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Apr 19th
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This section lists a set of selected publications that we see as relevant to understand the current reality on global security and WMD.

We do not intend to list here all the available material, just some pieces which allow the reader to get a quick understanding of key concepts.


Towards a Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapons - ICAN
International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN)

February 2012

NPSGlobal Comment:
An interesting publication that highlights the importance of moving forward with the United Nation' proposition about the signing of a treaty to ban and eliminate nuclear weapons.

Three-quarters of all nations support UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's proposal for a treaty to outlaw and eliminate nuclear weapons, according to a study released by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN). Of the 146 nations to have declared their willingness to negotiate a new global disarmament pact, four maintain nuclear stockpiles: China, India, Pakistan and North Korea.

"Nuclear disarmament cannot continue at a snail's pace if we are to prevent the further spread and use of nuclear weapons. It must be accelerated, and the best way to achieve that is through a comprehensive nuclear disarmament treaty with timelines and benchmarks for eliminating nuclear stockpiles," said Tim Wright, the author of the report. "This must be the next big negotiating objective of the international community."

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A World Free of Nuclear Weapons - eJournal USA
U.S. Department of State
Bureau of International Information

February 2010

NPSGlobal Comment:
A very thorough publication that analyzes the topic of nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation from very different angles.

Since the first atomic bombs exploded in 1945, some have tried to rid the world of nuclear weapons. President Obama has embraced this goal with new vigor. This issue of eJournal USA examines the challenges to achieving nuclear disarmament. It conveys the hopes of some thinkers, and explains the doubts of others.

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Confronting Nuclear War: The role of Education, Religion and the Community
Bill Wickersham
Peace Studies Program, College of Arts and Science, University of Missouri-Columbia
Jared Gassen
School of Journalism, University of Missouri-Columbia

November 2009

NPSGlobal Comment:
Interesting approach to the topic. Such an action-oriented book is very useful for activists who are interested in engaging the whole community towards the goal of nuclear disarmament.

Nearly 20 years after the Cold War has ended, humankind is still faced with the genuine risk of instant extinction without representation. Even worse, this possibility could occur by accident as a single computer miscalculation or mechanical error could lead to a civilization-ending nuclear war.

The 9/11 attacks killed some 3,000 people causing enormous destruction, chaos, and grief. In comparison, a purposeful or accidental nuclear war between the U.S. and Russia would unquestionably kill tens of millions in the short-term, and untold millions in the long-term. Therefore, the threat of nuclear war is the most serious potential health, environmental, agricultural, educational and moral problem facing the human race.


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Inventory of International Nonproliferation Organizations and Regimes - 2009 Edition
James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies - Monterey Institute for International Studies - 2009 (free download)

NPSGlobal Comment:
Useful for students, scholars and professionals, the Inventory is a great tool to evaluate the status and diversity of the nonproliferation regime as well as a very comprehensive yet precise document that serves as a basic study guide.


The 2009 Edition conveniently consolidates all articles of the Inventory into one file.

The complete file will be updated every two years.

Click here to download the full document.






Eliminating Nuclear Threats - Report of the International Comission on Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament (ICNND)
International Comission on Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament (ICNND) - December 2009 (free download)

NPSGlobal's Comment:
One of the most thorough reports on nuclear threats and disarmament. A very important document for policy makers and the general public.

Eliminating nuclear threats is a matter of necessity, not choice. The world’s 23,000 nuclear weapons – many still deployed on high alert – can destroy life on this planet many times over. That the horror of Hiroshima and Nagasaki has not so far been repeated owes far more to luck than to good policy management.

Even with the U.S. and Russia showing welcome new leadership, the policy challenges are immense. Every state with nuclear weapons has to be persuaded to give them up. States without nuclear weapons have to neither want nor be able to acquire them. Terrorists must be stopped from getting anywhere near them. And rapidly expanding peaceful nuclear energy use must be security risk-free.

This report, the work of an independent commission of global experts sponsored by Australia and Japan, seeks to guide global policymakers through this maze. It comprehensively maps both opportunities and obstacles, and shapes its many recommendations into a clearly defined set of short, medium and longer term action agendas.

The tone throughout is analytical, measured and hard-headedly realistic. But the ultimate ideal is never lost sight of: so long as any nuclear weapons remain, the world can never be safe.

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Restoring the NPT: Essential Steps for 2010
Deepti Choubey- November 2009 (free download)

NPSGlobal's Comment:
A valuable document about some of the most current problems regarding disarmament and nonproliferation.

With growing fears about Iran and North Korea’s nuclear programs, conventional wisdom holds that the nonproliferation regime is on the verge of collapse. The upcoming 2010 Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference is an opportunity to strengthen the regime, but it is in danger of being overloaded by expectations.

Deepti Choubey identifies achievable goals for the Review Conference and outlines steps that nuclear-weapon states—including recommendations tailored for the United States—and non–nuclear-weapon states should take to avert failure.

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Global Fissile Material Report 2009
The International Panel on Fissile Materials -
October 2009 (free download)

NPSGlobal's Comment:
An amazing report done by top nuclear experts. A key document for understanding the current risks involving fissile materials.

The Global Fissile Material Report provides an annual review of worldwide stocks, production, and disposition of highly enriched uranium (HEU) and plutonium, the key ingredients in nuclear weapons, and assesses global efforts to secure and eliminate these materials. The control of these materials is crucial to nuclear disarmament, to halting the proliferation of nuclear weapons, and to ensuring that terrorists do not acquire nuclear weapons.

The 2009 Global Fissile Material Report, in conjunction with its predecessors, places discussion of these matters, more comprehensively and in greater depth than anywhere else, on a solid technical foundation. It moves the debate out of the realm of slogan and heartfelt wish into the cool light of scientific reality. They come to understand that underlying the weapons systems is the more fundamental fact of nuclear technology and that underlying that is the root of the whole dilemma, the scientific knowledge that makes the weapons and materials alike possible. Since the fundamental knowledge is destined to survive even the abolition of the weapons, it is necessary to ask, as the experts who have written this report do in myriad ways, how, over the long run, we can live with it.

The International Panel on Fissile Materials (IPFM) was founded in January 2006 and is an independent group of arms-control and nonproliferation experts from both nuclear weapon and non-nuclear weapon states. Its mission is to advance the technical basis for cooperative international policy initiatives to achieve these goals.

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A World Without Nuclear Weapons: End-State Issues
Sidney D. Drell and James Goodby 
Hoover Institution - Stanford University -  July 2009

NPSGlobal's Comment:
A must-read before the 2010 NPT Review. A hopeful, thought-provoking book.

This book deals with broad conceptual problems and with specific challenges enroute to, and in, the end state of a world without nuclear weapons: verification and transparency requirements; establishing conditions for strategic stability and for limiting reconstitution capabilities; and sustaining a favorable geopolitical context.

In comparison with the enormous resources poured into analyses of nuclear deterrence, the question of how to eliminate nuclear weapons and how to maintain peace and security afterwards has received relatively little serious analysis. And yet, as of April 2009, a nuclear-free world has become a commitment, not just an aspiration, undertaken jointly by the presidents of the United States and Russia: "We committed our two countries to achieving a nuclear free world..." (April 1, 2009). The idea must now be taken seriously by policy makers and deserves meticulous analysis and a thorough-going debate by experts and the public alike. This report addresses some of the issues calling for such debate and analysis:

• How far is it sensible for us to go in defining the path en route to zero at this early stage?

• What are the geopolitical conditions that would permit approaching zero?

• How should we think about nuclear deterrence after nuclear weapons have been eliminated?

• What general limits should be imposed on capabilities to reconstitute limited nuclear forces in order to maintain stability with "virtual nuclear deterrence"?

A world without nuclear weapons is a goal worth pursuing in itself. Beyond that, and most importantly, endeavoring to achieve that goal will also invigorate efforts to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons. But the road will not be an easy one. Real and serious obstacles lie ahead.

Full-text PDF versions of each chapter can be accessed below by clicking on the desired chapter title.

Foreword by George Shultz



Main text

Appendix 1: A World Free of Nuclear Weapons

Appendix 2: Toward a Nuclear-Free World

Appendix 3: Remarks by President Barack Obama, Hradcany Square, Prague, Czech Republic

Appendix 4: Floor Statement by Senator John McCain, “A World Without Nuclear Weapons”

About the Authors

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Securing the Bomb 2008
Matthew Bunn
Produced for NTI by the Project on Managing the Atom (MTA), Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University - November 2008  (free download)

NPSGlobal's Comment:
An alert about key actions still pending to reduce the risk of nuclear terrorism. To read it is a must.

Securing the Bomb 2008, Mathew Bunn, NTI & Harvard UniversityThe report details a broad range of progress in efforts to reduce the danger, including programs that have eliminated potential nuclear bomb material entirely from dozens of buildings and have substantially beefed up security for scores of sites. But it warns that major gaps in these efforts remain, and the risk of nuclear terrorism is still unacceptably high.

The study provides a frightening survey of incidents around the world, from an armed break-in at a South African site with hundreds of kilograms of highly enriched uranium (HEU), to a Russian colonel arrested for soliciting bribes to overlook violations of nuclear security rules, to increasing terrorist threats amid Pakistan’s ongoing strife, to weak security at many of the roughly 130 research reactors worldwide still using HEU fuel.

The study reports that U.S.-sponsored security upgrades have been completed for approximately 75 percent of the buildings in the former Soviet Union that contain weapons-usable nuclear material, and for roughly 65 percent of Russia’s nuclear warhead sites. Major issues remain, however, ranging from insider theft and corruption to chronic underinvestment in nuclear security. In much of the rest of the world, the effort is in much earlier stages.

The Department of Energy’s Global Threat Reduction Initiative has accelerated efforts to convert research reactors to low-enriched uranium that cannot be used in a nuclear bomb and has accelerated removals of HEU from vulnerable sites. But only about a quarter of these sites have had all of their HEU removed, and only about a quarter of the HEU-fueled research reactors have had security measures put in place that could defeat demonstrated terrorist and criminal threats. Current plans to take back U.S.- supplied HEU would not address more than three-quarters of the U.S.-supplied HEU abroad (most of it in wealthy countries).

The report also outlines specific steps that President-Elect Obama should take that, together, could drastically reduce the risk of nuclear terrorism.

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Global Fissile Material Report 2008. Scope and Verification of a Fissile Material (Cutoff) Treaty
The International Panel on Fissile Materials - September 2008 (free download)

NPSGlobal's Comment:
Wonderfully done by top nuclear experts. Essential to understand current risks involving fissile materials.

Global Fissile Material Report 2008 Scope and Verification of a Fissile Material (Cutoff) Treaty

The Global Fissile Material Report provides an annual review of worldwide stocks, production, and disposition of highly enriched uranium (HEU) and plutonium, the key ingredients in nuclear weapons, and assesses global efforts to secure and eliminate these materials. The control of these materials is crucial to nuclear disarmament, to halting the proliferation of nuclear weapons, and to ensuring that terrorists do not acquire nuclear weapons.

The special focus of the 2008 Global Fissile Material Report is the challenges of achieving a verifiable Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty, a long sought after global ban on the production of fissile materials for nuclear weapons.

A treaty banning the production of fissile materials for nuclear weapons is an essential requirement for constraining nuclear arms races and, in the longer term, achieving nuclear disarmament. The production of these materials is the most difficult step in making nuclear weapons.

To reduce this danger, it is essential to secure and to sharply reduce all stocks of highly enriched uranium and separated plutonium, the key materials in nuclear weapons, and to limit any further production.

The International Panel on Fissile Materials (IPFM) was founded in January 2006 and is an independent group of arms-control and nonproliferation experts from both nuclear weapon and non-nuclear weapon states. Its mission is to advance the technical basis for cooperative international policy initiatives to achieve these goals.

Read more..

Abolishing Nuclear Weapons
George Perkovich, James Acton
Adelphi Paper 396 - IISS - The International Institute for Strategic Studies - September 2008 (paid report)

NPSGlobal's Comment:
A sharp analysis about the feasibility of zero nuclear weapons, with proposals for intermediate steps.

Abolishing Nuclear Weapons, George Perkovich & James Acton
Nuclear disarmament is firmly back on the international agenda. But almost all current thinking on the subject is focused on the process of reducing the number of weapons from thousands to hundreds. In this new Adelphi Paper published by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), George Perkovich and James M. Acton examine the challenges that exist to abolishing nuclear weapons completely, and suggest what can be done now to start overcoming them.

The paper argues that the difficulties of ‘getting to zero’ must not preclude many steps being taken in that direction. It thus begins by examining steps that nuclear-armed states could take in cooperation with others to move towards a world in which the task of prohibiting nuclear weapons could be realistically envisaged.

The remainder of the paper focuses on the more distant prospect of prohibiting nuclear weapons, beginning with the challenge of verifying the transition from low numbers to zero. It moves on to examine how the civilian nuclear industry could be managed in a nuclear-weapons-free world so as to prevent rearmament. The paper then considers what political–security conditions would be required to make a nuclear-weapons ban enforceable and explores how enforcement might work in practice. Finally, it addresses the latent capability to produce nuclear weapons that would inevitably exist after abolition, and asks whether this is a barrier to disarmament, or whether it can be managed to meet the security needs of a world newly free of the bomb.


NPT Briefing Book (MCIS/CNS) - 2008 Edition
Published by the Mountbatten Centre for International Studies with the Center for Nonproliferation Studies of MIIS - June 2008 (free download)

NPSGlobal's Comment:
All you should know about the challenges related to the upcoming 2010 NPT's Review.

NPT Briefing Book (MCIS/CNS) - 2008 Edition


A comprehensive source of background and reference material on the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and its associated regime, available online at CNS Website.

The NPT Briefing Book (2008 Edition) is comprised of two parts:Part I contains introductory background information on the nuclear non-proliferation regime and nuclear energy issues, as well as summaries of the review process to date. Part II contains a compilation of treaties, agreements and documents relevant to the issues due to be discussed at the 2008 NPT Preparatory Committee for the 2010 NPT Review Conference.



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SIPRI Yearbook 2008
Armaments, Disarmament and International Security

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute - June 2008 (free download)

NPSGlobal's Comment:
A traditional comprehensive report from a top notch independent institution. Unavoidable reading.

SIPRI Yearbook 2008The SIPRI Yearbook was first published in 1969 and is now in its 39th edition.
SIPRI Yearbook 2008 presents a combination of original data in areas such as world military expenditure, international arms transfers, arms production, nuclear forces, major armed conflicts and multilateral peace operations with state-of-the-art analysis of important aspects of arms control, peace and international security. The Yearbook is written by both SIPRI researchers and invited outside experts.

Highlights of this 39th edition include special studies on:
• the human security approach to direct and structural violence
• integrating gender in post-conflict security sector reform
• US ballistic missile defence programmes
• nuclear forensic analysis
• international public health diplomacy and the global surveillance of avian influenza
along with coverage of developments during 2007 in:
• Euro-Atlantic security institutions and relationships
• armed conflicts, peace operations
• military expenditure
• arms production
• international arms transfers
• nuclear arms control and non-proliferation
• world nuclear forces and fissile material stocks
• reducing security threats from chemical and biological materials
• conventional arms control
• controls on security-related international transfers
• arms control and disarmament agreements
• international organizations and intergovernmentalbodies.


The Small Arms Trade
Rachel Stohl, Matthew Schroeder, and Dan Smith
The Arms Sales Monitoring Project - FAS - Federation of American Scentists - Feb 2007 (paid)

NPSGlobal's Comment:
The key issues of concerns about small arms at a glance. An appropriate kickoff to start monitoring the topic.

The Small Arms Trade, Stohl, Schroeder, Smith

Provides a gripping overview of the global impact of nearly 640 million small arms and light weapons – pistols, carbines, assault rifles, light machine guns and surface to air missiles – in circulation around the world. In the hands of irresponsible government armies, rebel groups, and terrorists, these weapons cause tremendous human suffering.

The wars that ravaged Central America and that continue in Afghanistan, Iraq, Liberia, the Sudan and dozens of other countries – wars in which millions of innocent men, women, and children have died and millions more have been deprived of economic opportunities — are fought primarily with small arms. Drug lords use them to eliminate competitors and assassinate government officials; abusive governments use them to suppress internal dissent and silence opposition; insurgents use them to kill soldiers on patrol; terrorists use them to elicit fear…the list goes on and on. “Small arms are the true weapons of individual destruction,” said Rachel Stohl, senior analyst at the World Security Institute’s Center for Defense Information. “Controlling these deadly weapons requires national governments, regional organizations, and international institutions to work cooperatively. They must simultaneously control supply, take existing weapons out of circulation, end misuse, and address demand.”

The “terrorist delight” – portable, guided missiles that have become a favorite weapon of terrorists and insurgents – are plentiful, easy to use, and extremely effective. Nearly a million missiles have been produced by over 20 countries, and thousands of those missiles are now outside of government control.

“Shoulder-fired missiles are a terrorist’s dream and a law enforcement nightmare,” said FAS analyst Matt Schroeder. “For less than the cost of a used car, a terrorist can cripple a commercial airliner, and with it the airline industry.” This guide reveals the disturbing reality behind the murky underworld of international arms trading. Full of insight and anticipating the danger of ever lighter and more powerful weapons, this is required reading for anyone who wishes to understand one of the key threats to development, prosperity and international peace in the world today.


Weapons of Terror
Freeing the World of Nuclear, Biological  and Chemical Arms

Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission Report  - June 2006 (free download available in all UN official languages)

NPSGlobal's Comment:
An essential book which puts together risks involving WMD and proposals to reduce them.

Weapons of Terror. Freeing the World of Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Arms. WMDCThe report states that Nuclear, biological and chemical arms are the most inhumane of all weapons. They are rightly called weapons of mass destruction and weapons of terror. Designed to terrify as well as destroy, these weapons can, in the hands of either states or terrorists, cause destruction on a vastly greater scale than any conventional weapons.

They have the potential to kill thousands and thousands of people in a single attack, and their effects may persist in the environment and in our bodies, in some cases indefinitely.

So long as any state has such weapons – especially nuclear arms – others will want them. So long as any such weapons remain in any state’s arsenal, there is a risk that they will one day be used, by design or accident. Any such use would be catastrophic.

The independent Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission, chaired by Dr Hans Blix, confronts this global challenge and presents 60 recommendations on what the world community – national governments and civil society – can and should do.


The Four Faces of Nuclear Terrorism
William C. Potter and Charles D. Ferguson
CNS - Center for Nonproliferation Studies - MIIS -  October 2005

NPSGlobal's Comment:
A report that keeps its conceptual validity intact across the time.

The Four Faces of Nuclear Terrorism. Potter, FErguson et al.

The report warns that substandard security at nuclear facilities in Europe, Central Asia, Russia, and Pakistan increases the risk of terrorists seizing highly enriched uranium to make crude, but devastating, nuclear explosives. Led by CNS Director William Potter and CNS Scientist-in-Residence Charles Ferguson, a team of researchers, including Leonard Spector, Amy Sands, and Fred Wehling, conducted a two-year study of the motivations and capabilities of terrorist organizations to carry out attacks using stolen nuclear weapons, to construct and detonate crude nuclear weapons known as improvised nuclear devices (INDs), to strike nuclear power plants and other nuclear facilities, and to build and use radiological weapons or "dirty bombs."

Dr. Potter and Dr. Ferguson state that there is a greater likelihood today than any time in the past three decades that nuclear weapons will actually be used. This stark assessment is based upon two premises: (1) non-state actors have emerged who seek nuclear weapons in order to use them; and (2) crude but real nuclear weapons, as distinct from radiological dispersal devices, are well within the technical reach of some terrorist organizations.

The book, funded by the Ploughshares Fund, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI), urges the United States and its international partners to take immediate steps to prevent the most catastrophic forms of nuclear terrorism and to reduce the consequences of the most likely nuclear terror attacks. Priority tasks include securing and reducing tactical nuclear warheads in Russia; securing, consolidating, and eliminating highly enriched uranium (HEU); and providing for secure storage and disposal of radioactive materials used in medicine, scientific research, and industry. The book also stresses the need to educate the public on the real risks of radiation exposure and radioactive contamination to help psychologically immunize citizens against fear of radiological attacks, which the researchers conclude are all but inevitable in the coming years.





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