hosted a breakfast roundtable discussion on:

New Realities and Next Steps for Nuclear Disarmament and Security: U.S. and European Perspectives

  • Impact of the recent elections for Obama's arms control agenda, including prospects for New START ratification
  • NATO nuclear issues on the eve of the NATO Summit
  • Recent developments in UK nuclear doctrine and UK-French nuclear cooperation

After the mid-term elections, the Obama administration is pushing for the Senate to ratify the New START U.S.-Russian nuclear arms control treaty. The previous START Treaty expired in 2009 and with each passing day without ratification, verification of the strategic nuclear forces is prevented and other countries are beginning to wonder what this means for nuclear arms control and U.S.-Russian relations.

A next step in nuclear arms control will be to verify and reduce non-strategic nuclear weapons. The forthcoming NATO Strategic Concept is widely expected to reaffirm a general role for nuclear weapons in support of the Alliance, but what will it say about non-strategic nuclear weapons (including the 150-200 U.S. bombs deployed in Europe) and decreasing the salience of nuclear weapons? Will NATO agree to conduct a Nuclear Posture Review?

Brief introductory remarks from Lord Browne of Ladyton and Dr. Andrew Semmel followed by Q&A and opportunities for informal discussion

Two prominent voices will lead a roundtable discussion highlighting domestic U.S. realities, likely next steps for U.S. policy and the potential international impact. Efforts to promote greater political leadership on these topics will be discussed. Participants will include senior Congressional staff members, current and former policymakers, and leading NGO experts.

Lord (Des) Browne of Ladyton was a member of the Labour Government in the UK from 2001 - 2008 and a Member of Parliament from 1997 - 2010. He served as Secretary of State for Defence 2006-08. Since 2008, he has worked on multilateral nuclear disarmament and improved non-proliferation and nuclear security with a growing number of senior political figures from the UK, across Europe and now worldwide. He is the Convenor of the Top Level Group of UK Parliamentarians for Multilateral Nuclear Disarmament and Non-Proliferation and the Acting Convenor of the European Leadership Network for the same issues. 

Dr. Andrew K. Semmel is a member of the board of directors of the Partnership for a Secure America. He served in the George W. Bush administration as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Nonproliferation Policy and Negotiations in what is now the International Security and Nonproliferation (ISN) bureau. Prior to that, he served from 1987 - 2001 on the personal staff of Senator Richard G. Lugar as his senior legislative assistant for foreign policy and before that as a professional staff member on the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.