Nuclear Policy News

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Nuclear Policy News – July 27, 2016

Nuclear Policy News – July 27, 2016

TOP NEWS

North Korea offering ‘no-strings’ nuclear talks: U.S. expert
The Japan Times

The Democrats Bomb Their Nuclear Test
Foreign Policy, Jeffrey Lewis

Nuclear Force Modernization Costs Much Less Than You Think
The National Interest, Loren Thompson

Let Them Make Nukes
Foreign Affairs, Doug Bandow

Latest advance in nuclear technology has a dark side
Albuquerque Journal

EAST ASIA

Additional nuke test depends 'entirely' on Washington
The Korea Times

North Korea's top diplomat blamed the United States Tuesday for dashing hopes for denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula, saying that whether or not there will be additional nuclear tests depends "entirely" on Washington's attitude.

North Korea offering ‘no-strings’ nuclear talks: U.S. expert
The Japan Times

North Korea may be offering nuclear talks pretty much without preconditions, a U.S. expert who took part in negotiations with Pyongyang has said. Former U.S. State Department North Korea specialist Robert Carlin said Pyongyang this month set out five preconditions that demand little of Washington but appear to be a serious offer to place its arsenal on the table.

U.S. urges N. Korea to refrain from destabilizing rhetoric
Yonhap News

The United States urged North Korea on Tuesday to refrain from destabilizing rhetoric and actions after Pyongyang's top diplomat threatened the country could conduct yet another nuclear test depending on the "U.S.' attitude."

MIDDLE EAST

NATO’s Largest Nuclear Storage Facility Carries Risks
IDN

The Incirlik air base in southeast Turkey – from which U.S. pilots launch bombing raids on ISIS forces in Syria – is home to about 50 B-61 hydrogen bombs. That makes it NATO’s largest nuclear storage facility. Recently, Incirlik was in the headlines because it appears it was one of the command centres of the attempted coup, meant to topple President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

What's NATO for, Anyway?
The Atlantic

“NATO has been an effective measure against nuclear proliferation.” Security guarantees may have helped prevent countries like Germany and Japan from seeking their own nuclear weapons (a legacy Trump has also questioned).

IAEA enhances cooperation with Russian radiation safety authorities
World Nuclear News

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has signed agreements with two Russian regulatory authorities to cooperate in enhancing the country's national radiation safety standards and the implementation of international safety standards. The agency signed a similar agreement with Rosatom last year.

SOUTH ASIA

Zardari rules out nuclear war between Pakistan and India
Hindustan Times

Former president Asif Ali Zardari has ruled out a nuclear war between Pakistan and India over the Kashmir issue, saying both sides wouldn’t risk using an atomic bomb as a “weapon of aggression”. “You can develop it, you can have it, you can display a photograph of it but nuclear weapons are no joke,” Zardari said in an interview with Russia Today channel.

The implications of a nuclearised South Asia
The Daily Times

For the betterment of the region, is hoped that balance of equilibrium is largely maintained in South Asia, which in turn would help to achieve overall stability. Peace and not war should be the goal of all countries of the region.

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

A Thaw in the US-New Zealand Nuclear Freeze
The Diplomat, Richard Fontaine

The visit of a U.S. Navy warship to New Zealand in November will mark the close of a 30 year period of security estrangement between two democratic nations. Announced during Vice President Joe Biden’s visit last week to Auckland, the change signals a final thaw in the anachronistic frostiness between Washington and Wellington.

OPINIONS

The Democrats Bomb Their Nuclear Test
Foreign Policy, Jeffrey Lewis

The Obama administration might not be in office when the bills come due, but someone will. We should all hope it’s Hillary Clinton, rather than her opponent, who will have to make the hard choices about where to modernize and where to economize. We shouldn’t burden her in the meantime with yet another Nuclear Posture Review.

Nuclear Force Modernization Costs Much Less Than You Think
The National Interest, Loren Thompson

Nuclear force modernization is expensive. However, if we place the cost of modernizing nuclear forces in a proper budgetary context, it is a surprisingly small amount to pay for averting the worst kind of conflict that mankind has ever devised -- a conflict that might spell the end of American democracy.

Let Them Make Nukes
Foreign Affairs, Doug Bandow

The possibility that two signatories of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty could express an interest in building weapons of mass destruction has raised some alarm among nonproliferation advocates. In reality, such a scenario is unlikely, particularly that it will happen “soon.” Although there is popular support in South Korea for acquiring nuclear weapons, there appears to be little backing among the elite.

No First Use: Don’t Do It, Mr. President!
Breaking Defense, Bob Butterworth

Don’t do it, Mr. President. Don’t promise that the US will never be the first to use nuclear weapons. And don’t give credence to that “hair trigger” fol-de-rol. De-alerting and no-first-use might appear to be good stabilizing measures, but in practice they seem sure to reduce security, undercut stability, and encourage Russia, China, and, eventually, the US to build larger nuclear arsenals.

SPECIAL INTEREST

The BBC's detailed plans for nuclear war
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

If you were in the shoes of a nation’s premier official news outlet, what would you do in case of nuclear attack? That was the question facing the British Broadcasting Corporation during the Cold War. So, the top brass decided to plan ahead and draw up an official "BBC War Book" that dealt with every contingency in advance, and spelled out the appropriate pre-programmed, canned response from a series of scenarios—sort of an FAQ.

Latest advance in nuclear technology has a dark side
Albuquerque Journal

Think about progress that happens by accident. Who’s to judge whether its eventual use is most likely for healing or killing? That’s the situation that followed a serendipitous discovery a few years ago. Chemists in Germany were looking for a way to separate compounds when they stumbled upon a finding that could lower the cost of making fuel for nuclear power – or lower the technological barriers to making nuclear weapons.

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News – July 26, 2016

Nuclear Policy News – July 26, 2016

TOP NEWS

Freezing North Korea’s Nuclear Program
38 North

Learning About Nuclear South Asia
Arms Control Wonk

The End of Nuclear Proliferation?
The National Interest

White House Mulls Big Nuclear Policy Changes, and Lawmakers Speak Up
Defense News

Trump’s NATO-Rattling Interview Has Delayed a Key Evolution in US Nuclear Posture
Defense One, Michael Krepon

EAST ASIA

N. Korea setting up missile defense system across country
Yonhap News

North Korea is setting up its own missile defense system, a think-tank report said Tuesday, in an apparent response to the planned deployment of an advanced U.S. anti-ballistic missile system in South Korea.

Freezing North Korea’s Nuclear Program
38 North

Joel Wit, 38 North co-founder and senior fellow at the US-Korea Institute at SAIS, discusses “Freezing North Korea’s Nuclear Program” at the Institute for Corean-American Studies (ICAS) Spring Symposium. In the videos below, he offers a comprehensive explanation of five myths regarding US policy toward North Korea, the reality of unification through regime change and thinking ahead on US policy.

N. Korea must prove sincerity before any denuclearization talks: diplomat
Yonhap News

North Korea must first prove it is sincere about denuclearization if the country wants to resume talks with South Korea and other neighbors, Seoul's point man on the long-stalled six-nation talks on denuclearizing the communist country said Tuesday.

N. Korea Warns US of 'Terrifying Price' Over Nuke Tensions
The New York Times

North Korea warned the United States on Tuesday that it will pay a "terrifying price" if the Korean Peninsula sinks into deeper tensions, stepping up its rhetoric hours after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry blasted Pyongyang for its nuclear program.

Regional security forum to kick off with NK nuke likely to dominate agenda
Yonhap News

Top diplomats from nearly 30 Asia-Pacific countries and regional powers will meet Tuesday to discuss regional security issues such as North Korea's nuclear weapons program.

U.S. tells China that anti-missile system not a threat
Reuters

South Korea's decision to deploy an advanced U.S. anti-missile defense system does not threaten China's security, a senior U.S. administration official said on Tuesday at the end of a visit to China by U.S. National Security Adviser Susan Rice.

MIDDLE EAST

The ghost of the Iranian nuclear deal
Russia Direct

Moscow will define its policy toward Tehran depending in the international environment in general and its relations with the West, in particular. It also remains to be seen how viable the Iranian nuclear deal will be in 2017, when a new president comes to power in the U.S., which Tehran still sees as a potential threat despite the lifting of sanctions.

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

Poland Eyes Expanded Missile Defense Amid Fear of Russia
Defense News

Poland’s ministry of defense has highlighted bolstering missile defense as one of the priorities of its ongoing military modernization in the years 2017 to 2022. The country has accelerated efforts to enhance its missile-defense capability following Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

SOUTH ASIA

Learning About Nuclear South Asia
Arms Control Wonk

The Stimson Center has been hard at work creating a free, open, online course on “Nuclear South Asia.” We’ve designed the course for students, teachers, strategic analysts and interested onlookers. The material is accessible, and it’s offered with the help of over sixty experts from India, Pakistan, and the United States.

MULTILATERAL ARMS CONTROL AND NONPROLIFERATION

The End of Nuclear Proliferation?
The National Interest

The time to act to keep nuclear proliferation a thing of the past is now. This includes renewing the push for the universal ratification of both the International Atomic Energy Agency Model Additional Protocol agreements and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. The era of nuclear proliferation is most likely over – but action is needed to keep it that way.

The peace boat Golden Rule sails into a new era of nuclear activism
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Sometimes it takes something brave and brazen to catch a nation’s attention, something like four men in a wooden boat setting sail for a nuclear test zone against government orders, or an unarmed nun breaking into the “Fort Knox of uranium,” to rouse a public that has been numbed by complacency and fear. If enough people do begin to think about peace and all of its possibilities, they might put wind in the sails of the nuclear disarmament movement.

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

White House Mulls Big Nuclear Policy Changes, and Lawmakers Speak Up
Defense News

As the clock ticks down on the final term of US President Barack Obama, who is believed to be reviewing a potential disarmament agenda for his last months in office, there has been a flurry of activity on Capitol Hill to try to influence the internal debate.

Senior Congressional Dems Urge Obama to Adopt No First Use
The National Interest

Senior Democratic members of the U.S. House of Representatives are urging President Barack Obama to radically reshape America’s nuclear posture. Among the suggestions is to declare unequivocally that the United States—which is the only nation ever to have used an atomic bomb during wartime—adopt a “no first use” policy and to eliminate America’s launch on warning hair-trigger alert for its nuclear arsenal.

Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate Marks 10 Years
FBI

If you can imagine a disaster involving explosives or the release of nuclear, biological, chemical, or radioactive material, there’s a pretty good chance a group of subject-matter experts within the FBI has built an elaborate scenario around it and tested how well emergency responders face up to it.

NMSU, NM Tech join Lockheed in its bid for Sandia contract
Albuquerque Journal

Lockheed Martin publicly upped the ante in its bid to continue running Sandia National Laboratories by announcing Monday that it had partnered with New Mexico State University, the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology and Indiana’s Purdue University in the bid it submitted earlier.

OPINIONS

Russia vs. America: Are Laser Weapons the Key to Victory?
The National Interest, Leonid Nersisyan

The idea of creating a laser missile defense system as a means of defense against intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) immediately comes to mind. But is this a good idea, and what is keeping it from being put into action?

White House Plans Nuclear Policy Reversals
Foreign Policy Initiative, David Adesnik

Seven years after President Obama unveiled his Prague agenda, it remains unclear whether he has learned that American concessions cannot reduce the threat of nuclear war if Russia, China, North Korea and others remain firmly committed to growing and modernizing their arsenals.

Human Rights in North Korea: The Real Key to Denuclearization
The Diplomat, Kim Tae-woo

Improving the human rights situation in North Korea, simply put, is the alpha and omega of resolving all issues surrounding the North, and concerns about its nuclear capability are only part of the equation. It is also a critical first step forward in achieving mutual prosperity and peaceful unification on the peninsula.

Facing North Korea's Nuclear Reality
Stratfor, Rodger Baker

Barring pre-emptive military action, a political crisis in North Korea, or a major accident that convinces Pyongyang that the risks of a nuclear program are not worth the reward, a nuclear-armed North Korea looks more and more inevitable. If the country will not back down from its nuclear program, the United States will need a different strategy to manage the new regional dynamics that it creates.

Trump’s NATO-Rattling Interview Has Delayed a Key Evolution in US Nuclear Posture
Defense One, Michael Krepon

At some point, the leader of the most powerful nation in the world will have the wisdom to announce that the sole purpose of U.S. nuclear weapons is to retaliate against their use by others. Sadly, Donald Trump’s rash words about a loosening commitment to NATO have made it harder to let go of a first-use posture – for now.

The Iran Deal Is Already Falling Apart
The National Interest, Mohammed Nuruzzaman

Some analysts claim that the deal has worked in that it has largely eliminated the dangers of war involving Iran, Israel and the United States, while others emphasize plugging “holes” to make the deal work. Viewed realistically, such optimistic notes hold little water, as the deal is gradually approaching its endpoint.

Why Nuclear War Could Start Over the Baltics
Scout, Loren Thompson

The possibility of nuclear war between America and Russia not only still exists, but is probably growing. And the place where it is most likely to begin is in a future military confrontation over three small Baltic states -- Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

Reminder: Puget Sound has a ton of nuclear weapons
Crosscut, Martha Baskin

The enormous amount of nuclear weaponry in Seattle’s backyard is no secret to industry analysts, military contractors, or public officials. But the general public is less informed, say those who initiated Ground Zero’s bus campaign. They describe the goals of the advertisements as to lift the veil of secrecy surrounding the naval base, and to re-ignite public debate about nuclear weapons in the U.S. arsenal.

SPECIAL INTEREST

'Pokémon GO' Found In Toxic Nuclear Plant In Japan: Authorities Say Stay Away
Forbes

According to Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), the controversial operator of the crippled nuclear reactors at Fukushima, ‘Pokémon GO’ characters have been discovered inside the grounds of Fukushima Daichi and Daini power plants. Faced with this new threat, the Nuclear Regulation Authority revealed that it issued a notice to electricity companies about enforcing security to prevent ‘Pokémon GO’ users from entering their facilities, including nuclear power plants.

America at The Atomic Crossroads
The New Yorker

The test series at Bikini was given a less esoteric but perhaps more fitting moniker: Operation Crossroads. That was what 1946 was—a crossroads, a year of choices about the character of the postwar, newly nuclear world.

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News – July 25, 2016

Nuclear Policy News – July 25, 2016

TOP NEWS

All Cards On the Table: First-Use of Nuclear Weapons
War on the Rocks

BBC staff offered chance to survive nuclear holocaust - but wives left at home
The Telegraph

S. Korea to hold bilateral talks with China at regional security meeting
Yonhap News

The Ground-Based Midcourse Defense System: Myths And Facts
Eurasia Review

How Secure are America's Nuclear Weapons in Europe?
The National Interest

EAST ASIA

Seoul, Washington won't share THAAD radar info with Japan
Yonhap News

South Korea and the United States will not share with Japan the information they obtain from the radar of an advanced anti-missile system that will be set up by late 2017, a government source said Monday.

Ruling party lawmaker advocates S. Korea's nuke armament
The Korea Times

A former floor leader of the ruling Saenuri Party said Monday that South Korea should also develop nuclear weapons if Pyongyang's provocation continues, adding the country's security is being threatened as U.S. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump openly spoke about the withdrawal of troops from the Korean Peninsula.

S. Korea to hold bilateral talks with China at regional security meeting
Yonhap News

South Korea's foreign minister said Sunday that he will hold bilateral talks with his Chinese counterpart on the sidelines of a regional security meeting where they will likely discuss North Korea's nuclear and other issues of mutual concerns.

Pro-Park lawmaker planning forum for nuclear armament
The Korea Times

Rep. Won Yoo-chul of the ruling Saenuri Party, a staunch loyalist of President Park Geun-hye, plans to open a forum next week seeking consensus among lawmakers for nuclear armament in the face of threats from North Korea.

China says South Korea's THAAD anti-missile decision harms foundation of trust
Reuters

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has criticized South Korea's move to deploy an advanced U.S. anti-missile defense system to counter threats from North Korea, saying it harmed the foundation of their mutual trust, news reports said on Monday.

NK to seek 'nuclear nation' status at ARF
The Korea Times

North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho is expected to call on the international community to accept his country as a nuclear state at the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) in Laos, officials here said Sunday.

MIDDLE EAST

How Saudi Arabia and Israel Are Bracing for the Iran Deal's Collapse
The National Interest

Iran defaulting on the JCPOA, either as breakout or a sneak-out, could radically reconfigure the equation. Germany’s intelligence agency recently produced a report detailing Iranian cheating strengthens such a plausible scenario. By doing so, Saudi Arabia may try and leverage its fledgling nuclear-energy project into military one. Israel may also try again to execute a preemptive strike or, at the very least, a massive clandestine operation.

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

How Secure are America's Nuclear Weapons in Europe?
The National Interest

With a new Administration coming this January, there is an opportunity to re-evaluate how the U.S. deploys its assets. Is the presence of U.S nukes in Europe really a meaningful way to reassure our allies that we are committed to their security, or is it instead creating an expensive and unnecessary risk to the region?

SOUTH ASIA

The Irony of NSG Canon
Modern Diplomacy

As the meeting concluded by 48 members of Nuclear Supplier Group (NSG), procedural hurdles persistently stay there despite hectic lobbying efforts by Indian Government. This still made it clear that opposition exists within. 

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

All Cards On the Table: First-Use of Nuclear Weapons
War on the Rocks

The next administration will have to consider whether nuclear weapons are meant solely to deter the adversarial use of nuclear weapons — to include a nuclear-induced electro-magnetic pulse attack. Until then, there is strong and compelling evidence that current doctrine works. The United States should retain its “ace in the hole” — the threat of first-use of nuclear weapons — as it anticipates future crises that will surely emerge.

The Ground-Based Midcourse Defense System: Myths And Facts
Eurasia Review

Periodically, an organization will publish a report or article critical of various elements of the U.S. ballistic missile defense system (BMDS). The purpose of this document is to offer a more balanced, fact-based assessment of the purpose of the system, the rigors of the testing program, and the confidence the system enjoys among Democratic and Republican officials and military experts.

OPINIONS

Countering the Rogue Nuclear Triad of China, Pakistan and North Korea
The Wire, Bharat Karnad

The policy of empowering its Asian friends may win New Delhi some genuine respect in the world. Then again, Beijing is, perhaps, banking on the proven timidity and diffidence of Indian rulers to escape the actions of a justly vengeful India (and an Asian counter-triad). The question, therefore, is whether the Indian government will be disruptive for a change in order to permanently reduce China strategically – a big enough goal for New Delhi to temper its risk-averse habit of mind.

Submarines and Beijing's South China Sea activities
The Straits Times

Macau-based military observer Antony Wong told the South China Morning Post (SCMP) that the picture of Type 094A, which has been closely monitored by the United States, was deliberately "leaked" as a warning to Washington. He was referring to an improved version of China's Type 094 Jin-class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine (SSBN).

The Mighty Dragon’s Nuclear Competence
New Delhi Times

China has maintained one of the least disputatious nuclear policies in the world since conducting its first nuclear test in 1964 and due to change in technology over the past two decades, it has forced Beijing to reassess its approach.

The divide over missile defense
The Japan Times

Cooperation among the U.S., South Korea and Japan in dealing with North Korea is important but won’t be enough to effectively stop Pyongyang’s provocative acts. Diplomatic efforts are needed to prevent differences with China and Russia on other problems from stifling international measures — in which all these countries play crucial parts — to halt North Korea’s missile and nuclear programs, and Japan needs to seize every diplomatic opportunity to do its share of the work.

SPECIAL INTEREST

BBC staff offered chance to survive nuclear holocaust - but wives left at home
The Telegraph

BBC employees were offered the chance to survive a nuclear holocaust by broadcasting from an underground bunker, but they could not tell their wives, newly released files reveal. The broadcaster secretly drew up plans during the Cold War for how it would run a Wartime Broadcasting System in the event of a major disaster.

Recalling START At Minuteman Missile National Historic Site
National Parks Traveler

Hard to believe, but it's been a quarter-century since the leaders of the United States and the Soviet Union sat down and agreed to reductions in nuclear weapons. For a look back at the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, stop by the Minuteman Missile National Historic Site in South Dakota late this month.

 

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News – July 22, 2016

Nuclear Policy News – July 22, 2016
 
TOP NEWS
Exclusive: Possible early North Korean nuclear site found
Power Restored to Turkey Base Used for US Airstrikes against ISIS
U.S. experts cautions against Obama administration adopting nuclear 'no-first use' doctrine
Nuclear Weapons in Turkey Are Destabilizing, But Not for The Reason You Think
THAAD Could Spark a Dangerous Arms Race in East Asia
EAST ASIA
North Korea denies its nuclear weapons pose threat to UK
A spokesman for the North Korean foreign ministry told the state-run Korea Central News Agency, "It is illogical that the DPRK's nuclear weapons pose a threat to the UK.
Exclusive: Possible early North Korean nuclear site found
A U.S. policy institute said it may have located a secret facility used by North Korea in the early stages of building its program to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons, which if confirmed would be critical to the success of any future nuclear deal, according to a report seen by Reuters on Thursday.
South Korean bank says North’s nuclear ambitions squeezed economy in 2015
North Korea’s economy last year is estimated to have contracted the most since 2007 as leader Kim Jong Un marshaled resources for nuclear tests and ballistic missile development. The gross domestic product of the totalitarian state fell 1.1 percent in 2015 from a year earlier, when it expanded 1 percent, according to calculations released by South Korea’s central bank Friday.
S. Korea seeks to highlight N. Korea's nuke threats at regional security meeting
South Korea will make a strong push to highlight the threats that North Korea's nuclear ambitions are posing both to the Asian region and the global community as a whole during the upcoming regional security meeting, observers and government officials said Friday.
MIDDLE EAST
Power Restored to Turkey Base Used for US Airstrikes against ISIS
Power was restored Friday to the base in Turkey used by U.S. and coalition forces for airstrikes against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, American officials said. At Incirlik, there are an estimated 50 B61 thermonuclear bombs stored there, amounting to a quarter of the U.S. stockpile of the weapon, which can be carried by F-16s and other aircraft.
The JCPOA is not a peace treaty with Iran
By claiming that Iran’s support for terrorism should prevent the U.S. from fulfilling its obligations under the JCPOA, critics of the nuclear accord are treating it as though it is a peace treaty, requiring friendly relations between signatories.  It is not, and none of the things we abhor about Iran’s foreign and domestic policy should cause us to withdraw from the JCPOA as long as Iran continues to comply with its terms.
RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE
The Big Boom: Nukes And NATO
It is unlikely that NATO intends to attack Russia, but the power differential between the U.S. and Russia is so great—a “colossal asymmetry,” Dmitri Trenin, head of the Carnegie Moscow Center, told the Financial Times—that the Russians have abandoned their “no first use” of nuclear weapons pledge.
SOUTH ASIA
No One Can Put Itself Opposite Proliferation Treaty: China On India's NSG Bid
Amid India's assertion that it will not sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) to gain entry into NSG, an adamant China on Thursday said "no country should or can put itself opposite the NPT".
For India's Bid For Nuclear Group NSG, Germany Had Suggested a Plan B
When India was snubbed by the Nuclear Suppliers Group or NSG, which refused in entry last month, Germany, which supported the application, tried to give India an alternative route into the 48-country bloc that controls sensitive nuclear technology.
U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY
U.S. experts cautions against Obama administration adopting nuclear 'no-first use' doctrine
The administration of U.S. President Barack Obama should not adopt a nuclear "no first use" doctrine at a time when North Korea increases its nuclear arsenal and threatens key U.S. allies South Korea and Japan, U.S. experts said Thursday.
Senators Urge Obama To Cancel Nuclear Cruise Missile
A group of ten Democratic senators have penned a letter to US President Barack Obama urging him to cancel development of a new nuclear-capable cruise missile, in what appears to be the next salvo from nonproliferation advocates on Capitol Hill against the weapon.
Money ‘Not An Issue’ for Future of Air Force Nuclear Deterrent
The Air Force will get the funding it needs for nuclear modernization, a top service official said July 21. “The money is not the issue,” Lt. Gen. Jack Weinstein, Air Force deputy chief of staff for strategic deterrence and nuclear integration, said at a speech hosted by the Air Force Association in Arlington, Virginia. “The president has always supported nuclear modernization in the budget.”
Pentagon pegs nuclear modernization tab at $350B to $450B over 20 years
The Defense Department estimates the cost to modernize U.S. nuclear forces will be between $350 billion and $450 billion over two decades -- a sum that does not include warhead acquisition nor operations cost -- providing a key data point in a policy debate that until now has been largely framed by cost estimates from think tanks and congressional auditors.
Allies Will Get Nuclear-Capable F-35s, USAF General Says
The F-35 fighter jets operated by partner nations and international customers, including Turkey, will eventually be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, a top Air Force general confirmed.
OPINIONS
Nuclear Weapons in Turkey Are Destabilizing, But Not for The Reason You Think
Following the failed coup attempt in Turkey last week, concerns have been raised about the safety and security of American nuclear weapons stored at Incirlik Air Force base. The debates about the B-61, however, have failed to account for how the United States’ “pick up and drop” approach to NATO’s nuclear weapons posture in Turkey could prompt a first strike — and therefore undermine the deterrent mission the bombs are supposed to support.
Why the U.S. Should Move Nukes Out of Turkey
A week ago, the question of whether the U.S. should continue to station nuclear missiles in Turkey was of interest only to a passel of national-security geeks and nonproliferation advocates. One failed coup later, the discussion has spread to CNN, the New Yorker, the New York Times, the Washington Post and elsewhere. Who's winning the debate?
Growing Threats Require Critical Upper Tier Missile Defense Capabilities
What if these were not tests or threats, and the rouge nation really launched conventional or nuclear ballistic missiles?  How would Japan, or South Korea, or for that matter, territories or sections of the United States defend themselves? This is one of just a few real world examples of why it is imperative our warfighters and our allies must be equipped with the most advanced anti-ballistic (upper tier) missile defense systems.
THAAD Could Spark a Dangerous Arms Race in East Asia
China’s alarm over the U.S.-South Korean decision to deploy the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system hints at the creeping threat of an arms race in East Asia. Beijing is deeply concerned that, while the missile defense system is intended to safeguard against North Korean nuclear and ballistic missiles, its deployment may also weaken China’s deterrent capabilities.
Theresa May is lying over Trident. Or at least I hope she is
Speaking in the House of Commons during the Trident debate, Mrs May said she was perfectly prepared to order her commanders to fire. She has to say that, of course. There’s no point in having a deterrent if the PM indicates in advance that she wouldn’t use it. Even so, locked inside those safes, what the top-secret letters actually say is a totally different matter.
Britain's nuclear-weapons future: no done deal
Take all three issues together – a potentially obsolete project, already in serious organisational trouble, and one that could face serious legal challenges – and any idea that the Trident replacement debate is over and done with may turn out to be very far from the truth.
Read more…

Nuclear Policy News – July 21, 2016

Nuclear Policy News – July 21, 2016

TOP NEWS

Learning About the Bomb is the Best Way to Reduce Nuclear Dangers
The Wire, Sameer Lalwani, Michael Krepon

North Korea’s Ballistic Missile Submarine: Probable Post-Missile Test Maintenance; Construction Hall Externally Complete
38 North

How Iran Ruined Nuclear Deals for Everyone
The National Interest

U.K. Defense Chief: The Brexit Doesn’t Lessen Our Military Might
Foreign Policy

Why The Baltic States Are Where Nuclear War Is Most Likely To Begin
The National Interest

EAST ASIA

North Korea’s Ballistic Missile Submarine: Probable Post-Missile Test Maintenance; Construction Hall Externally Complete
38 North

Recent commercial satellite imagery, acquired five days after the July 9 launch of the second KN-11 this year, shows post-test activity and provides a status update of the Sinpo South Shipyard, the homeport of North Korea’s GORAE-class ballistic missile submarine program.

South Korea's Park calls for unity over THAAD deployment
Reuters

South Korean President Park Geun-hye said on Thursday the move to deploy a THAAD missile defense system was "inevitable" because of a growing threat from North Korea and that division in the South over its deployment is what Pyongyang seeks.

MIDDLE EAST

How Iran Ruined Nuclear Deals for Everyone
The National Interest

Given the decade-long centrality of the Iran nuclear issue to international nonproliferation, the agreement will certainly influence future debates over nuclear nonproliferation and verification. Despite the deal’s clauses limiting Tehran’s ability to produce and stockpile fissile material, it sets a poor precedent for future agreements, and the manner in which it was negotiated sends the wrong message to would-be proliferators.

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

U.K. Defense Chief: The Brexit Doesn’t Lessen Our Military Might
Foreign Policy

Fallon and other British leaders have said the nuclear force represents an “insurance policy” against nuclear blackmail by rogue states or terrorists. The issue took on added political weight after the Brexit result, as advocates argued that keeping the arsenal is a way to uphold the country’s status as a major power.

Why The Baltic States Are Where Nuclear War Is Most Likely To Begin
The National Interest

While nuclear weapons could potentially be used in any number of future warfighting scenarios, there are multiple reasons to suspect that the greatest danger exists with regard to the three Baltic states.  Here are eight of those reasons.

SOUTH ASIA

Centre names China as country blocking India’s entry into Nuclear Suppliers Group
The Indian Express

India has for the first time named China as the country blocking its entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), with Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday stating that China had created “procedural hurdles” by particularly questioning how a non-NPT signatory could become a member.

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

U.S., New Zealand End Rift Over Nuclear-Weapons Policies
The Wall Street Journal

The U.S. will send a Navy warship to visit New Zealand for the first time in more than three decades, ending a long-running disagreement with South Pacific country over nuclear-weapons policies, as rising security jitters in Asia spur the two nations to boost military ties.

Air Force outlines plans for a more senior nuke force
Air Force Times

The Air Force is planning changes to the nuclear missileer career field to put more experienced officers into its billets. By 2027 or 2028, two out of every five nuclear missileers in the Air Force will be either a major or a lieutenant colonel, officials said in a Tuesday interview.

OPINIONS

Learning About the Bomb is the Best Way to Reduce Nuclear Dangers
The Wire, Sameer Lalwani, Michael Krepon

Nuclear education can yield multiple benefits for everyone. Wherever they turn to for knowledge and information, students, analysts and the interested general public need to view hard problems from a variety of perspectives and engage in balanced analysis.  We are confident that learning about the Bomb will help prompt new thinking on ways to reduce nuclear dangers and advance regional stability.

We May Be at a Greater Risk of Nuclear Catastrophe Than During the Cold War
Foreign Policy In Focus, Conn Hallinan

After disappearing from the radar for several decades, nukes are back, and the decision to modernize the U.S. arsenal will almost certainly kick off a nuclear arms race with Russia and China. Russia is already replacing its current ICBM force with the more powerful and long range “Sarmat” ICBM, and China is loading its own missiles with multiple warheads.

NATO’s Expansion Of Missile Defense System Is Common Threat To Iran And Russia
Eurasia Review, Alireza Noori

Although, Tehran and Moscow have different views on the “perception of threat” from the West, it seems that the goal of having a more sustainable framework through strengthening of institutionalism and closer cooperation between the two countries within such regional institutions as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and even the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) is quite achievable.

What India’s NSG application does not say?
The News International, Waseem Qutab

The 2008 India-exemption tainted the credibility of NSG, as an effective non-proliferation institution. With membership applications of India (and Pakistan) at its table, NSG has the golden opportunity to restore its credentials, by demanding stringent non-proliferation criteria for admission, rather than succumbing yet again under political pressure of few major powers.

Would You Authorise a Nuclear Strike Killing Hundreds of Thousands of People?
VICE, Salma Haidrani

Parliament was debating it, and Scottish National Party (SNP) MP George Kerevan asked the former home secretary: "Can we cut to the chase? Is she personally prepared to authorise a nuclear strike that can kill 100,000 innocent men, women and children?" Without batting an eyelid and with unnerving certainty, she stepped up to the despatch box and said, "Yes."

SPECIAL INTEREST

300 nuclear security agents to be deployed for Rio Olympics
Xinhua

Nearly 300 nuclear security experts will be deployed for the upcoming Olympic Games, Agencia Brasil reported on Wednesday.The nuclear security agents, trained in radiation detection, were also deployed at the 2014 World Cup of football.

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News – July 20, 2016

Nuclear Policy News – July 20, 2016

TOP NEWS

Are Nuclear Weapons Stored in Turkey Under Threat?
War on the Rocks, Cheryl Rofer

Is Russia Building a Nuclear Space Bomber?
The National Interest

Ground-Based Question Mark
Journal of the Air Force Association

Does America Need Mobile Nuclear Weapons?
The National Interest, James Hasik

The Day Five Men Willingly Stood Under a Nuclear Explosion
Popular Mechanics

EAST ASIA

North Korea: Missile launch a test for nuclear strike
Al Jazeera

North Korea said Wednesday its latest ballistic missile tests were personally ordered and monitored by supreme leader Kim Jong-un and simulated nuclear strikes on US bases in South Korea.   

Kim Jong Un inspected nuclear detonator, Pyongyang says
UPI

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un reportedly inspected nuclear explosion controls mounted on ballistic missiles launched early Tuesday. Pyongyang's state-controlled television network KCTV said Kim "once again inspected the nuclear explosion controls mounted on ballistic rockets, headed for target areas."

MIDDLE EAST

Iranian Speaker Says U.S. Undermining Nuclear Deal
RFE/RL

Ali Larijani, a hard-liner who helped to gain parliamentary approval last year for the historic nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers, said in parliament on July 20 that U.S. government officials are putting obstacles in the way of Iran being readmitted into the world economy.

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

Welcome to Russian Bombers 101
The National Interest

Though the quad-turboprop Tu-95 is an elderly design, the aircraft has been upgraded many times and carries modern long-range conventional and nuclear-tipped cruise missiles. The Russian bomber force showed off its capabilities over Syria—launching long-range Kh-101 cruise missiles while supporting out of area operations.

Is Russia Building a Nuclear Space Bomber?
The National Interest

A senior Russian officer claimed the Kremlin’s weaponeers are working on a nuclear-armed, orbital bomber that can lob megaton atomic bombs at any city on Earth just an hour or two after launch. Yes, you read that right.

SOUTH ASIA

 

India will never sign Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty: Sushma Swaraj in Lok Sabha
India Today

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj today said India will never sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), a condition set forth by China and a host of other nations as they barred India's attempt to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) last month.

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

Ground-Based Question Mark
Journal of the Air Force Association

America's nuclear deterrent is considered foundational to the nation’s defense, and the 1970’s-vintage Minuteman III fleet of 450 missiles, spread across silos in five states and three sprawling bases, is its cornerstone. That foundation, however, is crumbling. Defense officials warn that the Minuteman is long overdue for replacement, especially since Russia—even as its conventional forces saw ups and down over the last 25 years—has never stopped modernizing its strategic forces.

OPINIONS

Are Nuclear Weapons Stored in Turkey Under Threat?
War on the Rocks, Cheryl Rofer

If, somehow, the plotters manage to get the weapon off the base, they will still have to deal with the PAL. Perhaps it could be defeated within weeks or months, but some very determined and well-equipped people would likely be going after them still.  As such, they will be unlikely to have the time and care necessary to bypass the PAL and detonate the weapon or disassemble it for its fissile material.

Should the U.S. Pull Its Nuclear Weapons From Turkey?
The New York Times, Jeffrey Lewis, Kori Schake

NATO’s largest cache of nuclear weapons — American hydrogen bombs — is at the Incirlik air base in southeastern Turkey. Air operations from the base were suspended during last week’s coup raising questions about the security of the weapons. Should the United States pull its weapons from Turkey, and other NATO bases, to more secure locations?

Does America Need Mobile Nuclear Weapons?
The National Interest, James Hasik

One almost wholly new thought would be getting the land-based missiles on the road, to increase their deterrent effect and defensibility, while decreasing the cost of replacing the whole force.

Ballistic Missile Defense and Real Deterrence
Defense News, Eugene Fox, Stanley Orman

It was never the intention of those who understood the importance of a defense increasing the effectiveness of deterrence to settle for a limited capability, one that even now might not be fully effective against what we once called third-world nations. The world has changed but sadly the thinking of too many of our leaders remains locked into a past that is no longer relevant. Yes, a space-based defense might be costly, but without it we are only fooling ourselves that we have a defense.

In an age of 'smart' weapons, we can live without nukes
UPI, Ward Wilson

It is high time to challenge the nuclear mindset, to understand that nuclear weapons are clumsy, awful weapons rather than "ultimate" weapons, and to see that it's possible to break free from the dilemma. After all, if nuclear weapons are lousy weapons — too big for any practical purpose — then elimination is just common sense. And as we continue to develop "smart" weapons — tiny, accurate, discriminate drones, for example — a world without nuclear weapons looks increasingly possible.

SPECIAL INTEREST

This New Method Could ​Tell The Difference Between Fake Nukes and Real Ones
Popular Science

Nuclear weapons are like peanut butter in the kindergarten cafeteria of global politics. It's not allowed, but all the kids have it anyway, even though everyone is fully aware that it can kill someone. Oh, and if you try to stop the kids from bringing it, they throw temper tantrums.

The Day Five Men Willingly Stood Under a Nuclear Explosion
Popular Mechanics

At an altitude of 18,500 feet, a single Genie was launched. It traveled 2.6 miles before detonating in midair. Amazingly, five men had volunteered to stand directly under the detonation point. The men, Colonel Sidney Bruce, Lt. Colonel Frank P. Ball, Major Norman "Bodie" Bodinger, Major John Hughes, and Don Lutrell, stood their ground as a nuclear explosion went off 3.5 miles above their heads.

'The graveyard of the Earth': inside City 40, Russia's deadly nuclear secret
The Guardian

Ozersk, codenamed City 40, was the birthplace of the Soviet nuclear weapons programme. Now it is one of the most contaminated places on the planet – so why do so many residents still view it as a fenced-in paradise?

America’s Network of Secret Bomb Detectors
The Atlantic

Now, a mysterious new device may be coming to Arlington County, the wealthy part of Northern Virginia just outside of Washington, D.C. that’s home to the Pentagon, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and the CIA. According to the Defense Department, the new device is for bomb detection—but that’s about as much as they’d like anybody to know about it.

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News – July 19, 2016

Nuclear Policy News – July 19, 2016

TOP NEWS

Theresa May Wins Vote to Renew Britain’s Nuclear Program
The New York Times

UN: Iran complying with letter, not spirit, of nuclear deal
The Hill

America’s Nukes Aren’t Safe in Turkey Anymore
Foreign Policy, Jeffrey Lewis

New Cruise Missile Crucial To Nuclear Deterrence
Breaking Defense, Constance Baroudos, Peter Huessy

Does The President Really Have Access to The "Nuclear Codes?"
Popular Science

EAST ASIA

North Korea Fires 3 Missiles After U.S. and South Agree to Defense System
The New York Times

South Korea — North Korea fired three ballistic missiles on Tuesday, six days after South Korea revealed the location in the South where the United States planned to deploy an advanced missile defense system.

China Flies Nuclear-Capable Bomber Over Disputed Feature in South China Sea
The Diplomat

The Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) has flown a nuclear-capable long-range bomber over a disputed feature in the South China Sea, according to images published by China’s State Council Information Office on July 15.

MIDDLE EAST

UN: Iran complying with letter, not spirit, of nuclear deal
The Hill

Iran’s ballistic missile launches are inconsistent with the spirit of a nuclear deal, the United Nation’s secretary-general said in a report publicly released Monday, though he refrained from calling the launches an outright violation.

U.S., Russia criticize U.N. chief over Iran nuclear deal report
Reuters

The United States and Russia both criticized United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday for overstepping his mandate in a report on the implementation of a Security Council resolution backing a nuclear deal between Iran and world powers.

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

Theresa May Wins Vote to Renew Britain’s Nuclear Program
The New York Times

Prime Minister Theresa May, in her first major parliamentary appearance since taking office last week, won a vote on Monday to authorize and update Britain’s nuclear arsenal, a move intended to underscore the nation’s commitment to remaining a global power despite its recent decision to leave the European Union.

Trident nuclear weapons system explained
BBC

The House of Commons has backed the renewal of the UK's Trident nuclear weapons system by 472 votes to 117. But what exactly is the Trident system?

Russia poses biggest nuclear threat to UK says security think tank RUSI
International Business Times

Russia poses the greatest nuclear risk to the UK, a report has revealed, released on the day that parliament is debating whether to replace the Trident nuclear deterrent. The study by the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) also points out that China is the next most nuclear-capable country, while India, Pakistan and North Korea all have nuclear programmes that could possess the capability in the future to pose a risk to the UK.

SNP calls for Trident to be removed from Clyde
BBC

The Trident fleet is based at Faslane on the Clyde, but all Scottish MPs voted against renewal, apart from Scottish Secretary David Mundell. The SNP said Scotland's decision against renewal should be respected. It said the UK government should "remove these nuclear weapons of mass destruction from the Clyde".

SOUTH ASIA

GOP for securing Pakistan nuclear arsenal; calls India its ally
The Indian Express

Describing India as a “geopolitical ally” of the US, the Republican platform has urged New Delhi to protect all its religious communities from violence and discrimination and also called for securing nuclear arsenal of Pakistan.

MULTILATERAL ARMS CONTROL AND NONPROLIFERATION

Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Needs Stronger Political Push
IDN

If it were for Dr. Lassina Zerbo, Executive Secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), the treaty banning all nuclear tests would have entered into force “yesterday”. This view not only reflects what he terms in a lighter vein his “notoriously optimistic” perspective. It is also grounded in a series of signals underlining that “the discussion about ratification has moved to a new level” so that the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, better known by its acronym CTBT, should not remain an “unfinished business”.

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

Pentagon: New Rounds For Old Guns Could Change Missile Defense for Navy, Army
USNI News

The Pentagon’s office tasked with tweaking existing and developing military technology for new uses is pushing development of ammo meant for the electromagnetic railgun for use in existing naval guns and artillery pieces. The initiative will recast existing weapons as potential air defense platforms through a change in ammunition.

OPINIONS

America’s Nukes Aren’t Safe in Turkey Anymore
Foreign Policy, Jeffrey Lewis

Washington clearly feels it needs to reassure allies and partners who are more frightened by the fact that it made a diplomatic agreement with Tehran than they were by Iran’s unconstrained nuclear program. While I find that reasoning bizarre, I accept that withdrawing nuclear weapons to Germany or the U.K. might unnerve some partners in the Middle East. But, after the events of the past weekend, leaving them in place seems positively terrifying.

Stopping North Korean Missiles: An Alternative to THAAD
The Diplomat, Sukjoon Yoon

Unrestrained by international sanctions based on UNSC Resolution 2270, North Korea continues to test intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBMs) and claims to have miniaturized its nuclear warheads. On July 7, 2016 the South Korean government confirmed its intention to deploy the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system. Is this Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) system the best option available?

New Cruise Missile Crucial To Nuclear Deterrence
Breaking Defense, Constance Baroudos, Peter Huessy

Critics of US nuclear modernization claim the Long-Range Stand-Off (LRSO) weapon — an aircraft-launched nuclear cruise missile — can be eliminated without harming America’s security interests. But the LRSO provides America with a unique capability to deter adversaries from using nuclear force and projects credible power while keeping US forces safe.

Why would Britain ever launch a nuclear attack? And if we did what would happen?
Mirror, Adela Ryle

Very few people want to be responsible for the start of Armageddon, so the likelihood that Britain would initiate a nuclear war is slim to none. But if a rival nuclear power started to look truly threatening there's a chance the prime minister would start preparing for the worst.

SPECIAL INTEREST

Does The President Really Have Access to The "Nuclear Codes?"
Popular Science

Rather than "nuclear codes" that the President has memorized, there are several components in action when it comes time to destroy a country/continent/planet in one fell swoop: Codes and the Football.

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News – July 18, 2016

Nuclear Policy News – July 18, 2016

TOP NEWS

Inside the Plan to Undo the Iran Nuclear Deal
POLITICO

DOD experts talk nuclear modernization efforts
U.S. Air Force

The H-Bombs in Turkey
The New Yorker, Eric Schlosser

How to prevent theater nuclear warfare
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Masako Ikegami

Why Nuclear Modernization Is A Must-Have For America
Lexington Institute, Constance Baroudos

EAST ASIA

Strength of North Korea’s military waning as Kim turns to nuclear weapons and cyberwarfare
The Japan Times

North Korea’s military focus is increasingly on “asymmetric” capabilities such as nuclear weapons, ballistic missiles and cyberwarfare to deter North Korea’s main enemies, the United States and South Korea.

CIA director says THAAD deployment is US obligation
The Korea Times

The decision to place the THAAD missile defense system in South Korea was taken as part of U.S. obligations to defend the Asian ally from the "exceptionally irresponsible" leader Kim Jong-un of North Korea, the CIA chief was quoted as saying.

Pyongyang warns of nuclear attack
The Korea Times

North Korea warned of a nuclear missile attack on South Korea, Friday, in response to Seoul's decision to deploy a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) battery in Seongju, North Gyeongsang Province.

Activity at North Korean Nuclear Testing Site Raises Questions
The Diplomat

According to new satellite imagery analysis by Joe Bermudez at 38 North, the nuclear test site has seen an uptick in activity. Punggye-ri, which is located in North Korea’s North Hamgyong province, near the country’s eastern coast, has been the site of each of North Korea’s four underground nuclear tests to date.

S. Korea, U.S., Japan condemn N. Korea's nuclear, missile provocations
Yonhap News

The No. 2 diplomats from South Korea, the United States and Japan strongly condemned North Korea's nuclear and missile provocations as they agreed to step up cooperation for the North's denuclearization, Seoul's foreign ministry said Friday.

South Koreans protesting over U.S. missile defense plan block PM's bus
Reuters

South Koreans protesting against a plan to deploy a U.S. missile defense system in their district blocked a minibus carrying the prime minister for several hours on Friday, preventing him from leaving an office. The government announced on Wednesday that the southeastern county of Seongju had been chosen as the site for a Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) battery aimed at countering what it sees as the threat from North Korea's missile and nuclear program.

North Korea wants to talk denuclearization, U.S. analyst says
UPI

A former U.S. government official who negotiated with North Korea in the Clinton administration says Pyongyang raised the possibility of denuclearization last week – but that the statement may have been ignored in Washington.

MIDDLE EAST

Inside the Plan to Undo the Iran Nuclear Deal
POLITICO

Will the Iran deal see its second anniversary as well as its first? A longtime observer and practitioner of U.S. foreign policy, Aaron David Miller, can foresee an unhappy ending for the deal sparked both by Iran’s behavior and the drive in Washington to cut off Iran.

Turkey coup attempt raises fears over safety of US nuclear stockpile
The Guardian

There are thought to be a total of 180 B61 bombs in Europe, in Germany, Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands as well as Turkey. The tactical weapons are legacies of the cold war and largely seen as militarily obsolete. However, in the absence of a Nato consensus on removing them, they remain in place as tokens of US commitment to Europe’s defense.

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

MPs to vote on Trident nuclear weapons system renewal
BBC

In her first statement to parliament as prime minister, Theresa May will say it would be a "gross irresponsibility" for the UK to abandon its nuclear weapons. Labour is split, with Jeremy Corbyn opposing renewal, but the party's MPs will get a free vote on the issue. The SNP - which will oppose Trident renewal - had called for the vote to be delayed to allow "proper scrutiny".

SOUTH ASIA

India's secretive nuclear story: A tale of cheers and tears
The Economic Times, Pallava Bagla

Even as nuclear engineers cheer and celebrate the first full operation of India's largest nuclear power park at Kudankulam on nine other sites which house atomic reactors atomic scientists spend sleepless nights checking the reliability of systems to avoid any mishaps.

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

DOD experts talk nuclear modernization efforts
U.S. Air Force

Modernization and sustainment across the nuclear triad are essential to maintaining national and allied security, three Defense Department experts told Congress on July 14. DOD witnesses Robert Scher, the assistant secretary of defense for strategy, plans, and capabilities; Navy Adm. Cecil D. Haney, the commander of U.S. Strategic Command; and Air Force Gen. Robin Rand, the commander of Air Force Global Strike Command, testified before the House Armed Services Committee’s strategic forces subcommittee.

Military Warns Against Nuclear Policy Change
Washington Free Beacon

White House plans for a radical shift in U.S. nuclear policy came under fire from the military leaders who voiced concerns to Congress on Thursday about adopting a so-called no-first-use weapons policy.

OPINIONS

The H-Bombs in Turkey
The New Yorker, Eric Schlosser

Among the many questions still unanswered following Friday’s coup attempt in Turkey is one that has national-security implications for the United States and for the rest of the world: How secure are the American hydrogen bombs stored at a Turkish airbase?

Why Nuclear Modernization Is A Must-Have For America
Lexington Institute, Constance Baroudos

One of the biggest budget challenges the next presidential administration will face is how to fund the modernization of the strategic deterrent of bombers, submarines, and land-based missiles. While this “triad” protects the American homeland from nuclear attack and blackmail, it also prevents nuclear proliferation through extended deterrence because countries do not need to develop their own nuclear arsenals for protection.

Trident is a redundant technology that should not be replaced
The Guardian, Rebecca Johnson

Trident must be scrapped and its replacement cancelled. Britain should work with other UN nations to ban all nuclear weapons, and invest instead in good housing and conditions for our services and resources to provide for our collective security, including the best possible homes, health and education services for everyone.

How to prevent theater nuclear warfare
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Masako Ikegami

What really made the INF Treaty possible was bold political vision and a willingness to eliminate entire classes of weapons all at once. With a similar boldness of vision, non-strategic nuclear weapons and the missiles to carry them could disappear from Earth—just as surely as US and Soviet intermediate-range nuclear weapons once did.

Nuclear Weapons Are The Most Consequential Threat America Faces
The Huffington Post, Lee H. Hamilton

The world is filled with dangers, but nuclear weapons constitute a transcendental threat, capable of putting civilization at risk. We must not be complacent in the face of this threat or give up. We must acknowledge it and take steps to back away from the nuclear brink.

What’s at stake as British Parliament votes on the future of Trident nuclear weapons?
RT News

British Members of Parliament will vote on whether to renew or scrap the nation’s Trident nuclear weapons after a marathon debate in the House of Commons on Monday, with the pro-nukes faction expected to win out. Newly appointed PM Theresa May will open the seven-hour debate and is expected to back the renewal of Britain’s 24 hour at-sea deterrent to the hilt.

Using Trident would be illegal, so let’s phase it out
The Guardian, Geoffrey Robertson

Nuclear doom is nearer than most of us believe, experts warn. Britain must set a moral lead by becoming the first of the ‘big five’ powers to reduce its arsenal

Nuclear threat looms large
The News International, Rizwan Asghar

To overcome these broader challenges, it is time for disarmament activists across the globe to breathe new life into the efforts to revive global nuclear non-proliferation efforts and open the door to a nuclear weapons free world. Efforts to reduce and, ultimately, eliminate nuclear weapons should be focused at all stages of nuclear fuel cycle. Let’s wake up before it is too late and let’s stop terrorists from planning a nuclear nightmare.

Nuclear weapons mess: we’re all in it together but don’t know how to get out alive
The Washington Post, Richard Rhodes

Like it or not, this question of fundamental equity among nations is the paradox and the core of the nuclear dilemma. The report of the Canberra Commission on the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons stated it even more succinctly in 1996, calling it the Axiom of Nuclear Proliferation: “As long as any state has nuclear weapons, others will seek to acquire them.” 

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News – July 8, 2016

Nuclear Policy News – July 8, 2016

TOP NEWS

South Korea, U.S. to deploy THAAD missile defense, drawing China rebuke
Reuters

Iran missile tests 'not consistent' with nuclear deal spirit: U.N. report
Reuters

The Growing India-Pakistan-China Nuclear Rivalry
The Diplomat

The Future of China's Nuclear Missile Submarines: How Worried Should America Be?
The National Interest, Lyle J. Goldstein

The grave nuclear risk of North Korean instability
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Andrei Lankov

EAST ASIA

South Korea, U.S. to deploy THAAD missile defense, drawing China rebuke
Reuters

South Korea and the United States said on Friday they will deploy an advanced missile defense system in South Korea to counter a threat from North Korea, drawing sharp and swift protest from neighboring China.

Pentagon: THAAD won't be directed toward any third nations
Yonhap News

The U.S. Defense Department said Thursday that the THAAD missile defense system to be deployed to South Korea won't be directed towards any third party nations, other than defending against nuclear and missile threats from North Korea.

Kerry hopes for continued Chinese cooperation on North Korea
Thomson Reuters Foundation

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Thursday he hoped China would continue to cooperate with the United States on sanctions on North Korea, a day after Beijing criticized new U.S. sanctions targeting North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

MIDDLE EAST

Germany wary of Iran's nuclear, missile procurement efforts
AP

Germany's foreign ministry says the country is keeping close watch on Iran's attempts to procure nuclear and missile technology.

Iran missile tests 'not consistent' with nuclear deal spirit: U.N. report
Reuters

Iran's ballistic missile launches "are not consistent with the constructive spirit" of a nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers, but it is up to the United Nations Security Council to decide if they violated a resolution, U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon said in a confidential report seen by Reuters on Thursday.

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

150 rebel Labour MPs to defy Corbyn in imminent Trident vote
RT News

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is facing mounting pressure to resign as 150 rebel MPs prepare to vote against him on Britain’s nuclear deterrent later this month. The group, which represents two-thirds of Corbyn’s MPs, will ignore the leader’s call for Trident to be scrapped at a vote expected to be called by outgoing Prime Minister David Cameron on July 18.

SOUTH ASIA

The Growing India-Pakistan-China Nuclear Rivalry
The Diplomat

There is a concern that India’s force structure, rather than a realistic threat assessment, is driving the rethinking of nuclear doctrine toward a war-fighting scenario instead of pure deterrence. Officially, however, India’s government has proclaimed that there is no shift in the CMD doctrine and no abandonment of “no first use.”

MULTILATERAL ARMS CONTROL AND NONPROLIFERATION

Anniversary of World Court Advisory Opinion on the Use of Nuclear Weapons
Counter Punch

The International Court of Justice (“Court,” or “ICJ”), the world’s highest court, issued its Advisory Opinion on the legality of the threat or use of nuclear weapons on July 8, 1996. Thus, this week marks the 20th anniversary of that momentous opinion.

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

Air Force Doesn’t Need New Nuclear Cruise Missile, Lawmaker Says
Military.com

The top Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee made his case Wednesday for cutting the new nuclear cruise missile for the Air Force and reining in the entire effort to modernize the nation’s nuclear deterrent.

OPINIONS

The grave nuclear risk of North Korean instability
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Andrei Lankov

The "Korean question" is a bit like a dormant volcano. Nothing especially dramatic has happened for decades, and the status quo has now persisted for so long that people have grown used to it. But the sad, simple fact is that the status quo on the peninsula is inherently unstable.

The Future of China's Nuclear Missile Submarines: How Worried Should America Be?
The National Interest, Lyle J. Goldstein

Nowhere is China’s unique approach to military strategy as evident as in the nuclear strategy realm. It is true that Beijing’s initial restraint in creating its “minimal deterrent” during the 1960s and 1970s no doubt reflected severe resource constraints. However, there can be little doubt that if China sought a massive nuclear arsenal (on par with the United States and Russia), it could have it by now.

Can Russia and Iran Still Be Friends after the Nuclear Deal?
The National Interest, Mark N. Katz

Russian-Iranian cooperation did not just remain strong after the Iranian nuclear accord was agreed upon, but has actually increased since then. Nevertheless, ties between Moscow and Tehran are not completely harmonious.

“The Doomsday Forum”: Senior Military, Nuclear Weapons Officials Convene… America’s “$1 Trillion Nuclear Weapons Plan”. Take out Russia, Iran and North Korea?
The Center for Research on Globalization, Michel Chossudovsky

The World is at a dangerous crossroads. A new arms race has been launched. It’s planning horizon is thirty years. The money allocated by the US federal government to the development of America’s pre-emptive nuclear war arsenal is of the order of one trillion dollars, that is the preliminary estimate, an astronomical amount (which could be increased)

Will China ever allow India to be part of the Nuclear Suppliers Group?
The Express Tribune, K S Venkatacha

Before the start of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) plenary session in Seoul on June 24, 2016, the word was out that China would not be supporting India’s membership into the NSG. China had exhibited a similar reluctance towards India’s bid for a permanent seat in the UN Security Council.

Time to rethink NATO
The Hill, Medea Benjamin, Alice Slater

One can only wonder how, 25 years after the end of the Cold War, we find ourselves rattling our sabers, nuclear and conventional, in this untenable dilemma. Surely President Eisenhower’s prescient warning way back in 1961 that “we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex” is a potent warning for today, more than half a century later. The time has come to spread the word about the dangerous mischief NATO is causing on Russia’s border.

SPECIAL INTEREST

 

Fictional Video Shows Washington, D.C. Being Obliterated by a Nuclear Weapon
The National Interest, Harry J. Kazianis

The present national security environment America faces today is loaded with challenges as far as the eye can see—but it might just be the dangers we don’t see coming or fail to see, those that are so difficult to imagine, so gut wrenching and horrific to even contemplate, that a future calamity someday might take us by surprise and do the most harm of all.

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News – July 7, 2016

Nuclear Policy News – July 7, 2016

TOP NEWS

Iran’s Parchin Particles: Why Should Two Mites of Uranium Matter?
Foreign Policy, William Tobey

Why a Trump presidency could spell big trouble for Taiwan
Brookings Institution, Michael E. O’Hanlon

The Secret Nuclear History of Cat Videos
Motherboard/VICE

Video: Who are nuclear weapons scientists?
TEDx

U.S. Ports Want More Action on Dirty Bomb Prevention
The Maritime Executive

EAST ASIA

North Korea: U.S. forces must withdraw for denuclearization
UPI

North Korea said denuclearization could only be realized if U.S. forces withdraw from the peninsula, in a statement that also claimed the United States retains weapons of mass destruction in South Korea.

MIDDLE EAST

Iran threatens to restart nuclear program
The Washington Times

“We do not violate the [nuclear deal], but if the opposite party violates it and tears it apart as the U.S. presidential candidates state and threaten at present, then we will burn it,” Sayyed Ali Hosseini Khamenei was quoted as saying.

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

Brexit and Russia Make President Obama’s Last NATO Summit His Toughest Ever
TIME

Listening to the advice of the RAND Corporation might not do much to help. “If they decide to station more forces at our borders, that will complicate the dialogue, without question,” says Sivkov. “Russia will have to answer with measures of its own.” Those measures are most likely to involve positioning nuclear weapons closer to NATO’s borders, and they aren’t likely to make Europe feel any more secure.

SOUTH ASIA

UK Feared Nuclear War Between India, Pakistan In 2001: Iraq War Inquiry
NDTV

The UK feared an India-Pakistan nuclear war in the wake of the terror attack on the Indian Parliament in 2001 and tried to "persuade and cajole" the two countries to pull back from a military confrontation, according to evidence presented to an inquiry into the 2003 Iraq war made public today.

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

U.S. Ports Want More Action on Dirty Bomb Prevention
The Maritime Executive

The threat of terrorist smuggling at U.S. ports appears to be increasing, says the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA), who wants mechanisms to prevent cyber terrorism and illegal nuclear materials from being trafficked through ports intensified.

OPINIONS

Iran’s Parchin Particles: Why Should Two Mites of Uranium Matter?
Foreign Policy, William Tobey

If President Barack Obama and his administration — which has repeatedly downplayed the importance of past Iranian nuclear weapons activities — is revealing its suspicions, there is probably something to them. So why should two mites of uranium matter? There are three reasons.

Why a Trump presidency could spell big trouble for Taiwan
Brookings Institution, Michael E. O’Hanlon

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s idea to withdraw American forces from Asia—letting allies like Japan and South Korea fend for themselves, including possibly by acquiring nuclear weapons—is fundamentally unsound.

NATO’s missile defense plan must adapt to the real world
The Hill, Greg Thielmann

Given that missile defense has been a driver of tensions between Moscow and Washington since Ronald Reagan launched his Star Wars plan to render ballistic missiles “impotent and obsolete,” one of the best ways to achieve reassurance and avoid provocation would be to alter the existing timetable for deploying more capable missile defenses in Europe

Don't Ignore Iran
Forbes, Sir David Amess

The Iranian regime’s ideology, combined with their continued push towards nuclear weapons [via public ballistic missile tests], their unabated sewing of turmoil and sponsorship of terrorism in the region, along with their domestic abuses make them a particularly worrying case vis-à-vis inaction.

How nuclear deal has cooled Iran-US cyberwar
Al-Monitor, Narges Bajoghli

“That’s why the Iran deal has been so significant. These cyberattacks were happening because the United States and Iran distrusted each other and we were after their nuclear program, so they were retaliating in kind. The Iran deal has slowed all of this down and hopefully will ensure that we don’t have to be attacking each other in this fashion,”

SPECIAL INTEREST

The Secret Nuclear History of Cat Videos
Motherboard/VICE

So remember next time you’re streaming an old X-Files episode on Netflix that you’re actually using a mechanism designed to ensure that nuclear war could be reliably fought, even if it had to be done from a modified Boeing 707 after Washington was destroyed. The truth, in this case, is in there.

Video: Who are nuclear weapons scientists?
TEDx

Most people study nuclear warfare by studying the new developments in the weapons themselves. Hugh Gusterson takes a different approach. Instead of studying the weapons, he studies the nuclear scientists who created them. He took to the TEDxFoggyBottom stage to share what he learned.

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News – July 6, 2016

Nuclear Policy News – July 6, 2016

TOP NEWS

Chilcot Report on Iraq War Offers Devastating Critique of Tony Blair
The New York Times

Henry Kissinger’s Tactical-Nuclear Shadow
The New Yorker, Jeffrey Frank

Once Again:  Why a “No-First-Use” Policy is a Bad, Very Bad Idea
National Institute of Public Policy, Keith Payne

A-bomb survivors want silent prayer at Rio Games start
The Asahi Shimbun

Russia's Submarine Force Is Back: How Worried Should America Be?
The National Interest, Dave Majumdar

EAST ASIA

S. Korea, U.S. yet to determine when, where to deploy THAAD: defense ministry
The Korea Times

South Korea and the United States have yet to decide when and where to deploy the advanced American defense shield Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD), Seoul’s defense ministry said Tuesday, dismissing growing media speculation over an imminent deployment decision.

MIDDLE EAST

Iran nuclear deal one year later: reconsidering Western optimism
The Hill

Robert Kagan of the Brookings Institution made the case in 2010 that regime change in Tehran is the best nonproliferation policy. The one-year anniversary of the nuclear negotiations this July is a good time to conclude that regime change from within via the organized Iranian opposition is also the best hope for a more peaceful future in Iran.

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

Chilcot Report on Iraq War Offers Devastating Critique of Tony Blair
The New York Times

The report says: “At no stage was the hypothesis that Iraq might not have chemical, biological or nuclear weapons or programs identified and examined” by the Joint Intelligence Committee. “The assessed intelligence had not established beyond doubt either that Saddam Hussein had continued to produce chemical and biological weapons or that efforts to develop nuclear weapons continued,” the report said.

Spy agencies 'produced flawed information on Saddam's WMDs'
The Guardian

The intelligence community also assessed it would take Saddam four to five years to acquire enough fissile material to build a nuclear weapon but the Blair dossier claimed that it could achieve this within a year or two. The intelligence community assessment was that as long as sanctions against Iraq, imposed in the early 1990s, remained in place, it could not achieve a nuclear weapons capability.

‘Threat of 2nd Chernobyl’: Kiev’s new nuclear project puts Europe at risk, Greens warn
RT News

The construction of a spent nuclear fuel storage facility in Ukraine poses “significant safety risks for the whole of Europe” because of numerous rule and standards violations, Ukrainian environmentalists warn.

May demands Trident vote as anti-nuclear campaigners condemn Tory leadership favorite over stance
The National

Theresa May wants to commit the UK to the £167 billion Trident system to “boost her macho credibility”, anti-nuclear campaigners claim. The Tory leadership contender yesterday called for an urgent vote on replacing the ageing system, claiming it would be “sheer madness” to give it up in the face of threats posed by Russia and North Korea.

Kazakhstan to focus on nuclear issues, conflicts in UN Security Council — minister
TASS

Kazakhstan will focus on nuclear issues and the resolution of long-standing conflicts in Eurasia during its work in the UN Security Council in 2017-2018, Kazakhstani Foreign Minister Yerlan Idrisov said on Tuesday. The Foreign Ministry of Kazakhstan is working out a comprehensive plan of the republic’s work in the UN Security Council, the foreign minister said.

SOUTH ASIA

US, India conspiring against Pakistan, says Hafiz Saeed at Eid prayers in Lahore
The Times of India

Addressing a large gathering at the Gaddafi Stadium, the Lashkar-e-Taiba founder called for unity among Muslim community "to fail the design of infidels". He said international players are conspiring against Pakistan's nuclear programme.

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

Tester confident in ICBM site security
Great Falls Tribune

Tester said he is pushing to get the aging Huey fleet replaced, but that the 341st Missile Wing and other missile wings are maintaining nuclear site security throughout the 450-site complex.

OPINIONS

Henry Kissinger’s Tactical-Nuclear Shadow
The New Yorker, Jeffrey Frank

Seventy-one years after a relatively small nuclear device flattened Hiroshima, it would be helpful to hear the Presidential candidates address the concept of a small nuclear conflict and what they reckon would be an acceptable cost, for America or its enemies, in fighting in one. It would also be interesting to hear what Henry Kissinger might have to say.

Once Again:  Why a “No-First-Use” Policy is a Bad, Very Bad Idea
National Institute of Public Policy, Keith Payne

Now is not the time for US adoption of an NFU policy; the risks of doing so are too great.  Such was the unanimous conclusion of the bipartisan Congressional Strategic Posture Commission in its 2009 report: the United States, “should not abandon calculated ambiguity by adopting a policy of no-first-use,” because doing so “would be unsettling to some U.S. allies.  It would also undermine the potential contributions of nuclear weapons to the deterrence of attack by biological weapons.”

What an existential threat looks like
The Interpreter, Sam Roggeveen

Politicians often talk loosely about terrorism as an 'existential threat', which is a vast overstatement — terrorists don't have the capability to undermine the character and essential functions of advanced nation-states. Unless those terrorists have nuclear weapons.

Russia's Submarine Force Is Back: How Worried Should America Be?
The National Interest, Dave Majumdar

While Pentagon and U.S. Navy officials have been sounding the alarm about a resurgent Russian Navy, the Defense Department’s concerns might be somewhat overblown. Though analysts vary in their opinions, the current Russian submarine fleet is less than one-fifth of the size of the once mighty Soviet armada and perhaps as little as half of Moscow’s undersea force is operational at any one time.

Analysis of North Korea’s Musudan Missile Test–Part 2
Union of Concerned Scientists, David Wright

The lofted trajectory allowed North Korea to test the missile’s guidance and control system, and also to test the reentry heatshield under conditions similar to those the missile would experience during reentry on a standard 3,000 km range trajectory.

Nuclear Escalation Is Getting More Likely, It’s Time To Step Up Missile Defense
The Daily Caller, Peter Huessy

American and allied missile defense options would better protect the U.S. homeland from missile attacks, consistent with Roberts’ warning that our adversaries might escalate a conflict by threatening America’s cities. Deploying such missile defenses at home and in the European and Asian theater, if done artfully, is a policy of restraint, enhancing U.S. and allied security while providing policymakers with more options in responding to such a threat.

SPECIAL INTEREST

A-bomb survivors want silent prayer at Rio Games start
The Asahi Shimbun

Atomic bomb survivors living in Brazil are campaigning for a moment of silence for hibakusha during the Opening Ceremony of the upcoming Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

The Tests That Showed the World the Horrifying Power of Nuclear Weapons
Popular Mechanics

In the summer of 1946, just a year after World War II ended, the U.S. Navy conducted two atmospheric nuclear bomb tests at Bikini Atoll (the name would be immortalized in the two-piece bikini swimsuit). Here, the United States learned horrifying lessons about the newest weapon to enter its arsenal, confirming nukes as truly the worst weapon ever devised.

 

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News – July 5, 2016

Nuclear Policy News – July 5, 2016

TOP NEWS

THAAD talks entering final phase
The Korea Times

Fate of Nuclear Sub Base in Scotland Unclear after Brexit
Military.com

Nuclear deterrence and the Alliance in the 21st century
NATO

U.S., INTERPOL Hold Multilateral Dialogue on Nuclear Smuggling Prosecutions
U.S. Department of State

If Terrorists Got Hold of a Nuclear Weapon
The Economist

EAST ASIA

North Korea Accuses US Of Creating Nuclear War Threat Near Korean Peninsula
International Business Times

North Korea Tuesday criticized the United States for its joint military drills with South Korea held between June 13 and 20. Pyongyang’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), in a commentary, held Washington responsible for nuclear war threat on the Korean Peninsula.

S. Korea should be focused on sanctions on N. Korea: top diplomat
Yonhap News

South Korea should keep pressing North Korea to make Pyongyang abandon its nuclear ambitions, the country's top diplomat said Tuesday, adding that the focus should be placed on enforcing tough sanctions on Pyongyang until it leads to results.

THAAD talks entering final phase
The Korea Times

Frank Rose, one of U.S. negotiators for the possible deployment of a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) battery in Korea, is visiting China after meeting senior defense officials in Seoul, sources said Tuesday.

MIDDLE EAST

JCPOA ‘least costly way’ to meet national interests
MEHR News Agency

Iranian President Rouhani, hailing the efforts of officials in making the nuclear deal a reality, said the JCPOA was the least costly way for achieving goals and meeting national interests.

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

Trident replacement: Theresa May calls for Commons vote
BBC

The home secretary and Tory leadership candidate told the Daily Mail it would be "sheer madness" to give up the UK's nuclear deterrent because of the threat posed by countries including Russia. Renewing Trident would show Britain was "committed" to working with Nato allies after voting for Brexit, she added.

Fate of Nuclear Sub Base in Scotland Unclear after Brexit
Military.com

The White House cautiously expressed concern this week that the fallout from Brexit could lead to Scotland's independence from the United Kingdom and shutter a Trident nuclear submarine base that plays a key role in NATO deterrence against Russia.

SOUTH ASIA

If India expands nuclear arsenal, Pakistan will have to respond: Sartaj
The Nation

Advisor to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz has said that the strengthening US-India relations were not a matter of concern for Islamabad, as long as the co-operation between the two did not increase the strategic and conventional gap between the nuclear-armed rivals of the subcontinent.

Pakistan’s Nuclear Weapons
Next Big Future

Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal is widely regarded as designed to dissuade India from taking military action against Pakistan, but Islamabad’s expansion of its nuclear arsenal, development of new types of nuclear weapons, and adoption of a doctrine called “full spectrum deterrence” have led some observers to express concern about an increased risk of nuclear conflict between Pakistan and India, which also continues to expand its nuclear arsenal.

MULTILATERAL ARMS CONTROL AND NONPROLIFERATION

Nuclear deterrence and the Alliance in the 21st century
NATO

Major and regional powers are modernizing their nuclear forces and giving them a central role in their broader strategic posture. In such a context, deterrence is back and NATO needs to re-establish a robust and credible defense and deterrent vis-à-vis multiple and diverse threats, a topic which will be high on the agenda at NATO’s summit in Warsaw in early July. There is a strong nuclear component to this debate

IAEA team applauds Poland's progress with nuclear program
World Nuclear News

Poland is "taking all the necessary measures" to ensure its nuclear power program meets the highest standards of safety and security and best international practice, Józef Sobolewski, director of the nuclear energy department of the country's Ministry of Energy, has said.

U.S., INTERPOL Hold Multilateral Dialogue on Nuclear Smuggling Prosecutions
U.S. Department of State

INTERPOL and the U.S. Department of State co-hosted a Multilateral Dialogue on Nuclear Smuggling Prosecutions this week. The event, which was attended by law enforcement officials, scientific experts, prosecutors, and judges from Jordan, Turkey, and Azerbaijan, was intended to strengthen national and regional capabilities to investigate and prosecute cases of nuclear and radioactive materials smuggling.

Paper Details Laser-Based Nuclear Weapons Production Risks
Photonics

A new laser-based uranium enrichment technology may provide a hard-to-detect pathway to nuclear weapons production according to a paper in Science & Global Security by Ryan Snyder, a physicist with Princeton University's Program on Science and Global Security.

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

Joint Hearing to Focus on Preventing Nuclear Smuggling, Other Risks at U.S. Ports
American Journal of Transportation

The Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure’s Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation and the Committee on Homeland Security’s Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security will hold a joint hearing next week to examine the efforts of the Department of Homeland Security to prevent the smuggling of nuclear materials in U.S. ports and other port security risks.

New stealth bomber's cost is under the radar
CNN

Secrecy is the linchpin of a stealth aircraft's ability carry out strikes deep within enemy territory, but when it comes to the tax dollars that are going to be spent on the U.S. Air Force's new B-21 bomber, some members of Congress say it is time pull the curtain back.

OPINIONS

What does Brexit mean for Trident, intelligence and national security?
The Independent, Kim Sengupta

The former head of Nato forces in Europe held that “now it has chosen to become a relatively marginal economic player on the international stage” the UK will choose to show its standing, not least in the relationship with America, by demonstrating commitment to its own defense and that of allies. The problem with this is that becoming “a relatively marginal economic player” means there will be budget cuts and defense is one of the sectors likely to suffer.

Don’t Let Iran’s Progress on the Nuclear Deal Go to Waste
The New York Times

The bottom line: If Iranian officials decided to produce enough fissile material for a nuclear weapon, it would take at least one year; without the deal, it would have taken just two or three months.

Implications of India’s joining the Nuclear Suppliers Group
Global Risk Insights, Rayhan Chouglay

At the recent visit of India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the US in May 2016, the closer relationship between the US and India was clear. A logical step forward was further seen when US President Obama stated his approval for India to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). While this would be a great move for overall worldwide security and nuclear non-proliferation, there is a danger of greater tensions between India and Pakistan.

If Terrorists Got Hold of a Nuclear Weapon
The Economist

What if a jihadist group obtained an armed battlefield missile with the intention of triggering a nuclear exchange with India? About 20m people would be killed directly, but the massive firestorms would send up to 5m tonnes of smoke into the stratosphere, leading to a “nuclear winter” in which crops around the world failed and hundreds of millions died of starvation. The thing about nuclear nightmares is that they come in all shapes and sizes.

Nuclear time-bomb at the heart of Eurasia
The Journal of Turkish Weekly, Javid Alisgandarli

The prospect of highly enriched uranium and other nuclear and radioactive materials reaching the hands of terrorist organizations is deeply alarming, not only for the South Caucasus region but also for the world at large, given that the terrorists interested in obtaining these materials are often targeting Europe and the West in their acts of violence.

Rethinking deterrence stability
The News International, Rizwan Asghar

In a nutshell, the idea of nuclear deterrence is too fragile to be relied upon and the fear of massive nuclear retaliation is not always able to prevent countries from taking the course of action they want. The emerging threat of nuclear terrorism is also a question mark on the efficacy of nuclear deterrence in South Asia because terrorist groups hardly take well–thought-out rational decisions, as states are believed to take.

US military strategy could culminate in nuclear conflict
RT News, John Walsh

The problem with this US strategy is that it could easily spill over into a nuclear conflict. Then the US too would be reduced to radioactive rubble. The Western policy elite must be betting that Russia and China would not respond to a conventional war with a nuclear response.

 

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News – July 1, 2016

Nuclear Policy News – July 1, 2016

TOP NEWS

Satellite imagery suggests China is secretly punishing North Korea
The Washington Post

How to revitalize missile nonproliferation
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Nuclear Brexit
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Hugh Gusterson

How to Slow President Trump From Pushing The Nuclear Button
Defense One, Tom Collina

Confronting plutonium nationalism in Northeast Asia
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Fumihiko Yoshida

EAST ASIA

US ambassador: Carry out North Korea sanctions aggressively
The Indian Express

Countries need to step up enforcement of sanctions slapped on North Korea in March over ballistic missile tests aimed at furthering the Asian nation’s nuclear ambitions, the US ambassador to the United Nations said today.

Satellite imagery suggests China is secretly punishing North Korea
The Washington Post

Following North Korea’s latest nuclear test, in January, trade over the China-North Korea border dropped dramatically, according to newly released satellite imagery. The revelation has led experts to conclude that Beijing has been quietly punishing Kim by cutting off the flow of funds to his regime.

Namibia cuts ties with North Korea state firms: South Korea government, media
Reuters

Namibia has halted ties with two North Korean state-run companies, that had built a munitions factory and were involved in projects for its military, to comply with U.N. sanctions on Pyongyang, Namibian media and the South Korean government said.

MIDDLE EAST

One Year After Nuclear Deal, Senior US Figures to Attend Paris Rally For a ‘Free Iran’
CNS News

A group of prominent American figures, Republican and Democrat, are planning to make their way to Paris next weekend for what has become an annual show of strength for a major – and controversial – movement dedicated to the downfall of the regime in Tehran.

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

Ignore pro-nuclear spin: CND says scrapping Trident won’t destroy tens of thousands of jobs
RT News

Any threat to jobs resulting from a decision to scrap Britain’s Trident nuclear weapons system must be seen in its actual context and not through the prism of pro-nuclear spin, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) claims in a new report.

Trident missile debate on hold until new Conservative leader and PM has been chosen
Evening Standard

According to several defense sources, if David Cameron had won the Brexit referendum he planned to hold the debate as the “main gate” contract is placed to start building the four new giant Successor submarines that will contain the weapons. The debate is now not likely before the autumn and could be pushed back to the end of the year.

Putin Says Russia Won't Enter Arms Race with NATO
Military.com

NATO's military buildup near Russia's borders has upset military parity in Europe, President Vladimir Putin said Thursday, adding that Russia will take retaliatory measures without entering an arms race.

SOUTH ASIA

No fiasco at Seoul
The Indian Express

The Seoul plenary of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) ended on June 24 without a “conclusive” decision on India’s membership bid. This has sparked partisan sniping in India, where the Congress party has accused the Modi government of showing “desperation” in its diplomacy.

MULTILATERAL ARMS CONTROL AND NONPROLIFERATION

How to revitalize missile nonproliferation
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

So if technological advances are transforming ballistic and cruise missiles into useful, affordable assets in conventional warfare, and if a strong demand-side pull results, are the days of export and technology controls over? Is it time to stop worrying about such controls altogether? No; giving up on controls would not be wise.

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

Kodiak missile site will launch ballistic missile defense system tests
KTUU

The contract will support tests for MDA’s Terminal High Altitude Area Defense System, or THAAD. Campbell says two launches are planned for 2017 that will require a new gravel road, a couple gravel pads and the construction of a Life Support Area.

OPINIONS

Nuclear Brexit
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Hugh Gusterson

Those who voted for a “Brexit,” with the avowed goal of “making Britain great again,” may have set in motion a course of events that will result in Britain’s unilateral nuclear disarmament.

How to Slow President Trump From Pushing The Nuclear Button
Defense One, Tom Collina

In the brave new world of Trump, having nuclear weapons ready to go within minutes, on the orders of just one person, is not worth the risk.

Confronting plutonium nationalism in Northeast Asia
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Fumihiko Yoshida

Having the plutonium discussion between Japan and the United States is critically important; the Abe administration puts a high priority on security issues and is also very pro-United States. Now is the time to speak clearly on these security issues—before China and Japan lock themselves into a plutonium production rivalry that will make cooperation between them and South Korea on pressing issues, including North Korea’s nuclear program, all the more difficult to secure.

Why Brexit could hurt America's security and help Russia's
CNN, Zachary Cohen, Ryan Browne

Brexit's aftershocks are now rumbling through the distant capitals of Moscow and Washington. And the shake-up could be bad for U.S. strategic military interests and good for Russia's.

SPECIAL INTEREST

Chinese military unveils Rocket Force uniforms
CCTV

Six months ago, China’s Second Artillery Corps, responsible for the country’s nuclear weapons, changed its name to the PLA Rocket Force. The military has now unveiled the Rocket Force’s new uniforms.

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News – June 30, 2016

Nuclear Policy News – June 30, 2016

 

TOP NEWS

Blinken: US protection prevents Korea, Japan from going nuclear
The Korea Times

India Finally Joins Missile Technology Control Regime
The Diplomat

The double-edged sword: US nuclear command and control modernization
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Andrew Futter

Simon Ramo Dies at 103; Helped Develop ICBMs in the Cold War
The New York Times

Pakistan's new Shaheen-III MRBM uses Chinese transporter, says source
IHS Jane’s 360

EAST ASIA

North Korea Blames US For Pyongyang’s Nuclear Push Against Washington’s ‘Hostile Acts’
International Business Times

North Korea accused the United States of continuing its “hostile acts” against the reclusive state and pressuring it to fortify its nuclear deterrence against Washington, state-run media reported Wednesday. The reaction comes one week after Pyongyang launched two intermediate-range ballistic missiles.

Blinken: US protection prevents Korea, Japan from going nuclear
The Korea Times

South Korea and Japan would seek to develop their own nuclear weapons if the U.S. ends protection of the Asian allies, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken said Wednesday.

N. Korea pledges to bolster nuke deterrence against U.S.
The Korea Times

North Korea on Thursday reiterated its pledge to bolster its nuclear deterrence both in quality and quantity against what it called U.S. hostile acts, the country's state-run media said.

South Korea Hopes To Win Cambodia & Laos Over In North Korea Containment Visit
Forbes

South Korea’s Vice Defense Minister Hwang In-Moo is visiting Cambodia and Laos this week, as part of a global bid to court countries close to North Korea, which continues to openly defy U.N sanctions, with its most recent missile launch having taken place on June 22.

China pulls up chief negotiator for limited global support for anti-India position at NSG
The Times of India

The Chinese leadership has pulled up Wang Qun, its lead negotiator and Director General of the Arms Control Division at the Foreign Ministry, for failing to drum up significant global support for China's position in Seoul which blocked India's entry into the NSG.

MIDDLE EAST

Islamic State And The Threat Of WMDs
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

Islamic State's crimes are horrific enough with its present capabilities, but a question increasingly asked among politicians and military officials is: What if IS were to acquire the unthinkable -- a weapon of mass destruction (WMD)?

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

AWE Burghfield anti-Trident protesters mark final day of campaign
BBC

The peaceful protest at AWE Burghfield saw a group of campaigners form a human blockade - closing one of the roads and numerous entrances to the site. Red crosses were tied to fences around the plant on Thursday to demonstrate "resistance to continuing proliferation nuclear weapons" in the UK.

SOUTH ASIA

Pakistan's new Shaheen-III MRBM uses Chinese transporter, says source
IHS Jane’s 360

Pakistan's new Shaheen-III medium-range ballistic missile (MRBM) is carried by a Chinese-made 16-wheel transporter erector launcher (TEL), an Indian government source told IHS Jane's on condition of anonymity.

India Finally Joins Missile Technology Control Regime
The Diplomat

On Monday, as expected, India became the 35th member of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), just days after its bid to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group was put on hold.

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

Nuclear Posture Review Architect: No Current Conditions for Nuke Reductions
Defense Daily Network

The conditions for further reducing the role and number of nuclear weapons in U.S. security strategy do not currently exist, according to the former policy director of the President Barack Obama administration’s 2010 Nuclear Posture Review, Brad Roberts.

Lawmakers: New helicopters needed now for ICBM security
Great Falls Tribune

Montana senators joined others Wednesday in a letter urging the Department of Defense to replace the UH-1N helicopters used at intercontinental ballistic missile bases.

OPINIONS

Missiles: The hidden force behind nuclear proliferation
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Masako Ikegami

Nuclear weapons consist of nuclear warheads and delivery systems. The two are inseparable. This fundamental fact, whether intentionally or unintentionally, is often left out of the discourse on nuclear disarmament.

Musudan missile launches
The Japan Times

It is possible that international sanctions and coordinated actions by the U.S., Japan and South Korea will only persuade North Korea to step up its provocative acts. The countries concerned should continue to emphasize to Pyongyang that only by abandoning its nuclear weapons and missile programs will North Korea be able to enjoy stability and prosperity.

The double-edged sword: US nuclear command and control modernization
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Andrew Futter

Keeping the nuclear command and control system simple, separate, and secure may not seem very sexy in today’s digital world of extraordinary technological advance, but it might be the best way to minimize miscalculation, accidents, and even unauthorized use of nuclear weapons.

India Should Leverage Its Domestic Nuclear Market to Soften China on NSG Membership
The Wire, Manpreet Sethi

India is understandably disappointed that the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) meeting at Seoul concluded without granting it admission. But then it was unrealistic in the first place to expect that a group whose raison d’etre has been to deny India nuclear technology could welcome the country so soon after it applied for membership.

Give North Korea what it wants
The Korea Times, Oh Young-jin

As Pyongyang boasted of progress made in re-entry technology, pivotal to striking the U.S. base in Guam, Seoul, Tokyo and Washington as well as the United Nations went through what has now become routine in the case of déjà vu. It's time to stop shaking our fists to the sky every time the North launched Taepodong or Musudan missiles.

U.S. can't ignore rising nuclear danger
CNN, Nickolas Roth

Americans and Russians made it through the Cold War because of rational leadership, restraint, policies that increased predictability and transparency and a lot of luck. The next president will need to rely on all of these in order to avert a nuclear disaster with Russia. Sober judgment will be essential. That's a fact that voters should keep in mind in November.

SPECIAL INTEREST

Simon Ramo Dies at 103; Helped Develop ICBMs in the Cold War
The New York Times

Simon Ramo, an engineer and entrepreneur who helped develop the rocket technology that changed the nature of the Cold War’s nuclear face-off and powered the first Americans into space, died on Monday in Santa Monica, Calif. He was 103.

Bikini Islanders Still Deal With Fallout of U.S. Nuclear Tests, 70 Years Later
U.S. News & World Report

In 2014, the Marshall Islands claimed that the nine nuclear-armed nations – China, Britain, France, India, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia and the United States – have not fulfilled their treaty obligations. The Marshall Islanders are seeking legal action in the United Nations International Court of Justice in The Hague.

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News – June 29, 2016

Nuclear Policy News – June 29, 2016

TOP NEWS

S Korea, US and Japan in first ever joint missile drill
BBC

Xi says Beijing will not recognize N. Korea’s nuclear policy
Asia Times

What They Said Then, What We Know Now About the Iran Nuclear Deal (Part 2)
Foreign Policy Initiative

The New Nuclear Madman
Harvard Political Review, Ali Dastjerdi

A brighter future for Iranian nonproliferation?
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Farnaz Alimehri

EAST ASIA

North Korea’s long-range Scud can reach U.S. Yokosuka base: Seoul daily
The Japan Times

North Korea’s extended-range Scud missiles are capable of reaching the U.S. naval base in Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture, a Seoul daily reported Tuesday.

S Korea, US and Japan in first ever joint missile drill
BBC

South Korea, the US and Japan have conducted their first joint missile-tracking drill, in the waters off the US state of Hawaii. The move follows North Korea's repeated tests in recent months of mid-range ballistic missiles.

A Partial Success for the Musudan: Addendum
38 North

At a minimum, the Musudan is capable of completing a flight without tumbling out of control, at least some of the time, and even if it is no more precise than North Korea’s other missiles, it is still almost certainly accurate enough to hit, for example, the island of Guam.

Sanctions push North Korea closer to China
The Korea Times

The North Korean economy has become more reliant on China than ever as a result of U.N. Security Council (UNSC) latest that have cut off Pyongyang's trade routes with other countries, analysts said Wednesday.

Xi says Beijing will not recognize N. Korea’s nuclear policy
Asia Times

Chinese President Xi Jinping told South Korean Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn on Wednesday that he will not recognize North Korea’s policy of simultaneously pursuing nuclear advance and economic development.

MIDDLE EAST

What They Said Then, What We Know Now About the Iran Nuclear Deal
Foreign Policy Initiative

“Part II” of FPI’s three-part series analyzes the administration’s claims regarding sanctions relief and its intent to continue sanctioning Iran for aggression unrelated to its nuclear program

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

UK, US officials play down security implications of Brexit, but questions remain
RT News

British and American officials are fighting to play down fears over the security implications of Brexit, but questions are being raised within the UK. Key questions include the presence of Trident nuclear weapons in an increasingly unwilling host nation and the potential breakdown of those parts of the armed forces aligned – at least in principle – with Scotland.

Arms Expert: Russia Quick to Threaten Nuclear Strikes in Regional Conflicts
USNI News

The Soviet Union’s old doctrine was: You deter World War III with nuclear weapons. Now Russia’s new doctrine: Threaten to use nuclear weapons against any major power that may try to block Moscow from having its way in a regional conflict, a specialist in Russian nuclear strategy said on Monday.

SOUTH ASIA

India Must Not Make NSG Membership an Elemental Issue, Says Shyam Saran

The Indian Express

Former foreign secretary Shyam Saran discusses India’s bid to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group with Siddharth Varadarajan, founding editor of The Wire.

OPINIONS

The New Nuclear Madman
Harvard Political Review, Ali Dastjerdi

Recently, President Obama openly condemned the madman strategy in an interview with the Atlantic, stating, “There are ways to deter, but it requires you to be very clear ahead of time about what is worth going to war for and what is not.” History has proven the madman theory to be a risky failure.

Does Russia Have a Coherent Nuclear Strategy?
The National Interest, Dave Majumdar

Does Russia have a coherent nuclear strategy? That was the question being debated at an event hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington recently. Pavel Podvig, Nikolai Sokov, and Olga Oliker weigh in.

A brighter future for Iranian nonproliferation?
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Farnaz Alimehri

Any step taken toward making Iran a responsible member of the international community—especially verification of Iran’s civil nuclear energy program—is a positive move for both Iran and the rest of the world. Progress in Iran depends on the survival of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, and on further engagement with the nonproliferation community.

Confronted With Nuclear Launch, a President Can Fall Prey to Procedure
Foreign Policy In Focus, Russ Wellen

If you are expecting a president to call off a nuclear strike when all systems are go, you are sadly mistaken.

Missile Defense And Deterrence Equation In South Asia
Eurasia Review, Maimuna Ashraf

The strategic stability of South Asian landscape revolves around the corollary of nuclear deterrence. The stable or unstable deterrence influence the security dilemma, nuclear threshold, regional asymmetry, nuclear employment and peace accordingly. Few recent developments in the region have put the nuclear optimist assessment about the nuclear weapon’s impressive contribution and impression of deterrence equilibrium in constructing strategic stability, under stress.

The great delusion
The Indian Express, Pratap Bhanu Mehta

Indian discourse on the temporary setback in pursuing membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group has become a game of smoke and mirrors. There is no dishonor in trying for NSG membership and challenging an exclusionary global order.

SPECIAL INTEREST

Nuclear Radiation Detector Wins Coveted Prize For UMKC Professor And Team
KCUR

A device that could improve homeland security, help the military and protect workers in nuclear facilities and hospitals has won a coveted award for a team led by a UMKC professor.

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News - June 28, 2016

Nuclear Policy News – June 28, 2016

TOP NEWS

Iran’s Nuclear Ambitions: What They Said Then, What We Know Now
The Foreign Policy Initiative

U.S.-UK alliance seen outweighing Brexit trade concerns
Reuters

India joins elite missile control group MTCR
BBC News

2016 World Nuclear Forces
DefenseNews

EAST ASIA

South Korea’s Vice Defense Minister Visits Cambodia, Laos
The Diplomat

Hwang In-moo will visit the two Southeast Asian states as part of a 12-member delegation to discuss bilateral defense cooperation, the country’s defense ministry said in a statement. The delegation will also include officials from the foreign ministry, presidential office and defense ministry.

MIDDLE EAST

Iran’s Nuclear Ambitions: What They Said Then, What We Know Now
The Foreign Policy Initiative

To mark the first anniversary of the July 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran, the Foreign Policy Initiative is publishing a three-part series that re-examines the Obama administration’s arguments on behalf of the deal in light of developments since the deal’s conclusion.

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

U.S.-UK alliance seen outweighing Brexit trade concerns
Reuters

The United States looks unlikely to follow through on a threat to relegate Britain to second-class trade status once its ally leaves the European Union, as it weighs the potential costs of undermining the countries' close diplomatic and military ties.

SOUTH ASIA

India joins elite missile control group MTCR
BBC News

Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar signed the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), aimed at preventing unchecked proliferation of missiles. As an MTCR member, India will now have access to crucial missile technologies.

India Continues NSG Membership Push, Despite Local and Chinese Opposition
DefenseNews

Despite US support, India was unable to gain entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) at the June 23-24 Seoul plenary meeting because of Chinese opposition. However, analysts in India say the government will continue its push to join the elite club.

MULTILATERAL ARMS CONTROL AND NONPROLIFERATION

In Vienna, a Renewed Effort to Push the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty
The Wire

Twenty years have passed since the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) opened for signature in 1996. Since then, the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test Ban Treaty Organisation (CTBTO) has achieved a lot – 183 states have signed the treaty and 164 have ratified it, including some but not all nuclear weapon states.

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

Corker, McCain: Don’t Quit On Nuke Modernization
DefenseNews

Two top GOP senators are urging President Obama to stick with nuclear modernization plans, arguing he is bound by longstanding commitments he made to Congress.

OPINIONS

How Brexit could avert a new Cold War
Katrina vanden Heuvel, The Washington Post

The stunning British vote to leave the European Union has roiled foreign and economic ministers and central bankers across Europe and the United States. The political establishments on both sides of the Atlantic are finally beginning to get the message.

How the new nuclear-armed cruise missile might aid disarmament
Richard Woolgar-James, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

The idea of banning nuclear armed cruise missiles is gaining traction, most notably through its promotion by former Secretary of Defense William Perry, the driving force behind the US’s current nuclear-armed cruise missile when it was birthed in the 1970’s and 80’s.

Why the US Navy Should Fear China’s New 093B Nuclear Attack Submarine
http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/why-the-us-navy-should-fear-chinas-new-093b-nuclear-attack-16741Dave Majumdar, The National Interest

Is China’s new Type 093B nuclear-powered attack submarine on par with the U.S. Navy’s Improved Los Angeles-class boats?

SPECIAL INTEREST

2016 World Nuclear Forces
DefenseNews

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News - June 27, 2016

Nuclear Policy News – June 27, 2016

TOP NEWS

Japan Could Go Nuclear 'Virtually Overnight' Joe Biden Tells Chinese President
Forbes

Brexit could put future of Britain’s only nuclear sub base in doubt
Stars and Stripes

Examining India’s unsuccessful NSG bid
Deutsche Welle

After Nuclear Missile Loss, Dems Vow to Keep Fighting
Defense News

Marine Researchers Shed Light on 'Nuclear Sharks'
ABC News

EAST ASIA

Russia, China won't accept N. Korea's nuclear, missile strategy
Yonhap News

The leaders of Russia and China have agreed that they will not accept North Korea's nuclear and missile strategy, but they reaffirmed their opposition to a possible deployment of an advanced U.S. missile defense system in South Korea.

Japan Could Go Nuclear 'Virtually Overnight' Joe Biden Tells Chinese President
Forbes

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, never one for a loss of words, told Chinese President Xi Jinping that Japan has the capacity to acquire nuclear weapons “virtually overnight.”

MIDDLE EAST

The lessons of the Iran deal
Sen. Chris Coons, CNN

Last summer, the international community reached a landmark agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. Roughly one year later, Americans must ask ourselves: Has the deal succeeded?

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

Brexit could put future of Britain’s only nuclear sub base in doubt
Stars and Stripes

Britain’s decision to break with the European Union could pose unintended security problems for NATO, including the alliance’s nuclear posture, if pro-EU Scotland launches a new push for independence.

Benedict: UK Exit From European Union Won’t Hinder Nuclear Sub Collaboration
US Naval Institute

The admiral responsible for the nuclear weapons component of ballistic missile submarines praised the “truly unique” relationship with the British naval officers who have similar responsibilities, and said that historic cooperation would not be affected by the Brexit vote.

NATO Secretary General appoints Rose Gottemoeller as next Deputy Secretary General
NATO

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has decided to appoint Rose Gottemoeller from the US as the next Deputy Secretary General. ‎She will replace Ambassador Alexander Vershbow from the US, who took up his position in February 2012.

SOUTH ASIA

Examining India’s unsuccessful NSG bid
Deutsche Welle

For the past several weeks, India's central foreign policy goal had been to secure membership of the NSG - a 48-nation grouping that controls the export of technology and materials used to generate nuclear power and make atomic weapons.

India irked by China stalling its nuclear group membership
Washington Post

India expressed disappointment Sunday with China for raising procedural hurdles to the South Asian country joining the 48-nation group controlling access to sensitive nuclear technology.

Indian spies monitor 'nuclear trade' between Pakistan and North Korea
Daily Mail   

Indian intelligence agencies are now monitoring the nuclear trade between Pakistan and North Korea.

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

After Nuclear Missile Loss, Dems Vow to Keep Fighting
Defense News

Top Democratic lawmakers fighting to quash the next-generation air-launched cruise missile suffered a setback this month, but they are signaling the fight’s not over.

Nuke Missile Collaboration Now Up To Air Force: Navy VADM Benedict
Breaking Defense

Air Force decisions in the coming months will “make or break the effective implementation of commonality” of using common, proven components on Navy and Air Force nuclear missiles said Vice Adm. Terry Benedict.

OPINIONS

Brexit is Good News for Russia, but a Headache for NATO
Dan De Luce and Paul McLeary, Foreign Policy

The Kremlin has spent years trying to create fissures within the NATO alliance and the European Union, but with little success. Now Britain’s vote to leave the EU fulfills Putin’s wish for a more divided Europe, one potentially preoccupied with its own disagreements while London’s influence recedes.

Space and the Right to Self Defense
Rebecca Heinrichs, Hudson Institute

Due to investments by U.S. adversaries in many of the same key technologies, they are becoming increasingly able to challenge U.S. military pre-eminence.

America Needs Nuclear Weapons—and the World Needs Us to Have Them
Jack Caravelli, Washington Free Beacon

Review: Brad Roberts, ‘The Case for Nuclear Weapons in the 21st Century’

Club Membership
Michael Krepon, Arms Control Wonk

India tried hard to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group with strong backing from the Obama Administration. It was a bridge too far.

SPECIAL INTEREST

Marine Researchers Shed Light on 'Nuclear Sharks'
ABC News

Find out how sharks ended up living in a spot decimated by nuclear bomb testing during the Cold War.

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News - June 24, 2016

TOP NEWS

UN strongly condemns latest North Korean missile launches
The Washington Post

Scotland Seeks Independence Again After U.K. ‘Brexit’ Vote
NBC News

Pakistan, India, and the NSG: A Curious Case of Norms and Discrimination
The Diplomat

Scientists Are Trying to Make Nuclear Fusion with Frickin’ Lasers
Wired

EAST ASIA

UN strongly condemns latest North Korean missile launches
The Washington Post

The U.N. Security Council on Thursday strongly condemned two North Korean ballistic missile launches this week, calling them a “grave violation” of a ban on all ballistic missile activity that is contributing to the country’s nuclear weapons program.

A Partial Success for the Musudan
38 North

North Korea’s latest Musudan (Hwasong-10) missile test finally demonstrated the full performance of the missile’s propulsion system, and at least a minimally functional guidance system. The trajectory was not representative of an operational launch, and so leaves open questions about the performance of the reentry vehicle.

MIDDLE EAST

U.S. Seeks to Use Business to Lock In Iran Deal
The Wall Street Journal

The White House is pushing to ease the way for companies to complete deals with Iran, aiming to cement the landmark nuclear agreement reached last year and make it difficult for future administrations to undo it, senior U.S. officials said.

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

Scotland Seeks Independence Again After U.K. ‘Brexit’ Vote
NBC News

Scotland's government began moves Friday to hold a new referendum on independence from the U.K. after the "Brexit" vote, saying it faced being taken out of the European Union against its will.

SOUTH ASIA

China rejects bending rule for India to join nuclear club
Reuters

China maintains its opposition to India joining a group of nations seeking to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons by controlling access to sensitive technology, said the head of the arms control department in China's Foreign Ministry.

Chinese navy offers glimpse of secretive nuclear-attack submarine
The Washington Times

China’s navy has allowed the world a brief glimpse of one of its most secretive military platforms ever — the 093B “Shang” nuclear attack submarine.

MULTILATERAL ARMS CONTROL AND NONPROLIFERATION

Pakistan, India, and the NSG: A Curious Case of Norms and Discrimination
The Diplomat

India and Pakistan recently applied for membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and their applications are being considered during the plenary meeting of the NSG in Seoul on June 24, 2016.

OPINIONS

Sanctions busting
The Economist

The Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, is not happy. “Anyone who has ever trusted the Americans was eventually slapped by them,” he declared earlier this month. “The experience of nuclear talks proved that even if we compromise, the United States will not stop its destructive role.”

Iran’s Foreign Policy Is in Chaos. How Should America Respond?
John Allen Gay, The National Interest

Iran’s foreign-policy establishment is in chaos. The last week has seen a catena of maneuvers by the system’s key players. Rumors, reassignments and threats have been the order of the day. Yet determining how America should respond won’t be easy; indeed, it requires a fundamental vision of the U.S. approach to Iran.

The Expensive Pretzel Logic of Deterring Russia By Denial
Michael Kofman, War on the Rocks

The question of how to best deter Russia looms large over the upcoming NATO Summit hosted in Warsaw.  If this week’s news is anything to go by, the annual NATO gathering promises to be an eventful one. Germany’s Foreign Minister Steinmeier recently ridiculed the alliance’s BALTOPS exercise as “saber rattling,” while U.S. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus defended the event.

How Russia Could Help Curb North Korea’s Nukes
Artyom Lukin and Rens Lee, Huffington Post

Russia is a key strategic player in Northeast Asia, borders on North Korea, has long experience in dealing with various Pyongyang regimes and provides goods and services vital to the North’s survival and well-being. The country could contribute significantly to international deliberations on how to restrain the North’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.

SPECIAL INTEREST

Scientists Are Trying to Make Nuclear Fusion with Frickin’ Lasers
Wired

Big science is really small. In Central Europe, a 17-mile loop looks for subatomic particles. In Washington and Louisiana, massive L-shaped detectors sniff for invisible gravitational perturbations. And a national lab in California’s lumpy hill country is home to a 10-story building where scientists are using laser beams to try and figure out nuclear fusion.

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News - June 23, 2016

TOP NEWS

North Korea’s Missile Tests Show Real Progress
Voice of America

Russia seen putting new nuclear-capable missiles along NATO border by 2019
Reuters

20 Years Later, the CTBT Is Still in Limbo
The Diplomat

The Top-Secret Cold War Plan to Keep Soviet Hands Off Middle Eastern Oil
Politico

EAST ASIA

North Korea’s Missile Tests Show Real Progress
Voice of America

The U.N. Security Council met late Wednesday in an emergency session to discuss North Korea's latest missile tests, which violate U.N. resolutions.

North Korea’s Successful Missile Test Shows Program’s Progress, Analysts Say
The New York Times

A day after North Korea launched an intermediate-range ballistic missile into high altitude — after five consecutive launch failures — the country’s state-run media proclaimed the test a success on Thursday, and quoted Kim Jong-un, North Korea’s leader, as boasting that his arsenal could strike United States forces in the Pacific.

Steely will seen behind Kim’s push for North Korea weapons that work
Reuters

Images in March of a smiling Kim Jong Un inspecting a silver sphere, purported to be a miniaturized nuclear warhead but likened in the media to a disco ball, burnished the North Korean leader's international image as deluded and reckless.

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

Russia seen putting new nuclear-capable missiles along NATO border by 2019
Reuters

Russia is likely to deploy advanced nuclear-capable missiles in its European exclave of Kaliningrad by 2019, casting the move as a reply to a U.S.-backed missile shield, and may one day put them in Crimea too, sources close to its military predict.

NATO head says Europe safer with Britain in EU
U.S. News and World Report

Britain's remaining in the European Union is key for trans-Atlantic security and common efforts to fight violent extremism, the chief of the NATO alliance said Wednesday. "It's up to the people of Great Britain to decide whether to remain or leave," NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told The Associated Press. "But what I can do is tell you what matters for NATO. A strong U.K. in a strong Europe is good for the U.K., but it's also good for NATO."

SOUTH ASIA

France backs India’s NSG bid, urges members to take ‘positive decision’
The Times of India

After the United States, France has strongly backed India's membership bid for the Nuclear Suppliers Group and has asked member nations to take a "positive decision".

In or Out of NSG, New Delhi’s Carried Out a Diplomatic Masterstroke
The Diplomat

It’s going right down to the wire and Indian diplomacy has never looked more self-assured and confident. New Delhi is openly taking on China in a manner few states have dared in recent times. By so doing it is laying down new terms for global politics and setting new parameters for Indian foreign policy.

MULTILATERAL ARMS CONTROL AND NONPROLIFERATION

20 Years Later, the CTBT Is Still in Limbo
The Diplomat

It’s been 20 years since the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1996, but it has yet to enter into force because eight states have been unable to ratify it.

OPINIONS

How Obama Could Revolutionize Nuclear Weapons Strategy Before He Goes
Bruce Blair, Politico

During the past half century, no president has dared to change the nation’s nuclear strategy in any fundamental way. Mired in a Cold-War mind-set, the strategy today has grown less and less connected to the contemporary world and its emerging security threats: terrorism, proliferation, cyber warfare, economic disruption, mass refugee migrations and climate change. 

The ‘Inevitable War’ Between The U.S. and China
Jonathan Broder, Newsweek

Roughly 15 years ago, a Chinese fighter jet pilot was killed when he collided with an American spy plane over the South China Sea. The episode marked the start of tensions between Beijing and Washington over China’s claim to the strategic waterway.

Top Scientists Call for Obama to Take Nuclear Missiles off Hair-Trigger Alert
Union of Concerned Scientists

More than 90 prominent US scientists, including 20 Nobel laureates and 90 National Academy of Sciences members, sent a letter to President Obama yesterday urging him to take US land-based nuclear missiles off hair-trigger alert and remove launch-on-warning options from US warplans.

We Already Have An Arsenal Plane: It’s Called The B-52
T.J. May and Mike Pietrucha, War on the Rocks

Despite obstacles presented by the modern acquisition process, the Department of Defense seems determined to find solutions to its ever-growing list of requirements. DARPA’s endless stream of creative programs teeter on the fine line between science fiction and reality. Defense journals and blogs alike are abuzz with recent projects executed or announced by the Pentagon’s Strategic Capabilities Office (SCO), which is focused on technological applications for current military problems.  

SPECIAL INTEREST

The Top-Secret Cold War Plan to Keep Soviet Hands Off Middle Eastern Oil
Politico

On a cool summer day in London in 1951, an American CIA officer told three British oil executives about a top-secret U.S. government plan. The goal was to ravage the Middle East oil industry if the region were ever invaded by the Soviet Union. Oil wells would be plugged, equipment and fuel stockpiles destroyed, refineries and pipelines disabled—anything to keep the USSR from getting its hands on valuable oil resources. The CIA called it the “denial policy.”

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News – June 21, 2016

Nuclear Policy News – June 21, 2016

TOP NEWS

N. Korea preparing Musudan missile launch: source
Yonhap News

S. Korean envoy rules out bilateral meeting with N. Korea in Beijing
The Korea Times

Russia’s Pacific Fleet to Receive New Ballistic Missile Sub by Year-End
The Diplomat

New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty: Time to Stop the Damage to U.S. National Security
The Heritage Foundation, Michaela Dodge

Donald Trump’s Nuclear Envy Problem, and Ours
Foreign Policy, Jeffrey Lewis

EAST ASIA

China bans export of more 'dual-use' goods to North Korea
IHS Jane’s 360

China has banned the export of 40 items to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) that could be used to develop nuclear arms and other weapons of mass destruction.

N. Korea preparing Musudan missile launch: source
Yonhap News

North Korea appears to be preparing to launch a Musudan intermediate-range ballistic missile from the east coast, a South Korean government source said Tuesday, with Seoul's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) confirming that the reclusive country could move forward with another test fire.

Japan military on alert for possible North Korean ballistic missile launch
Reuters

Japan's military was on alert for a possible North Korean ballistic missile launch, a government source said on Tuesday, with media reporting its navy and anti-missile Patriot batteries have been told to shoot down any projectile heading for Japan.

S. Korean envoy rules out bilateral meeting with N. Korea in Beijing
The Korea Times

A South Korean nuclear envoy said Tuesday he has "no plans" to hold a bilateral meeting with his North Korean counterpart on the sidelines of a regional security forum in Beijing this week.

U.S. envoy urges N. Korea to abide by U.N. resolutions amid missile reports
Yonhap News

North Korea should not take actions that violate U.N. Security Council resolutions, a top U.S. diplomat handling Pyongyang said Tuesday, amid media reports that the North appears to be preparing to launch an intermediate-range ballistic missile.

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

Russia successfully test-fires anti-ballistic missile – Defense Ministry
RT News

The Russian Air Force has test-fired a domestically built short-range anti-ballistic missile to verify its performance. The system is already in use with the military as part of Russia’s missile defense shield.

Russia’s Pacific Fleet to Receive New Ballistic Missile Sub by Year-End
The Diplomat

The nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) Vladimir Monomakh will join Russia’s Pacific Fleet before the end of the year, the Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Navy, Admiral Vladimir Korolev, told TASS news agency over the weekend.

SOUTH ASIA

About NPT and India, China says it 'cares about rules' but US 'just sets rules'
Times of India

The diplomatic war between China and the US over India's entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) just got nasty. Now, China says it "cares about the rules" while the "US just sets the rules."

NSG entry: ‘Any exemption to India must also apply to Pakistan’
The Indian Express

In an unusual move, China’s state media on Tuesday defended Pakistan’s nuclear record, saying it was AQ Khan who was responsible for atomic proliferation which was not backed by the government and argued that any exemption to India for NSG entry should also be given to Pakistan.

India's diplomacy, China's stance at play on NSG membership issue
International Business Times

India's entry into the nuclear supplier group (NSG) is being discussed among its member nations, China stated on Tuesday, a day after it said that India's application to the elite club, which controls the trade in nuclear technology, was not on the agenda of the bloc's plenary in Seoul.

MULTILATERAL ARMS CONTROL AND NONPROLIFERATION

China calls for integrated solution to enhance WMD non-proliferation: envoy
Xinhua

A Chinese envoy to the UN on Monday called for an integrated approach to enhance the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD).

OPINIONS

New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty: Time to Stop the Damage to U.S. National Security
The Heritage Foundation, Michaela Dodge

In April 2010, U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START). Six years later, an analysis of New START’s impact on U.S. national security is as timely as it is instructive. New START has not accomplished the Administration’s main goal of providing predictability and strategic stability between Russia and the United States.

Donald Trump’s Nuclear Envy Problem, and Ours
Foreign Policy, Jeffrey Lewis

The Republican frontrunner isn't the only one stoking fears about Russian missiles. But size doesn’t matter when it comes to nuclear arsenals.

India's embarrassing North Korean connection
Al Jazeera, Nilanjana Bhowmick

On Monday, the NSG begins a week-long meeting in Seoul, South Korea, to decide on the membership of both India and Pakistan. The controversy surrounding the training of North Korean scientists may or may not have much bearing on the outcome of the Seoul meeting, but it does amount to a curious footnote to the global debate on nuclear non-proliferation and missile technology control.

The International Nuclear Community Should Pressure China to Accept India’s NSG Membership
The Diplomat, Bhavani Castro

Giving India NSG membership will not undermine non-proliferation efforts. On the contrary, it will strengthen the credibility of the regime by accepting a growing and influential country into an important nuclear trade club. Engaging new actors in nuclear dialogues is a necessary step in a world where security and peace are discussed behind closed doors and with few actors in the room, leaving aside the opinions of nations like India.

New evidence of Iran’s chicanery — and the Obama administration’s
The Washington Post, Jennifer Rubin

“The Obama administration didn’t comment about the uranium in December when the IAEA released its report; the finding got only one brief mention in the 16 pages.” The report continues: “In recent interviews, current and former U.S. officials asked about the uranium finding said the working assumption now is that it is tied to nuclear weapons development that Iran is believed to have pursued more than a decade ago.”

SPECIAL INTEREST

Tour Secret WWII Lab with Manhattan Project App
Live Science

The efforts during World War II to develop an atomic bomb were once shrouded in secrecy, but today, the story of the so-called Manhattan Project isn't just public — you can now visit the project on your smartphone. A new app called "Los Alamos: Secret City of the Manhattan Project" takes users back to New Mexico in the 1940s, to the facilities where scientists, government administrators and the U.S. military convened to create the most devastating weapons known to humankind.

Albuquerque’s Space Age jewels
The Space Review

Located along the edge of Kirtland Air Force Base, the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History showcases exhibits of personalities and technologies that shaped the Nuclear Age. Many of these systems, namely intermediate range and intercontinental ballistic missiles, were converted for use as space launch vehicles.

Read more…

Tuesday's Top Nuclear Policy News

TOP NEWS

Freezing North Korea’s Nuclear Program
38 North

Learning About Nuclear South Asia
Arms Control Wonk

The End of Nuclear Proliferation?
The National Interest

White House Mulls Big Nuclear Policy Changes, and Lawmakers Speak Up
Defense News

Trump’s NATO-Rattling Interview Has Delayed a Key Evolution in US Nuclear Posture
Defense One, Michael Krepon

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