Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States are expanding the focus of their partnership to the development of advanced hypersonics.
On Jan. 3, the leaders of the five nuclear-armed members of the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) issued a rare joint statement on preventing nuclear war in which they affirmed, for the first time, the 1985 Reagan-Gorbachev maxim that “a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.”
The United Kingdom and the United States may now share naval nuclear propulsion information with Australia.
Last month, the UN First Committee, responsible for international security, approved a compromise resolution that sets into motion a new open-ended working group to develop rules of the road for military activities in space.
Twenty-six years ago, at the 1995 review conference on the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), the future of the treaty was not asssured. But the states-parties committed to the “complete elimination of nuclear weapons” and endorsed specific disarmament actions that led to the indefinite extension of this treaty. But since at least 2010, the nuclear disarmament process has stalled, and the NPT regime is once again at a crossroads.
From an Australian perspective, there are lots of questions to be answered about the Australia-UK-U.S. submarine deal.
The proposed AUKUS submarine plan would set a precedent of a nuclear-weapon state selling nuclear submarines to a non-weapon state. The use of highly enriched uranium (HEU) fuel is especially troublesome.
The controversial deal is designed to counter a more assertive China but many worry it could also weaken nonproliferation norms.
In recent years, the United Kingdom has touted itself as one of the most transparent of the five nuclear-armed states recognized by the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), and its leaders leaned heavily on the fact that it was reducing the size of its nuclear force.
A new defense policy review results in raising warhead ceiling by 44 percent.
UK Finalizes New Safeguards
Statement from the Arms Control Association