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Related commentary: Dual–use and arms trade control

Arming autocracies: Arms transfers and the emerging Biden doctrine

Observers have voiced concern about what they perceive as a disconnect between the foreign policy rhetoric of the Biden administration and its foreign policy practice. This WritePeace blog explores what light SIPRI data on arms transfers can cast on the discussion.

The Missile Technology Control Regime at a crossroads

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.

To stay or not to stay: Will Europe’s new trade initiative make a difference for Iran?

‘Today we have taken a significant step forward in delivering our commitment under the Iran nuclear deal to preserve sanctions relief for the people of Iran.’ These were the words of Jeremy Hunt, Foreign Secretary of the UK, as he introduced the so-called Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), which is the latest attempt by the E3 (France, Germany and the UK) at preserving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, or the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action

3D-printable guns and why export controls on technical data matter

New developments in the 3D-printable gun case have revived the debate on the dangers of 3D-printing of firearms and the sharing of their electronic blueprints online. While these developments may only have a limited immediate impact on the proliferation of small arms, this approach has the potential to undermine controls on 3D printing and export controls on technical data more broadly.

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

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. 

Will pinning NATO’s security to missile defence lead to more cohesion?

A steady and incremental growth of ballistic missile capabilities is taking place fairly close to the perimeter of NATO as several countries improve the range and accuracy of their missiles. Technical barriers, such as export controls harmonized under the Missile Technology Control Regime, have not prevented these programmes from blossoming, and there is no meaningful international arms control effort to curb or reduce missile proliferation.