Nuclear Policy News

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.

Wednesday's Top Nuclear Policy News

TOP NEWS

China not to attend nuclear weapon ban treaty negotiation
CCTV

Latest North Korean Missile Launch Ends in Apparent Failure
Real Clear Defense

U.S. General Urges Nuclear Upgrade as Russia Grows ‘More Aggressive’
The New York Times

Trump administration to review goal of world without nuclear weapons: aide
Reuters

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