Nuclear Policy News

All Posts (808)

Nuclear Policy News - December 19, 2016

Nuclear Policy News – December 19, 2016

TOP NEWS

S. Korea to keep policy stance over N.K. despite political turmoil: minister
Yonhap News

Iran calls for meeting of nuclear deal powers over U.S. sanctions
Reuters

$2.6B Contract Awarded for Sandia National Labs Management
Associated Press

The Polygon People
BBC World Service

EAST ASIA

S. Korea to keep policy stance over N.K. despite political turmoil: minister
Yonhap News
South Korea will maintain its current policy stance toward North Korea and make efforts to prod the country into giving up its nuclear weapons, Seoul's point man on unification said Sunday.

S. Korea welcomes NATO condemning N. Korea's nukes
The Korea Herald
South Korea on Friday welcomed the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's a statement condemning North Korea's nuclear and missile programs.

MIDDLE EAST

Iran calls for meeting of nuclear deal powers over U.S. sanctions
Reuters
Iran has requested a meeting of a commission overseeing the implementation of its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, Iranian state media reported on Saturday, in response to what Tehran calls a U.S. violation of the agreement.

Head of U.N. nuclear watchdog says Iran showing commitment to deal
Reuters
Iran has shown commitment to the deal on its nuclear program agreed with world powers, the head of the United Nations atomic energy watchdog said on Sunday, following complaints by Tehran over what it calls a U.S. violation of the accord.

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

$2.6B Contract Awarded for Sandia National Labs Management
Associated Press
A subsidiary of Honeywell International has won a contract worth $2.6 billion to manage the sprawling New Mexico-based Sandia National Laboratories weapons and research laboratory that specializes in national security, nuclear weapons and other projects deemed vital for the U.S., federal officials announced Friday.

OPINIONS

How James Mattis Could Stop Trump From Ripping up the Iran Nuclear Deal
Ilan Goldenberg for Fortune
President-elect Donald Trump has nominated Mattis to be the next U.S. secretary of defense. Ironically enough, the man who places such a high priority on countering Iran’s bad behavior may turn out to be one of the new administration’s biggest supporters of the Iran Nuclear deal that aims to curb the country’s nuclear programs, which Trump criticized throughout his presidential campaign.

Trump, nuclear weapon realist, can correct Obama's idealistic blunders
Robert R. Monroe for The Hill
President-elect Trump’s miraculous election victory has arrived just in time to save America from a quarter century of nuclear weapons deterioration, caused by our post-Cold-War nuclear freeze followed Obama’s foreign and defense policy failures.

SPECIAL INTEREST

If nuclear war broke out where's the safest place on Earth?
Dr. Becky Alexis-Martin and Dr. Thom Davies for The Guardian
Nuclear tensions appear to be mounting again amidst political upheaval. So if the event of nuclear war, where should you head?

The Polygon People
BBC World Service
Between 1949 and 1989 the Soviet Union tested 456 nuclear bombs in Semipalatinsk in Kazakhstan. The area the size of Belgium became known as the Polygon and when Kazakhstan became independent – 25 years ago this week - it inherited the world’s fourth biggest nuclear arsenal. The BBC’s Rustam Qobil visits the Polygon to piece together its remarkable story.

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News - December 16, 2016

Nuclear Policy News – December 16, 2016

TOP NEWS

Defying skeptics, Kim Jong Un marks five years at the helm of North Korea
The Washington Post

Statement of the North Atlantic Council on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
NATO Press Release

UN: Threat of a Hacking Attack on Nuclear Plans is Growing
ABC News

In 1968, a B-52 Bomber Crashed (With 4 Super Lethal Nuclear Weapons Onboard That ‘Exploded’)
The National Interest

EAST ASIA

Defying skeptics, Kim Jong Un marks five years at the helm of North Korea
The Washington Post
Kim Jong Un stood on the stage in front of the stylized portraits of his father and grandfather, men he wasn’t supposed to be strong enough or cunning enough to succeed, lauding the “thrilling explosion” of the most recent nuclear test and the “leap forward in all sectors of the national economy.”

Korea-US relations endure shock after shock throughout 2016
Yonhap News
Compared with a year ago, it's a totally different world, with North Korea way more nuclear with two additional underground blasts, Donald Trump set to take over as U.S. president, and South Korean President Park Geun-hye facing forced exit from office after impeachment.

MIDDLE EAST

Iran sanctions extended, but without Obama’s signature
The Washington Post
Sanctions against Iran were officially extended for another decade Thursday, even though President Obama did not sign the legislation, a symbolic move intended to show the White House’s disapproval of the bill.

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

Statement of the North Atlantic Council on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
NATO Press Release
The North Atlantic Council condemns in the strongest possible terms the continued development by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) of nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programmes, and its inflammatory and threatening rhetoric.

Russia ‘to increase mobile missile patrols’
BBC News
Col Gen Sergei Karakayev said pontoon technology meant nuclear missiles could now be moved to new areas and "overcome practically any water obstacle".

SOUTH ASIA

First to use or not to use first: A curious case of Indian nuclear doctrine
The Hill
The Hindu nationalist party, BJP, when stepped in power corridors it pledged to “revise and update” India’s nuclear doctrine.

Have declared unilateral moratorium on nuclear testing: Pakistan
The Indian Express
Pakistan said it has declared a unilateral moratorium on nuclear testing and has been forthcoming in offering to translate this into a bilateral arrangement on non-testing with India.

MULTILATERAL ARMS CONTROL AND NONPROLIFERATION

UN: Threat of a Hacking Attack on Nuclear Plans is Growing
ABC News
The "nightmare scenario" is rising for a hacking attack on a nuclear power plant's computer system that causes the uncontrolled release of radiation, the United Nations' deputy chief warned Thursday.

Security Council underlines need to halt proliferation of weapons of mass destruction
UN News Centre
Expressing concern over the threat of terrorism and the risk that non-State actors may acquire or use nuclear, biological or chemical weapons, the United Nations Security Council today called on all countries to establish national controls to prevent proliferation of such weapons as well as their means of delivery.

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

The Air Force Is Unworried by Trump’s Fickle Nuclear-Weapons Talk
DefenseNews
President-elect Donald Trump’s nuclear agenda remains opaque, but current Air Force officials are cautiously optimistic that he will stay the course on nuclear modernization.

OPINIONS

Putin’s Revenge
Politico, Michael Crowley
Today, as the U.S. grapples with a Russia with resurgent global ambitions, with a Kremlin that hacks our emails, manipulates our news—and, according to the CIA, actively worked to elect Donald Trump—it’s important to realize that for Putin, it’s not just a constant move for advantage.

A Lesson for Rick Perry: The Department of Energy Doesn’t Produce Much Energy
Foreign Policy, William Tobey
While the Department of Defense defends the country, and the Department of Treasury manages federal finances and supervises banks, the Department of Energy does not provide America’s energy. Yes, it markets hydroelectric power from dams run by the Army Corps of Engineers, but U.S. energy production is overwhelmingly a job for the private sector.

SPECIAL INTEREST

In 1968, a B-52 Bomber Crashed (With 4 Super Lethal Nuclear Weapons Onboard That ‘Exploded’)
The National Interest
Throughout the 1950s and ’60s American bombers carrying nuclear weapons crisscrossed the globe, ready at a moment’s notice to fly into the heart of Russia and bomb it back to the stone age. Strategic Air Command — a now defunct branch of the U.S. Air Force — commanded this airborne alert force.

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News - December 15, 2016

Nuclear Policy News – December 15, 2016

TOP NEWS

South Korea presidential hopeful: U.S. missile defense should wait
Reuters

Iran Sanctions Renewal Passes Without Obama Signature
Associated Press

Morale Improving, But Sustainment Problems Still Dog Air Force’s Nuclear Enterprise
Defense News

Nuclear Forces: Restore the Primacy of Deterrence
Tom Karako, CSIS

EAST ASIA

South Korea presidential hopeful: U.S. missile defense should wait
Reuters
The former leader of South Korea's main opposition party, who is leading polls of candidates to be the next president, said on Thursday deployment of a U.S. anti-missile system that has antagonized China should be decided by the next administration.

N. Korea test-fired SLBM this month
The Korea Times
North Korea test fired a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) this month, according to Japanese broadcaster NHK, Thursday.

China's state tabloid denounces U.S. 'arrogance,' calls for weapons buildup
UPI
China's state tabloid is calling for the expansion of defense spending on nuclear weaponry in response to U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's critical stance toward Beijing.

US Media Over-Hypes Chinese Bomber 'Warning' in South China Sea
The Diplomat
The greater danger may not be China’s signal to President-elect Trump but the U.S. reading more into the signal than China intended.

MIDDLE EAST

Iran Sanctions Renewal Passes Without Obama Signature
Associated Press
In an unexpected reversal, President Barack Obama declined to sign a renewal of sanctions against Iran but let it become law anyway, in an apparent bid to alleviate Tehran's concerns that the U.S. is backsliding on the nuclear deal.

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

In collapse of US-Russian military ties, some experts see nuclear risk
Associated Press
It’s not quite Cold War II, but the collapse of U.S. military relations with Russia could prove to be one of the most consequential aspects of President Barack Obama’s national security legacy while presenting an early test of Donald Trump’s hope for friendly ties to Moscow.

SOUTH ASIA

Strategic export control system robust, effective: Pakistan
The Nation
Pakistan has a robust and effective strategic export control system that is based on comprehensive legislative, regulatory, administrative and implementation measures and underscored its salient features, a senior Foreign Ministry’s official said yesterday.

MULTILATERAL ARMS CONTROL AND NONPROLIFERATION

IAEA’s Role in Nuclear Security Takes Shape at High-Level Conference
Exchange Monitor
The role of the IAEA in the global nuclear security architecture is taking further shape as it inherits the commitments of its member states from the defunct Nuclear Security Summit process and adapts to expectations for a mission expanding beyond its traditional nuclear safeguards and security work.

Disarmament talks wrap up in Nagasaki
The Japan News
Officials of 21 countries and organizations on Tuesday concluded two-day U.N. disarmament talks in Nagasaki after discussing issues that must be resolved to realize a world without nuclear weapons.

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

Trump's Defense secretary pick may have doubts about land-based nuclear missiles
CNBC
Retired Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis, President-elect Donald Trump's choice to become Defense secretary, expressed concern last year about the Air Force's ground-based Minuteman III.

Morale Improving, But Sustainment Problems Still Dog Air Force’s Nuclear Enterprise
Defense News
After a visit to F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James told Defense News that one of her last acts as the service’s top civilian will be to try to ameliorate maintenance issues discovered during her final trip to the base.

BAE receives $368m US Navy contract to support weapons systems on submarines
Naval Technology
BAE Systems has been awarded a $368m contract to support the US Navy’s Strategic Systems Programs office by providing systems engineering and support services for submarines.

OPINIONS

Nuclear Forces: Restore the Primacy of Deterrence
Tom Karako, CSIS
The United States needs a modern, flexible, and adaptable nuclear enterprise suited to the deterrence challenges of the 21st century.

Saving Europe From Itself—Again
Mark Helperin, Wall Street Journal
Rather than arriving late as in the two world wars, the U.S. should take military and diplomatic measures now to deter yet another catastrophe.

The ban treaty: An interim step, but politically profound
Joelien Pretorius, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
It is time for the next big building block in the process toward universal denuclearization—a treaty that outlaws nuclear weapons.

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News - December 13, 2016

Nuclear Policy News – December 13, 2016

TOP NEWS

Japan, South Korea, U.S. to fully implement sanctions on North Korea
The Japan Times

Iran to work on nuclear-powered boats after U.S. 'violation' of deal
Reuters

The nation’s missile-defense system has serious flaws. So why is the Pentagon moving to expand it?
The Los Angeles Times

EAST ASIA

Japan, South Korea, U.S. to fully implement sanctions on North Korea
The Japan Times
The top nuclear envoys of South Korea, the United States, and Japan agreed Tuesday to work closely on fully implementing the latest sanctions imposed on Pyongyang by the U.N. Security Council along with unilateral measures taken by the three allies.

U.N. confab begins in Nagasaki to promote nuclear disarmament
The Mainichi
A two-day U.N. conference on nuclear disarmament began Monday in Nagasaki, southwestern Japan, attended by government officials, academics and nonprofit organizations from around 20 countries.

MIDDLE EAST

Iran to work on nuclear-powered boats after U.S. 'violation' of deal
Reuters
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani ordered scientists on Tuesday to start developing systems for nuclear-powered boats, in reaction to what he called the United States' violation of a global atomic deal.

Nuclear agreement not a deal solely between U.S. and Iran: Daryl Kimball
The Tehran Times
“The nuclear agreement is not a deal solely between the United States and Iran,” Kimball tells the Tehran Times in an exclusive interview.

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

AP Interview: Gorbachev says US was short-sighted on Soviets
Bloomberg
In a wide-ranging interview with The Associated Press, the 85-year-old Gorbachev voiced hope that Russia and the United States would do better and ease current tensions during Donald Trump's presidency.

OPINIONS

North Korea poses a clear and present danger
The Financial Times
The regime in Pyongyang is persistent in pursuit of nuclear weapons and the missiles to deploy them over long distances. The stand-off is terribly dangerous already, and will grow worse. Stronger international engagement is needed — now.

Russia and America Need Nuclear Cooperation, No Matter What
Siegfried S. Hecker for The National Interest
President-elect Trump should move swiftly to reestablish U.S.-Russian nuclear cooperation, which has been held hostage to political differences.

Trump can preserve nuclear deal while reviewing Iran policy
Barbara Slavin and Ryan Crocker for The Denver Post
The administration of Donald J. Trump, due to take office four days after the comprehensive plan’s first anniversary, would be wise to continue implementing the agreement while it reviews overall U.S. policy toward Iran.

Trump Can Crack Down on Iran Without Shredding the Nuclear Deal
Bloomberg
As a candidate, President-elect Donald Trump said his "No. 1 priority" was to dismantle the "disastrous" nuclear deal with Iran. Tempting as that may be, Trump should resist. Instead, the man who fancies himself the world's greatest negotiator should use U.S. leverage to hold Iran to the letter of the agreement.

SPECIAL INTEREST

The nation’s missile-defense system has serious flaws. So why is the Pentagon moving to expand it?
The Los Angeles Times
The GMD system, which was declared operational in 2004, is designed to thwart a sneak nuclear attack by North Korea or Iran. It has performed poorly in test flights, failing to destroy mock enemy warheads about half the time — prompting many government and independent analysts to conclude that it cannot be relied on. But in New York state and the two other areas under study — military facilities in Ohio and Michigan — the issue is not whether GMD works. The issue is jobs.

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News - December 12, 2016

Nuclear Policy News – December 12, 2016

TOP NEWS

China puts temporary ban on North Korean coal imports
Reuters

Iran and Boeing Sign $16.6 Billion Deal on Sale of 80 Aircraft
The New York Times

The Pentagon Must Think Outside of Its Five-Sided Box
National Interest, Ashton Carter

Iskanders in Kaliningrad
Arms Control Wonk, Jeffrey Lewis

EAST ASIA

China puts temporary ban on North Korean coal imports
Reuters
China's Commerce Ministry said it will put a temporary ban on imports of North Korean coal as part of a U.N. Security Council resolution meant to deter Pyongyang from pursuing its nuclear weapons program.

Military seeks to deploy THAAD battery by May
The Korea Times
The Ministry of National Defense plans to speed up the procedure of deploying a U.S. advanced anti-missile system here, aiming for completion by May, defense officials said Sunday.

MIDDLE EAST

Iran and Boeing Sign $16.6 Billion Deal on Sale of 80 Aircraft
The New York Times
Iran and Boeing signed a deal for the sale of 80 airplanes on Sunday, five weeks before the inauguration of President-elect Donald J. Trump, whose Republican supporters in Congress have tried to block any aircraft sales to Iran.

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

Government Shutdown Averted With Spending Through April
DefenseNews
President Obama signed a temporary spending bill that keeps the government open and funded through April 28 and includes the Pentagon’s highest procurement priorities. 

OPINIONS

The Pentagon Must Think Outside of Its Five-Sided Box
National Interest, Ashton Carter

With Uncertainties Roiling Washington and Seoul, What Next for North Korea?
The New York Times, Motoko Rich
Since October, when the corruption scandal involving President Park Geun-hye of South Korea first erupted, North Korea has been uncharacteristically restrained.

Iskanders in Kaliningrad
Arms Control Wonk, Jeffrey Lewis
Satellite images suggest that Russia is now in the process of deploying the Iskander-M missile system to Kaliningrad.

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News - December 9, 2016

Nuclear Policy News – December 9, 2016

TOP NEWS

U.S. official warns of North Korean nuclear capabilities
Associated Press

Russia Tests Nuclear-Capable Drone Sub
Washington Free Beacon

Russia Seen Moving New Missiles To Eastern Europe
NPR

US-Russia rift threatens science ties that keep us safe
Siegfried Hecker, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

EAST ASIA

U.S. official warns of North Korean nuclear capabilities
Associated Press
North Korea now has the capability to launch a nuclear weapon, a senior U.S. military official said Thursday, adding that while the U.S. believes Pyongyang can mount a warhead on a missile, it’s not clear that it can hit a target.

S. Korea, Japan, U.S. to hold security talks next week
Yonhap News
South Korea will hold trilateral security talks with the United States and Japan next week in Seoul, the defense ministry said Friday, in the first such meeting after Seoul and Tokyo signed a landmark deal on sharing defense intelligence on North Korea.

S. Korea to seek nuclear armament if Trump treats ally 'like a protection racket': U.S. expert
Yonhap News
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump could end up seeing South Korea develop its own nuclear weapons, just as he suggested during his campaign, if he treats the ally "like a protection racket" and pressures it to pay more for American troops, a U.S. expert said Thursday.

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

Russia Tests Nuclear-Capable Drone Sub
Washington Free Beacon
U.S. intelligence agencies detected the test of the unmanned underwater vehicle, code-named Kanyon by the Pentagon, during its launch from a Sarov-class submarine on Nov. 27, said Pentagon officials familiar with reports of the test.

Russia Seen Moving New Missiles To Eastern Europe
NPR
In what could mark an escalation of tensions with the West, commercial satellite images suggest that Russia is moving a new generation of nuclear-capable missiles into Eastern Europe.

SOUTH ASIA

India aware of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal expansion, says Parrikar
Hindustan Times
India is aware of reports of Pakistan’s nuclear expansion and was taking all steps to safeguard India’s national interest, defence minister Manohar Parrikar said on Friday.

The Recent Declassification of India's Secret 'Long Telegram' Shows Why It Went Nuclear
Vivek Prahladan, The National Interest
Newly declassified documents from the prime minister’s office help establish the specific considerations that went into the making of India’s nuclear doctrine.

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

Russia’s Buildup in Kaliningrad to Test Donald Trump on NATO
Wall Street Journal
Military maneuvering here in the Baltic region by Russia and NATO presents a challenge for President-elect Donald Trump and his commitment to America’s European allies.

Smaller U.S. Nuclear Arsenal Could Help Cut Deficit: CBO
Defense Daily Network
Slashing the size of the U.S. nuclear arsenal is one option to save billions of dollars in the coming decade for efforts to reduce the growing federal deficit, the Congressional Budget Office said Thursday.

OPINIONS

Nuclear Weapons in the 21st Century
Michael Krepon, Arms Control Wonk
Arms control wonks willing to have their assumptions and policy preferences challenged would benefit from reading Brad Roberts’s book, The Case for U.S. Nuclear Weapons in the 21st Century.

Did The Donald Suggest South Korea Build The Bomb? No, But That Might Be The Outcome Anyway
Jeffrey Lewis, 38 North
One of the strangest aspects of the campaign that led to the election of Donald Trump as the next President of the United States was his repeated references to the possibility of letting Japan and South Korea build their own nuclear weapons in response to North Korea’s nuclear program.

US-Russia rift threatens science ties that keep us safe
Siegfried Hecker, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
A return to nuclear confrontation now sets the clock back, putting both countries at enormous risk and endangering global stability.

The Nuclear Threat Environment Facing the Trump Administration
Angelo Bonavita and Adam Lowther, War on the Rocks
With Donald Trump’s victory in the presidential election, the American people can expect the new administration to author a Nuclear Posture Review that is likely to differ significantly from the Obama administration’s 2010 Nuclear Posture Review.

SPECIAL INTEREST

Japan nearly doubles Fukushima disaster-related cost to $188 billion
Reuters
Japan's government nearly doubled its projections for costs related to the Fukushima nuclear disaster to $188 billion, increasing pressure on Tokyo Electric Power to step up reform and improve performance.

Fukushima radiation has reached U.S. shores
USA Today
For the first time, seaborne radiation from Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster has been detected on the West Coast of the United States.

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News - December 8, 2016

Nuclear Policy News – December 8, 2016

TOP NEWS

Japan to offer $2.2 million to Iran for nuclear safety cooperation
The Japan Times

UN Agency Says Iran No Longer in Violation of Nuclear Deal
The New York Times

On Japan stop of Asia tour, Carter reassures Inada over Trump fears
The Japan Times

Nuclear War Is No Longer “Unthinkable” for Russia
The National Interest, Nikolas Gvosdev

EAST ASIA

Japan to offer $2.2 million to Iran for nuclear safety cooperation
The Japan Times
Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said Japan has decided to offer Iran around €2.05 million ($2.2 million) for nuclear safety initiatives to help the Middle Eastern state implement its historic nuclear deal with the West.

MIDDLE EAST

UN Agency Says Iran No Longer in Violation of Nuclear Deal
The New York Times
A U.N. agency says Iran is no longer in violation of its nuclear agreement with six world powers because it has reduced its store of heavy water.

Iran minister says in U.S. interest to stay committed to nuclear pact
Reuters
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Thursday it was in the interest of the United States to remain committed to a multilateral nuclear treaty.

MULTILATERAL ARMS CONTROL AND NONPROLIFERATION

IAEA meets to strengthen security as USA disposes of plutonium
World Nuclear News
The USA has asked the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to monitor and verify the disposition of surplus plutonium in South Carolina, US energy secretary Ernest Moniz said on 5 December. Moniz's announcement was made at an IAEA conference which aims to strengthen global nuclear security.

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

On Japan stop of Asia tour, Carter reassures Inada over Trump fears
The Japan Times
On what is likely to be his last visit to Japan as U.S. defense secretary, Ash Carter offered reassurances to Tokyo on Wednesday that the U.S. remains committed to the alliance and the broader Asia-Pacific region amid fears of an American pullback by President-elect Donald Trump. 

OPINIONS

Pakistan’s Naval Transformation: Dangerous Delusions, Soaring Ambitions
War on the Rocks, Abhijit Singh
India’s maritime watchers have had much to talk about lately. A few days after it held a bilateral exercise with the People’s Liberation Army-Navy (PLAN) in the Northern Arabian Sea, the Pakistan Navy claimed its “anti-submarine” assets had prevented an Indian submarine from entering Pakistani waters.

Are Nuclear Weapons Pushing India and Pakistan towards War?
The National Interest, Prateek Joshi
The nuclear doctrines of India and Pakistan have more or less clearly defined contours, especially in the event of an Indo-Pak conflict.

Nuclear War Is No Longer “Unthinkable” for Russia
The National Interest, Nikolas Gvosdev
The newly-released "Foreign Policy Concept" of the Russian Federation contains some interesting changes and updates. Given that this document reflects the Kremlin's strategic mindset and how it views international relations, it is important to take what is says seriously.

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News - December 2, 2016

Nuclear Policy News – December 2, 2016

TOP NEWS

China says new North Korea sanctions not meant to harm ‘normal’ trade
Reuters

Senate Votes to Extend Iran Sanctions Authority
The New York Times

Iran says U.S. extension of sanctions act violates nuclear deal
Reuters

Donald Trump to face questions about modernizing America’s nuclear arsenal
CBSNews

EAST ASIA

U.N. slaps new sanctions on North Korea to slash cash from exports
Reuters
The U.N. Security Council imposed new sanctions on North Korea on Wednesday aimed at cutting its annual export revenue by a quarter, after Pyongyang carried out its fifth and largest nuclear test so far in September.

China says new North Korea sanctions not meant to harm ‘normal’ trade
Reuters
New U.N. Security Council sanctions on North Korea, imposed after its fifth and largest nuclear test in September, are not intended to harm "normal" trade with the isolated country nor affect civilians, China's Foreign Ministry said on Thursday.

South Korea, Japan impose new unilateral sanctions on North Korea
Reuters
South Korea and Japan said on Friday they would impose new unilateral sanctions on North Korea over its nuclear and ballistic missile programs, following a fresh U.N. Security Council resolution imposed on the reclusive country this week.

MIDDLE EAST

Senate Votes to Extend Iran Sanctions Authority
The New York Times
The Senate voted unanimously on Thursday to extend the president’s authority to impose sanctions on Iran for another decade, a largely symbolic move intended to keep pressure on Tehran to abide by the landmark nuclear accord struck last year.

Iran says U.S. extension of sanctions act violates nuclear deal
Reuters
Iran threatened on Friday to retaliate against the U.S. Senate's vote to extend the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA) for 10 years, saying it violated last year's deal with six major powers that curbed its nuclear program.

SOUTH ASIA

‘Surgical Strikes’ as Doctrinal Shift? Pakistan Is Already Adapting Its Responses
The Wire
The “surgical strikes” carried out by the Indian army’s special forces in response to attacks on military bases at the border towns of Pathankot and Uri generated a large volume of literature projecting the move as a “doctrinal shift” that would deter Pakistan from waging a sub-conventional war on India.

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

Donald Trump to face questions about modernizing America’s nuclear arsenal
CBSNews
For all the concerns raised in the presidential campaign about Donald Trump’s fitness to command America’s nuclear arsenal, the immediate questions he’s likely to face as president aren’t about launching these weapons, but modernizing them.

OPINIONS

China and Its Neighbors: A Delicate Balance
The National Interest, Liu Xuejun and Liu Jun
No one country in today’s world has as many neighbors as China does. China’s vast territory is bounded by fourteen overland countries and six maritime ones, rendering it extremely difficult to be a good neighbor to all.

No one can stop President Trump from using nuclear weapons. That’s by design.
The Washington Post, Alex Wellerstein
When Trump takes office in January, he will have sole authority over more than 7,000 warheads. There is no failsafe. The whole point of U.S. nuclear weapons control is to make sure that the president — and only the president — can use them whenever he decides to do so.

Who Killed the US-Russia plutonium agreement, and does it really matter?
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Darya Dolzikova
In early October, the Kremlin decided to suspend its implementation of the Plutonium Management and Disposition Agreement, which called for the bilateral elimination of American and Russian excess plutonium stocks.

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News - November 30, 2016

Nuclear Policy News – November 30, 2016

TOP NEWS

Draft U.N. resolution, backed by China, targets North Korea coal and metal exports
The Japan Times

U.S. Senate to vote on Iran sanctions renewal this week
Reuters

UK nuclear fusion lab faces uncertain future
BBC News

An India-Pakistan Crisis: Should We Care?
War on the Rocks, Moeed Yusuf

EAST ASIA

Draft U.N. resolution, backed by China, targets North Korea coal and metal exports
The Japan Times
North Korea faces a sharp cut in coal exports under a United Nations Security Council resolution that’s aimed at punishing Kim Jong Un’s regime for a September nuclear test by cutting off his government’s few sources of hard currency.

Nuclear envoys of Korea, US and Japan likely to meet in Dec.
The Korea Herald
Nuclear envoys of South Korea, the United States and Japan are moving to hold talks next month in Seoul to discuss cooperation in dealing with the growing nuclear threat from North Korea, diplomatic sources said Wednesday.

China military says it’s seriously concerned by Japan-South Korea pact
Reuters
China's Defence Ministry on Wednesday expressed serious concern about South Korea and Japan signing a military intelligence pact to share sensitive information on the threat posed by North Korea's missile and nuclear activities.

MIDDLE EAST

U.S. Senate to vote on Iran sanctions renewal this week
Reuters
The U.S. Senate will vote this week on a bill that would renew sanctions on Iran for 10 years, Senator Mitch McConnell, the chamber's Republican leader, said on Tuesday in remarks as he opened the daily session.

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

UK nuclear fusion lab faces uncertain future
BBC News
The Culham Centre for Fusion Energy near Oxford is largely funded by the EU and dozens of its scientists come from outside the UK. Since the vote for Brexit, many at the centre have become "extremely nervous" amid uncertainty about future financing and freedom of movement.

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

C.I.A. Chief Warns Donald Trump Against Tearing Up Iran Nuclear Deal
The New York Times
The director of the C.I.A. has issued a stark warning to President-elect Donald J. Trump: Tearing up the Iran nuclear deal would be “the height of folly” and “disastrous.”

OPINIONS

An India-Pakistan Crisis: Should We Care?
War on the Rocks, Moeed Yusuf
The Donald Trump White House will have a fairly crowded foreign policy roster to deal with. From what has been said of the president-elect’s agenda for his initial months in office, Russia, the threat of ISIL and the ongoing turmoil in the Middle East, tensions in the South China sea, and his promises to renegotiate or abandon certain international trade pacts are likely to be his top priorities.  South Asia does not seem to have made this list.

Donald Trump’s Biggest Headache: Russia’s Nuclear Weapons
The National Interest, Jack Matlock, Jr.
The most important foreign policy task President-elect Donald Trump will face when he is inaugurated will be to restore cooperation with Russia to reduce the danger to the world posed by nuclear weapons.

How Trump Can Strengthen US Leverage Against Iran
The Diplomat, Aaron Arnold
Before trashing the Iran deal — the agreement inked last fall, which limits Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief — the incoming Trump administration should consider how a policy of soft economic engagement with Tehran could provide Washington with strategic leverage and increased bargaining power in a post-Iran deal world.

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News - November 29, 2016

Nuclear Policy News – November 29, 2016

UPCOMING EVENTS

Nuclear Explosion Monitoring: 60 Years of Science and Innovation
November 30, 2016 1:00 – 6:15 pm
http://www.rsvpbook.com/event.php?502707
Featured speakers include Lt. Gen. Frank Klotz, Sen. Tom Udall, Thomas Countryman, Ernest Moniz, and Madelyn Creedon.

PONI Winter Conference
December 6-7, 2016
https://www.csis.org/events/poni-2016-winter-conference

TOP NEWS

U.N. Security Council to vote Wednesday on North Korea sanctions: diplomats
Reuters

China’s Future SSBN Command and Control Structure
Institute for National Strategic Studies, National Defense University

Pentagon Develops New Missile Defense Interceptor Able to Destroy Multiple ICBM Threats
Scout

Multilateralizing Approaches to North Korea: The Canadian Case
Andrea Berger, 38 North

Able Archer 83: What Were the Soviets Thinking?
Gordon Barrass for Survival

EAST ASIA

U.N. Security Council to vote Wednesday on North Korea sanctions: diplomats
Reuters
The United Nations Security Council is set to vote on Wednesday to impose new sanctions on North Korea for its fifth and largest nuclear test, slashing Pyongyang's export earnings by some $800 million, diplomats said on Monday. 

Park departure could shift regional security calculus for Japan
The Japan Times
While Japan played down any negative impact from the political upheaval in South Korea, the possible departure of President Park Geun-hye could change Japan’s calculus on both bilateral relations and the shifting regional security landscape.

China’s Future SSBN Command and Control Structure
Institute for National Strategic Studies, National Defense University
China’s ongoing modernization program is transforming the country’s nuclear arsenal from one consisting of a few liquid-fueled, silo-based missiles carrying single warheads to a larger force of more advanced mobile solid-fueled missiles, some of which are capable of carrying multiple warheads.

MIDDLE EAST

How Iran Hopes the Nuclear Deal Will Revive Its Economy
The National Interest
From the beginning of his presidency, Hassan Rouhani and his team considered the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) negotiated between Iran and several world powers in July 14, 2015, to be a first step in a grander plan to normalize Iran’s international relations with the outside world.

SOUTH ASIA

What challenges are facing Pakistan’s new army chief?
CNN
Pakistan has named a new army chief as the country faces a host of complex issues, from potential war with India, terrorism, and Donald Trump.

Can the Nuclear Deal With Japan Get India Into the Nuclear Suppliers Group?
The Diplomat
With the successful conclusion of the Indo-Japan civil nuclear deal, India has taken another big step in acquiring the status of a legitimate nuclear power among states of equal or higher status in the global stage.

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

Pentagon Develops New Missile Defense Interceptor Able to Destroy Multiple ICBM Threats
Scout
The Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency is in the early phases of engineering a next-generation “Star Wars”-type technology able to knock multiple incoming enemy targets out of space with a single interceptor, officials said.

OPINIONS

Multilateralizing Approaches to North Korea: The Canadian Case
Andrea Berger, 38 North
As North Korea began its 7th Worker’s Party Congress in May, it shepherded over 100 foreign journalists around to sites largely unrelated to the event they had come to see. One of these locations was the 326 Electric Cable Factory in Pyongyang, where the most noteworthy sight for reporters was a stack of boxes from Dow Canada—a shipment of chemicals that should have been subject to Canadian export controls when they departed for the DPRK, presumably within months of their production in August 2014.

OPLAN 2045: Preparing for nuclear disarmament
James E. Doyle, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
Seven years after President Obama pledged to work toward a world without nuclear weapons and 25 years since the end of the political and ideological conflict between the United States and the Soviet Union known as the Cold War, the world is witnessing renewed nuclear arms competition.

Symposium: Advice to President Trump on U.S.-Russia Policy
The National Interest and Carnegie Corporation of New York
Now the central question is whether or not the possibility of warmer relations between the two sides—or even a new détente—exists? What would it take to adopt a fresh approach?

SPECIAL INTEREST

Able Archer 83: What Were the Soviets Thinking?
Gordon Barrass for Survival
The 1983 war scare was less frightening than many have claimed. Nevertheless, the Able Archer episode offers lessons on dealing with situations of great tension.

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News - November 28, 2016

Nuclear Policy News – November 28, 2016

TOP NEWS

Seoul to reinforce military organization in charge of N. Korean WMD threats
Yonhap

UN to formally adopt fresh sanctions against North Korea in response to September nuclear test
International Business Times

Trump’s finger soon will hover over the nuclear button. Will he be ready?
McClatchy

The 2016 UK PONI Papers
Royal United Services Institute (RUSI)

EAST ASIA

Seoul to reinforce military organization in charge of N. Korean WMD threats
Yonhap
The South Korean military will strengthen its preparedness against increasing North Korean nuclear and missile threats by forming a new organization, multiple government sources said Sunday.

UN to formally adopt fresh sanctions against North Korea in response to September nuclear test
International Business Times
The five permanent members of the UN Security Council are set to hold closed-doors consultations on Monday, to finalise a draft resolution seeking new and tighter sanctions against North Korea.

Technology in development to bring down N. Korean drones with EMP
Yonhap
South Korea is developing a technology to bring down unmanned North Korean aircraft using electromagnetic pulse (EMP), military officials said Sunday.

Japan Gets Serious About THAAD
The Diplomat
On Thursday, Japan’s Yomiuri Shimbun reported that Tokyo would seriously consider purchasing the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense system from the United States.

MIDDLE EAST

Report: Nuclear material said stolen from Iran could yield 'dirty bomb'
Jerusalem Post
Radioactive material produced at Iran’s Bushehr Nuclear Plant has reportedly been stolen raising concerns about the use of a so-called dirty bomb in the future, according to London-based, Arabic language newspaper Asharq al-Awsat.

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

Brexit’s nuclear fallout: 3,000 cubic metres of Oxfordshire waste
Financial Times
One unusual item affected by the fallout from Britain voting to leave the EU: 3,000 cubic metres of radioactive waste in rural Oxfordshire.

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

Trump’s finger soon will hover over the nuclear button. Will he be ready?
McClatchy
Sometime in the next few weeks, Donald Trump will sit down for one of the most consequential briefings of his transition, when military commanders will train him on the procedures for launching a nuclear attack or counterattack and go over potential targets.

OPINIONS

The Implications of Brexit on UK-France Defence Cooperation
Emmanuel Dupuy for European Leadership Network
The decision taken by British voters to leave the EU, the subsequent delay in invoking Article 50, and the time taken to begin the formal exit negotiations will hopefully not increase resentment towards Great Britain amongst French political, academic and think-tank leaders, most of all on defence and security terms.

Why is Cyber Defence Decades Behind Weaponized Software?
John McAfee for Newsweek
If you believe the we have any effective cybersecurity whatsoever, then you have bought—hook, line and sinker—the propaganda that our government has been feeding you.

Presidential Command and Control in the Age of Trump
Joshua Pollack for Arms Control Wonk
The outcome of the U.S. presidential election has filled many Americans, and people around the world, with bewilderment and dread. How did we get here? Where are we going? How seriously should we take President-elect Trump’s promises?

SPECIAL INTEREST

The 2016 UK PONI Papers
Royal United Services Institute (RUSI)
The 2016 UK PONI Papers examine contemporary civil and military nuclear issues and are written by emerging experts from academia, government and industry who presented at the 2016 UK Project on Nuclear Issues (UK PONI) Annual Conference.

The lasting impact of the Cuban missile crisis
CCTV
Of all the incidents in the troubled relationship between Cuba and the United States, the most critical was the Cuban Missile crisis in 1962. It was the closest the world had ever come to all-out nuclear war.

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News - November 22, 2016

Nuclear Policy News – November 22, 2016

TOP NEWS

Seoul would have to take greater defense burden if Trump demands-minister
Associated Press

US says Russian deployment of missiles 'destabilizing' to Europe
CNBC

Iran begins exporting excess heavy water to comply with nuclear deal
Deutsche Welle

New Quake Tests Resilience, and Faith, in Japan’s Nuclear Plants
New York Times

EAST ASIA

Obama, Xi reaffirms commitment to nuclear-free Korean Peninsula in last summit
The Korea Times
U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping reaffirmed their commitment to a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula as they held their last meeting on the sidelines of a regional summit, the White House said.

Seoul would have to take greater defense burden if Trump demands-minister
Associated Press
South Korea would have to embrace the idea of taking a greater share of defense costs "if there is a huge demand" for this from the future U.S. administration of Donald Trump, a South Korean minister said on Monday. 

N. Korea testing U.S. ahead of administration change: Seoul
Yonhap News
North Korea seems to be testing the United States' policy direction toward Pyongyang ahead of the administration change in Washington, South Korea's foreign ministry said Tuesday in reaction to Pyongyang's recent release of a foreign ministry memorandum.

Gov't approves controversial military intel sharing pact with Japan
Yonhap News
The South Korean government on Tuesday approved a controversial intelligence sharing pact with Japan, citing the need to expand cooperation with the neighboring country in the face of growing nuclear and missile threats from North Korea.

MIDDLE EAST

Obama Admin Covering Up Key Iran Deal Details in Final Days
Washington Free Beacon
Senior Obama administration officials are seeking to cover up key details of the Iran nuclear deal from Congress, according to documents and sources who spoke to the Washington Free Beacon.

U.K. Will Seek to Soften Trump Opposition to Iran Nuclear Deal
Bloomberg
U.K. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said he’ll seek to work with the administration of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump to “make a success” of the 2015 deal to stop Iran from being able to develop nuclear weapons.

Iran begins exporting excess heavy water to comply with nuclear deal
Deutsche Welle
Iran has started to send heavy water to Oman to comply with the terms of its international nuclear deal. It was the second time Tehran had surpassed the 130-metric-ton threshold for heavy water.

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

Dispute Resolution Over Alleged Russian Breaches of the INF Treaty
Rick Houghton for Lawfare
There are many concrete obstacles to a U.S. rapprochement with Russia. One is a serious dispute over the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INFT).

SOUTH ASIA

India’s no first use policy has served it well, says former national security adviser Shivshankar Menon
Times of India
India's nuclear weapons posture is determined by its ability to inflict "unacceptable damage" in a retaliatory strike. This is the reason, says Shivshankar Menon, former national security adviser, why India's no first use policy has served it well. 

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

US says Russian deployment of missiles 'destabilizing' to Europe
CNBC
Russia's deployment of its S-400 air missile defense system and ballistic Iskander missile in the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad "is destabilizing to European security," the U.S. State Department said. 

South Korea Looking to Collaborate More With U.S. in Defense Technology
US Naval Institute News
The Republic of Korea’s steady advances in robotics, autonomous systems and microelectronics could be the paths Washington and Seoul follow in future collaboration efforts in science and technology, research and development and systems production as the threat from North Korea grows.

OPINIONS

Can Trump Make a Deal With North Korea?
Joel Wit and Richard Sokolsky for The Atlantic
Donald Trump could have an opportunity early in his presidency, if he follows his instincts instead of all the wrong advice he is likely to get on how to deal with North Korea. 

What Does Donald Trump's Victory Mean for Asia?
Bruce Klingner, Heritage Foundation
Trying to predict the incoming Trump Administration’s policy toward Asia is difficult if not impossible at this point. 

Keep focused on the long game
Sharon Squassoni for the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists
Donald Trump’s inexperience with and casual attitudes about nuclear weapons during the campaign led more than a few observers to question whether he could be trusted with these ultimate extensions of the power of the US president.

SPECIAL INTEREST

New Quake Tests Resilience, and Faith, in Japan’s Nuclear Plants
New York Times
The Tokyo Electric Power Company, or Tepco, the utility that operates three nuclear plants, restored the cooling pump at the Fukushima Daini plant in about an hour and a half.

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News - November 21, 2016

Nuclear Policy News – November 21, 2016

TOP NEWS

Trump set to implement change in N. Korean policies: lawmakers
Yonhap News

Obama Seeks to Fortify Iran Nuclear Deal
The Wall Street Journal

World leaders anxious for Trump's nuclear policy
The Hill

Trump’s Nuclear Deterrence Challenge
Franklin Miller and Keith B. Payne for The Wall Street Journal

EAST ASIA

Trump set to implement change in N. Korean policies: lawmakers
Yonhap News
A group of South Korean lawmakers who visited the United States last week to meet experts with ties to U.S. President-elect Donald Trump said Monday that the new administration is set to bring various changes to North Korean policies which may potentially include dialogue. 

N.K. likely to demonstrate capability to range U.S. with nuclear missile during Trump's term: expert
Yonhap News
North Korea is highly likely to demonstrate its capability to range the United States with a nuclear missile during the first term of President-elect Donald Trump, a top American expert on Korea said Friday.

Trump's national security adviser vows to tackle North Korea nuclear threat: Yonhap
Reuters
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's national security adviser says North Korea's nuclear program would be given a high priority under the new administration, a South Korean official who held talks with him said on Saturday.

MIDDLE EAST

Obama Seeks to Fortify Iran Nuclear Deal
The Wall Street Journal
The Obama administration is considering new measures in its final months in office to strengthen the landmark nuclear agreement with Iran, senior U.S. officials said, with President-elect Donald Trump’s first appointments foreshadowing an increasingly rocky road for the controversial deal.

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

New Russia missiles in Kaliningrad are answer to U.S. shield: lawmaker
Reuters
Moscow will deploy S-400 surface-to-air missiles and nuclear-capable Iskander systems in the exclave of Kaliningrad in retaliation for NATO deployments, a senior pro-Kremlin lawmaker was quoted as saying on Monday. 

Putin says Russia planning ‘countermeasures’ to NATO expansion
The Washington Post
Russian President Vladimir Putin has pledged to take “countermeasures” in response to NATO expansion, a report said Monday, pointing to possible critical tests for the Western alliance and President-elect Donald Trump’s calls for outreach to Moscow. 

SOUTH ASIA

Defence Minister cannot voice personal views on nuclear policy: Shivshankar Menon
The Indian Express
Menon also said Parrikar's suggestion that India should give up its 'no first use' policy would not be in the country's interest both in terms of the strategic deterrent role of nuclear weapons as well as their role as weapon of war. 

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

World leaders anxious for Trump's nuclear policy
The Hill
Questions are swirling about whether President-elect Donald Trump will follow through on suggestions during the campaign that he might allow other countries to develop nuclear weapons. His comments on the nuclear issue have created unease among world leaders, many of whom fear a new global arms race could be triggered by a change in U.S. policy. 

Trump and the Bomb
Foreign Affairs
When U.S. President-elect Donald Trump takes office in January, he will face a global nuclear order that is increasingly unstable. 

OPINIONS

Trump’s Nuclear Deterrence Challenge
Franklin Miller and Keith B. Payne for The Wall Street Journal
America’s nuclear triad is sorely out of date, left to age by a president who saw it as a relic of the Cold War.

Whither the Iran Deal Under Trump?
Suzanne Maloney for The Atlantic
In the aftermath of Donald Trump’s upset victory, no foreign policy question looms larger than the fate of the Iran nuclear deal. The agreement—concluded in July 2015 after more than a dozen years of talks—is suddenly in jeopardy once again. 

Before the Next Mushroom Cloud
Robert Monroe for The Washington Times
The arrival of nuclear weapons on the world’s stage some 70 years ago galvanized national and international efforts to control them. Results to date have been uneven, but largely acceptable: The nations of the world have managed — by short-term decisions — to avoid a nuclear holocaust, but no one has yet come up with a viable idea of how we are to survive in the long run. 

Why India Pledges No First Use of Nuclear Weapons
Shivshankar Menon for Huffington Post India
I am often asked why India committed itself to not using its nuclear weapons first.

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News - November 17, 2016

Nuclear Policy News – November 17, 2016

TOP NEWS

Seoul, Washington gear up for bilateral panel on nuke deterrence against N. Korea
Yonhap News

Corker says Trump won't tear up Iran nuclear deal
CNN

In Private Meeting, Euro Diplomats Beseech Trump Team to Uphold Transatlantic Pacts
Foreign Policy

How President Trump Might Radically Rethink U.S. Nuclear Policy
Tom Z. Collina for Foreign Policy

EAST ASIA

UNSC expected to adopt resolution against N.K. next week: sources
Yonhap News
The United Nations Security Council is expected to adopt a much-delayed resolution aimed at penalizing North Korea for its latest nuclear test next week as the U.S. and China have narrowed their differences on proposed curbs on its coal exports, diplomatic sources said Wednesday.

N. Korean diplomats arrive in Geneva for talks with U.S. experts
Yonhap News
Two North Korean diplomats arrived in Geneva on Thursday to begin talks with American experts, a move that observers say will help Pyongyang explore the U.S. policy on the North under the new Trump administration. 

US's preemptive strike on N. Korea 'zero': Trump's aide
The Korea Times
John Bolton, considered a top candidate for secretary of state under the incoming administration of Donald Trump, said Wednesday the U.S. won't launch a preemptive strike against North Korea, according to a South Korean lawmaker.

Seoul, Washington gear up for bilateral panel on nuke deterrence against N. Korea
Yonhap News
South Korea and the United States started talks on Thursday to establish a high-level consultative body for devising extended deterrence strategies against North Korea's nuclear threat, the foreign ministry said.

MIDDLE EAST

U.N. Agency Warns Iran on Nuclear Deal
The Wall Street Journal
The head of the United Nations agency that oversees the Iranian nuclear deal warned Tehran on Thursday to stick to the accord after it was found for the second time to have breached one of its terms. The International Atomic Energy Agency said last week that Iran had stockpiled slightly more than the allowable 130 metric tons of heavy water. 

Corker says Trump won't tear up Iran nuclear deal
CNN
Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker cast doubt Wednesday that President-elect Donald Trump will reverse the Iran nuclear deal, saying such a decision would distract his fledgling administration in its first days.

Iran deal critics to Trump: Please don't rip it up
POLITICO
President-elect Donald Trump spent much of his campaign railing against the Iran nuclear deal, even raising the possibility of scrapping the agreement immediately upon taking office. But many of the deal’s most ardent critics are now saying: "Slow down."

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

In Private Meeting, Euro Diplomats Beseech Trump Team to Uphold Transatlantic Pacts
Foreign Policy
European governments are launching a concerted appeal to persuade President-elect Donald Trump to not abandon the Iran nuclear deal or NATO’s tough stance toward Russia, warning of dire consequences that could raise the risk of war and weaken the transatlantic alliance.

SOUTH ASIA

Pakistan Unveils VLF Submarine Communications Facility
Defense News
Pakistan on Tuesday unveiled a very low frequency (VLF) communication facility that will enable it to communicate with deployed submarines. Mansoor Ahmed, a postdoctoral research fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center and expert on Pakistan’s nuclear program and delivery systems, said the facility is vital for command and control of submarines carrying a nuclear deterrent patrol, and the announcement essentially confirms Pakistan has established a preliminary, sea-based arm of its nuclear deterrent.

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

Garamendi: No Halt for Nuclear Modernization Programs in Sight
Defense News
There is little hope for the non-proliferation community to slow down nuclear weapons modernization in the next few years, a Democratic lawmaker said Wednesday. Rep. John Garamendi, a California Democrat who sits on the House Armed Services Strategic Forces subcommittee, said he expects his colleagues to push ahead with the full nuclear modernization plan.

OPINIONS

What If Nuclear Weapons Are Used?
Victor Gilinsky for the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
The world relies too much on the indefinite continuation of the post-1945 taboo on military use of nuclear weapons. 

Talking Point: United Nations anti-nuke conference plans too important to be ignored
Linley Grant for The Mercury
A momentous resolution was passed recently by the United Nations to convene a 2017 conference to negotiate a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons. Some Australians knew the resolution was being debated and were awaiting the result yet there was no mention of our Government’s decision or speeches, like those from Tasmanian Labor Senator Lisa Singh, in favour of the bid. 

How President Trump Might Radically Rethink U.S. Nuclear Policy
Tom Z. Collina for Foreign Policy
Worried about Donald Trump having his finger on the nuclear button? Don’t be, yet. His penchant for upsetting the status quo could be just what we need.

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News - November 16, 2016

Nuclear Policy News – November 16, 2016

TOP NEWS

House Votes to Extend Iran Sanctions in Bid to Ensure Nuclear Compliance
New York Times

Russia: Putting the ‘nuclear gun’ back on the table
Financial Times

10 Big Nuclear Ideas for the Next President
Ploughshares Fund

Scientists Invent Concrete That Could Stop an EMP
Popular Mechanics

EAST ASIA

Senior N. Korean diplomat set for 'Track 2' talks with U.S. experts
Yonhap News
A senior North Korean diplomat handling U.S. affairs is set to hold talks with American experts in Europe, but the meeting is nothing out of the ordinary, South Korea's foreign ministry said Tuesday.

UN General Assembly rebukes North Korean human rights violations
Nikkei
A resolution condemning human rights violations in North Korea and "expressing grave concern" about Pyongyang diverting resources in order to develop nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles was adopted by a U.N. General Assembly committee by consensus Tuesday.

S. Korean delegation, Trump team to discuss N. Korea's denuclearization, alliance
The Korea Times
South Korean security and trade officials will discuss the importance of the bilateral alliance with the United States and North Korea's growing nuclear threats with the U.S. government transition team, the government said Wednesday.

MIDDLE EAST

House Votes to Extend Iran Sanctions in Bid to Ensure Nuclear Compliance
New York Times
The House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday for legislation to extend American sanctions on Iran for 10 years, a move that proponents called critical economic leverage to ensure Iranian compliance with an international nuclear agreement.

Netanyahu elated at Trump’s condemnation of Iran nuclear pact
Globe and Mail
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu could hardly conceal his excitement last week on hearing the news that Donald Trump had been elected U.S. president.

Hollande says does not believe Trump will rip up Iran nuclear deal
Reuters
French President Francois Hollande said on Tuesday he did not believe U.S. President-elect Donald Trump would scrap a deal between major powers and Iran over Tehran's nuclear program.

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

German lawmaker says Europe must consider own nuclear deterrence plan
Reuters
Europe needs to think about developing its own nuclear deterrent strategy given concerns that U.S. President-elect Donald Trump could scale back U.S. military commitments in Europe, a senior member of Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives said.

Russia: Putting the ‘nuclear gun’ back on the table
Financial Times
Russia’s willingness to use its nuclear capabilities to exert pressure leads to an alarming conclusion: the spectre of nuclear war is back 25 years after the world believed it had been buried by the end of the cold war.

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

Commander Outlines Trump’s Asia-Pacific Challenges
Washington Free Beacon
Adm. Harry Harris outlined a number of challenges facing the next administration during his remarks on Tuesday, spotlighting North Korea’s missile and nuclear programs, China’s island-building in the South China Sea, and the emergence of ISIS in Southeast Asia.

OPINIONS

10 Big Nuclear Ideas for the Next President
Ploughshares Fund
The nation is facing real challenges on the nuclear front, few of which were ever mentioned on the campaign trail. With this in mind, Ploughshares Fund invited some of the best thinkers in the field to come up with ten bold ideas to help make America safer and more secure.

Trump Could Face a Nuclear Decision Soon
Bruce Blair for Politico
In North Korea, Eastern Europe and the Middle East, escalating crises await the new commander in chief.

A renewed mobilization to reduce the danger from nuclear weapons
Frank von Hippel for the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
A potential positive result from the election of Donald Trump as our next president could be that it will provoke a long overdue public debate over US nuclear weapons policy.

What Trump Should Do on Nonproliferation
Emily Landau and Shimon Stein for The National Interest
The direction of America’s ongoing relations and interactions with Russia and China, as well as with the prospective proliferators themselves, will determine the strategic landscape within which nuclear proliferation will either be enabled or effectively constrained.

SPECIAL INTEREST

Scientists Invent Concrete That Could Stop an EMP
Popular Mechanics
A new concrete formulation designed to keep winter surfaces ice-free also has the unexpected benefit of protecting electronics from electromagnetic attack.

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News - November 14, 2016

Nuclear Policy News – November 14, 2016

TOP NEWS

Japan, South Korea sign preliminary intelligence-sharing pact on North Korea
Reuters

Trump Faces Battle to Undo Iran Nuclear Deal
The Wall Street Journal

EU says to stick to Iran rapprochement despite Trump’s criticism
Reuters

U.S. Allies and Rivals Digest Trump’s Victory
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

EAST ASIA

Japan, South Korea sign preliminary intelligence-sharing pact on North Korea
Reuters
Japan and South Korea signed a preliminary pact to share and safeguard sensitive information on North Korea's missile and nuclear activities on Monday, a move that had already prompted anger among opposition lawmakers in Seoul.

Japan’s Nuclear Industry Finds a Lifeline in India After Foundering Elsewhere
The New York Times
Despite objections from antinuclear campaigners, Japan’s government cleared the way on Friday for companies that build nuclear power plants to sell their technology to India — one of the few nations planning big expansions in atomic energy — by signing a cooperation agreement with the South Asian country.

MIDDLE EAST

Trump Faces Battle to Undo Iran Nuclear Deal
The Wall Street Journal
A much harder task for Mr. Trump, however, is to convince other global powers to join him and dismantle a deal that President Barack Obama says has diminished the threat of another war in the Mideast and opened a path for reduced tensions in the region.

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

EU says to stick to Iran rapprochement despite Trump’s criticism
Reuters
The European Union said on Monday it would keep pushing to restore ties with Iran in line with last year's nuclear deal, which U.S. President-elect Donald Trump has said he will rescind.

SOUTH ASIA

India and Japan sign nuclear deal – A risky business?
Deutsche Welle
The leaders of the two countries have signed a civilian nuclear cooperation, allowing exports of crucial Japanese technology to fuel India's growing economy. But concerns remain about India's non-proliferation status.

OPINIONS

Who could stop nuclear war in the Trump era? These scientists.
The Washington Post, Audra J. Wolfe
Since the end of the World War II — the only time that atomic weapons have been used in war — the policy of the United States has been to discourage nuclear proliferation, whether through defense treaties, economic sanctions or controlling international sales of uranium.

Trump win puts U.S.-Russia hostility on hold – but for how long?
Reuters, Warren Strobel and Jonathan Landay
After years of rising U.S.-Russia tensions over Ukraine, Syria, cyber attacks and nuclear arms control, Donald Trump's election as U.S. president may offer a narrow window to repair relations as he and Russian President Vladimir Putin size up each other.

The Perils of Conventional Deterrence by Punishment
War on the Rocks, Michael Petersen
Too often, discussions of how to conventionally deter Chinese or Russian aggression occur in the absence of any thinking about whether a stated deterrence strategy is feasible if a war were to break out.

Suspicious Iranian Dealings Could Imperil Nuclear Agreement
The Globalist, Elaine Grossman
U.S. intelligence agencies and their international partners are seeing a flurry of inquiries by Iran about importing potentially sensitive technologies controlled by last year’s nuclear deal – but outside of channels specifically set up to vet these goods, according to officials and experts.

SPECIAL INTEREST

U.S. Allies and Rivals Digest Trump’s Victory
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Governments worldwide are now intensely trying to assess what a Trump presidency will mean for their relations with the United States and for international order more generally. In turn, Thomas Carothers asked a group of Carnegie’s experts to examine how these governments are digesting the news of Trump’s victory, their views and concerns related to Trump’s foreign policy, and the potential implications for their countries.

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News – November 9, 2016

Nuclear Policy News – November 9, 2016

TOP NEWS

Air Force to "Cyber-Secure" Nuclear Arsenal
Scout

The Perils of U.S. Missile Defense
RealClearDefense, Rebecca Heinrichs

Tritium introduced in fusion experiments at Sandia
Phys.org

South Korea ruling party says U.S. anti-missile defence to go ahead
Reuters

EAST ASIA

Flashback to the Past: North Korea’s “New” Extended-Range Scud
38 North

At 12:14 p.m. on September 5, 2016, North Korea launched three missiles within one minute of each other from a highway south of Pyongyang. All three launches were successful; the missiles reportedly each covered a distance of 1,000 km and landed about 240 km west of Okushirito Island, part of the Japanese prefecture of Hokkaido.

South Korea ruling party says U.S. anti-missile defence to go ahead
Reuters

The deployment in South Korea of the U.S. military's THAAD system, designed to counter North Korea's missile threat, will go ahead as planned under a Trump administration, the South's ruling party chief said on Wednesday, citing the defence minister.

MIDDLE EAST

Trump election puts Iran nuclear deal on shaky ground
Reuters

Donald Trump's election as president raises the prospect the United States will pull out of the nuclear pact it signed last year with Iran, alienating Washington from its allies and potentially freeing Iran to act on its ambitions. Outgoing President Barack Obama's administration touted the deal, a legacy foreign policy achievement, as a way to suspend Tehran's suspected drive to develop atomic weapons. In return Obama, a Democrat, agreed to a lifting of most sanctions.

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

Turkey may turn to Russia for missile system
POLITICO

Turkey will consider all options, including Russia, when it comes to procuring a missile defense system, Ismail Demir, the country’s undersecretary for defense industries, said Tuesday. Demir had earlier this week said he would consider seeking a supplier outside of Turkey if domestic development took too long, Reuters reported.

SOUTH ASIA

India Sees Deepening of Japan Nuclear Ties With Modi Visit
Bloomberg

India says it’s edging closer to a nuclear pact with Japan, which would open up one of the world’s fastest expanding power markets to vendors struggling for growth after the Fukushima disaster. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will go over the final steps of a civil nuclear treaty with his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe during a visit to Japan starting Thursday, according to Sekhar Basu, secretary at India’s Department of Atomic Energy.

MULTILATERAL ARMS CONTROL AND NONPROLIFERATION

Kazakhstani president proposes N. Korea use its denuclearization model
Yonhap News

Kazakhstani President Nursultan Nazarbayev proposed Wednesday that North Korea use the denuclearization model the Central Asian country has crafted over the last 25 years to pursue a world without nuclear weapons. In a written interview with Yonhap News Agency, Nazarbayev also called on South Korean enterprises and investors to actively join a series of Kazakhstan's business projects, saying his country is ready to offer "full support" to them.

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

Air Force to "Cyber-Secure" Nuclear Arsenal
Scout

The Air Force is seeking more interactions with private sector firms to build better networks for securing nuclear weapons computer systems, service officials said. Air Force engineers say protection of computer networks is well established in many ways, but that the service needs to widen its scope with greater focus on IT dimensions to its nuclear arsenal’s command and control apparatus.

OPINIONS

The Prompt Launch Scare
RealClearDefense, Peter Huessy

Because of the complementary legs of the American Triad—more than 500 highly survivable multiple platforms spread out over land, sea, and air—a modernized force would ensure that during a crisis, no immediate decision to launch would be required. Our deterrent force and strategy are thus jointly designed precisely to avoid any prompt launch pressures. That is why the system works. As General Larry Welch, former SAC Commander has noted, “It has worked perfectly—for 70 years.”

U.S. Support for Israel’s Nuclear Ambitions Will Come at a Price
LobeLog, Shemuel Meir

On the nuclear issue, as on the issue of the fate of the West Bank and Jerusalem, Israel seems to be pursuing a doctrine of “accustomization,” i.e. the belief that the global system will eventually grow accustomed to the existing state of affairs and simply let it be. However, for Israel to believe that this convenient status quo can be made permanent is to believe in miracles.

The Perils of U.S. Missile Defense
RealClearDefense, Rebecca Heinrichs

Aside from noting the obvious underused potential at the missile fields, the visit to the GMD site at Fort Greely reinforced just how important the mission of the system is, the dedication of the warfighters operating and preparing to launch GBIs in the event of an attack, and the pressure on the contractors maintaining the enormously complex system.

SPECIAL INTEREST

Tritium introduced in fusion experiments at Sandia
Phys.org

Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories Z Machine have opened a new chapter in their 20-year journey toward higher fusion outputs by introducing tritium, the most neutron-laden isotope of hydrogen, to their targets' fuel. When Z fires, its huge electromagnetic field crushes pre-warmed fuel, forcing it to fuse. Tritium-enriched fuel should release many more neutrons than previous maximums at Z, already among the highest in the world.

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News – November 8, 2016

Nuclear Policy News – November 8, 2016

TOP NEWS

Can France Still Afford Nuclear Weapons?
The National Interest

Massive underground military nuclear plant opens to tourists in China
UPI

DLA employees supporting nuclear enterprise receive Air Force training
Defense Logistics Agency

EAST ASIA

Pentagon on THAAD deployment: 'We want to do this as quickly as possible'
Business Insider

The powerful missile defense system that has North Korea, China, and Russia spooked is expected to make its debut in South Korea as soon as possible. On Friday, Army General Vincent Brooks, commander of United States Forces Korea, said the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system will occur within the next 8 to 10 months.

MIDDLE EAST

Next U.S. president must live up to JCPOA commitments: Iran
Tehran Times

Whoever takes office in the White House must adhere to the implementation of nuclear agreement as the Obama administration did, Qassemi told a weekly press briefing as Americans on Tuesday will decide whether Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump will take the helm. “The next U.S. president should remain committed to Washington’s obligations to the JCPOA even if he (she) doesn’t want to.”

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

Can France Still Afford Nuclear Weapons?
The National Interest

France has a deep and abiding relationship with nuclear technology. French policy-makers have based France’s energy and military independence around nuclear programs. However, as the French government attempts to justify its budget policies in the lead-up to the presidential election in April 2017, calls for a public debate on the cost of military nuclear deterrence are increasing. This debate encompasses three main questions.

SOUTH ASIA

It Is Time for India to Stop Blaming China for Blocking Its NSG Bid
The Wire

Resentment against China has continued for far too long and gone too far. By focusing on just one issue in its ties with China, India risks having the world perceive its interests as monochromatic and emotional rather than based on realism and strategic foresight.

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

DLA employees supporting nuclear enterprise receive Air Force training
Defense Logistics Agency

About 30 employees from Defense Logistics Agency Headquarters and its field activities who are involved in supporting the Department of Defense nuclear mission attended the Nuclear Management Executive Course at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, Nov. 1-2. Taught by a mobile training team from the Air Force Nuclear College at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, the Secret-level course is designed for individuals involved in supporting nuclear weapons systems through product support, acquisition, sustainment, logistics, maintenance or operations activities.

OPINIONS

Spotlight on the NSG
The News International, Muhammad Umer

Granting India membership will not mean that tomorrow India will stop producing fissile material or making new nuclear weapons. There is no doubt in my mind that on November 11, at the NSG conclave in Vienna, China along with other member states will stick to their original positions and oppose India’s inclusion into the group. Instead of trying to pressure and blackmail countries to support India’s membership bid, the US should take this opportunity to work with their partners in the NSG to come up with a criteria for membership.

SPECIAL INTEREST

The Evolving U.S. Nuclear Narrative: Communicating the Rationale for the Role and Value of U.S. Nuclear Weapons, 1989 to Today
CSIS

The latest report and website from the CSIS International Security Program have been released. This study sought to not only track the historical narrative for U.S nuclear weapons as it has changed over the years, but to also articulate a simple and clear rationale for the U.S. nuclear arsenal that speaks to the U.S Air Force and Navy forces responsible for supporting and executing the U.S nuclear mission every day.

Massive underground military nuclear plant opens to tourists in China
UPI

Tourists are now welcome at a former top-secret underground plutonium and weapons processing plant, turned into a three-hour neon museum tour of China's nuclear weapons history. The site, known as China 816 Nuclear Military Plant, is in the mountains of Fuling district and was once an industrial base for raw nuclear material. The plant could withstand a magnitude-8 earthquake – or an atomic explosion on the surface.

Could We Survive a Nuclear Winter?
Gizmodo

Here’s the short answer: we probably could not survive a nuclear winter. But the long answer, well, it depends on which countries are going to war, how many nukes are being dropped, and where those bombs are being detonated.

A diver was looking for sea cucumbers. He may have found a long-lost nuclear bomb instead.
The Washington Post

The water conditions were perfect — “beautiful, clear, green” — when Sean Smyrichinsky went diving last month off the north coast of British Columbia. The 45-year-old Canadian had joined two friends for a three-week fishing expedition. Setting off on his own one day, Smyrichinsky went searching for sea cucumbers that their small crew could harvest the following day. Using a DPV, or a diver propulsion vehicle, Smyrichinsky plunged 25 to 30 feet down into the bay. Ahead of him, a mysterious object emerged.

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News – November 7, 2016

Nuclear Policy News – November 7, 2016

TOP NEWS

Air Force 3-Star: Nuclear-Armed Cruise Missile, LRSO, Essential to Saving US Lives & Preventing Major Power War
Scout

A US Election Surprise? Possible but Unlikely
38 North

Bombs, Bans, and Norms
Arms Control Wonk, Michael Krepon

Diver finds object that could be 'lost nuke' missing since Cold War
The Independent

Sorry, America: North Korea Isn't Giving Up Its Nuclear Weapons
The National Interest, Daniel DePetris

EAST ASIA

Military on high alert against N.K. threats around U.S. election
Yonhap News

South Korea's military said Monday it will stay on high alert as North Korea may fire an intermediate-range ballistic missile around the U.S. presidential election scheduled for Tuesday. Military officials said Pyongyang may want to send a strong message to the new U.S. president that it will not give up its nuclear and missile development programs despite international condemnations and sanctions.

A US Election Surprise? Possible but Unlikely
38 North

While there has been speculation of a North Korean satellite launch or nuclear test occurring during the run-up to the US Presidential election, the evidence from commercial satellite imagery of the Sohae Satellite Launching Station and the Punggye-ri nuclear test site suggests it’s possible but unlikely.

THAAD deployment halts all S. Korea-China high-level defense talks
The Korea Times

South Korea's decision to deploy advanced missile defense systems on its soil has led to the suspension of all high-level defense talks with China, sources said Sunday. An official here said the planned meeting between Seoul's Defense Minister Han Min-koo and his Chinese counterpart Chang Wanquan has been put on hold. He said the military strategy policy talks chaired by vice defense minister level officials that have been held every year since 2011 has also be suspended, hinting that China has been lukewarm about talks.

MIDDLE EAST

Economic, political experts review impacts of JCPOA at Press Exhibition
Tehran Times

On Saturday - the second day of the 22nd Press Exhibition – the Tehran Times sat with three national and international experts reviewing impacts of the implementation of the nuclear deal - known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) - on both the Iranian and the global economy.

RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE

Russian S-500 Attacks Cruise Missiles
Scout

Moscow has long been preoccupied with the threat posed by NATO airpower, and has fielded a variety of potent long-range surface-to-air missile systems over the years to counter it, including at the high end the S-300 (SA-10 and SA-12) and S-400 (SA-21). But the primary role of its latest design, the Almaz-Antey S-500 “Triumfator,” isn’t taking potshots at frontline fighter planes. Rather, the S-500 marks a new Russian effort to develop its own defense “shield” against cruise and ballistic missile attack.

SOUTH ASIA

Japan, India to ink controversial nuclear deal this week
DAWN

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe are set to sign a deal Friday that would allow Japan to export nuclear technology to the subcontinent, the Yomiuri Shimbun paper reported. India would become the first non-signatory to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) to agree such a nuclear deal with Japan — which was the victim of US atomic bombings in the final days of World War II.

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

Air Force 3-Star: Nuclear-Armed Cruise Missile, LRSO, Essential to Saving US Lives & Preventing Major Power War
Scout

The safety and survival of American civilians along with countless US military assets hinges, to some extent, upon the existence of a nuclear-armed, air-launched long-range stealthy cruise missile able to elude sophisticated enemy air defenses and threaten or strike targets deeply lodged in enemy territory, senior Air Force officials said.

Sole U.S. Air Force Nuclear Cruise Missile Showing Its Age
Aviation Week

The U.S. Air Force appears to be struggling to preserve its only nuclear-armed cruise missile, the Williams International F107-powered Boeing AGM-86B air-launched cruise missile (ALCM). The Air Force tells Aviation Week that the “Williams F107 engine is and continues to be very reliable,” with only two flight-test failures recorded in 1985 and 1990, respectively, but a contracting notice published on Oct. 17 paints a different picture.

Air Force Reviews Vendor Bids to Build New ICBMs Engineered With High-Tech Upgrades
Scout

The Air Force is now evaluating formal proposals from three vendors competing to build hundreds of new, next-generation Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles designed to protect the US homeland well into the 2070s and beyond, service officials said. Submissions from Northrop, Boeing and Lockheed are now being reviewed by Air Force weapons developers looking to modernize the US land-based nuclear missile arsenal and replace the 1970s-era Boeing-built Minuteman IIIs.

Joint Chiefs chairman gives U.S. Strategic Command award amid change in leadership
Omaha World-Herald

The workers at U.S. Strategic Command got more than just a new leader at last week’s change of command ceremony. They also got an award. Gen. Joseph Dunford Jr., chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, presented the Joint Meritorious Unit Award to all members of StratCom and the component commands that fall under its leadership. The award is presented for “exceptionally meritorious achievement or service in pursuit of joint military missions of great significance,” according to a Navy awards website. It is the second highest unit-level award, after the Presidential Unit Citation.

OPINIONS

Bombs, Bans, and Norms
Arms Control Wonk, Michael Krepon

How, then, would a Nuclear Ban Treaty alter the behavior of nuclear-armed states? Proponents advance three main reasons for proceeding, despite the odds. First, they argue, it is not just the right thing to do, but also a moral imperative at a time when nuclear dangers are rising. Second, negotiating this treaty will pressure nuclear-armed states to do more — and more quickly – to move in the direction of disarmament. Third, the treaty will strengthen essential norms.

Sorry, America: North Korea Isn't Giving Up Its Nuclear Weapons
The National Interest, Daniel DePetris

The next administration has a simple but vital choice on North Korea policy. It can bury its head in the sand and continue the status-quo, hoping beyond all hope that China will throw us a bone on sanctions implementation. Or it can launch a top-to-bottom, inter-agency review of U.S. North Korea policy dealing with the hard questions that need to be asked if Washington has any opening in fixing a dangerous situation.

Playing a Game of Chicken with Nuclear Strategy
War is Boring, Michael Klare

It’s clear that we’re on the threshold of a new nuclear era — a time when the actual use of atomic weapons is being accorded greater plausibility by military and political leaders globally, while war plans are being revised to allow the use of such weapons at an earlier stage in future armed clashes. As a result, the next president will have to grapple with nuclear weapons issues — and possible nuclear crises — in a way unknown since the Cold War era.

SPECIAL INTEREST

The Evolving U.S. Nuclear Narrative: Communicating the Rationale for the Role and Value of U.S. Nuclear Weapons, 1989 to Today
CSIS

The latest report and website from the CSIS International Security Program have been released. This study sought to not only track the historical narrative for U.S nuclear weapons as it has changed over the years, but to also articulate a simple and clear rationale for the U.S. nuclear arsenal that speaks to the U.S Air Force and Navy forces responsible for supporting and executing the U.S nuclear mission every day.

Diver finds object that could be 'lost nuke' missing since Cold War
The Independent

The Royal Canadian Navy is to investigate an object found by a diver, which could be a “lost nuke” missing off the coast of Canada since 1950. Sean Smyrichinsky discovered it while he was out looking for fish near Haida Gwaii, British Columbia. It is believed it could be a dummy nuclear weapon – but potentially still loaded with TNT – lost after a training flight crashed in the area, ditching its deadly cargo into the sea.

Read more…

Nuclear Policy News – November 4, 2016

Nuclear Policy News – November 4, 2016

TOP NEWS

More Than Words: Why Secretary Carter’s Affirmation of the Nuclear Enterprise Matters
War on the Rocks, Rebecca Hersman, Clark Murdock, Shanelle Van

Carter Calls Strategic Command ‘Bedrock’ of U.S. Defense At Change of Command
U.S. Department of Defense

Scientists have found a way to spot nuclear smugglers—by looking at their nail clippings
Quartz

The experts on nuclear winter
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Labor Costs, Data Questions Driving ICBM Replacement Cost Estimate
Defense News

EAST ASIA

U.S. to deploy THAAD anti-missile battery in South Korea in 8-10 months: commander
Reuters

The commander of U.S. forces in South Korea said on Friday a U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system battery would be deployed to South Korea within eight to 10 months, an official from the U.S. forces in South Korea said.

Policy on pressing N.K. should be maintained, given threat level: official
Yonhap News

South Korea's unification ministry said Friday the government's inter-Korean policy should be maintained, given the gravity of North Korea's threats, despite the domestic upheaval caused by the scandal involving President Park Geun-hye's confidante.

SOUTH ASIA

India hopes its NSG bid gets China’s backing
Times of India

India says its hopeful China will see the logic of having India inside the Nuclear Suppliers Group. Briefing journalists, MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup said, "We had fruitful talks between the disarmament and international security affairs division and Chinese lead negotiator. We remain hopeful that eventually, China will see the logic of India being inside the NSG, which ultimately will benefit the global nuclear non-proliferation regime".

U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY

Carter Calls Strategic Command ‘Bedrock’ of U.S. Defense At Change of Command
U.S. Department of Defense

U.S. Strategic Command remains the bedrock of American security, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said today during the organization’s change-of-command ceremony at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. Carter officiated as Navy Adm. Cecil D. Haney handed the flag to Air Force Gen. John E. Hyten. The secretary praised the men and women of the command for their efforts, and said that funding and resources are on the way to ensure the nuclear mission remains viable.

Labor Costs, Data Questions Driving ICBM Replacement Cost Estimate
Defense News

As the US Air Force seeks to replace the Minuteman III ICBMs with a new wave of nuclear weapons that will last until 2075, the Pentagon is struggling to get a handle on just how much the new Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) will cost. The program is still years away from production, with Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Boeing having just submitted their proposals to win a pair of 36-month technology maturation and risk-reduction contracts that would be awarded at end of 2017.

Six to be honored for nuclear weapons work
Albuquerque Journal

The Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center at Kirtland Air Force Base will induct six new members into its Order of the Nucleus at ceremonies today. The AFNWC established the Order of the Nucleus in 2011 to honor individuals and groups who have made significant contributions to the nation’s nuclear enterprise.

OPINIONS

More Than Words: Why Secretary Carter’s Affirmation of the Nuclear Enterprise Matters
War on the Rocks, Rebecca Hersman, Clark Murdock, Shanelle Van

The challenges that we face in articulating the strongest, most enduring themes of a rationale for our nuclear weapons are nuanced. But we must continue this dialogue and think deeply about these issues, because the airmen and sailors who carry out the nuclear mission every day on behalf of the American people deserve no less.

The Korea Peninsula: Time to Recognise the New Nuclear Status Quo
RealClearDefense, Bernt Berger

The acceptance of a new status quo would help to circumvent the trust deficit. The hitherto confrontation-based status quo will need to be transformed into a cooperation-based one to lay the foundation for renewed talks. Accepting a new status quo means accepting the inevitable – a North Korean missile-based nuclear-weapons capability. But it is better to make decisions now before being forced in that direction.

The Unification Cases of Germany and Korea: A Dangerous Comparison
38 North, Ruediger Frank

Germany’s unification in 1990 has remained a popular model for future Korean unification, with its precedents on issues like the transfer of legal systems and technical standards, requirements for infrastructure investment, unification costs and social aspects. A closer look, however, reveals that the differences between Germany and Korea far outweigh any similarities.

Rattling the nuclear cage, and look who is terrified
The Japan Times, Ramesh Thakur

Of the 177 countries that voted on the resolution, 34 are from Asia and the Pacific region. Of these, 26 voted in support of Resolution L41, four against (Australia, Japan, Federated States of Micronesia, and South Korea), and four abstained (China, India, Pakistan and Vanuatu). Clearly, Australia, Japan and South Korea voted in solidarity with their U.S. nuclear protector and against the overwhelming sentiment of their Asian and Pacific neighbors as well as against global opinion. Being on the wrong side of geography as well as history is not a good look.

The Pentagon is so focused on nukes, it may lose its conventional military edge
Business Insider, Alex Lockie

Pushing through with the US's plans for modernization under the guise of "catching up" to potential nuclear adversaries would "rob Peter to pay Paul," in that the funding is also desperately needed for conventional forces that have grown stagnant under sequestration. And ultimately, through trying to modernize all areas of the military at once, the bow wave actually increases costs across the board.

US to the Rest of the World: “We Can’t Eliminate Nuclear Weapons, Because We Rely on Nuclear Weapons.”
Counter Punch, Kevin Martin

Last week, the United Nations took an historic step towards global elimination of nuclear weapons, in voting to begin negotiations next year on a treaty to ban nukes. The U.S. and other nuclear weapon states, other than North Korea, declined to support the resolution, with the U.S. and its allies lobbying hard to defeat it. The contradictions in the official U.S. statement are myriad, but here are just a few.

SPECIAL INTEREST

Scientists have found a way to spot nuclear smugglers—by looking at their nail clippings
Quartz

As our nails and hair grow, they carry clues about our health: medical professionals can examine them for signs of illness or poor nutrition. They can also contain traces of the chemicals we’ve touched or ingested long ago—including enriched uranium used in nuclear power or weapons. Researchers from the University of Missouri have demonstrated (paywall) that different ratios of the radioactive element in hair and nails can distinguish people who have handled the material recently from those who haven’t.

The experts on nuclear winter
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

An in-depth interview with meteorologist Alan Robock and physicist Brian Toon, two of the seminal researchers in the field of nuclear winter.

Learn How Different Radar Defense Systems Work in Just 2 Minutes
Popular Mechanics

Should the worst happen, and someone fires an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) at the U.S. with a nuclear warhead in its nose cone, then we need to know about it as soon as possible. This is why the military invests so much in companies like Raytheon, which develops radar systems as well as other defense technologies, so we can know about an incoming threat soon enough to take action.

Read more…

Tuesday's Top Nuclear Policy News

TOP NEWS

North Korea says it’s ready to deploy, mass-produce new missile
Defense News

U.N. Panel Releases Draft of Treaty to Ban Nuclear Arms
The New York Times

Iran targets Booz Allen, others with reciprocal sanctions
Defense News

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