Showing posts with label WMD. Show all posts
Showing posts with label WMD. Show all posts

15 November 2017

A history of US nuclear weapons in South Korea

Hans M. Kristensen and Robert S. Norris

ABSTRACT

During the Cold War, the United States deployed nuclear weapons in South Korea continuously for 33 years, from 1958 to 1991. The South Korean-based nuclear arsenal peaked at an all-time high of approximately 950 warheads in 1967. Since the last US nuclear weapons were withdrawn from South Korea in 1991, the United States has protected South Korea and Japan under a “nuclear umbrella” using nuclear bombers and submarines based elsewhere. While defense hawks in Seoul and Washington have, in 2017, called for the United States to redeploy tactical nuclear weapons to South Korea, the authors argue against this idea. Doing so, they say, would provide no resolution of the crisis over North Korea’s nuclear weapons and would likely increase nuclear risks. Redeployment would also have serious implications for broader regional issues because it would likely be seen by China and Russia as further undermining their security.

14 November 2017

Entanglement: Chinese and Russian Perspectives on Non-nuclear Weapons and Nuclear Risks


The entanglement of non-nuclear weapons with nuclear weapons and their enabling capabilities is exacerbating the risk of inadvertent escalation. Yet so far, the debate about the severity of this risk has been almost exclusively limited to American participants. So Carnegie teams from Russia and China set out to examine the issue and answer two questions: How serious are the escalation risks arising from entanglement? And, how do the authors’ views compare to those of their countries’ strategic communities?

Defining Entanglement

Entanglement has various dimensions: dual-use delivery systems that can be armed with nuclear and non-nuclear warheads; the commingling of nuclear and non-nuclear forces and their support structures; and non-nuclear threats to nuclear weapons and their associated command, control, communication, and information (C3I) systems. Technological developments are currently increasing the entanglement of non-nuclear weapons with nuclear weapons and their enabling capabilities.

Can Two Nuclear Powers Fight a Conventional War?

BY MARCUS WEISGERBER
Source Link

The Pentagon just wargamed that scenario as part of its effort to determine what it needs for 21st-century deterrence. As the U.S. military reviews the makeup of its nuclear arsenal, among the questions being asked is: Can two nuclear powers fight a conventional war without going nuclear? Just last week, this scenario was among the mock battles when U.S. Strategic Command ran its annual Global Thunder nuclear wargame, Army Brig. Gen. Greg Bowen, the command’s deputy director of global operations, said Thursday at the Defense One Summit.

13 November 2017

LOW-YIELD NUCLEAR WEAPONS ARE WORTH A NEW LOOK

JOHN R. HARVEY

In the 2010 review of U.S. nuclear posture, President Barack Obama’s administration, based on advice from military commanders and the extant global threat environment, concluded that the United States could ensure effective nuclear deterrence without fielding new nuclear warheads or warheads with new military capabilities. But even while foreclosing such options for the Obama administration, the 2010 review made clear, as did the nuclear posture reviews of the two previous administrations, that the nation must retain a capability to develop and field such warheads if they are required in the future.

12 November 2017

Does Japan Really Want to Go Nuclear?

By Richard A Bitzinge for S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS)

What would it take for Japan to create a nuclear weapons program? More specifically, is such an endeavor feasible? To answer this question, Richard Bitzinger outlines and explores the necessary infrastructure requirements, economic investments and political maneuvers that would underpin the creation of a Japanese nuclear program. While Japan might be able to fund a nuclear program, Bitzinger maintains that management of the inevitable public resistance to the project would constitute a significant hurdle.

Synopsis

11 November 2017

HARD CONSTRAINTS ON CHINA’S NUCLEAR FORCES

DAVID LOGAN
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China is the only nuclear weapon state recognized by the Nonproliferation Treaty that is actively expanding its nuclear arsenal. Its nuclear forces have increased modestly from an estimated 130 to 200 warheads in 2006 to an estimated 170 to 260 today. The qualitative changes to its nuclear forces have been more significant, with the introduction of more mobile solid-fueled missiles, multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles (MIRVs), and an emerging fleet of nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs).

Facing Russian threat, NATO boosts operations for the first time since the Cold War



BRUSSELS — As the specter of conflict with Russia looms over Europe, NATO defense ministers decided Wednesday to expand the alliance’s operations for the first time since the Cold War, sharpen its focus on cyber operations, and boost its capability to respond to Kremlin aggression. 

The moves came as tensions with Russia remain the highest they have been in the nearly three decades since the end of the Cold War. U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis briefed fellow defense ministers Wednesday morning about Russian violations of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, underlining the nuclear risk that is a worst-case consequence of the bitter back-and-forth. 

7 November 2017

Nuclear Triad: Pentagon Taking Steps to Modernize Global Strike Weapons

By Jon Harper

As potential adversaries enhance their long-range weapons, the United States is moving forward with plans to bolster its own global strike capabilities. The stakes are high as officials try to keep their programs on time and on budget.

Russia, China and North Korea are modernizing their strategic weapon systems, defense officials and independent analysts have noted. At the same time, tensions are boiling in the Asia-Pacific following Pyongyang’s recent tests of intercontinental ballistic missiles and nuclear warheads that could potentially reach the U.S. homeland.

To bolster deterrence and assure anxious allies, the Air Force has flown long-range bombers such as the B-52 near the Korean Peninsula and conducted an ICBM test without a warhead. The Navy has deployed ballistic missile submarines to the region, and allowed officials from allied nations to tour the USS Pennsylvania while it was docked in Guam.

“A lot of that diplomatically is just a show of force,” Gen. Robin Rand, commander of Air Force Global Strike Command, said during a meeting with reporters at the Air Force Association’s Air, Space and Cyber Conference in National Harbor, Maryland. It signaled that “we’re ready to fight tonight,” he added.

4 November 2017

Can Kim Jong-un Control His Nukes?



Any travelers waiting for the few flights out of Pyongyang International Airport early on August 29 were treated to the spectacle of a North Korean intermediate-range missile blasting off only a few miles beyond the runways. Just before six in the morning, a Hwasong-12 missile, also known as the KN-17, with a purported range of nearly four thousand miles, arced northeastward over North Korea and the Sea of Japan. Eight minutes later, it passed over Hokkaido, the northernmost of Japan’s four home islands. Roughly six minutes after that, and approximately 730 miles east of Hokkaido, it broke apart and fell into the Pacific Ocean. 

2 November 2017

How a State Department Study Prevented Nuclear War With China

By Franz-Stefan Gady

The People’s Republic of China (PRC) under Mao Zedong was the nuclear “rogue state” of the 1960s in the eyes of the United States. The PRC was viewed by officials in two consecutive U.S. administrations — John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson — as both extremist and irrational, a country where the prevailing U.S. Cold War strategies of containment and deterrence would not apply. President Kennedy reportedly saw a nuclear China as “the great menace in the future to humanity, the free world, and freedom on earth.” Lyndon B. Johnson told a reporter in 1964 during the ongoing presidential campaign that “we can’t let [Barry] Goldwater [Johnson’s opponent] and Red China both get the bomb at the same time. Then the shit would really hit the fan.”

26 October 2017

Bioweapons and Scientific Advances


The 191 States Parties and Signatory States to the 1975 Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) staged their Eighth Review Conference from 7-25 November 2016. In this text, Claudia Otto and Oliver Thränert 1) assess the progress the BWC has made thus far, to include the attempts to both implement and enhance the treaty, and 2) analyze the recent assaults on the BWC’s relevancy, which are attributable to the radical technical and scientific advances occurring in the life sciences.

24 October 2017

Blockchain: A new aid to nuclear export controls?

AARON ARNOLD


Don’t worry if you have yet to hear about blockchain, the emerging technology set to reshape everything from finance and trade to global governance—you are in good company. According to one recent survey of 12,000 people in 11 countries, 60 percent had never heard of the technology and 80 percent could not explain how it works. Yet, for a technology that few understand, blockchain is sure making waves. The World Economic Foundation (WEF), for example, found that 80 percent of global banks will have initiated blockchain-related projects by the end of 2017. Perhaps even more startling: By 2027, the WEF predicts, 10 percent of global gross domestic product will be held in blockchain technology.

22 October 2017

THROUGH A PERISCOPE DARKLY: THE NUCLEAR UNDERSEA COMPETITION IN SOUTHERN ASIA IS JUST BEGINNING

DIANA WUEGER

Strategic competition among China, India, and Pakistan has traditionally been land-oriented, with a focus on territorial disputes. On the conventional military front, the Chinese, Indian, and Pakistani navies have received the least attention and resources from their respective governments. Similarly, the development of air- and land-based nuclear weapons has historically taken precedence both in defense budgets and as a means of projecting power. However, as China continues its economic and military expansion across the Indian Ocean, the maritime domain is receiving increased attention, with all three states making a concurrent drive toward acquiring sea-based nuclear weapons.

21 October 2017

This Is What Nuclear Weapons Leave in Their Wake

By Alexandra Genova 

A remote area of Kazakhstan was once home to nearly a quarter of the world’s nuclear testing. The impact on its inhabitants has been devastating.

Decay and desolation scar the landscape of a remote corner of the Kazakh Steppe. Unnatural lakes formed by nuclear bomb explosions pockmark the once flat terrain, broken up only by empty shells of buildings. It appears uninhabitable. And yet, ghosts – living and dead – haunt the land, still burdened by the effects a nuclear testing program that stopped nearly 30 years ago.

20 October 2017

DEADLY OVERCONFIDENCE: TRUMP THINKS MISSILE DEFENSES WORK AGAINST NORTH KOREA, AND THAT SHOULD SCARE YOU

ANKIT PANDA AND VIPIN NARANG

Could a president’s overconfidence in U.S. defensive systems lead to deadly miscalculation and nuclear armageddon? Yes. Yes, it could. Last Wednesday, referring to potential American responses to North Korea’s missile and nuclear program, President Donald Trump told Sean Hannity “We have missiles that can knock out a missile in the air 97 percent of the time, and if you send two of them it’s gonna get knocked out.” If Trump believes — or is being told — that American missile defenses are that accurate, not only is he factually wrong, he is also very dangerously wrong. This misperception could be enough to lead the United States into a costly war with devastating consequences.

The Middle Eastern Roots of Nuclear Alarmism over North Korea

By Rebecca Friedman Lissner

Nuclear alarmism is reaching a fever pitch in Washington. President Donald Trump has responded to North Korea’s push toward a nuclear-capable ICBM with paroxysms of bluster: He warned that North Korean threats to the United States would “be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen,” proclaimed Kim Jong Un a “Rocket Man” (and now “Little Rocket Man”) on a “suicide mission,” and averred the North Korean regime “won’t be around for much longer.” Other members of the administration have echoed the president’s rhetoric: National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster suggested that Kim is undeterrable. U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley trumpeted “plenty of military options.” The White House has engaged in open discussion of preventive war.

17 October 2017

The Risks of Pakistan's Sea-Based Nuclear Weapons


Nine days into 2017, Pakistan carried out the first-ever flight test of the Babur-3, it’s new nuclear-capable submarine-launched cruise missile (SLCM). A variant of the Babur-3 ground-launched cruise missile (GLCM), this SLCM will see Pakistan’s nuclear deterrent head to sea—probably initially aboard its Agosta 90B and Agosta 70 submarines, but eventually, perhaps even on board new Type 041 Yuan-class submarines Pakistan is expected to procure from China.

The Middle Eastern Roots of Nuclear Alarmism Over North Korea

By Rebecca Friedman Lissner
Source Link

Nuclear alarmism is reaching a fever pitch in Washington. President Donald Trump has responded to North Korea’s push toward a nuclear-capable ICBM with paroxysms of bluster: He warned that North Korean threats to the United States would “be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen,” proclaimed Kim Jong Un a “Rocket Man” (and now “Little Rocket Man”) on a “suicide mission,” and averred the North Korean regime “won’t be around for much longer.” Other members of the administration have echoed the president’s rhetoric: National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster suggested that Kim is undeterrable. U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley trumpeted “plenty of military options.” The White House has engaged in open discussion of preventive war.

Minuteman III Replacement: Key to Nuclear Deterrence


In order to deter nuclear aggression against its homeland and vital interests, the U.S. must demonstrate that its strategic arsenal is capable of surviving an attack and then retaliating with devastating force against the aggressor. In other words, the losses an attacker would suffer must demonstrably exceed any potential gains. Thus, the paradox of nuclear strategy is that when weapons are postured effectively, they will never be used. We buy and maintain nuclear weapons in the hope they will remain in their submarines and silos forever.

15 October 2017

Congress warned North Korean EMP attack would kill '90% of all Americans'

by Paul Bedard

Congress was warned Thursday that North Korea is capable of attacking the U.S. today with a nuclear EMP bomb that could indefinitely shut down the electric power grid and kill 90 percent of "all Americans" within a year. 

At a House hearing, experts said that North Korea could easily employ the "doomsday scenario" to turn parts of the U.S. to ashes.