The independent resource on global security

Backgrounders

Establishing a regional security architecture in the Sahel

Zoë Gorman and Dr Grégory Chauzal

Deployed in late 2017, G5 Sahel (G5S) is a new joint security force among five Sahel states. This backgrounder outlines the structure of the G5S including its mandate and funding as well as parallel initiatives organized by member states.

Global and regional trends in multilateral peace operations, 2008–17

Timo Smit

SIPRI recently released new data on deployments and fatalities in multilateral peace operations when it launched the 2018 edition of the SIPRI Yearbook. This topical backgrounder expands on the events of 2017 and puts this data in a 10-year perspective. For the first time, SIPRI data on and analyses of personnel deployments in the previous year and decade is based on monthly instead of annual snapshot figures.

Russian and US policies on the INF Treaty endanger arms control

Dr Tytti Erästö and Dr Petr Topychkanov

The 1987 Treaty on the Elimination of Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles (INF Treaty) is on the verge of collapse. The controversy surrounding the treaty has built up over several years and worsened in early 2017 following accusations by the United States that Russia had begun to deploy the missiles during 2016.

SDG16.4 and the collection of data on illicit arms flows: Progress made but challenges ahead

Mark Bromley and Dr Marina Caparini

This backgrounder provides an overview of ongoing and potential work on measuring states’ achievement of goal 16.4. It begins by outlining the SDG process and how it has sought to overcome the challenges associated with measuring illicit arms flows. It then summarizes the data collection efforts to date and outlines some possible options for filling the gaps that exist. 

Time for Europe to put Iran’s missile programme in context

Dr Tytti Erästö

Given the transatlantic disagreement over the JCPOA, European countries might feel increasing pressure to focus on Iran’s ballistic missile activities in order to find common ground with the USA. But is the Western perspective on Iran’s missile programme based on an objective threat assessment, and is a punitive approach helpful in addressing it?

Increased international transparency in military spending is possible

Dr Nan Tian and Pieter D. Wezeman

On 20 October the First Committee of the United Nations General Assembly will discuss the annual report by the UN Secretary-General containing military expenditure data submitted by UN member states.

Will the EU and the USA part ways on the Iran deal?

Dr Tarja Cronberg and Dr Tytti Erästö

The Iran nuclear deal has demonstrated that diplomacy can triumph in nuclear non-proliferation: dialogue, rather than military action, can convince states to forgo pursuing nuclear weapons.

Improving South American military expenditure data

Dr Nan Tian and Diego Lopes da Silva

Off-budget expenditure is used to fund a large proportion of the arms purchases not captured in the current military expenditure data on South American countries. This topical backgrounder begins to address this issue, using Venezuela as the initial country case for improvement.

China's calculus on hypersonic glide

Dr Lora Saalman

Lora Saalman provides the context for how threat perceptions are manifested in China's hypersonic glide capabilities.

Balancing resource expectations in the Russian Far East

Jiayi Zhou

Jiayi Zhou discusses the penetration of Chinese labour migrants of Russia’s Far East Federal District (RFE), juxtaposing their commercial interests with local fears of land grabbing.