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The future for nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament

A note by the Director (Ditchley 2010/10)

2 - 4 December 2010

This conference marked a return by Ditchley to disarmament issues for the first time in some years and to non-proliferation for the first time since early 2006.  It brought together experts from three groups who do not always meet: non-proliferation, disarmament, and peaceful use of nuclear power.  We also had wide international representation, despite the late loss of our Russian and French participants for a variety of reasons, including the unseasonably early severe winter weather.  The aim was to examine developments in a 2010 rich in new nuclear moves – including the outcome of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) review conference in May, the Washington conference on nuclear security, the signature of a new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) between the US and Russia, and President Obama’s Nuclear Posture Review, following his Prague speech - and to look at the road ahead. Our expert Chairman kept us focussed on the big picture, not least the issue of the desirability and feasibility of global zero for nuclear weapons, but we also looked in detail at the three pillars of the NPT, the prospects for follow-up to the review conference in the coming years, the risks of regional proliferation, and the danger from non-state actors.

The starting point was the NPT review conference and its concluding document, not least the commitment to a 2012 conference on the possibility of a Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). There was general agreement that the achievement of a consensus outcome, including an action plan covering all three pillars, had been surprisingly positive, even if that reflected low expectations before-hand.  Important commitments and norms had been reaffirmed.  Greater support for the Additional Protocol was particularly welcome.  The outcome had probably saved the NPT from a major crisis.  But the regime was still in intensive care, even if the ventilator had been turned off.  Some argued that the old problems and divisions had not really been overcome.  The implementation of the action plan was bound to be difficult.  The risk of arriving at the next Review conference in 2015 without further practical progress was high, which could be doubly damaging to NPT credibility. New thinking rather than repetition of the old talking points would be needed on all sides. Accountability for their actions applied to all groups, not just the P5.  If progress were to be made before 2015, the early appointment of effective facilitators in the key areas would be vital.  Benchmarks to measure progress would also be valuable.  Meanwhile there was an ever-present risk of too much focus on process over substance.

On the positive side, it was pointed out that the NPT had in fact been extraordinarily successful and resilient, particularly compared to the expectations of those who had negotiated it in 1968; that it continued to be adhered to by an extremely high proportion of the international community; that it provided real security for the non-nuclear weapons states by creating a norm that their neighbours should not build nuclear weapons; and that real proliferation had in fact been very limited so far, with several countries’ programmes successfully rolled back over the years.  The future risks from e.g. Iran and North Korea were obvious to all - the next forty years looked much more dangerous than the last forty - but this overall background should not be forgotten.  Nor should the fact that the treaty represented international law binding on all signatories, and enshrined the international norm of non-proliferation.  Abandoning it without a fully fledged replacement would be highly risky.

However a law which was not respected and seemed inequitable to many risked irrelevance.  We were in a post-cold-war period of opportunity to stop further large-scale proliferation which might not last for more than another ten or fifteen years.  There was a basic problem of enforcement of the NPT.  If compliance was absent, the NPT would rot from within.  The issue was not so much detection of violations, though the IAEA’s capacity could usefully be strengthened, but what happened next  i.e. effective adjudication and sanctions for violators.  The seven years which had elapsed between detection of Iran’s violations and any meaningful sanctions showed the weaknesses all too clearly.  Some major countries, it was argued, were clearly putting their narrower political or commercial interests before non-proliferation.  Against this, others suggested that the evidence had not always been as clear-cut as claimed, and that things were at least now heading in the right direction over sanctions on Iran.

The essentially discriminatory nature of the NPT continued to be seen as a major problem by many participants. Those close to the issues for a long time were perhaps in danger of ignoring this through over-familiarity.  The regime lacked legitimacy in the eyes of a part of the international community, and the perception of double standards undermined non-proliferation efforts overall.  The view that the world could be divided into good/responsible countries and bad/irresponsible countries, with different rights, was not acceptable to many.  The norm against proliferation could not be sustained unless there was also a norm against possession too. Others argued that this argument was overblown.  There was of course a problem of legitimacy and discrimination inherent in the regime but this flowed from the realities of the situation, which most countries understood, and was not fatal as long as reductions in the holdings of the major nuclear powers continued – this process itself created a degree of legitimacy.

The single biggest challenge in following up the NPT review conclusions would be making a success of the Middle East conference.  Expectations should not be set too high for what would inevitably need to be a series of meetings, not a one-off event.  For the moment, the discussion was more important than the end-game. Nevertheless forward movement of some kind would be needed.  It was strongly argued by some that Israel and the US could not be expected to make all the running.  Continuation of one-sided rhetoric focussed only on Israel would certainly not help.  Everyone would need to make a new effort.  Others pointed to the particular responsibility of the US in this situation, and to the likelihood that the US would get the blame for failure, however unwarranted.  The opportunities for Israel needed to be spelled out more clearly, for example normalisation of relationships in the area and containment of Syrian and Iranian ambitions in the nuclear field, as well as the increasing difficulty of maintaining current ambiguity.  But it was clear that this would be an uphill struggle at best, given Israel’s view of the threat to its existence.  In any case, serious political will on all sides would be required to make progress possible.

The prospects for progress on the Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT) were also examined.  Most saw little chance of an early breakthrough, despite its desirability.  But there were strong arguments for finding imaginative ways round the current impasse – ‘shaking the tree’ – i.e. looking for alternative fora to the Committee on Disarmament in Geneva, given the current Pakistani veto there, even if the process would have to go back to the CD in the end.  The P5 consultations which had started in London in 2010 and would be continued in Paris in 2011 were seen as a highly promising development, though only just getting off the starting blocks in terms of substance.  It would be good if the process of breaking down reliance on existing geographical and other groups such as the Non-Aligned Movement also gained further momentum, to allow new thinking in new formations.  In defence of the Pakistani position, it was argued that they were only reacting to what they inevitably saw as the unfairness of the US/India deal, while China and India were happily hiding behind the Pakistani veto.  There was also some questioning of the real relevance of the FMCT in today’s circumstances.  Where did it now fit into the non-proliferation and disarmament effort?

The prospects for progress on the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) were equally seen as poor.  If the new START treaty did not get through Congress (this was being negotiated as we met), what chance did the CTBT have, especially while the NPT non-signatories were not even really part of the discussion?  Others suggested that there was at least widespread agreement to the principles of the CTBT, and the struggle to move forward should not be abandoned.

The problem of how to bring the NPT non-signatories into some kind of non-proliferation and disarmament process or discussion was seen as fundamental to the prospects not only for the NPT, but also for non-proliferation and disarmament more widely.  It was also an extremely hard nut to crack.  If they were brought into the NPT in present circumstances it would break the treaty.  In any case there was little or no prospect of them wanting to join for the foreseeable future.  We should stop bashing our heads against that particular brick wall. But the longer they stayed outside, the more the non-proliferation regime was undermined.  There was no reason in principle why they could not be brought into the discussions about the FMCT and CTBT.  Discussing the big nuclear issues with them should not be seen as some kind of concession.  It was in everyone’s interest.

It was clear that practical non-proliferation efforts needed to go on whatever happened over the NPT.  If there were widespread proliferation, one day a nuclear weapon was likely to be used.  The NPT itself was not in any case the main instrument for current practical efforts.  There was an alphabet soup array of anti-proliferation instruments outside the NPT (PSI, Global Initiative, various Security Council Resolutions, etc), many of which were proving quite effective.  Combating proliferation should be the responsibility of all countries, not just a few, since it was clearly a common interest.

But the underlying drivers of proliferation needed to be addressed too.  One powerful argument for some was status in the world.  This needed to be addressed by demonstrating that it was possible to have major status in the world without being a nuclear power.  Changing the composition of the Security Council to break the link between permanent membership and possession of nuclear weapons could be an important signal here.  But it was equally if not more important to convince countries that they would not in practice be safer through holding nuclear weapons, even if they lived in a tough neighbourhood.  Security guarantees from outside powers, including in some cases nuclear guarantees, could play a part in this.  Tackling regional security issues effectively, for example in South Asia and the Middle East, was also vital.  There was also a role in some circumstances for extended deterrence i.e .threatening actual or would-be proliferators with nuclear retaliation if they ever used or threatened use of nuclear weapons themselves.

Sanctions to deal with proliferators had to remain an option.  They could be effective in some circumstances. Withdrawal from the NPT should for example be regarded as a threat to international peace and security, and dealt with accordingly.  But the weaknesses of sanctions in general applied here too.  The ultimate threat no doubt had to remain military intervention, however difficult and dangerous, in the hope of averting something worse at a later stage.  But the problems with this in the post-Iraq world needed no elaboration.  Incentives to countries to avoid proliferation were a good idea in theory but the original bargain of offering civil use no longer really applied. The deal was now non-proliferation in return for nuclear disarmament. Hence the importance of the latter: the two issues were umbilically linked.

The potential proliferation case most discussed at this conference was inevitably Iran, with North Korea seen as a different sort of case: a failing and desperate state crying for attention and help, rather than a rising and ambitious one.  While there was some support for tough action against Iran before the ‘unacceptable’ happened, most speakers counselled patience, care and renewed engagement with the Iranian authorities, despite all the past disappointments.  It was not clear whether military action could or would solve the problem, while the risks of it were very clear.  We were watching a slow-motion train-wreck which no-one quite knew how to stop.  In the longer run less anti-Western attitudes among the Iranian population than in many Muslim countries might hold some positive promise for political change, at least to a more responsible government less prone to wild and dangerous threats, even if the nuclear programme itself might not be abandoned.  Meanwhile current western strategy was widely seen as failing, and even playing into Iran’s hands.  Some talked of the need for a new effort at a ‘grand bargain’ with Iran.  The elements of this, beyond the offers made already, remained unclear, but could involve for example greater acceptance of Iran’s role as a major regional power, since that seemed to be a large element in Iranian motivation.  One of the real dangers of proliferation in both the Iranian and North Korean cases was the perception of ‘sanctuarisation’ i.e. a sense of impunity for bad behaviour.

We also discussed briefly the situation in South Asia, where the US/India pact had arguably made the local situation worse.  This was the area where the sense of grievance and discrimination was at its worst, where the dangers of miscalculation were greatest, and where ways had to be found to engage both India and Pakistan in nuclear discussions.  But the key in many ways was still progress in dealing with the underlying bilateral political issues.

This led us back to the issue of nuclear disarmament.  Further reductions in numbers of strategic holdings by the main players were seen as still useful, with some hope that over time holdings of so-called tactical nuclear weapons would decline naturally too, without need for a difficult negotiation, as delivery systems became obsolete and cost too much to replace.  These considerations were also likely to affect Russia, by some way the biggest holder of such weapons.  Ratification of new START would send a positive signal for future reduction efforts. Failure to ratify what was described by more than one participant as a ‘no-brainer’ of a treaty would send an equally negative signal.  There were also open questions of how low it would be possible to go.  What constituted a minimum deterrent for the US, Russia or China. 500 war-heads? 200?  This issue was complicated by fears about the effect of Ballistic Missile Defence and high precision conventional missile technology on countries’ ability to retain a second strike capability (though it was pointed out that no-one really believed the US was likely to mount a first strike).

The three main nuclear powers were of course by no means in the same position.  The US had openly espoused global zero, and was ready to go further down than 1500.  Russia on the other hand seemed in some ways more than ever wedded to its nuclear weapons, for status and deterrence reasons, apparently ready to use them or at least threaten their use in a wide range of circumstances, and possibly unwilling to go lower than 1500.  For its part, China had been increasing its inventory and wanted a minimum deterrence capacity.  It was argued by some that, despite this, China had relatively little interest in nuclear weapons as such.  The status argument was not particularly relevant, since its rising economic power already assured China of that.  Moreover China did not believe nuclear weapons were usable.  It was therefore unlikely to go much further in building up its stocks, and was also gradually taking an increasing interest in non-proliferation.  Others took a less benign view of Chinese policy, in particular its lack of transparency over numbers and doctrine, and apparent readiness to turn a blind eye to proliferation and e.g. North Korean behaviour.  For the UK and France, reducing further was not really the issue, but whether they wanted and could afford to remain military nuclear powers. Giving up that status was arguably harder than deciding not to go for it in the first place.

What was clear in any case was that a further reduction in numbers by the major nuclear powers was not enough in itself to convince the rest of the world that serious nuclear disarmament was likely or already under way. Declarations of intent and changes in doctrine and posture were equally important.  That was why transparency was so important for countries like Russia and China. 

On the broader front, some argued that, unless the existing NWS espoused the aim of a world without nuclear weapons, however distant and difficult, their views of other issues would not stand up to scrutiny, or have a chance of avoiding the charges of hypocrisy and double standards.  This would then inevitably complicate anti-proliferation efforts.  So the aim of total nuclear disarmament and progress towards it remained the essential bargain with NNWS, and the NWS had to take the lead even if others had responsibilities too.  Others took the view that proliferation had its own drivers which would not be removed by a global zero target, that global zero was unachievable, because of continuing major security risks in an imperfect world, and the huge compliance/verification challenges.  Could the risks on the way to zero or afterwards be managed successfully? The knowledge would continue to exist and break-out would always be possible.  Moreover the world was arguably safer because of  nuclear weapons since their deterrent power stopped problems escalating beyond a certain point, not just between the nuclear powers themselves but also for others covered by someone else’s nuclear umbrella, as in parts of Asia.  If we were to head in the direction of zero, the issue of the conventional balance would also have to be effectively addressed first, taking into account China as well as the US/Russia balance, unlike the CFE regime.  Otherwise the outcome might be simply to ‘make the world safe for conventional war’, which was presumably not the idea.

Meanwhile in the political circumstances of current Washington, President Obama’s espousal of global zero had complicated the selling to Congress of intermediate steps such as New START because many politicians and experts opposed the final objective.  In other words the ultimate vision was compromising the shorter term disarmament vision.  It was even suggested that a US President arguing for global zero could never be re-elected – and similar considerations might apply in other countries too.

For others, while the value of deterrence was recognised, the risks if it failed in any given situation were so huge that the world could never be considered safer because of nuclear weapons.  They were unlike other weapons because of their massive destructive power.  And global security should be seen as the hoped-for result of total nuclear disarmament, not a precondition for it.

This argument about the feasibility and desirability of total abolition, while the crucial one - the elephant in the room, as our chairman put it - was clearly not going to be resolved any time soon, even in the harmonious surroundings of Ditchley.  But there was luckily a middle position.  Deterrence was valuable for the foreseeable future but the risks meant the attempt to create the conditions for global zero was well worth pursuing.  In any case the road to zero went via continuing reductions, so there was no contradiction involved in current policies and no need to resolve the issue now, despite the short-term complications in Washington.

We also looked hard at the proliferation implications of the revival of civil nuclear programmes in much of the world.  The experts told us that there were continuing cost and technology problems, and issues about the availability in the short term of enough key components.  Pricing carbon properly was a crucial issue for economic viability.  But the current wave of interest was still likely to result in the building of at least 100 new plants in the next 20 years, and maybe double that (though a new serious accident anywhere would probably scupper the whole process).  Having a civil nuclear programme seemed to be acquiring a status symbolism of its own.  In an obvious sense, the more nuclear programmes there were, the greater the risks of proliferation – a country could develop a programme under full IAEA safeguards, and then, once it had the necessary technology and expertise, simply renounce its obligations.  However, in practice a civil power station itself was not a significant proliferation risk.  The real issues were with the front and back ends of the fuel cycle, enrichment and reprocessing.  If these could be kept out of the hands of individual countries eg by collective facilities and fuel banks, this would hugely reduce the risks.  Similarly, the nature of the technology being used made a big difference.  Light Water Reactors had become the technological norm for many whereas Heavy Water Reactors were less dangerous from a proliferation point of view, though they had other problems.  Low Enriched Uranium fuel was also much less risky than Highly Enriched Uranium.

Overall there was no magic solution to the proliferation problem posed by growing civil nuclear power.  It would simply have to be managed as well as possible.  One obvious valuable step would be to strengthen the capacity and power of the IAEA.  The risk of so-called second tier suppliers undermining existing safety and proliferation guidelines also needed to be tackled.  Universal adherence to the Amended Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Materials should be encouraged.  Development of a genuine safety and security culture was crucial. New ideas for small or modular reactors might pose new proliferation risks.  One idea worth pursuing was involving the commercial suppliers more closely in the NPT and proliferation discussions.

Finally we examined the risks of nuclear terrorism.  It was accepted that some terrorist groups remained determined to get hold of nuclear materials and use them.  The risks therefore had to be taken very seriously. The most likely form this might take in the short term would be a so-called dirty bomb using easily obtainable nuclear materials such as hospital waste.  In practice this would not be very destructive but it could easily sow panic, and also contaminate indefinitely a major landmark building.  Stealing a nuclear weapon was seen as extremely difficult, if not impossible, but it was not so impossible to imagine a rogue army unit defecting with one in, say, Pakistan.  There were also obvious questions about the possibility of nuclear materials being smuggled out gradually by inside sympathisers, or what might happen in the event of a revolutionary change of regime in a country.  On the positive side, nuclear security at most civil plants was seen as relatively good and the dissemination risks from Russia had now been largely addressed through remorseless effort and hard work. The hardest item to protect was of course knowledge.  

We asked why there had not so far been a major terrorist attack involving either nuclear materials, or indeed chemical or biological agents.  Good security and counter-terrorism work was seen as one answer.  It was also argued that there were powerful cultural and popular pressures, including in the Islamic world, against use of such indiscriminate and ‘dirty’ weapons.  But no-one had confidence that we could go on being lucky indefinitely. Maybe the terrorists were just looking for a ‘bigger bang’.  Hence the vital importance of the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, arguably the most significant nuclear event of the year, despite the other developments we had already talked about.

Finally we reflected on how we saw the overall prospects for the future.  A sober look at the facts and trends suggested pessimism about the likelihood of preventing further proliferation, about the prospects of nuclear disarmament going much further, and about the risks of non-state actors getting hold of nuclear materials.  But there was still a feeling that the issues could somehow be tackled and we could muddle through without disaster. One of the lessons of the cold war was that, faced with the possibility of using nuclear weapons, leaders had recognised the dangers and behaved cautiously and ‘rationally’.  There was no reason to think that existing nuclear powers necessarily had a monopoly on such rationality.  Nevertheless it was worrying that public concern about nuclear weapons had apparently declined so far.  It was vital to encourage greater and better-informed public and parliamentary debate on the nuclear issues, since they were still so fundamental to our future security and indeed existence.    

This Note reflects the Director's personal impressions of the conference.  No participant is in any way committed to its content or expression.


PARTICIPANTS

Chair  :  The Hon Franklin Miller KBE
Principal, The Scowcroft Group.  Formerly:  Senior Counselor, The Cohen Group;  Special Assistant to President George W Bush and Senior Director for Defense Policy and Arms Control, National Security Council Staff (2001-05);  US Department of Defense (1979-2001);  US Department of State (1977-79);  Chairman, NATO High Level Group (1996-2001);  Chairman, NATO Defense Group on Proliferation (1996-97).

AUSTRALIA/UNITED KINGDOM
Professor Trevor Findlay
William and Jeanie Barton Chair in International Affairs, Director, Canadian Centre for Treaty Compliance and Professor, Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, Carleton University, Ottawa;  Senior Fellow, Centre for International Governance Innovation, Waterloo, Ontario.

CANADA
Mr Paul Meyer

Canadian Foreign Service (1975-2010).  Formerly:  Director General Security and Intelligence Bureau, Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (2007-2010);  Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations and Conference on Disarmament, Geneva (2003-2007).

CHINA
Professor Han Hua

Director, Centre for Arms Control and Disarmament and Associate Professor, School of International Studies, Beijing.  Formerly:  Visiting Researcher:  School of International Affairs, Georgia Institute of Technology, USA.

Mr Li Hong
Secretary General, China Arms Control and Disarmament Association.  Formerly:  Arms control and disarmament issues, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China (2001-09).

EGYPT
Dr Sameh Aboul-Enein

Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs;  Minister Plenipotentiary/Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of Egypt, London (2007- );  Expert Member of Delegation to 2010 NPT Review Conference;  Visiting Lecturer on disarmament, Diplomatic Academy, London.  Author.

GERMANY
Ambassador Peter Gottwald
German Federal Government Commissioner for Arms Control and Disarmament (2008- ).  Formerly:  Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other International Organizations, Vienna (2006-08).

INDIA
Dr Priyanjali Malik

Independent Researcher and Author (2007- ).  Formerly:  Ian Taylor Scholar, Merton College, Oxford (2003-07);  International Institute for Strategic Studies (2001-03).

Professor R Rajaraman
Emeritus Professor of Theoretical Physics, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi;  Co-Chair, International Panel on Fissile Materials and Vice-President, Indian National Science Academy. 

NATO/UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Mr Guy Roberts
Deputy Assistant General, Weapons of Mass Destruction Policy and Director, Nuclear Policy Directorate, NATO (2005- ). 

PAKISTAN
Professor Pervez Hoodbhoy

Chairman and Professor of Nuclear Physics, Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad.  Author, Documentary Film Maker and Broadcaster.

Lt Gen Talat Masood (ret)
Military Scientist and Engineer;  Council Member, Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs.  Formerly:  Visiting Fellow, South Asia Program, Stimson Center, Washington DC;  Army of Pakistan (1951-90).

SWITZERLAND/IRAN
Dr Shahram Chubin

Non-resident Senior Associate, Carnegie Nuclear Policy Program, Geneva.  Formerly:  Director of Studies, Geneva Centre for Security Policy (1996-2009);  Consultant to US Department of Defense, RAND Corporation, United Nations.

TURKEY
Dr Mustafa Kibaroglu

Associate Professor (non-proliferation, arms control and disarmament matters) and Academic Advisor, NATO Centre of Excellence on Defence Against Terrorism, International Relations Department, Bilkent University, Ankara.

UNITED KINGDOM
Dr James Acton
Associate, Nuclear Policy Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Washington DC (2008- );  Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow;  Joint UK Member, International Panel on Fissile Materials.

Dr Ian Anthony
Research Coordinator and Head, Non-proliferation and Export Controls Project, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

The Rt Hon Sir Menzies Campbell CBE QC MP
Member of Parliament, Liberal Democrat, Fife North East (1987- );  Member, Intelligence and Security Committee (2010-), Foreign Affairs Select Committee (2008- ).  A Governor, The Ditchley Foundation.

Professor Michael Clarke
Director, Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies, London (2007- );  Senior Specialist Advisor to the House of Commons Defence Committee (1997- );  UK Member, United Nations Secretary-General’s Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters (2004- );  Visiting Professor of Defence Studies, King’s College, London.

The Lord Hannay of Chiswick GCMG CH
Independent Member, House of Lords (2001- );  Member, EU Select Committee, House of Lords (2002-06, 2008-).  Formerly:  Chairman, United Nations Association of the UK (2006-2010);  Member, UN Secretary-General’s High Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change (2003-04).  A Governor, The Ditchley Foundation.

Mr Paul Ingram
Executive Director, British American Security Information Council, London;  Host, Farsi-language broadcast on global security issues, Iranian News (IRINN).  Formerly:  Oxford City Councillor (1996-2002).

Mr Simon Manley CMG
Director, Defence and Strategic Threats, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), London (2007- ).

Mr Julian Miller CB
Deputy National Security Adviser, Cabinet Office.  Formerly:  Director, Strategy and Resources, Ministry of Defence; Chief of Assessments Staff, Cabinet Office.

Sir Richard Mottram GCB
Chairman:  Amey plc;  Defence Science and Technology Laboratory;  Member, International Advisory Board, GardaWorld;  Visiting Professor, London School of Economics.  Formerly:  Permanent Secretary, UK Civil Service (1992-2007).  A Governor and Vice Chairman of the Council of Management, The Ditchley Foundation.

Mr Richard Norton-Taylor
The Guardian (1973- );  Security Affairs Editor (1998- );  Contributor, BBC news and current affairs programmes;  Member, Royal United Services Institute.  Author.

Professor John Simpson OBE
Professor of International Relations, Division of Politics and International Relations, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.  Formerly:  Advisor to UK delegations to NPT Preparatory Committee Sessions and Review Conferences (1999-2010).

Mr Simon Webb CBE
Executive Director, The Nichols Group (2010- ).  Formerly:  Lessons of Crises, Cabinet Office (2009-10);  Chairman, International Transport Forum (2006-09).  A Director, Major Projects Association.  A Governor, The Ditchley Foundation.

UNITED KINGDOM/UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Lady Judge CBE
(Formerly The Hon Barbara Thomas) Director, NV Bekaert SA (Brussels);  Director, Statoil (Norway);  Director, Magna International (Canada), among others;  Chairman Emeritus, United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (2004-10).  A Governor and Member of the Council of Management, The Ditchley Foundation.

UNITED NATIONS
Mr Thomas Markram

Senior Political Affairs Officer, Weapons of Mass Destruction Branch, Office for Disarmament Affairs, United Nations, New York;  Secretary General, 2010 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on Nuclear Non-Proliferation.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Ambassador David Aaron
Director, RAND Center for Middle East Public Policy.  Formerly:  Senior International Adviser, Dorsey & Whitney LLP, Washington DC;  Under-Secretary of Commerce.  A Director, The American Ditchley Foundation.

The Honorable Dr William Bader
Professor, International History and Politics, Graduate Institute of International Studies, Geneva.  Formerly:  Vice President for Academic Affairs, National Defense University (2002-04);  Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs (1998-2001).  A Member, The Advisory Council, The American Ditchley Foundation.
 
Ambassador Susan Burk
US Department of State (1999- );  Special Representative of the President for Nuclear Nonproliferation (2009- ).

Dr Stephen Cohen
Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy Studies, The Brookings Institution, Washington
(1998- ).  Formerly:  Professor of Political Science and History, University of Illinois;  Member, Policy Planning Staff, US Department of State (1985-87).

Dr J D Crouch II
President, Technology Solutions Group, QinetiQ North America (2009- ).  Formerly:  Executive Vice President for Strategic Development, QinetiQ North America (2007-09);  Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor (2005-07).

Ms Karin Look
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance, US Department of State, Washington DC (2009- ).

Mr Walter Pincus
The Washington Post (1966- );  National Security Correspondent;  Consultant, The Washington Post Company.  Formerly:  Consultant, CBS News;  Executive Editor, The New Republic.