Nuclear Policy News

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Nuclear Policy News – February 23, 2017

Nuclear Policy News – February 23, 2017

 

TOP NEWS

S. Korea, U.S., Japan nuke envoys to discuss N. Korean missile, assassination
Yonhap

Turkey mulls purchase of Russian S-400 air defense system
Defense News

Russia to Arm 90 Percent of Strategic Nuclear Forces With Modern Weaponry by 2020
The Diplomat


EAST ASIA

S. Korea, U.S., Japan nuke envoys to discuss N. Korean missile, assassination
Yonhap
The three countries' top envoys on the North Korean nuclear issue will sit together on Monday in their first joint meeting since the President Donald Trump administration took office last month.

N.K. condemns China over comment on missile test, suspension of coal imports
Yonhap
The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said that a neighboring country which often claims itself to be a "friendly neighbor" is showing an unkind attitude towards North Korea. It claimed that China downplayed the meaning of its test-fire of an intermediate ballistic missile on Feb. 12.

 

MIDDLE EAST

Iran says has increased precision of its long-range ballistic missiles
Tehran Times
Tehran insists that its missiles are not capable of carrying nuclear warheads and are for defense only. Iran uses its “conventional” missiles to “legitimately” defend its territory, Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif stated.



RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

IDEX 2017: Fantom emerges with new weapons system
IHS Janes 360
Ukraine's Spets Techno Export has integrated an anti-tank missile launcher onto its Fantom unmanned ground vehicle. Full firing tests of the missile systems are set to take place in the coming months.

Turkey mulls purchase of Russian S-400 air defense system
Defense News
In what would be a snub to NATO, the Turkish government has said it may buy the Russian-made S-400 for its near-mystery program to build the country’s first long-range air and anti-missile defense system.

Russia to Arm 90 Percent of Strategic Nuclear Forces With Modern Weaponry by 2020
The Diplomat
The Russian military’s modernization efforts include new missile systems, modern ballistic missile submarines, and upgraded strategic bombers such as the Tupolev Tu-160 and Tu-95MS. 



U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

Pacific Ocean: US Navy Submarine Fires 4 Ballistic Missiles
The Diplomat
The test launches were conducted over a three-day period from February 14 to 16 as part of a so-called  Follow-on Commander’s Evaluation Test (FCET). The primary objective of an FCET is to obtain, under operationally representative conditions, valid reliability, accuracy, and performance of the missile system for use by Commander, Strategic Command and the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Minot Air Force Base bomb wing wins strategic bomber award
Associated Press
The trophy is awarded to the best performing wings in five categories. The 5th Bomb Wing won in the strategic bomber category.  It is the fifth time the bomb wing has won an Omaha Trophy, and the second time in three years. 

Pentagon studies ways to counter hypersonic missile threat from China, Russia
The Washington Times
Hypersonic missiles are under rapid development in China and Russia as a way to penetrate advanced air and missile defenses such as those developed by the Army and Navy. A major problem for current U.S. missile defenses is that all were designed from the ground up to target missiles with predictable and unchanging trajectories. 

US ‘nuclear sniffer’ plane deployed in Europe amid mysterious spike in radiation
The Independent
The WC-135 can detect and identify nuclear explosions from the air and is also used to track radioactivity after nuclear incidents. Two devices on either side of the aircraft collect atmospheric gases, filtering them to detect particles from nuclear fallout.

 

OPINIONS

As China ups heat on North Korea, U.S. faces questions
Matthew Pennington,Military Times
Years of failed efforts to stem North Korea's nuclear and missile programs have followed a usual pattern. The United States seeks tougher action from China, the North's traditional ally. Beijing urges U.S. diplomatic engagement.

The Real Nuclear News
Peter Huessy, Real Clear Defense
The Russian, Chinese and North Korean threats are real indeed and need to be taken seriously. We cannot just stand still or go backward. As the new administration says, it is about making America great again. A strong military—both conventional and nuclear-- is part of that effort.

Can a treaty banning nuclear weapons speed their abolition? (Roundtable)
Janice Sinclair, The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists
Outright prohibition of nuclear weapons would contrast starkly with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which allows five countries to retain nuclear weapons for an unspecified time—as they "pursue negotiations in good faith… on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control." What should a ban treaty entail, and could it truly succeed in speeding the disarmament process? 

SPECIAL INTEREST

3D Printing: Bringing Missile Production to a Neighborhood Near You
Nuclear Threat Initiative
Employed strategically, 3D printing could reduce cycle times in development of missiles and other military systems – and with the right printers and software – even reduce the number of skilled engineers needed for such programs.

Reviving Cold War Doomsday Devices Could Patch America’s Broken Nuclear Controls
Elaine Grossman, War is Boring
This is the third article in a three-part series on how limited foreign attacks could endanger America’s fragile command and control over nuclear weapons. Read parts one and two.

The U.S. Air Force’s New Push to Brace for War in Space
Defense News
The Air Force welcomes the discussion to realign policy, strategy and resources. By openly embracing our commitment to defend American space assets, we send a strong signal to potential foes that waging such a battle is a losing proposition, period. 

 

 

                                                                                                                     

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Nuclear Policy News – February 22, 2017

Nuclear Policy News – February 22, 2017

 


TOP NEWS

China finishing South China Sea buildings that could house missiles
Reuters

Israeli Artillery Corps poised for long-ranged, improved precision strikes
Defense News

The CTBT & North Korea Discussed at Munich Security Conference
CTBTO



EAST ASIA

China finishing South China Sea buildings that could house missiles
Reuters
Building the concrete structures with retractable roofs on Subi, Mischief and Fiery Cross reefs, part of the Spratly Islands chain where China already has built military-length airstrips, could be considered a military escalation.

Talks with N. Korea would give Trump same old lesson Pyongyang isn’t interested in disarming: ex-official
Yonhap
"North Korea doesn't want to give up its nuclear weapons. Nuclear weapons are key to its survival," Evan Medeiros, senior Asian affairs director at the National Security Council under former President Barack Obama said. "Talks for North Korea are really about getting sanctions relief, playing for time, playing for advantage, trying to get sanctions lifted."




MIDDLE EAST

Israeli Artillery Corps poised for long-ranged, improved precision strikes
Defense News
With increasing connectivity, new weaponry and a network-centric concept of operations, IDF ground forces in general — and the Artillery Corps, in particular — are taking on missions traditionally entrusted to air power. 

Turkey doesn’t see NATO compatibility issues with Russian missiles
Reuters
Ibrahim Kalin made the comment at a news conference in Ankara. Turkey's defense minister said earlier on Wednesday that talks with Moscow on procuring the missiles had "progressed significantly".

UAE to become first Arab country to join civilian nuclear club within weeks
Al Arabiya
The country’s first reactor is scheduled to be operational by May 2017, after further inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to ensure the fuel is used only for peaceful purposes.




RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

Russia to rely less on nuclear weapons as their conventional strength rapidly increases
Business Insider
Weapons such as the long-range Kalibr cruise missiles carried by navy ships, long-range cruise missiles carried by Russian strategic bombers and the land-based short-range Iskander missiles will play an increasingly important role as a non-nuclear deterrent. 

 

MULTILATERAL ARMS CONTROL AND NONPROLIFERATION

The CTBT & North Korea Discussed at Munich Security Conference
CTBTO
Highlights from discussions at the Munich Security Conference held February 17-19, 2017 in Germany.

 

OPINIONS

Reconsidering the reversal: South Korea’s nuclear choices
William Caplan & Kenneth Turner,The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
The geopolitical factors of nearly 50 years ago bear an eerie resemblance to those seen today, making a reexamination of South Korea’s nuclear reversal a timely and useful exercise for the new administration when navigating its East Asian alliances.

The Trouble with Doomsday
Michael Ruhle, Real Clear Defense
The Doomsday Clock does not represent accurate scientific forecasting. Its major purpose is to alert the broader public about the many unresolved problems the world is facing. 

It’s Not Just ‘Strangelove’—Today’s Bombers Rely on America’s Weakest Nuclear Links
Elaine Grossman,War is Boring
The nation’s 44 B-52 and 16 B-2 nuclear-tasked strategic bombers are often termed the most “flexible” leg of the nuclear triad. In theory at least, a pilot could be ordered to return to base instead of nuking a target. By contrast, a nuclear-tipped, sea- or ground-launched ballistic missile is limited to a one-way journey that invariably ends in a mushroom cloud.

Can North Korea Launch Pearl Harbor II?
J.D. Gordon, American Military News
Though Pearl Harbor is home to Aegis ships armed with SM-3 interceptors which can shoot down incoming warheads, to reliably protect the islands, we’d need to get lucky with one off the coast and ready to launch.

 

SPECIAL INTEREST

Air Force Attack Drones Will Fire Laser Weapons
Scout
Laser weapons could provide drones with a way to incinerate targets without causing an explosion.

 

 

 

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Nuclear Policy News - February 21, 2017

Nuclear Policy News – February 21, 2017

TOP NEWS

China suspends North Korean coal imports, striking at regime’s financial lifeline
The Washington Post

The rising risk of showdown between Trump and Iran
BBC News

Republican bills counter Russia’s apparent violation of nuclear arms treaty
PBS Newshour

Is China Pushing Trump to Talk to North Korea?
The New York Times, Jane Perlez

EAST ASIA

China suspends North Korean coal imports, striking at regime’s financial lifeline
The Washington Post
China will suspend all imports of coal from North Korea until the end of the year, the Commerce Ministry announced Saturday, in a surprise move that would cut off a major financial lifeline for Pyongyang and significantly enhance the effectiveness of U.N. sanctions.

China wields stick with North Korea, but is still pushing for talks
Reuters
With the suspension of all North Korean coal imports, China has wielded a big stick against its reclusive neighbor, but there is no sign it will cut off all critical links and Beijing is still promoting talks to solve the dispute over Pyongyang's program to develop nuclear weapons.

China says understands South Korean need for security, still opposes missiles
Reuters
China understands South Korea's need to protect its security but Seoul still needs to respect Beijing's concerns about the deployment of an advanced U.S. anti-missile system, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told his South Korean counterpart.

MIDDLE EAST

The rising risk of showdown between Trump and Iran
BBC News
Are the US and Iran heading for a new confrontation? After a turbulent first three weeks in which President Donald Trump described Iran as "the world's number one terrorist state" and put it "on notice", it is a question many are asking.

The UAE’s Nuclear Push
Foreign Affairs
The United Arab Emirates will soon be the first Arab state with a nuclear power program and the first to join the civilian nuclear club in more than a quarter of a century.

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

Republican bills counter Russia’s apparent violation of nuclear arms treaty
PBS Newshour
Republicans on Thursday introduced bills that would take steps to hold Russia in compliance with a nuclear arms treaty formed with the U.S. in 1987.

SOUTH ASIA

India, Pakistan extend pact on reducing risk of nuclear weapon-related mishaps
Hindustan Times
India and Pakistan on Monday extended their bilateral pact, dealing with reducing the risk of nuclear weapon-related accidents, for a period of five years.

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

Pence Says US to Hold Russia Accountable, Stand With NATO
The New York Times
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence on Saturday conveyed a message to jittery partners that the Trump administration will "hold Russia accountable" and maintain steadfast support for NATO, a military alliance the American commander in chief once dismissed as "obsolete."

OPINIONS

Is China Pushing Trump to Talk to North Korea?
The New York Times, Jane Perlez
For years, the United States and others have pressed China’s leaders to suspend imports of coal from North Korea to push the reclusive state to abandon its nuclear weapons program.

Why Trump Needs to Deploy Missile Defenses to Counter North Korea and Iran
The National Interest, Dan Goure
The efforts by North Korea and Iran to develop ballistic missiles capable of targeting not only its regional adversaries but the U.S. homeland are intensifying.

Trump Must Stop Putin’s Cruise Missiles
Newsweek, Michaela Dodge
Almost right out of the gate, the Trump administration is facing its first arms control challenge from Moscow. Russia has reportedly deployed its new cruise missile in an apparent violation of the Reagan-era Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty), in effect since 1988.

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News - February 17, 2017

Nuclear Policy News – February 17, 2017

TOP NEWS

Top diplomats from S. Korea, US, Japan pledge to respond strongly to NK provocations
The Korea Herald

Iran’s Rouhani under fire as tensions with U.S. rise
The Washington Post

Australia to boycott global summit on treaty to ban nuclear weapons
The Guardian

Don’t count on China to rein in North Korea. Here’s why.
The Washington Post, Joseph Torigian

EAST ASIA

Top diplomats from S. Korea, US, Japan pledge to respond strongly to NK provocations
The Korea Herald
The top diplomats from South Korea, the United States and Japan condemned North Korea's latest ballistic missile launch in the "strongest terms" Thursday, pledging to work together to respond strongly to provocations by Pyongyang.

MIDDLE EAST

Iran’s Rouhani under fire as tensions with U.S. rise
The Washington Post
A burgeoning crisis between Iran and the United States has threatened to undermine the pragmatic Rouhani, who was elected four years ago on promises to end the country’s isolation from the West. But now, amid new tensions with the Trump administration, Rouhani’s pro-dialogue approach is under attack.

MULTILATERAL ARMS CONTROL AND NONPROLIFERATION

Australia to boycott global summit on treaty to ban nuclear weapons
The Guardian
Australia will boycott global negotiations on a treaty to ban nuclear weapons at the United Nations next month. The global summit, to be held in New York on 27 March, will go ahead with Australia out of the room.

IAEA and EU Strengthen Cooperation in Nuclear Activities
IAEA
The European Union and the International Atomic Energy Agency took steps to strengthen their cooperation in a range of nuclear activities including nuclear science applications during the fifth annual Senior Officials Meeting in Brussels this week.

OPINIONS

Don’t count on China to rein in North Korea. Here’s why.
The Washington Post, Joseph Torigian
On Jan. 2, then President-elect Donald Trump tweeted a promise that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un would not be allowed to develop an intercontinental ballistic missile armed with a nuclear bomb. In a second tweet, Trump complained that China “won’t help with North Korea.”

Iran’s missile tests: What exactly did they use, and what does it mean?
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Dina Esfandiary and Michael Elleman
On January 29, Iran tested a new ballistic missile that reportedly reached a distance of about 1,000 kilometers. Little is known about the missile named “Khorramshahr,” including where its technology comes from and what it targets.

How Trump Can Win in Iran
Foreign Affairs, Tzvi Kahn
U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration has put Tehran “on notice.” Earlier this month, Washington imposed fresh sanctions on Iran in response to its latest ballistic missile test, which defied the UN Security Council resolution tied to the July 2015 nuclear agreement.

Why the World Really Should Fear North Korea’s Missiles
The National Interest, Brendan Thomas-Noone
The North Korean missile test over the weekend has emphasized the point President Obama reportedly made to President-elect Trump shortly after his electoral success: North Korea should be at the top of the new President’s to-do list. Obama’s policy of “strategic patience” had run its course.

SPECIAL INTEREST

Debate: European Missile Defenses for NATO
Project on Nuclear Issues, CSIS
Watch the video from the PONI-Ploughshares Fund debate on whether or not the U.S. should continue to expand European missile defenses for NATO.

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News – February 16, 2017

Nuclear Policy News – February 16, 2017

 

TOP NEWS

China mulls joining U.N. talks on treaty to ban nuclear weapons
Japan Times

SECDEF Mattis Implores NATO Allies to Spend More on Defense
Real Clear Defense

Top diplomats of S. Korea, U.S. to discuss N.K. nukes in Germany
Yonhap



EAST ASIA

South Korea Mulls Ballistic Missile Test
The Diplomat
In response to Pyongyang’s recent intermediate-range launch, Seoul is considering test firing a ballistic missile.

Top diplomats of S. Korea, U.S. to discuss N.K. nukes in Germany
Yonhap
South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se is to have talks with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on the sidelines of the Group of 20 foreign ministers' meeting to discuss their coordinated approach to North Korea and its nuclear weapons program.

China mulls joining U.N. talks on treaty to ban nuclear weapons
Japan Times
A senior official of the Chinese Foreign Ministry who was at a disarmament-related international meeting in Mexico City admitted Wednesday that China is considering joining the talks but said a final decision has yet to be made.

China rejects North Korea Coal shipment
Reuters
China rejected a shipment of coal from North Korea a day after the country test-fired a ballistic missile in violation of international sanctions. The move came a day after Pyongyang's test of the intermediate-range ballistic missile on Sunday, its first direct challenge to the international community.

Lawmaker calls for revision to anti-missile defense systems (South Korea)
Korea HeraldA senior South Korean lawmaker on Tuesday called for a revision to the missile defense system sought by the country by the mid-2020s as North Korean missiles will likely become harder to detect before launch. The upcoming "kill chain" strike system and the Korean Air and Missile Defense system are both designed to detect and destroy incoming missiles in the shortest possible time. 

 

MIDDLE EAST

Yemen rebels fire missile at airport in southern Saudi Arabia
Financial Times
The Saudi Royal Air Defense Forces intercepted Wednesday night a ballistic missile over the sky of Khamees Mushayt in Asir region fired by Houthi militias. The people of Khamees Mushayt heard loud noise when the Patriot missile intercepted the Houthi missile.

 

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

This is the ground-launched cruise missile that Russia has reportedly just deployed
The Washington Post
The existence of the SSC-8 missile is not new. Reports indicate that the nuclear-capable missile was first tested in early 2008. In 2014, after several years of watching the development of the missile program, the Obama administration announced that Russia had violated the INF treaty.



U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

Remarks by President Trump and Prime Minister of Israel in Joint Press Conference
The White House
Trump: “The security challenges faced by Israel are enormous, including the threat of Iran's nuclear ambitions, which I've talked a lot about.  My administration has already imposed new sanctions on Iran, and I will do more to prevent Iran from ever developing -- I mean ever -- a nuclear weapon”.

SECDEF Mattis Implores NATO Allies to Spend More on Defense
Real Clear Defense
In an ultimatum to America's allies, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told fellow NATO members Wednesday to increase military spending by year's end or risk seeing the U.S. curtail its defense support.



OPINIONS

Moscow Issues its First Nuclear Challenge to Trump
Michaela Dodge, Real Clear Defense
Currently, Moscow is doing whatever it deems necessary to its strategic interest regardless of the treaty, while the United States continues to abide by it. The administration should not ponder any future arms control initiatives and nuclear weapons reduction agreements at least until this issue is resolved.

Did North Korea Just Launch a Chinese Missile?
Gordon Chang,The National Interest
The North Koreans are adept at stealing weapons tech, buying it, and getting it with the help of rogue scientists and engineers. The North Koreans did not develop this missile system completely on their own. The missile fired Sunday as a land-based missile and several months ago as an SLBM has almost exactly the same appearance and capabilities as the Chinese JL-1.

The RS-28 Sarmat and the Future U.S. Nuclear Modernization
Malcom Davis, Real Clear Defense
Russia claims the new RS-28 Sarmat heavy ICBM, being introduced as part of its nuclear modernization, can wipe out an area ‘the size of Texas or France’. They may be referring to the missile being able to deliver nuclear weapons via the South Pole rather than the traditional ‘over the north pole’ route. Whilst the RS-28 will certainly get US planners thinking about nuclear modernization, it seems unlikely that such hyperbole will have US leaders rushing for the nuclear bunkers.

Trump Inherits Nuclear Budget Time Bomb
Kingston Reif, Arms Control Association
The daunting fiscal challenge posed by current plans to upgrade America’s nuclear arsenal is now President Donald Trump’s problem. If the forthcoming Nuclear Posture Review by the administration does not reshape these plans—or worse, accelerates or expands upon them—spending on nuclear weapons will pose a major threat to higher priority national security programs, to say nothing about Trump’s pledge to expand the non-nuclear military.



SPECIAL INTEREST

The Air Force’s Secret Space Plane is Not Coming Home Soon After All
Real Clear Defense
The unmanned X-37B has been in space for 636 days, flying high over places like Iran, North Korea, and China. This leads to leads speculation that the spacecraft is doing so-called intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance work, training cameras, radars, and other spying devices on the ground below.

Mistaken missile warning surprises airman at Spangdahlem Air Base
Airforce Times
Airmen at the 52nd Fighter Wing at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, got an unexpected Valentine's Day present Tuesday: A bright red computer alert warning them of an incoming missile. The alert was accidentally distributed to the entire wing that afternoon. The alert warned "MISSILE INBOUND. SEEK SHELTER IMMEDIATELY!" The error was corrected eight minutes later, when officials sent out another message telling airmen to disregard the inadvertent missile warning and to resume normal operations.

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News – February 15, 2017

Nuclear Policy News – February 15, 2017

 

TOP NEWS

Japan to bolster missile defenses in face of North Korean threat
Japan Times

Russia Deploys Missile, Violating Treaty and Challenging Trump
New York Times

Nuclear modernization costs: $400 billion over 10 years
Defense News



EAST ASIA

Latest missile test improves N.K. ability to avoid pre-emptive attack: Einhorn (Interview)
Yonhap
"They [North Korea] are pursuing mobile, land-based missile plus submarine-based missiles and the reason is ... they want to be able to avoid pre-emption," according to Einhorn. "If you have mobile missiles that can hide or if you have submarine missiles that can hide in the ocean, then it's difficult to pre-empt. It's a huge advance for them."

Beijing Watches for How Trump Handles North Korea
The Wall Street Journal
As the Trump administration confronted its first challenge by North Korea, a weekend ballistic-missile test, China largely stayed on the sidelines, watching how the new leadership in Washington would react. China’s government waited a day before expressing its opposition to the test and urging Washington and Seoul to do more to curb Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions.

Japan to bolster missile defenses in face of North Korean threat
Japan Times
The government will accelerate work to strengthen the interception of missiles. Specifically, a Defense Ministry panel headed by state minister Kenji Wakamiya is slated to study the performance and costs of the United States’ cutting-edge Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system and Aegis Ashore, a land-based component of the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense system.



RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

Russia Deploys Missile, Violating Treaty and Challenging Trump
New York Times
Administration officials said the Russians now have two battalions of the prohibited cruise missile that violate the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. The missile program has been a major concern for the Pentagon, which has developed options for how to respond, including deploying additional missile defenses in Europe or developing air-based or sea-based cruise missiles.

UK orders North Korea ambassador to Foreign Office over ballistic missile test
The Express
The Foreign Office spokeswoman stated, “Today, in summoning the North Korean ambassador, we have made clear that the actions of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea were in direct violation of multiple resolutions, are a threat to international security and that such dangerous and destabilizing activity must stop.”



SOUTH ASIA

India Set to Test Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missile
The National Interest
India’s new K-4 nuclear-capable, submarine-launched ballistic missile is expected to have a range of 3,500 kilometers, a serious improvement over its current operational missile of the same kind.

 

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

Nuclear modernization costs: $400 billion over 10 years
Defense News
The Congressional Budget Office released its current estimate that the current plan to modernize U.S. nuclear weapons will cost $400 billion from 2017 to 2026.

Bright light in Northern California sky was missile test
Stars and Stripes
A submarine off the coast of California launched a Trident II D-5 missile at 3:30 a.m. and another at 6:20 a.m. The Trident II is a three-stage missile with a 4,000-mile range.

 

OPINIONS

South Korea Needs to Realize That North Korea Isn’t Going to Collapse
Robert E. Kelly, The National Interest
North Korea is not going to soon collapse or disappear. Ignoring it or appeasing it will not make it go away or tame it either. Nor is it primarily a problem for China, the United States, the UN and so on. This is firstly a South Korean issue, and it will be costly, domestically inconvenient, time-consuming and socially fatiguing to finally throttle North Korea into collapse.

Trump Must Respond to Russia’s New Nuclear Missile
Matthew Kroenig, The Atlantic Council
Washington and its NATO allies must act. US President Donald Trump’s administration should quickly conduct an internal policy review to weigh the available options for speedily developing and deploying a more flexible NATO nuclear posture. Some of the best options will require a decade or more to develop, but the threat is here and now, so it must also consider quicker fixes. 

The Myth of U.S. Nuclear Leadership
Matthew Costlow, National Institute for Public Policy
Everyone loves a leader. “Lead by example” says the old cliché. Yet when applied to U.S. nuclear weapons policy, this cliché has proven to be a failure. The idea’s superficial attractiveness is derived from its simplicity: U.S. reductions will lead to Russian and perhaps other countries’ reductions or arms control agreements. Cause and effect. An elegant solution to a complex problem.

Will North Korea’s Missile Launch a New U.S. Policy?
Anthony Ruggiero, Real Clear Defense
North Korea is a thorny foreign policy challenge that the Obama administration deferred with its policy of “strategic patience.” The Trump administration has an opportunity to recalibrate and make it clear to North Korea that further provocations will elicit increasingly harsh responses.

Russia Must Immediately Resolve INF Treaty Noncompliance Issue
Daryl Kimball, Arms Control Association
We call on Russia to immediately decommission the noncompliant missiles systems and return to compliance with the INF Treaty. We also urge President Donald Trump and administration officials to reiterate U.S. support for the agreement and convene another meeting of the treaty's Special Verification Commission (SVC) to address and resolve the compliance issues.

One Nuclear Step to Settle an Unsettled Age
Michael Krepon, Defense One
Important pledges can lose their effect unless backed up by deeds. The single most symbolic and practical step that states possessing nuclear weapons could take would be to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, which bans all nuclear testing for all time. 

 

SPECIAL INTEREST

The United States Used Depleted Uranium in Syria
Foreign Policy
U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) spokesman Maj. Josh Jacques stated armor-piercing rounds containing depleted uranium (DU) destroyed about 350 vehicles in the Syria’s eastern desert. However, the potential popular blowback from using depleted uranium is very real. While the United States insists it has the right to use the weapon, experts call the decision to use the weapon in such quantities against targets it wasn’t designed for — such as tanks — peculiar at best.

NATO’S Red Herring
Judy Dempsey, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
By spending more on equipment and training and sending troops to Poland and the Baltic states, NATO aims to reassure its more vulnerable members. But something of fundamental importance is missing from the spending plea and the deployment of troops: institutional memory, or what collective defense and deterrence used to mean in substance and in practice.

 

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News – February 14, 2017

Nuclear Policy News – February 14, 2017

 

TOP NEWS

North Korea says missile launch ‘self-defense’, U.S. demands action
Reuters

UN strongly condemns DPRK’s ballistic missile launch (VIDEO)
UN News Centre

USSTRATCOM Detects, Tracks North Korean Missile Launch
U.S. Strategic Command

EAST ASIA

North Korea displays ballistic missile improvements with test launch
Defense News
Analysts who have studied the footage and imagery of the latest test say that the Pukguksong-2 is solid fueled like its sub-launched predecessor and noted changes to the shape of the warhead/reentry vehicle, with KCNA claiming it is capable of evading interception, without providing specifics.

North Korea says missile launch ‘self-defense’, U.S. demands action
Reuters
Han Tae Song, the new Ambassador of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) to the United Nations in Geneva, addressed the U.N.-backed Conference on Disarmament a day after taking up his post." The various test fires conducted by DPRK for building up self-defense capabilities are, with no exception, self-defense measures to protect national sovereignty and the safety of the people against direct threats by hostile forces."

North Korea’s latest missile likely traveled farther than any other, Pentagon reports
Fox News
The missile traveled roughly 300 miles into the Sea of Japan but did not enter Japanese waters. It was launched on a “high trajectory” traveling for 14 minutes before splashing down.

South Korea says U.S. to deploy strategic assets for joint drills
Reuters
South Korea's defense ministry said the United States had agreed to deploy strategic assets for annual joint military exercises. It did not immediately give further details, and it was not immediately clear whether the planned deployment of strategic assets for the exercises was in response to North Korea's launch on Sunday of a ballistic missile.

MIDDLE EAST

Head of U.N. nuclear watchdog says Iran continuing commitment to deal
Reuters
 IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano said "Iran is implementing the JCPOA" apart from some breaches that saw its stock of heavy water slightly exceed the limit set under agreement which have been rectified. Nuclear activities by Iran is reduced and so this is a net gain. What is important is to continue to implement" the deal.”


SOUTH ASIA

India tests ballistic missile interceptor
UPI
According to India’s Defense Research Development Organization, the PDV (Prithvi Defense Vehicle) mission is for engaging the targets in the exo-atmosphere region at an altitude above 50 kilometers. Both the PDV interceptor and the two-stage target missile were successfully engaged.


MULTILATERAL ARMS CONTROL AND NONPROLIFERATION

U.N., Trump denounce North Korea, but no sign of any action
Reuters
The U.N. Security Council denounced North Korea's weekend missile launch, urging members to "redouble efforts" to enforce sanctions against the reclusive state, but gave no indications of any action it might take.

UN strongly condemns DPRK’s ballistic missile launch (VIDEO)
UN News Centre
Denouncing the launches as grave violations of the country's international obligations, the Council also noted that such activities contribute to the DPRK's development of nuclear weapons delivery systems and increase tension. The members of the Security Council further regretted that the DPRK is diverting resources to the pursuit of ballistic missiles while the country's citizens “have great unmet needs.”


U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

Trump says U.S. will deal with North Korea ‘very strongly'
Military Times
A spokesman from the Pentagon said technical advancements in North Korea's ballistic missile programs, demonstrated in the latest test-launch from a mobile launcher, pose a "clear, grave threat" to U.S. security. That assessment reflected concern as well as frustration among U.S. officials, who see North Korea pushing ahead, in defiance of U.N. Security Council resolutions, with development of missiles capable of striking U.S. territory with nuclear weapons. 

With allies seeking reassurance, Mattis heads to NATO
Defense News
Mattis will leave DC on Feb. 14 for Brussels, where he will attend his first NATO ministerial. attis will undoubtedly prove a popular attraction for NATO countries seeking reassurance that the U.S. is not going to abandon them in the future. 

USSTRATCOM Detects, Tracks North Korean Missile Launch
U.S. Strategic Command
U.S. Strategic Command systems detected and tracked what we assess was a North Korean missile launch at 4:55 p.m. CST, Feb. 11, 2017. The launch of a medium- or intermediate-range ballistic missile occurred near the northwestern city of Kusŏng. The missile was tracked over North Korea and into the Sea of Japan.The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) determined the missile launch from North Korea did not pose a threat to North America.

 

OPINIONS

The Pukguksong-2: A Higher Degree of Mobility, Survivability, and Responsiveness
John Shilling, 38 North
It takes more than a single test to ready a missile for operational service. North Korea’s engineers presumably learned a great deal from this test, which appears to have been basically successful. We do not know how much more they need to learn to be confident that the new missile will function reliably in combat, and will look to the pace of future testing to gauge progress with this new system.

Missile Defense: Blocking Threats or Blocking Diplomacy
Will Edwards, The Cipher Brief
History has shown that missile defense is disruptive whenever a country’s nuclear deterrent is at stake, and the advancement of missile defense technology is likely to continue this trend. Coyle warns that “As missile defenses improve and their numbers increase, they become more threatening to the adversary. Expanded U.S. missile defense deployments only encourage U.S. adversaries to build more and more offensive weapons…” Looking forward, missile defense will likely remain a high wire act balancing between defensive necessity and trust in diplomacy. 

How Trump Could Get a Deal With North Korea
Joel Wit and Richard Sokolsky, The Atlantic
A policy that emphasizes confrontation over dialogue will almost certainly provoke bigger and better North Korean missile and nuclear tests—including a North Korean ICBM and further work to develop a hydrogen bomb. On the other hand, resorting to the failed policies of the past—a sole focus on sanctions and other steps to mount pressure on Pyongyang and Beijing—will mean going down the same dead-end road as the Obama administration.

Air Force 3-Star: Nuclear-Armed Cruise Missile, LRSO, Essential to Saving US Lives & Preventing Major Power War
Kris Osborn,Scout
Senior Air Force leaders continue to argue that engineering a new, modern Long-Range Standoff Missile with nuclear capability may be one of a very few assets, weapons or platforms able to penetrate emerging high-tech air defenses. Such an ability is, as a result, deemed crucial to nuclear deterrence and the commensurate need to prevent major-power warfare. 

 


PONI EVENT

Debate: European Missile Defenses for NATO

Thursday, February 16, 2017 4:30pm-7:30pm

The current approach to European missile defenses emerged prior to the conclusion of the agreement to limit Iran’s nuclear program (JCPOA) at a time when missile threats from beyond the European theater dominated the European Security landscape. Since that time, much has changed, including the Russian annexation of Crimea and finalization of the JCPOA nuclear deal with Iran. This shifting security landscape has returned the spotlight to European missile defenses – but views on the way forward diverge sharply. While some call for expanded missile defenses to bolster assurances to NATO partners, others call for pausing the program before a new site is built in Poland as a means to deescalate tensions with Russia. Thomas Karako and Frank Rose will present arguments in favor of expanding U.S. missiles defenses for NATO, and Joseph Cirincione and Philip Coyle will argue against.

RSVP Here: https://www.csis.org/events/debate-european-missile-defenses-nato

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News – February 13, 2017

Nuclear Policy News – February 13, 2017

 

TOP NEWS

North Korea Claim Successful Surface-to-Surface Ballistic Missile Launch
The Wall Street Journal

Japan, US condemn North Korea Missile Launch Over the Sea of Japan
Fox News

Indian Navy II-38SD MPS successfully fires KH-35 anti-ship missile
IHS Janes 360

U.N. Secretary General condemns weekend North Korean ballistic missile launch
Reuters

EAST ASIA

North Korea Claim Successful Surface-to-Surface Ballistic Missile Launch
The Wall Street Journal
North Korea called the missile a modified version of a submarine-launched ballistic missile it test-fired in August, and said Sunday’s launch “proved the reliability and security of the surface launched system.” The North Korean news service KCNA has announced that the launch was in fact of land-based version of the KN-11, which it calls the Pukguksong-2. 

Japan, US condemn North Korea Missile Launch Over the Sea of Japan
Fox News
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe condemned North Korea's latest missile launch calling it, "absolutely intolerable." Abe read a brief statement in which he called on North Korea “to fully comply with relevant U.N. Security Council resolutions.” He said Trump has assured him of U.S. support. 

China Blames US, South Korea for North Korea Missile Launch
The New York Times
Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said China opposed the launch, which violated U.N. Security Council resolutions that call for an end to North Korea's nuclear and missile tests. "The root cause of the (North Korean) nuclear missile issue is its differences with the U.S. and South Korea," Geng told reporters at a regular briefing.

N.K. unveils footage of new ballistic missile launch (VIDEO)
Yonhap
The footage unveiled by the Korean Central TV Broadcasting Station showed that the missile was moved on one of the country's newly developed transport erector launchers (TEL) before being launched. The video also showed that the missile was launched at an almost vertical angle and changed direction while in flight.

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

Merkel denies ‘EU plan for nuclear weapons’
The Independent
The German government has been forced to deny it is interested in acquiring nuclear weapons amid calls for it to lead a European "nuclear superpower". "There are no plans for nuclear armament in Europe involving the federal government," a spokesman for German Chancellor Angela Merkel said.

 

SOUTH ASIA

Aziz sounds alarm of ‘nuclearization’ of Indian Ocean
Dawn
Speaking at a conference, Pakistan’s Foreign Affairs Adviser Sartaj Aziz listed the challenges to peace in the ocean as its militarization, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, increased missile capabilities and power projection by foreign militaries, in addition to piracy, illegal fishing, human, drugs and arms smuggling, maritime pollution and climate change.

Indian Navy II-38SD MPS successfully fires KH-35 anti-ship missile
IHS Janes 360
An Indian Navy (IN) Ilyushin Il-38SD maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) has fired a Russian-built Kh-35 radar-guided anti-ship missile against a target ship in a demonstration of its long-range sea denial capability The successful 'maiden' operational firing was carried out in the Arabian Sea during the IN's "Theatre Readiness and Operational Exercise' (TROPEX) 2017.

 

MULTILATERAL ARMS CONTROL AND NONPROLIFERATION

U.S., Japan, South Korea request U.N. meeting on North Korea missile launch
Reuters
The United States, Japan and South Korea requested urgent United Nations Security Council consultations on North Korea's launch of a ballistic missile on Sunday, an official in the U.S. mission to the U.N. said. The official said in a statement that the United States anticipates a meeting to take place on Monday afternoon.

U.N. Secretary General condemns weekend North Korean ballistic missile launch
Reuters
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday denounced North Korea's ballistic missile firing early on Sunday, calling it a "further troubling violation" of Security Council resolutions. "The DPRK leadership must return to full compliance with its international obligations and to the path of denuclearization," Guterres said in a statement.

 

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

Trump says U.S. behind Japan ‘100 percent’ after North Korean missile launch
Reuters
U.S. President Donald Trump said late on Saturday that the United States stands fully behind Japan in the aftermath of North Korea's latest missile launch. "I just want everybody to understand, and fully know, that the United States of America is behind Japan, our great ally, 100 percent," Trump told reporters during a joint statement with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

 

OPINIONS

Dealing with North Korea
Joseph DeTrani,The Washington Times
We are at a tipping point with a North Korea that possesses nuclear weapons and is in the process of miniaturizing those weapons to fit on the tip of a missile delivery system. Eventually, with a flight tested ICBM, North Korea will be an existential nuclear threat to the U.S. We should never permit this to happen.

Belgium: The Next Missile Defense Superpower?
Michael Peck, The National Interest
Belgium has quietly made the decision to build frigates equipped with exoatmospheric interceptors that sound a lot like the U.S. Navy’s Aegis system. This would make Belgium—a country the size of Maryland—the first European nation to have the capability to destroy ballistic missiles in space.

North Korea is Trump’s Kobayashi Maru: Here Are 4 Approaches to the No-Win Nuke Test
Jon Wolfsthal, Foreign Policy
I grew up in New York, just like President Donald Trump did, so perhaps like me he became a Star Trek fan watching reruns on WPIX at 11 p.m. every weeknight. If so, hopefully he knows about the Kobayashi Maru — a test every Starfleet cadet takes to experience a no-win scenario. Frankly, I’m surprised Trump has not been forced to take the test already. While North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has been patient, this is unlikely to last for long.

 

SPECIAL INTEREST

Sustaining Alliances in the Face of Renewed Threats
Rebecca K.C. Hersman, Franklin C. Miller, and Shanelle Van, The Huffington Post
It should worry us that some see these ties as resting on uncertain ground as nuclear tensions escalate throughout Asia and along NATO’s periphery. It would behoove us to shore up these relationships, rather than take their strength for granted. We need only imagine the void that would be left by their absence to understand why the importance of the bonds amongst the P3 cannot be overstated.

Trilateral Dialogue on Nuclear Issues
CSIS Project on Nuclear Issues
The European Trilateral Track 2 Nuclear Dialogues, sponsored by CSIS in partnership with the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) and the Fondation pour la Recherche Stratégique (FRS), has convened senior nuclear policy experts from the United Kingdom, France, and the United States (P3) for the past eight years to discuss nuclear deterrence policy issues and to identify areas of consensus among the three countries. On February 9, 2017, CSIS released the consensus statement for the 2016 round of the European Trilateral Track 2 Nuclear Dialogues.

PONI EVENT

Debate: European Missile Defenses for NATO

Thursday, February 16, 2017 4:30pm-7:30pm

The current approach to European missile defenses emerged prior to the conclusion of the agreement to limit Iran’s nuclear program (JCPOA) at a time when missile threats from beyond the European theater dominated the European Security landscape. Since that time, much has changed, including the Russian annexation of Crimea and finalization of the JCPOA nuclear deal with Iran. This shifting security landscape has returned the spotlight to European missile defenses – but views on the way forward diverge sharply. While some call for expanded missile defenses to bolster assurances to NATO partners, others call for pausing the program before a new site is built in Poland as a means to deescalate tensions with Russia. Thomas Karako and Frank Rose will present arguments in favor of expanding U.S. missiles defenses for NATO, and Joseph Cirincione and Philip Coyle will argue against.

RSVP Here: https://www.csis.org/events/debate-european-missile-defenses-nato

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News – February 9, 2017

Nuclear Policy News – February 9, 2017

TOP NEWS

Iran Fires Another Missile from Launch Pad
Military News

Russia deploys air defense missiles for massive drills
Military Times

N. Korea’s chief of missile operations absent from public eye, triggers speculations
Yonhap

 

EAST ASIA

S. Korea revises long-term defense reform plan
Yonhap
South Korea's military has revised its long-term defense reform plan to better cope with North Korean threats, including the creation of special units tasked to neutralize key figures and infrastructure should there be clear signs of the imminent use of nuclear weapons.

N. Korea’s chief of missile operations absent from public eye, triggers speculations
Yonhap
North Korea's missile operations commander did not show up for a key military event this week, an unusual absence which some observers linked to the country's alleged preparations for an intercontinental missile (ICBM) launch.

Cables reveal Chinese connection to Iran’s missiles
The Washington Times
China’s backing of Iran’s missile program was detailed in leaked State Department cables made public on the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks. The cables reveal that Chinese firms have provided a range of missile-related goods including specialty steel, accelerometers, ball bearings and gyroscopes.

 

MIDDLE EAST

Iran Fires Another Missile from Launch Pad
Military News
The missile used in Wednesday's launch was a short-range Mersad surface-to-air missile, which impacted 35 miles away, according to a U.S. official. This latest test comes less than a week after the U.S. placed new sanctions on Iran. 

New terms offered for a Turkish MEADS missile-defense system
Defense News
After giving up on an earlier decision to acquire their country’s first long-range anti-missile system from a Chinese contractor, Turkey’s procurement authorities are now mulling over the potential purchase of the Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS).

Turkey reveals ‘Bora’ ballistic missile
IHS Jane’s 360
Turkey has made public it has been developing a long-range surface-to-surface missile system called 'Bora' (Storm). The Undersecretariat for Defense Industries stated that the Project 'B' missile system had been developed by Roketsan in order to "meet the long range surface-to-surface missile requirement of the Turkish Land Forces Command through local design and production."

Israeli Military Shoots Down Rockets Fired From Egypt
Associated Press
The military said that its Iron Dome missile defense system shot down several rockets and that no injuries were reported. Rocket attacks on Eilat are relatively rare. Islamic militants in Egypt's lawless Sinai region have been behind a number of such attacks on the city in recent years. It was not immediately clear who fired the rockets Wednesday.

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

Russia deploys air defense missiles for massive drills
Military Times
The maneuvers are the latest in a steady series of war games intended to strengthen the Russian military's readiness. The Defense Ministry said S-300 and S-400 air defense missile systems were involved in the drills Wednesday. 

Russia sends Syria its largest missile delivery to date
Fox News
The shipment of 50 SS-21 short-range ballistic missiles arrived at the Syrian port of Tartus along the Mediterranean Sea in the past two days.

 

SOUTH ASIA

India Denies Pakistan Claim of Building Secret Nuclear City
New York Times
Pakistan on Thursday claimed that its arch rival India is building a "secret nuclear city" to produce thermonuclear weapons as well as develop intercontinental missiles and stockpile nuclear material — allegations that India promptly dismissed as "completely baseless."

 

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

US Air Force Glides Toward B-52 Engine Replacement Plan
Defense News
For the past two years, Air Force Global Strike Command has worked with engine manufacturers and financial institutions to put together a business case assessment for replacing the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress’s eight Pratt & Whitney TF33 engines. That assessment shows that an initial investment in new propulsion systems can save maintenance and fuel costs in the long run, but the Air Force’s acquisition wing is still working on the best way to finance the effort.

 

OPINIONS

Trump’s nuclear options: upcoming review casts a wide net
Aaron Mehta, Defense News
Trump directed Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis to “initiate a new Nuclear Posture Review [NPR] to ensure that the United States nuclear deterrent is modern, robust, flexible, resilient, ready, and appropriately tailored to deter 21st-century threats and reassure our allies.” Its wide open language, leaving Mattis with significant leeway over how the study will be run, who will be involved, and even the timetable, all factors that are certain to affect the study's conclusions.

Trump should undo disastrous nuclear policies
Bob Monroe, The Hill
President Trump must immediately issue an executive order making it clear that henceforth, nuclear weapons will be the preeminent foundation of America’s national security. Unsurpassed nuclear weapons strength – not weakness – must be our goal.  The twelve presidents before Obama, six from each party, all established a similar, or stronger, policy.

Iran’s Missile Tests Reveal Weaknesses of UN Security Council Resolution
Olli Heinonen, Real Clear Defense
Officials in Iran have vowed to continue testing ballistic missiles and dismissed claims that its program is a cover to develop long-range projectiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads. The United States and its allies should demand that Tehran uphold its obligation not to conduct tests of nuclear-capable ballistic or cruise missiles.

Trump tweets a red line for North Korea
George Will, Washington Post
On Jan. 1 Kim Jong Un, said that his regime was at “the final stage in preparations to test-launch” an ICBM. On Jan. 2, Donald Trump tweeted: “It won’t happen!” He thereby drew a red line comparable to his predecessor’s concerning Syrian chemical weapons. So Trump should be prepared to threaten actions that would prevent North Korea from learning from its test, actions such as shooting down the missile.

 

SPECIAL INTEREST

The Future of Nuclear Weapons Will Be Networked
Flight Global
When the US Air Force’s Northrop Grumman B-21 bomber talks to the long-range standoff (LRSO) weapon, it will mark the first time a nuclear cruise missile communicates digitally with its delivery aircraft.

 

 

 

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News – February 8, 2017

Nuclear Policy News – February 8, 2017

 

TOP NEWS

U.S. Strategic Command to Conduct Exercise Global Lightning
U.S. Strategic Command

Conference on Disarmament Discusses Iran’s Launch of Ballistic Missile
The United Nations Office at Geneva

NATO Troops deploy in Lithuania, underscoring commitment to defense
Reuters

EAST ASIA

Strategy to ‘destroy’ North Korea missiles to be applied during exercises
UPI
A bilateral U.S.-South Korea strategy to detect, defend, disrupt and destroy North Korea missiles, also known as 4D, is to be applied to the upcoming Key Resolve joint military exercises.

 

MIDDLE EAST

Iran pulls missile from Launchpad after apparent prep for launch
FOX News
New satellite imagery showed Iran preparing a Safir for launch. That missile is the type Iran has previously used to put a satellite into space. Tuesday morning the missile had been removed from the launchpad. It was not immediately clear why.

Yemeni rebels say they fired a ballistic missile at Saudi capital
Military Times
Yemen's Shiite rebels said on Monday they "successfully" fired a ballistic missile at Riyadh for the first time targeting the al-Mazahmiya army base in western Riyadh, about 650 miles from Sanaa.  

 

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

May refuses Netanyahu’s call to impose new sanctions on Iran
The Guardian
Netanyahu had said “responsible” countries should follow Trump in imposing new sanctions against Iran after it test-fired a ballistic missile. But May expressed her concern about Iran’s actions without saying there was a need for sanctions.

NATO Troops deploy in Lithuania, underscoring commitment to defense
Reuters
Germany and NATO on Tuesday underscored their commitment to beefing up the defense of eastern Europe's border with Russia as the first of four new batallions under the North Atlantic alliance's banner arrived in Lithuania. A NATO official said the NATO forces would participate in a major exercise in eastern Europe in June. A second official said it would include a simulated nuclear attack.


SOUTH ASIA

Nuclear terrorism is an international threat, cannot be ignored: Jaishankar
The Indian Express
While speaking at Implementation and Assessment Group Meeting of Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism, India’s Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar said the negative consequences of atomic power can not be overlooked, adding that nuclear terrorism is an international threat that should not serve national strategy.

MULTILATERAL ARMS CONTROL AND NONPROLIFERATION

Conference on Disarmament Discusses Iran’s Launch of Ballistic Missile
The United Nations Office at Geneva
The Conference on Disarmament this morning was presented with a draft proposal by the Romanian Presidency on the establishment of a working group on the “way ahead”.  Several delegations raised the issue of Iran’s recent ballistic missile launch. 

 

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

US Army Strategy to Acquire Patriot Radar Replacement Expected Soon
Defense News
The Army is nearing completion of an acquisition strategy to achieve a 360-degree threat detection capability for its future Integrated Air-and-Missile Defense system, according to the deputy program executive officer for Army Missiles and Space. 

U.S. Strategic Command to Conduct Exercise Global Lightning
U.S. Strategic Command
Beginning Feb. 7, the Global Lightning 2017 scenario incorporates a variety of strategic threats to our nation. All USSTRATCOM mission areas will be exercised to ensure the command is ready to provide capabilities to combatant commanders around the globe. It also tests the command’s readiness to confront uncertainty and allows USSTRATCOM forces to train as they would fight.

 

OPINIONS

The Prague Agenda in a Post-Truth World
Joshua Pollack, Arms Control Wonk
Will Obama’s Prague Agenda be seen as perpetually significant, a fading historical artifact, or just unfulfilled hopes and dreams? While the conference yielded no clear consensus on Obama’s record, it provided insights into upcoming hot-button issues.

What Does Putting Iran ‘On Notice’ Really Mean?
Paul Shinkman, US News
James Stavridis, a retired Navy admiral who served as NATO's supreme allied commander for Europe, interprets the phrase as the administration's stating it will act at a time and place of its choosing.

The Limitations of Framing North Korea as a Risk
Danielle Chubb, Real Clear Defense
Past practice of assuming that North Korea represents a risk and acts like an outlier or 'rogue' has led to a series of policy failures. This has been evident over the past eight years of ‘strategic patience’, where placing the onus on North Korea to act – an approach which assumes that the only barrier to progress lies in Pyongyang – has seen the world stand by while North Korea has developed a significant nuclear capability.

How I learned to Hate the Bomb
Joelien Pretorius, Bulletin of Atomic Scientists
Even at its best, arms control takes a contradictory approach to nuclear weapons. These weapons are bad; but if we limit them, they're good; as long as we don't limit them too much. At its worst, arms control urges humanity—to borrow from the title of Stanley Kubrick's film Dr. Strangelove—to "stop worrying and learn to love the Bomb."

How Trump Can Reassure Asian Allies
J. Berkshire Miller, Foreign Affairs
The timing of Mattis’ visit was critical, coming as it did amid growing criticism from regional observers that the Trump administration was set to cast aside the United States’ pivot to Asia and focus more on threats from the Middle East. But perhaps more important was Mattis’ tone: The defense secretary did not press allies on burden-sharing but sought instead to reassure and listen to them. That was the right move. 

 

SPECIAL INTEREST

Countering the North Korean Threat: New Steps in U.S. Policy (VIDEO)
CSIS
Victor Cha, CSIS senior adviser and Korea Chair, testified before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on "Countering the North Korean Threat: New Steps in U.S. Policy."

Air Force Laser Weapons to Defend B-2 Bomber
Scout
Offensive and defensive laser weapons for Air Force fighter jets and large cargo aircraft have been in development for several years now. However, the Air Force Research Lab has recently embarked upon a special five-year effort, called the SHIELD program, aimed at creating sufficient on-board power, optics and high-energy lasers able to defend large platforms such as a B-52 bomber.

 

 

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News – February 6, 2017

Nuclear Policy News – February 6, 2017

 

TOP NEWS

China Showcases New First Island Chain Ballistic Missile
Associated Press

Iran holds military exercise in defiance of US sanctions
Fox News

N. Korea berates recent three-way missile drills as pre-emptive strike-driven
Yonhap

US, Japan conduct successful missile interception test
CNN

EAST ASIA

China Showcases New First Island Chain Ballistic Missile
Associated Press
The two-stage DF-16 replaces the older, shorter range DF-11, with a final stage that can adjust its trajectory to strike slow moving targets and evade anti-missile defenses such as the U.S. Patriot system deployed by Taiwan. It also carries up to three warheads weighing as much as a ton and carrying conventional high explosives or a nuclear weapon. Further increasingly its lethality, the missile is believed to be accurate to within as little as 5 meters (16 feet) of the target, similar to that of a cruise missile.

N. Korea likely to watch U.S. reaction to Iran missile test before its own test: expert
Yonhap
Ken Gause, senior North Korea analyst at CNA Corp. in Washington stated "North Korea might launch a medium range missile to test the waters, so to speak. They might sit tight until the Trump administration clearly sets out its intentions toward Pyongyang," he said. "If they conduct an ICBM or nuclear test, it will indicate that Kim Jong-un has given up any hope for engaging the U.S. and needs to speed toward securing a nuclear deterrent."

N. Korea berates recent three-way missile drills as pre-emptive strike-driven
Yonhap
The recent missile alert exercise, the third of its kind carried by the three nations, was intended to tighten their combined capabilities to defend against North Korea's missile defense assets and mobilized Aegis-equipped warships.

 

MIDDLE EAST

Iran holds military exercise in defiance of US sanctions
Fox News
In apparent defiance of the new sanctions imposed by the Trump administration, Iran held a military exercise Saturday to test missile and radar systems. The aim of the exercise, held in Semnan province, was to “showcase the power of Iran’s revolution and to dismiss the sanctions.”

Iran’s missile test ‘not a message’ to Trump
Reuters
Iran said on Monday a recent missile trial launch was not intended to send a message to new U.S. President Donald Trump and to test him, since after a series of policy statements Iranian officials already "know him quite well". Despite heated words between Tehran and Washington, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Saturday he was not considering strengthening U.S. forces in the Middle East to address Iran's "misbehavior".

 

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

US, Japan conduct successful missile interception test
CNN
The US Missile Defense Agency announced that the USS John Paul Jones detected, tracked and took out the target ballistic missile using its onboard Aegis Missile Defense System and a Standard Missile-3 Block IIA interceptor. The test took place Friday night off the Hawaiian island of Kauai.

Ryan: Iran deal will likely stay in place
The Hill
Speaker Ryan maintained that the U.S. should "expend our effort where it can pay off the most," while not ignoring the numerous transgressions with Iran.

OPINIONS

Overcoming the Wrong Détente
Axel Hellman and Michelle Shevin-Coetzee, Real Clear Defense
It is not the broader “ends” of Trump’s policies – improved relations with Moscow – that are worrying. Rather, it is the “means” by which he and a number of European leaders are pursuing this relationship that should raise concerns. More simply put, it is the wrong détente.

Has China Been Practicing Missile Strikes Against U.S. Forces?
Thomas Shugart, War on the Rocks
U.S. leaders and policymakers should understand that a preemptive Chinese missile strike against the forward bases that underpin U.S. military power in the Western Pacific is a very real possibility, particularly if China believes its claimed core strategic interests are threatened in the course of a crisis and perceives that its attempts at deterrence have failed. Such a preemptive strike appears consistent with available information about China’s missile force doctrine, and the satellite imagery shown below points to what may be real-world efforts to practice its execution.

Welcome to America’s ‘Nuclear Sponge’
Tom Collina, Defense One
The United States currently deploys hundreds of nuclear missiles across, but these ICBMs are not meant to be launched, ever. Not even in a nuclear war. Their primary mission is to be destroyed in the ground, along with all the people that live anywhere near them. Their main purpose is to “absorb” a nuclear attack from Russia, acting as a giant “nuclear sponge.” 

SPECIAL INTEREST

Iran’s Missile Test: Getting the Facts Straight on North Korea’s Cooperation
Michael Elleman,38 North
The strategic implications of Tehran’s recent missile test and the possibility of continued missile cooperation with Pyongyang vary depending on what was actually launched. Contrary to some assertions, the available evidence cannot verify speculation that the Iranian missile is similar to North Korea’s Musudan, or reports that Pyongyang exported R-27 engines to Iran.

The New Space Race
Fritz Lodge, The Cipher Brief
This shift from a bipolar to a multipolar – and heavily commercialized – system offers boundless opportunities to both accelerate space exploration and augment U.S. national security assets in orbit. But that opportunity comes with great risk, as a dizzying new array of space-based threats proliferate against everything from commercial communications satellites to U.S. military assets in space.

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News – February 3, 2017

Nuclear Policy News – February 3, 2017

 

TOP NEWS

Mattis warns North Korea against any attack on U.S. or its allies
The Associated Press

U.S. readies sanctions on Iran after missile test
The Associated Press

Minot AFB missile wing prepares for ICBM test launch
Minot Daily News

Iranian foreign minister “unmoved by threats” from U.S.
Reuters

EAST ASIA

Japan’s Shinzo Abe asks Pope Francis to visit Hiroshima
UPI
Japan has been increasingly calling for a world without weapons of mass destruction since it observed the 71st anniversary of the Hiroshima atomic bombing on Aug. 6. "If the pope says a prayer for bomb victims, it will be a great force for the realization of a world without nuclear weapons," Abe said.

Mattis warns North Korea against any attack on U.S. or its allies
The Associated Press
U.S. defense secretaries have long offered assurances to South Korea and Japan that its nuclear "umbrella" will protect them, but Mattis's statement was perhaps more pointed than most. He made the remarks during an appearance with his South Korean counterpart, Defense Minister Han Min Koo. 

U.S. defense chief, in Japan, reaffirms commitment to treaty
Reuters
Abe said he was convinced that, with Trump and Mattis, the United States and Japan could demonstrate to the world their "unwavering alliance". He also told Mattis Japan intends to bolster its defense and to "expand the role it can play", according to the statement.

China says resolutely opposes deployment of THAAD in South Korea
Reuters
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang reiterated China's opposition to the U.S. system at a daily news briefing in Beijing. China has consistently opposed the decision to deploy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system, saying it threatens China's own security and will do nothing to ease tension on the Korean peninsula.

 

MIDDLE EAST

U.S. readies sanctions on Iran after missile test
The Associated Press
The sanctions, coming in the first weeks of President Donald Trump's term, reflect his administration's desire to take a strong stance toward Iran from the start.

Iranian foreign minister “unmoved by threats” from U.S.
Reuters
Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted on Friday that the Islamic Republic was unmoved by U.S. threats following its missile test launch and that Tehran would never initiate war. "Iran unmoved by threats as we derive security from our people. Will never initiate war, but we can only rely on our own means of defense," Zarif wrote.

 

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

Russia likely to mull action if THAAD deployment goes ahead: envoy
Yonhap News
Russian Ambassador to South Korea Alexander Timonin said that the stationing of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system on the Korean Peninsula will have a "dangerous" impact on ongoing efforts to secure regional peace and stability. "We will have no choice but to draw a certain conclusion once the THAAD installment is complete we will have to take certain types of countermeasures to guarantee our own security."

German minister: No sign U.S. wants to cancel nuclear deal with Iran
Reuters
German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said it was necessary to do everything possible to make progress on the nuclear deal with Iran and that he did not see any indications during a visit to the United States that Washington would terminate it.

 

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

Army Extends PATRIOT Missile Tech-Improvement & Ponders New Upgrades
Scout
The PATRIOT Missile Segment Enhancement improves fire-control, radar and target tracking for the weapon, which can destroy enemy drones, aircraft and Theater Ballistic Missiles.

Minot AFB missile wing prepares for ICBM test launch
Minot Daily News
A team from the 91st Missile Wing at Minot Air Force Base will test an unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile with a launch from  Vandenberg AFB, Calif., early next week.

 

OPINIONS

Iran’s Ballistic Missile Test: Troubling But Not Cause for Provoking Confrontation
Kelsey Davenport and Daryl Kimball,Arms Control Association
Instead of provoking a confrontation with Tehran, Washington should focus its efforts on strengthening enforcement of the extensive ballistic missile sanctions on the books to continue to slow Tehran’s missile program and pursue region-wide restrictions on ballistic missiles in the Middle East.

Bring Russia to the Table and Promote America’s Security: The Art of the Deal
Stephen Blank and Peter Huessy, Gatestone Institute
The new President seeks to modernize the US nuclear deterrent, expand effective missile defenses, and significantly increase conventional military capability, while reforming and revitalizing NATO. These plans will no doubt rub up against Mr. Putin's objectives. The two urgent tasks for the new administration are: 1. formulation of strategic objectives, and 2. adoption of a strategy that gets the United States and its allies where the US would like to go. That means bringing Russia to the table from a position of US strength, rather than the calculated weakness of the last eight years.

Don’t Rip up the Iran Deal, Mr. President
George Perkovich, POLITICO
It took years, and enormous effort across multiple U.S. administrations, to pull off the Iranian nuclear deal. Political capital is hard to win, easy to lose and even harder to get back. Gambling on the deal is an unnecessary fool’s bet. Contesting Iran would be harder if its nuclear program were unconstrained and the rest of the world blamed the U.S. for it. If only a presidency were at stake, it would be merely interesting to see how this drama plays out. But the stakes here are much higher.

Europe should act fast to preserve the Iran nuclear deal
Ellie Geranmayeh, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
Europe has a crucial but short window to clearly outline its position on the Iran nuclear deal in ways that could influence policymakers in Washington. In doing so, Europe should focus on preserving the agreement under existing terms as enshrined by the United Nations, and charting a course that minimizes confrontation—whether intentional or accidental—between Iran and the United States in an already turbulent Middle East.

 

SPECIAL INTEREST

How to Deter New Space Threats
Todd Harrison, The Cipher Brief
Satellites now crowd our orbit with vital communications, global positioning (GPS) networks, and imaging platforms. This new age of commercialization and exploration offers many opportunities, however, it also presents the U.S. and other countries with unique security dilemmas. 

The Logic of Banning Nuclear Weapons
Beatrice Fihn, Global Politics and Strategy
If the international community is ever going to get rid of nuclear weapons, it must start by clearly rejecting them.

 

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News – February 2, 2017

Nuclear Policy News – February 2, 2017

 

TOP NEWS

N. Korea threatens catastrophe to follow joint South-U.S. drills in March
Yonhap

UK stresses key role of IAEA during Brexit Debate
World Nuclear News

As Mattis heads to Seoul, State clears $140 million in missiles for South Korea
Defense News

EAST ASIA

N. Korea threatens catastrophe to follow joint South-U.S. drills in March
Yonhap
The North’s Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland stated, "It's needless to say what catastrophic outcome could result when such nuclear war rehearsals take place in front of us at a time our strategic status has changed."

 

MIDDLE EAST

Netanyahu: Iran missile test must not go unanswered
BBC
Israel's prime minister has accused Iran of carrying out a missile test in "flagrant violation" of a UN security council resolution. Benjamin Netanyahu said he would raise renewing sanctions when he meets US President Donald Trump in February.

Khamenei ally says useless for U.S. to threaten Iran over missile test
Reuters
A top adviser to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei stated, “The American government will understand that threatening Iran is useless. Iran does not need permission from any country to defend itself." 

 

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

Russia, India developing lightweight BrahMos variant
IHS Janes
The BrahMos design is a co-operative programm led by India's Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and NPO Mashinostroyenia (NPO Mash) in Russia. The original BrahMos missile is based on the Yakhont supersonic cruise missile, which is the export version of the Russian domestic P-800 (3M55) Oniks missile. While the original BrahMos retains much of the Russian missile's aerodynamic design and manufactured components, it uses a number of Indian-made onboard systems.

 

MULTILATERAL ARMS CONTROL AND NONPROLIFERATION

UK stresses key role of IAEA during Brexit Debate
World Nuclear News
The UK will seek an alternative agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) if it fails to negotiate "some sort of relationship" with the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) during Brexit negotiations.

 

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

As Mattis heads to Seoul, State clears $140 million in missiles for South Korea
Defense News
The sales are divided into two lots, each worth an estimated $70 million. The first lot covers 60 AIM-9X-2 Sidewinder Block II All-up-Round Missiles and six AIM-9X-2 Block II Tactical Guidance Units, containers, spares and missile support; the second lot covers 89 AGM-65G-2 Maverick missiles, missile containers and other related elements of support. 

Trump adopts aggressive posture toward Iran after missile launch
Reuters
Trump’s national security adviser, Michael Flynn said that instead of being thankful to the United States for the nuclear deal, "Iran is now feeling emboldened. As of today, we are officially putting Iran on notice," he told reporters in his first appearance in the White House press briefing room.

Defense Secretary Mattis: Only North Korea Need Fear Missile Defense
CNN
On Thursday afternoon, Mattis met with acting South Korean President Hwang Kyo-ahn in Seoul and reiterated the strength of the US-South Korean alliance. "There is no other nation that needs to be concerned about THAAD other than North Korea if they're engaged in something that's offensive," Mattis said.

 

OPINIONS

Assessing US Policy Options Towards North Korea
Scott Snyder, Council on Foreign Relations
Scott Snyder and Dr. Nicholas Eberstadt from the American Enterprise Institute testified before the Senate foreign relations committee on policy toward North Korea. Scott Snyder’s opening statements argue that the window of opportunity to achieve North Korea’s peaceful denuclearization may have closed.

SPECIAL INTEREST

A Secret Army Base Buried Deep In Arctic Ice Could Rise Again
Forbes
More than half a century ago, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers carved a secret Cold War missile base at Camp Century, beneath more than 20 feet of an ice sheet in northwestern Greenland. The project was abandoned after less than a decade, including entire buildings, a railroad, sewage, toxic and even some radioactive waste. The idea was that perpetual snow would permanently entomb all of it, but now NASA and others say current trends could instead bring the base to the surface and let loose some of that toxic waste into the environment even sooner.

PONI EVENT:

In case you missed yesterday’s event on “The Future of Alliances and Extended Nuclear Deterrence” you can watch both panel discussions here: https://www.csis.org/events/future-alliances-and-extended-nuclear-deterrence

 

Panel 1: Nuclear Deterrence and the NATO Alliance: Risks of Conflict and Prospects for Cooperation

Featuring: Rebecca Hersman (Moderator), Alexander Vershbow, Frank Miller, Iain King CBE, and Kathleen Hicks

 

Panel 2: Nuclear Deterrence and the Asia-Pacific Alliances: Sustaining the U.S. Nuclear Umbrella in the face of rising challenges

Featuring: Elaine Bunn (Moderator), Michael Schiffer, Tetsuo Kotani, and Andrew Shearer

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News – February 1, 2017

Nuclear Policy News – February 1, 2017

 

TOP NEWS

NATO Shelves Plan to Meet with Ukraine
The Wall Street Journal

Trump’s defense chief heads to Asia, eying China, North Korea threat
Reuters

Iran confirms new missile test, says it does not violate nuclear deal
Reuters


EAST ASIA

China Steps up Opposition to US Missile Defense System
Voice of America
Recent revelations in the media about China’s deployment of DF-41 intercontinental ballistic missiles in the country’s northeast, near its border with the Korean peninsula, were in part a response to the possible deployment of THAAD.

 

MIDDLE EAST

Iran confirms new missile test, says it does not violate nuclear deal
Reuters
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Tuesday that Tehran would never use its ballistic missiles to attack another country. Some 220 Iranian members of parliament reaffirmed support for Tehran's missile program, calling international condemnation of the tests "illogical."

 

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

MEADS Team Submits Proposal for Polish Missile-Defense System
Defense News
The MEADS International proposal -- submitted at the request of the Polish government on Monday for its "Wisla" program -- officially puts Raytheon and Lockheed Martin back into a head-to-head competition to provide the country the air-and-missile defense solution it’s been pursuing for roughly four years.

 

MULTILATERAL ARMS CONTROL AND NONPROLIFERATION

NATO Shelves Plan to Meet with Ukraine
The Wall Street Journal
NATO had considered meeting with Ukraine to discuss the alliance’s missile-defense system. The decision not to meet with Ukraine comes as the alliance is at an awkward moment with Russia. NATO is beginning to build up its deterrent force on Russia's border —the first German forces set out Tuesday—but President Donald Trump has promised better relations with Russia.

 

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

‘The United States is not naïve’: Nikki Hayley slams Iran over ballistic missile tests
Business Insider
Nikki Hayley told reporters after the UN Security Council’s consultations on Iran that "The United States is not naïve…We are not going to stand by. You will see us call them out, as we said we would, and you are also going to see us act accordingly."

Trump’s defense chief heads to Asia, eying China, North Korea threat
Reuters
Today Secretary of Defense General James Mattis leaves the United States heading first to Seoul before continuing to Tokyo on February 3rd. Officials say the fact that Mattis is first heading to Asia- as opposed to visiting troops in Iraq or Afghanistan – is meant to reaffirm ties with two Asian allies as concerns mount over North Korea’s missile program and tensions with China.

 

OPINIONS

Making America’s ICBMs Great Again
Adam Lowther, Defense One
In asking whether the United States should move to a diad, critics of the nuclear triad are both misreading Gen. Mattis and underappreciating the role ICBMs play in strategic stability. By questioning the utility of the triad, he is doing what good military leaders have always done: challenging assumptions. 

New Threat Realities and Deterrence Requirements
Keith Payne, National Institute for Public Policy
The world has become a much more dangerous place since the 2010 Nuclear Posture Review and Western security policies and practices need to adjust to this new reality.

Japan: Go Nuclear Now
Anders Corr,Forbes
Japan needs nuclear weapons. Surrounded by authoritarian threats, including Russia, China, and China’s close ally, North Korea, Japan would make all democracies safer by protecting itself with a nuclear weapon. A stronger Japan will check China’s expansion and free U.S. military resources for deployment elsewhere.

 

SPECIAL INTEREST

Opinion Journal: Iran’s Ballistic Missile Ambitions (VIDEO)
Wall Street Journal
Foundation for Defense of Democracies Senior Iran Analyst Behnam Ben Taleblu on Tehran’s latest provocation.

The Nuclear Bunkers Designed for Luxury Living
BBC News
After the terrible events of 9/11, entrepreneur Larry Hall developed luxury “Survival Condos” that could withstand a nuclear bomb attack. These are luxury, nuclear-hardened bunkers that are engineered… to accommodate not just your physical protection but your mental wellbeing as well," he says.

 

TODAY AT CSIS

The Future of Alliances and Extended Nuclear Deterrence
Wednesday, February 1, 2017 3:30-6:00pm at CSIS

A survey of the world today finds the nuclear landscape – from Russia, to North Korea, to India, Pakistan, and China – to be more uncertain and precarious than it has been any time since the end of the Cold War. Yet, even as nuclear dangers seem to be growing, there seems to be deepening discontent with the notion of nuclear deterrence. A growing chorus of voices questions the legitimacy of assurance and deterrence, fracturing what might have been thought at one point to be a consensus between allies. There also seems to be a growing skepticism about the benefits of the internationalist system on which deterrence, and especially extended deterrence, depends. We invite you to join us for a discussion on these issues facing the Trump administration.

 

RSVP HERE: https://www.csis.org/events/future-alliances-and-extended-nuclear-deterrence

 

 

 

 

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News – January 31, 2017

Nuclear Policy News – January 31, 2017

 

TOP NEWS

Sanctions experts likely to gather in Seoul to discuss N.K. nuke issue
Yonhap

Iran tested medium-range ballistic missile: U.S. official
Reuters

France, Worried by Trump, Promises to Defend Iran Nuclear Deal
Voice of America

EAST ASIA

Defense chiefs of S. Korea, U.S. reaffirm THAAD deployment this year
Yonhap
Defense Minister Han Min-koo and U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis talked over the phone to confirm that the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system will be placed in South Korea this year as scheduled and the allies will maintain full readiness to counter any aggression by the North.

Sanctions experts likely to gather in Seoul to discuss N.K. nuke issue
Yonhap
The experts, dubbed "grim reapers" and known to belong to governments of seven or eight countries including the United States, are expected to exchange views on what options would be available in the case that the North carries out additional provocations.

 

MIDDLE EAST

Iran tested medium-range ballistic missile: U.S. official
Reuters
The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the test was carried out from a site near Semnan, east of Tehran. It was not immediately clear whether the test launch violated a United Nations Security Council resolution calling upon Iran not to carry out activity related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons.

Iran: Missile tests not in violation of nuclear deal
Aljazeera

Addressing reporters Javad Zarif said: "The missile issue is not part of the nuclear deal. "Reiterating Iran's traditional stance, Zarif said that his country's missiles are "not designed for the capability of carrying a nuclear warhead".

Yemen’s Houthis Attack Saudi Ship, Launch Ballistic Missile
Reuters
The armed Houthi movement attacked a Saudi warship off the western coast of Yemen on Monday, causing an explosion that killed two crew members and injured three others, Saudi state news agency SPA reported. Separately, the Houthis said they launched a ballistic missile at a Saudi-led coalition military base on the Red Sea island of Zuqar between Yemen and Eritrea on Tuesday.  


RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

Russian submarine construction set for progress in 2017
IHS Jane’s
Unconfirmed reports have suggested that the Russia's first Borey-A nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) has significant structural changes, including possibly 20 launch tubes for Bulava submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM), four more than the first three Borey-class boats.

France, Worried by Trump, Promises to Defend Iran Nuclear Deal
Voice of America
Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault is in Iran to reassure Tehran of France and Europe's support for the nuclear deal. "I'm coming as the defender of the accord, but to be vigilant and explain that they [the Iranians] must be irreproachable," Jean-Marc Ayrault told reporters after landing in Tehran.

 

SOUTH ASIA

Pakistan steps up missile tests to counter India defense push
Financial Times
Islamabad last week conducted its first flight test of the surface-to-surface Ababeel missile, which has a range of 2,200km and which officials and analysts say marks a significant step forward in the country’s ability to target locations in India. The move followed Pakistan’s first ballistic missile launch from a submarine earlier this month.

 

MULTILATERAL ARMS CONTROL AND NONPROLIFERATION

UN to Hold Urgent Meeting on Iran Missile Test
Associated Press
The U.N. Security Council scheduled urgent consultations Tuesday on an Iranian ballistic missile test at the request of the United States.

 

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

Raytheon evaluates seeker options for Maritime Strike Tomahawk (MST)
IHS Jane’s
Intended as an upgrade for existing Tomahawk Block IV cruise missiles, the USN plans that the MST package will introduce an anti-ship seeker to enter service in fiscal year 2022 (FY 2022). The modernization is being planned in parallel with a forthcoming missile recertification program.

 

OPINIONS

Facing the grave nuclear risk
Robert Monroe,The Washington Times
America must resume underground nuclear weapons testing as rapidly as possible. The lives of millions of Americans, and the continued existence of the United States, may depend upon it.

Terrorist Threats to Pakistan’s Tactical Nuclear Weapons: A Clear and Present Danger
Sarid Farid Shapoo, Small Wars JournalThe unabated internal chaos coupled with a perpetual tension with its eastern neighbor, makes Pakistan a bit of a nuclear nightmare. Its willingness to use tactical nuclear weapons even against a limited conventional incursion by India further complicates the situation.  

China’s Happy to Sit Out the Nuclear Arms Race
Melissa Hanham, Foreign Policy
Why hasn’t Chinese leader Xi Jinping stripped off his shirt and flexed his strategic forces? Why not take to Twitter — or Weibo, at least — to brag about how long he can last in an arms race? Well, he doesn’t need to and he knows it. Decades of Chinese leaders have known it. The Chinese think about nuclear weapons in a fundamentally different way than their Western counterparts — one that could give China an edge in the contest to become the defining power of the 21st century.

 

SPECIAL INTEREST

The Future of Alliances and Extended Nuclear Deterrence
Wednesday, February 1, 2017 3:30-6:00pm at CSIS

A survey of the world today finds the nuclear landscape – from Russia, to North Korea, to India, Pakistan, and China – to be more uncertain and precarious than it has been any time since the end of the Cold War. Yet, even as nuclear dangers seem to be growing, there seems to be deepening discontent with the notion of nuclear deterrence. A growing chorus of voices questions the legitimacy of assurance and deterrence, fracturing what might have been thought at one point to be a consensus between allies. There also seems to be a growing skepticism about the benefits of the internationalist system on which deterrence, and especially extended deterrence, depends. We invite you to join us for a discussion on these issues facing the Trump administration.

RSVP HERE: https://www.csis.org/events/future-alliances-and-extended-nuclear-deterrence

 

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News – January 30, 2017

Nuclear Policy News – January 30, 2017

 

TOP NEWS

Israel adds upper tier missile defense capability
IHS Jane’s

North Korea could test midrange missile before ICBM
UPI

U.S. Reviews Nuclear Strike Survival for Russia and China
Bloomberg

EAST ASIA

S. Korea’s joint chiefs of staff to lead key resolve exercise in March
Yonhap
South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff will lead a combined military exercise with the U.S. from a new command center in March amid growing threats from North Korea, military officials said Monday. The exercise's command center will be set up in an underground bunker of South Korea's Capital Defense Command, as the JCS will lead the annual exercise with the U.S. staff playing a supporting role, according to the ministry. 

Trump reiterates ‘ironclad commitment’ to defend S. Korea: White House
Yonhap
After his phone conference with President Trump, Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn remarked, “President Trump reiterated our ironclad commitment to defend the (Republic of Korea), including through the provision of extended deterrence, using the full range of military capabilities. The two leaders agreed to take steps to strengthen joint defense capabilities to defend against the North Korean threat."

North Korea could test midrange missile before ICBM
UPI
North Korea is likely to test-launch a midrange Musudan because the missile needs technical improvements, and its detonator and atmospheric re-entry need to be tested. South Korea military officials said North Korea has yet to perfect the technology that could allow for the atmospheric re-entry of a long-range ballistic missile.

 

MIDDLE EAST

Israel adds upper tier missile defense capability
IHS Jane’s
The upper tier element of the Arrow-3 includes high-velocity exo-atmospheric hit-to-kill interceptors and software block increments that will increase the interceptor’s capabilities appropriate to the evolving threat set.

 

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

Putin’s Russia in biggest Arctic military push since Soviet fall
Reuters
The nuclear icebreaker Lenin, the pride and joy of the Soviet Union's Arctic great game, lies at perpetual anchor in the frigid water here. A relic of the Cold War, it is now a museum. But nearly three decades after the Lenin was taken out of service to be turned into a visitor attraction, Russia is again on the march in the Arctic and building new nuclear icebreakers.

 

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

U.S. Reviews Nuclear Strike Survival for Russia and China
Bloomberg
Under the little-noticed provision in this year’s defense authorization measure, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the U.S. Strategic Command -- which plans and would execute nuclear strikes -- will evaluate the post-attack capabilities of the two nuclear powers. The law mandates a report on Russian and Chinese “leadership survivability, command and control and continuity of government programs.”

 

OPINIONS

Nuclear Balancing and the Curse of the Heavy ICBM
Rod Lyon, Real Clear Defense
Too big to hide, too heavy to move and too important for an opponent to ignore, the RS-28’s going to be a major factor locking us into a scenario in which Russia continues to deploy a substantial fraction of its strategic arsenal on destabilizing heavy ICBMs—regardless of what the new US administration decides.

Reality: Humanity can’t indefinitely avoid using nuclear weapons
Mustafa Kibaroglu,Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
Realistically appraising nuclear weapons and their dangers demands the negotiation of a ban treaty. What is overly idealistic is to believe that humanity, if it possesses nuclear weapons indefinitely, will indefinitely manage to avoid nuclear war.

Can the US Prevent North Korea from Testing an ICBM?
Michael Elleman, 38 North
The likelihood of success is limited, if not improbable. In fact, the probability that the North Korean ICBM test will fail on its own is significantly higher than the probability of success. Preventing Kim Jong Un from developing an operational ICBM can be achieved if North Korea never tests prototypes of the missile. Without flight tests, Pyongyang will not know if the ICBM’s performance and reliability are adequate. However, sea-based missile defenses available today are not capable of reliably interrupting a North Korean ICBM test.

 

SPECIAL INTEREST

Army opens site of atomic bomb blast to the public for a day
Army Times
Trinity Site was the location for test officers on the Manhattan Project to finalize and test the atomic bomb. Visitors can see ground zero, where the bomb was placed for explosion, and the McDonald ranch house where the plutonium core of the bomb was assembled

 

UPCOMING PONI EVENT

The Future of Alliances and Extended Nuclear Deterrence
Wednesday, February 1, 2017 3:30-6:00pm at CSIS

A survey of the world today finds the nuclear landscape – from Russia, to North Korea, to India, Pakistan, and China – to be more uncertain and precarious than it has been any time since the end of the Cold War. Yet, even as nuclear dangers seem to be growing, there seems to be deepening discontent with the notion of nuclear deterrence. A growing chorus of voices questions the legitimacy of assurance and deterrence, fracturing what might have been thought at one point to be a consensus between allies. There also seems to be a growing skepticism about the benefits of the internationalist system on which deterrence, and especially extended deterrence, depends. We invite you to join us for a discussion on these issues facing the Trump administration.

RSVP HERE: https://www.csis.org/events/future-alliances-and-extended-nuclear-deterrence

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News – January 26, 2017

 Nuclear Policy News – January 26, 2017

 

TOP NEWS

US and Israel Run Successful Tests of David’s Sling
Defense News

NORAD Responds After Russian Bombers Zoom Around Japan
Military News

Rattled by Pakistan? India to Test Fire Nuclear-Capable Ballistic Missile
The Diplomat

Kim Jong Un wants to meet Trump, will never give up nukes, says defector
CNN

EAST ASIA

 

China may be developing new long-range air-to-air missile
Reuters
Last year, The People's Liberation Army posted pictures online of a J-11B fighter carrying a large, unidentified missile during drills. China may be testing this new, long-range air-to-air missile that could take out early warning aircraft and aerial refueling aircraft.

 

Kim Jong Un wants to meet Trump, will never give up nukes, says defector
CNN
During his campaign, President Trump said he would be open to meeting Kim. Thae Yong Ho, the most senior North Korean diplomat to defect in almost 20 years, makes a plea for the president to reconsider, saying it would give the North Korean leader legitimacy he currently doesn't have in his own country. Kim made it clear that if the US continued its current policy against North Korea, he would continue to add nuclear weapons to the country's military capability.

 

MIDDLE EAST

 

US and Israel Run Successful Tests of David’s Sling
Defense News
The series of tests is the fifth of its kind and is a “critical step in ensuring Israel has the capability to defend itself from a very real and growing threat,” MDA director Vice Adm. James Syring stated. The tests involved all subsystems of the weapon, pitting David’s Sling against threat-representative targets and taking them out with Stunner missiles.

 

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

 

NORAD Responds After Russian Bombers Zoom Around Japan
Military News
A pair of Russian Tu-95 Bear nuclear-capable bombers flew around Japan on Tuesday, prompting the Japanese military to scramble fighter jets as the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) increased its threat posture.

 

Russia says unperturbed by China’s missile deployment
Asia Times
The Kremlin mostly shrugged off Beijing’s reported deployment of intercontinental missiles near Russian borders, though some officials suggested strengthening missile defense systems near the country’s borders with China. “If this information is true, any military development in China is not perceived by us as a threat to our country,” Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for President Vladimir Putin, said in televised remarks.

 

SOUTH ASIA

 

Rattled by Pakistan? India to Test Fire Nuclear-Capable Ballistic Missile
The Diplomat
India will test launch a K-4 intermediate-range nuclear-capable ballistic missile from a submerged pontoon platform in the Bay of Bengal at the end of the month, according to local media reports.

 

 

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

 

Mattis to Visit South Korean and Japan in First Trip
Defense News
During the trip, the threat of North Korea will undoubtedly be on the table. Mattis said, “I don't think we should take anything off the table” in regards to stopping the development of North Korean ICBM capabilities, adding, “It's a serious threat. And I believe that we've gotta do something about it.” 

 

 

OPINIONS

 

Renew and Strengthen America’s Strategic Deterrent
Roger Burg, Breaking Defense
Many Americans are asking whether the three legs of the nuclear triad are still relevant. My answer to this question is an emphatic, yes. Today’s discussion should not be about “if” we recapitalize the triad, but instead how to enhance the execution of the strategic deterrence mission.

 

5 Burning Nuclear Problems on Trump’s Desk
Jon Wolfsthal, Foreign Policy
There are too many ways in which nuclear weapon issues can go sideways. Accidents, mistakes, conflicts that get out of control — these can happen at any time, and no administration is ever fully prepared. Getting out of the gate cleanly — something they have not been able to do on foreign policy — is essential. Without it, the new team can find themselves playing Whac-a-mole with nuclear weapons. Not a great way to make America great again.

 

How Trump Should Handle Russian Nuclear Talks
Rebeccah Heinrichs, Breaking Defense
The new administration should move forward with setting the above preconditions for talks, which will take an enormous amount of diplomatic heavy-lifting and time. But until these conditions are met, the United States will not be negotiating from a position of strength, nor will it be getting a “good deal” for the United States. With this in mind, it would be prudent for the Trump administration to set aside the notion of further nuclear reductions and focus on other security initiatives where there may be common ground with the Russians.

 

SPECIAL INTEREST

 

CSI Comes to Nuclear Security
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
By identifying the processing history, intended use, and production location for all nuclear materials within a state, and collating that information into a national nuclear forensics library, states would have a strong mechanism to help combat illicit trafficking.

 

Scottish Cold War nuclear submarine collision kept secret for 43 years
The Guardian
The potentially catastrophic crash occurred in November 1974 when the SSBN James Madison, armed with 16 Poseidon nuclear missiles, was heading out of the US naval base at Holy Loch, 30 miles north-west of Glasgow.

 

It is two and a half minutes to midnight: 2017 Doomsday Clock Statement
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
This year’s Clock deliberations felt more urgent than usual. On the big topics that concern the board, world leaders made too little progress in the face of continuing turbulence. In addition to the existential threats posed by nuclear weapons and climate change, new global realities emerged, as trusted sources of information came under attack, fake news was on the rise, and words were used in cavalier and often reckless ways

 

 

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News – January 25, 2017

Nuclear Policy News – January 25, 2017

 

TOP NEWS

Congressman Lieu, Senator Markey Introduce the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017
United States House of Representatives

Russia Makes Progress on Fielding New Fleet of Nuclear-Powered Attack Submarines
The Diplomat

S. Korea, Fiji agree to boost military cooperation
Yonhap

Iranians believe Trump will violate nuclear deal
Al-Monitor

EAST ASIA

S. Korea, Fiji agree to boost military cooperation
Yonhap
S. Korea’s Defense Minister Han Min-koo asked Fiji to join international efforts to pressure Pyongyang to give up its nuclear programs. Fiji expressed concerns about North Korea's nuclear programs in January last year, when the North conducted its fourth nuclear test. S. Korea and Fiji’s bilateral memorandum will pave the way for defense cooperation.

 

S. Korea to bolster detection capabilities against N. Korean WMDs
The Korea Times
The new systems include chemical, biological and radiological (CBR) reconnaissance vehicles, the towed array sonar system (TASS) designed to detect and track an enemy submarine, unmanned reconnaissance aircraft, and upgraded versions of the new Ulsan-class frigate

 

China Announces Deployment of New Long Range Nuclear Missile
Real Clear Defense
The Dong Feng ("East Wind") -41 missile, or DF-41, can carry up to a dozen nuclear warheads and China claims it has the longest range of any nuclear missile in the world. 

 

S. Korea, France agree to collaborate in pressing N. Korea to discard nukes
Yonhap
The two sides agreed that the international community should strengthen its pressure on North Korea and strive for thorough implementation of anti-North sanctions in order to leave the communist country with no other option than discarding its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

 

MIDDLE EAST

Iranians believe Trump will violate nuclear deal
Al-Monitor
Of 1,000 Iranians polled from Dec. 10-24 last year, a month after Trump’s election, 77.5% were not confident that the United States would live up to its obligations under the JCPOA.

 

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

Russia Makes Progress on Fielding New Fleet of Nuclear-Powered Attack Submarines
The Diplomat
The Russian Navy’s fleet of Project 885-M Yasen M-class nuclear-powered multipurpose attack submarines is slowly but steadily starting to take shape with the fourth boat of the class, the Krasnoyarsk, recently completing crucial hydraulic tests of its pressure hull.

 

SOUTH ASIA

Ababeel to ‘neutralize India’s defense shield’
The Express Tribune
With the successful test of its Ababeel missile, Pakistan has effectively acquired the capability to launch a missile from land, air and sea and defeat India’s ballistic missile defense shield. Additionally, the upgrading of its missile program is meant to counter India’s Cold Start Doctrine that seeks swift military action before Pakistan reacts.

 

MULTILATERAL ARMS CONTROL AND NONPROLIFERATION

UN chief Guterres pledges commitment to achieving world free of nuclear weapons
UN News Centre
At the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, Guterres emphasized his commitment in abolishing all weapons of mass destruction and regulating conventional weapons.

 

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

Congressman Lieu, Senator Markey Introduce the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017
United States House of Representatives
The Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017 would prohibit the President from launching a nuclear first strike without a declaration of war by Congress.

 

OPINIONS

The North Korean Security Challenge
Peter Huessy,Real Clear Defense
To forestall further proliferation while promoting strategic stability and deterrence on the Korean peninsula the United States must deploy effective and robust missile defense, highly capable strategic bombers, and an extended modernized nuclear deterrent. Suggesting that simply more talk is the best initial means of protecting America is the wrong strategy.

 

Encouraging Japan to Go Nuclear Won’t Denuclearize North Korea
Daniel Bob,38 North
A nuclear-armed Japan would endanger American—and Japanese—security interests, while only reinforcing North Korea’s determination to keep its nuclear weapons as the key to its survival.

 

Can Trump Have This Iran Deal or No Iran Deal
Arthur MacMillan, Foreign Policy
The debate surrounding the Iran deal’s future under Trump, however, has largely ignored one salient fact: The nuclear agreement was never between Washington and Tehran. It involves five other major partners — Britain, China, France, Russia, and Germany — none of which are interested in renegotiating the “better deal” that Trump has said he can get. 

 

SPECIAL INTEREST

Of Biscuits and Football: The Peril of Presidents and the Nuclear Codes
The Hill
Presidents in a mournful procession of forgetfulness have misplaced the nuclear codes as well as their bag-carriers repeatedly. The Biscuit arrangement is testimony to how very clever planners miscalculated human nature from the start — how the architects of the largely unchanged system since Eisenhower failed to anticipate the high probability that presidents would misplace the all-important nuclear codes.

 

A New Video Shows Kim Jong Un Celebrating a North Korea Missile Launch (video)
TIME
DPRK’s state-run television KRT shows Kim Jong Un supervising the test launch of an intermediate-range Hwasong-10 missile, before saying that the country now has the capability to target U.S. interests in the Pacific

 

U.S., Russia: A History of Containment
Real Clear Defense
The containment strategy is likely to remain a key fixture of U.S. foreign policy in Eurasia under the Trump administration. 

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News – January 24, 2017

Nuclear Policy News – January 24, 2017

 

TOP NEWS

China deploys ICBM near Russian border
TASS

Russia may deploy Nuclear-Powered Combat Vessels at Syrian Naval Base
Defense World

Pakistan conducts first flight test of nuclear-capable ‘Ababeel’ missile
The Indian Express

EAST ASIA

Japan launches first military communications satellite
Reuters
The satellites is one of three planned so-called X-band satellites, that will quadruple broadband capacity, unify a fractured and overburdened communications network and allow communications across more territory.

 

China deploys ICBM near Russian border
TASS
China has deployed top-notch Dongfeng-41 intercontinental ballistic missiles in the northeast Heilongjiang province. the Dongfeng-41 is a nuclear solid-fuel road-ICBM. With a range of 14,000 kilometers and a payload of 10-12 nuclear warheads, it can target anywhere in the world and is widely considered one of the most advanced intercontinental ballistic missiles

 

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

Russia may deploy Nuclear-Powered Combat Vessels at Syrian Naval Base
Defense World
Russia will be deploying up to 11 warships, including nuclear-powered combat vessels, at the Tartus naval facility in Syria

Why Trident Missile Test is Rocking UK Politics
The New York Times
Why did the failed test become a political issue? Because Mrs. May did not reveal it when she addressed Parliament to persuade lawmakers to spend £40 billion ($49 billion) on a new generation of Trident-armed submarines that would replace Britain’s aging current fleet. 

 

 

SOUTH ASIA

Pakistan conducts first flight test of nuclear-capable ‘Ababeel’ missile
The Indian Express
The test flight was aimed at validating various technical parameters of the weapon system. The missile is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead up to 2,200 kms, which brings many Indian cities within its striking range. Ababeel is capable of delivering multiple warheads using Multiple Independent Re-entry Vehicle (MIRV) technology.

 

 

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

At the Last Minute, Trump Asks Nuclear Safety Administrator to Stick Around After All
Gizmodo
The NNSA finally has an answer to the question of who exactly is in charge under President Trump. Trump’s transition team asked Under Secretary for Nuclear Security Frank Klotz to stay on as chief of the National Nuclear Security Administration until his eventual replacement could be named and confirmed by the Senate.

 

OPINIONS

The Art of a Deal With North Korea
Joel Wit and Richard Sokolsky, POLITICO
The use of U.S. military force against North Korea will be ineffective and carries great risks. And engineering regime change is a fool’s errand. Trump’s only realistic option for stopping North Korea’s nuclear march is this: reinvigorated diplomacy, followed by significantly ratcheting up the pressure if it fails. Can he do it? Will he?

 

Preventing another Pearl Harbor
Keith Payne, The Washington Times
North Korean nuclear missile threats to the United States must no longer elicit uneasy disdain. The Hawaiian Islands and West Coast may well be North Korea’s initial ICBM targets in the United States given their closer relative proximity to North Korean launch sites.

 

Staying on Course on Nuclear Modernization
Tom Karako, The Cipher Brief
With this year’s review of the state f U.S. nuclear forces, comes an opportunity to communicate to friends and adversaries alike that deterrence has returned to the top of the U.S. nuclear agenda. Communicating that priority should begin with the reaffirmation of commitment to modernizing the nuclear triad, as essential now for 21stcentury deterrence as it has ever been.

 

The Case for Arms Control and Drawing Down Nuclear Forces
Hans Kristensen, The Cipher Brief
Deterrence without arms control is dangerous; they must be two sides of the same coin. While maintaining sufficient (not excessive) nuclear forces to deter adversaries, arms control contributes to strengthening U.S. national security and that of its allies by achieving limitations on potential adversaries’ nuclear forces.

 

SPECIAL INTEREST

Raytheon wins $235 million SM-6 production contract
UPI
Under the contract, Raytheon will provide SM-6 missiles to be deployed on AEGIS-equipped cruisers and destroyers.

 

Now We’re Talking: SBIRS Missile Warning Satellite Responding to Ground Control
Lockheed Martin
“After a successful ULA launch, signal acquisition is the first critical event in SBIRS' mission to support the Air Force with early missile warning and defense," said David Sheridan, vice president of Lockheed Martin's Overhead Persistent Infrared (OPIR) systems mission area. "With communications now established, our job begins to deliver SBIRS to its final orbit so we can complete deployments and operational testing in anticipation of the satellite's formal acceptance by the Air Force."

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News – January 23, 2017

Nuclear Policy News – January 23, 2017

 

TOP NEWS

India to Continue with Indigenous Cruise Missile Program
The Diplomat

Iran says will ‘act appropriately’ if Trump violates nuclear deal
Tehran Times

Nuclear Stockpile About to Go Leaderless, Senator Warns Trump
Defense News

EAST ASIA

North Korea nuclear threat means South must not delay anti-missile system
Reuters
Acting South Korean President Hwang Kyo-ahn said on Monday the deployment of a U.S. anti-missile defense system can not be delayed in the face of a growing North Korean nuclear missile threat and despite Chinese hostility to the move.

 

MIDDLE EAST

Iran says will ‘act appropriately’ if Trump violates nuclear deal
Tehran Times
Ali Akbar Salehi, the director of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, said “We can very easily snap back and go back … not only to where we were, but a much higher position technologically speaking…I don’t want to see that day. I don’t want to make a decision in that course, but we are prepared.”

 

Experts Wary as World Praises Iran for Honoring Terms of Nuclear Deal
Defense News
According to nonproliferation experts, Iranian compliance should not be judged merely according to technical steps mandated in the agreement, but by its behavior regarding procurement of missile and nuclear components, which is not checked by the IAEA. 

 

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

UK’s May to defend free trade and Iran deal in talks with Trump
Reuters
At the annual “Republican Retreat” in Philadelphia, May intends to make clear to Trump that Britain is a strong supporter of the 2015 nuclear accord between Iran and world powers. She is also expected to discuss NATO with trump and the continued importance of the alliance as the bulwark against evolving threats.

 

MPs accuse Theresa May of covering Trident malfunction
The Guardian
While expressing “absolute faith” in Trident, she refused to go into any details about the incident, which the government said it could not explain for “obvious national security reasons.” May remarked, “There are tests that take place all the time, regularly, for our nuclear deterrents.”

 

SOUTH ASIA

India to Continue with Indigenous Cruise Missile Program
The Diplomat
India’s troubled nuclear-capable Nirbhay long-range cruise missile program has been given an 18-month grace period to address technical problems. Indian Minister of Defense Manohar Parrikar recently agreed to let Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) engineers continue to work on the program until June 2018. 

 

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

Nuclear Stockpile About to Go Leaderless, Senator Warns Trump
Defense News
The National Nuclear Security Administration leaders, retired Lt. Gen. Frank Klotz and Madelyn Creedon, have not been asked to stay on through the transition process. This will be the first time in NNSA’s 16-year history, in which there will not be any continuity in leadership during a presidential transition.

 

 

OPINIONS

MoD cannot fall back on usual excuses to explain Trident misfire
Ewen MacAskill, The Guardian
Last year’s June test-firing of the UK’s Trident II D5 ballistic malfunctioned and veered towards the US when initially aimed toward west Africa. The problem appears to have involved telemetry data, information gathered from various points and fed to the missile. However, any teething troubles should have been worked out long ago.

 

Why Mattis Should Support Long Range Stand-Off Nuclear Cruise Missile
Adam Lowther, Defense News
In short, some well-placed and defended targets are unavailable to stealth aircraft. This means a stealthy cruise missile, which is only a fraction of the size of a stealth bomber, has a much greater probability of arrival at the designated target. And given that there are targets which neither a SLBM nor (ICBM) can hit — largely because their reentry angle will not allow it — LRSO is critical.

 

One Way to Disarm North Korea
Todd Crowell,Real Clear Defense
The world needs some new bargaining chips. They could be provided by re-introducing tactical nuclear weapons into South Korea. Such a move could be a game changer, turning talks into what are in effect nuclear disarmament negotiations.

 

SPECIAL INTEREST

A Map of Vulnerabilities: Nuclear and Radiological Insecurity in South Asia
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
This interactive map shows vulnerable nuclear facilities, nuclear-capable bases, and personnel reliability program failures involving nuclear or radiological materials and facilities in India and Pakistan.

 

 

Read more…

Thursday's Top Nuclear Policy News

TOP NEWS

S. Korea, U.S., Japan nuke envoys to discuss N. Korean missile, assassination
Yonhap

Turkey mulls purchase of Russian S-400 air defense system
Defense News

Russia to Arm 90 Percent of Strategic Nuclear Forces With Modern Weaponry by 2020
The Diplomat

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