The independent resource on global security

Backgrounders

The Missile Technology Control Regime at a crossroads

Kolja Brockmann

The Missile Technology Control Regime is a cornerstone of states’ efforts to control the development, proliferation and use of missiles and other unmanned delivery systems. However, it faces serious structural, operational, membership and technology-related challenges that call for new initiatives and a strengthening of the regime’s resilience.

Time to factor missile defence into nuclear arms control talks

Dr Tytti Erästö and Matt Korda

Hopes run high that the possessors of the world’s largest nuclear arsenals—Russia and the United States—might finally resume negotiations on nuclear weapon reductions after over a decade of diplomatic deadlock.

20 years of US military aid to Afghanistan

Dr Nan Tian

This SIPRI Topical Backgrounder presents data on the military aid given by the USA to Afghanistan between 2001 and 2020.

Multilateral peace operations in Afghanistan between 2001 and 2021

Dr Claudia Pfeifer and Dr Jaïr van der Lijn

This SIPRI Topical Backgrounder gives an overview of the four multilateral peace operations that were active in Afghanistan between 2001 and 2021. It presents SIPRI data on the number and categories of international personnel deployed in each operation, drawn from the SIPRI Multilateral Peace Operations Database.

Transfers of major arms to Afghanistan between 2001 and 2020

Alexandra Kuimova and Siemon T. Wezeman

This SIPRI topical backgrounder gives an overview of known international flows of major arms to the Afghan armed forces between 2001 and 2020.

Social media: A tool for peace or conflict?

Dr Simone Bunse

Human rights activists have used social media technology to organize peaceful protests and defend democracy for more than a decade. More recently, peacebuilders have discovered it can be a tool to understand conflict dynamics and counter extremism better.

Estimating world nuclear forces: An overview and assessment of sources

Hans M. Kristensen and Matt Korda

The nuclear weapon inventories of the nine-nuclear armed states—the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, China, Israel and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK or North Korea)—are largely shrouded in secrecy: only three of the nine states have ever publicly declared the size of their nuclear stockpiles and in recent years there has been a notable shift towards a lower overall level of nuclear weapon-related transparency.

Multilateral peace operations in 2020: Developments and trends

Timo Smit

Ahead of the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers, SIPRI is releasing new data on multilateral peace operations. This topical backgrounder summarizes the key findings from the latest data and some of the most important developments in 2020.

Arms transfers to conflict zones: The case of Nagorno-Karabakh

Pieter D. Wezeman, Alexandra Kuimova and Jordan Smith

The conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh escalated in 2020 into a six-week war in which an estimated 5700 people died.

Why United Nations peace operations cannot ignore climate change

Dr Florian Krampe

On 23 February the United Nations (UN) Security Council will hold an open session on the topic of climate change and security. The security implications of climate change are highly diverse, crossing and linking different sectors of society.