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

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. 

13 October 2017

Iran, Trump And The Art Of The Nuclear Deal

by Matthew Bey

Deep ideological differences and mutual mistrust have marred the relationship between the United States and Iran since the Islamic Republic replaced the nation's monarchy nearly four decades ago. But time has done little to heal the wounds that each country has inflicted on the other. Their enduring enmity will be on full display this week as U.S. President Donald Trump prepares to "decertify" the deal Iran has struck with global powers on its nuclear program by arguing that the agreement isn't in the best interest of U.S. national security. Though Washington will likely keep sanctions relief for Tehran in place for now, Trump's speech will trigger a 60-day review period during which Congress will have the power to reimpose them.

12 October 2017

A Hypothetical Nuclear Attack on Seoul and Tokyo: The Human Cost of War on the Korean Peninsula


At various times over the past few weeks, US President Donald Trump and other members of his administration have threatened to use military force to prevent North Korea from conducting additional nuclear or ballistic missile tests. The US carrying out any military option raises a significant risk of military escalation by the North, including the use of nuclear weapons against South Korea and Japan. According to the calculations presented below, if the “unthinkable” happened, nuclear detonations over Seoul and Tokyo with North Korea’s current estimated weapon yields could result in as many as 2.1 million fatalities and 7.7 million injuries.

8 October 2017

Measuring radiation doses in mass-casualty emergencies

4 OCTOBER 2017

For the first time since 1981, when China deployed the DF-5 intercontinental ballistic missile, a new state has gained the capability to target the United States with a nuclear weapon. On July 4 and again on July 28, North Korea launched the Hwasong-14—a two-stage, liquid-fueled ballistic missile that demonstrated the capability to reach the continental United States. The US intelligence community assesses that North Korea has nuclear warheads compact and light enough to fit on the Hwasong-14 and that North Korea will be able to deploy a nuclear-armed intercontinental ballistic missile within one or two years. North Korea demonstrated another new capability on September 3, testing what it claimed was a thermonuclear weapon. While the exact configuration of this “advanced nuclear device” remains unknown, the device’s estimated yield is 140 kilotons, so the test represents a quantum leap in the destructive potential of North Korea’s nuclear arsenal.

7 October 2017

Everything You Need to Know: Russia's 'Tactical' Nuclear Weapons

Dave Majumdar

In recent months there has much hysteria in Washington about Russia allegedly lowering its nuclear threshold and particularly about Moscow’s arsenal of non-strategic nuclear weapons. However, there is little evidence that Moscow has lowered its nuclear threshold—nor are there concrete figures available for how many non-strategic nuclear weapons the Kremlin has in its inventory.

Non-Strategic Nuclear Weapons:

Our best hope against nuclear war

By David Ignatius 

Consider what is, for the moment, an entirely hypothetical question: What might Defense Secretary Jim Mattis do if he received an order from President Trump to launch a nuclear attack on North Korea in retaliation, say, for a hydrogen bomb test that had gone awry? 

Certainly, Mattis could try to talk the president out of the attack, if he thought the action was unwise. He could request delays to prepare for contingencies or gather intelligence. He could even, perhaps, argue that the action raised legal questions, because it might cause disproportionate civilian casualties in North and South Korea and thereby violate the laws of war. 

Why Tactical Nuclear Weapons Are Still A Thing


Michael Krepon recently published an article in Defense Onein which he called the potential development and employment of tactical nuclear weapons “unwise” and strategically unsound. His argument includes several statements that illustrate the yawning chasm between arms control experts and military planners today when it comes to the subject of the utility of nuclear weapons. As is often the case, he uses illustrations and questionable statements that date to the Cold War to discuss the contemporary challenge of nuclear modernization. Here are some thoughts as to why tactical nuclear weapons are being advanced as a valid, contemporary — and necessary — defense capability.

6 October 2017

REPORT Abandoning Iranian Nuclear Deal Could Lead to New Wave of Cyberattacks


Over the last two years, U.S. banks and government agencies have enjoyed a notable respite from malicious Iranian cyber activity. The timing of this drop-off happens to coincide with the signing of the nuclear deal with Iran in 2015.

Now with U.S. President Donald Trump threatening to walk away from the nuclear deal, cybersecurity experts say it is likely Iran could resume its attacks against Western targets should Trump actually follow through with his threat.


If we had to go to war tomorrow, could our defense manufacturing sector keep up? And are we willing to gamble our national future on the answer? The White House has wisely decided that these are questions better not left to chance. The Trump administration’s recent executive order directing a review of the defense industrial base is predicated on the insight that the health of the defense industrial base is as much a component of our national defense as any aircraft carrier or main battle tank. Gen. Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, echoed this sentiment when he warned the Senate about our “increasingly brittle industrial base.” The administration’s ongoing review provides the best opportunity in decades to think holistically about the industrial base — from workforce education, to plant and shipyard capacity, to regulations, export controls, and beyond — to ensure continued American technological superiority and military dominance.

5 October 2017

NUCLEAR HISTORY Waiting for the Bomb: PN Haksar and India’s Nuclear Policy in the 1960s

By Yogesh Joshi

A recent article in The National Interest (TNI) presented archival evidence to argue that India intended to develop a full-spectrum nuclear weapons capability as early as 1969. However, other archival sources related to Indian nuclear history raise doubts about the purported provenance and significance of this source. 
Contrary to analysis of a note found in PN Haksar's files, the Indian government did not decide to pursue a full-fledged nuclear weapons program in 1968. A preponderance of archival evidence produced across the Indian government between 1964 and 1970 indicates that the note cited by TNI was not reflective of the Indian government’s nuclear weapons policy at that time.

4 October 2017

Former NATO military chief: there’s a 10% chance of nuclear war with North Korea

by Yochi Dreazen

Retired Navy Adm. James Stavridis spent 37 years in the military, including four years as the supreme allied commander of NATO. Hillary Clinton vetted him as a possible running mate. President-elect Donald Trump considered naming him secretary of state. He is a serious man, and about as far from an armchair pundit as it’s possible to be.

The Need For Missile Defense

by Victor Davis Hanson

America’s great advantage when it entered world affairs after the Civil War was that its distance from Europe and Asia ensured that it was virtually immune from large sea-borne invasions.

The Pacific and the Atlantic Oceans proved far better barriers than even the forests and mountain ranges of Europe. At twenty-eight years old, Abraham Lincoln succinctly summed up America’s natural invincibility in his famous Lyceum Address of January 27, 1838: “All the armies of Europe, Asia and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth (our own excepted) in their military chest; with a Bonaparte for a commander, could not by force take a drink from the Ohio, or make a track on the Blue Ridge, in a trial of a thousand years.”

2 October 2017



A new nuclear state, in a major crisis with a conventionally superior nuclear-armed adversary, contemplates and prepares to move nuclear assets in the event it has to use them. Who controls the nuclear forces? Who decides when they might be assembled, mated to delivery vehicles, moved, and launched? Who has nominal authority to order those decisions? Who has the physical ability to implement them even without proper authorization? How experienced are the relevant units in these operations? What could go wrong?

1 October 2017

The effects of a single terrorist nuclear bomb

Matthew Bunn Nickolas Roth

The escalating threats between North Korea and the United States make it easy to forget the “nuclear nightmare,” as former US Secretary of Defense William J. Perry put it, that could result even from the use of just a single terrorist nuclear bomb in the heart of a major city.

At the risk of repeating the vast literature on the tragedies of Hiroshima and Nagasaki—and the substantial literature surrounding nuclear tests and simulations since then—we attempt to spell out here the likely consequences of the explosion of a single terrorist nuclear bomb on a major city, and its subsequent ripple effects on the rest of the planet. Depending on where and when it was detonated, the blast, fire, initial radiation, and long-term radioactive fallout from such a bomb could leave the heart of a major city a smoldering radioactive ruin, killing tens or hundreds of thousands of people and wounding hundreds of thousands more. Vast areas would have to be evacuated and might be uninhabitable for years. Economic, political, and social aftershocks would ripple throughout the world. A single terrorist nuclear bomb would change history. The country attacked—and the world—would never be the same.

29 September 2017

Redeploying U.S. Nuclear Weapons to South Korea

Recent advances in North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs have led to speculations about the possible redeployment of U.S. nuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula. The United States deployed nuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula between 1958 and 1991. The only warheads remaining in the U.S. stockpile that could be deployed on the Korean Peninsula are B61 bombs. Before redeploying these to South Korea, where they would remain under U.S. control, the United States would have to recreate the infrastructure needed to house the bombs and would also have to train and certify the personnel responsible for maintaining the weapons and operating the aircraft for the nuclear mission.

Redeployment of U.S. nuclear weapons has the following advantages :

Send a powerful deterrent message to the North and demonstrate a strong commitment to the South

Weapons could serve as a “bargaining chip” with North Korea 

Presence of nuclear weapons would allow for a more rapid nuclear response to a North Korean attack.


The weapons would present a tempting target for North Korea and might prompt an attack early in a crisis

Nuclear weapons based in the United States are sufficient for deterrence

It is not cost effective

South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in has advocated for more muscular defense options, but does not support the redeployment of U.S. tactical nuclear weapons.


Likely to view the redeployment of U.S. nuclear weapons as provocative;

Might respond by putting more pressure on North Korea to slow its programs, 

Might increase its support for North Korea in the face of a new threat and, possibly, expand its own nuclear arsenal


Reaction could also be mixed. 

Japan shares U.S. and South Korean concerns about the threat from North Korea, but given its historical aversion to nuclear weapons, Japan could oppose the presence of U.S. nuclear weapons near its territory. 

Any adjustment of the U.S. military posture on the peninsula could create additional security concerns for Tokyo.

USA is conducting a Nuclear Posture Review that is examining both the role of nuclear weapons in U.S. national security policy and ongoing plans to modernize the U.S. nuclear enterprise.It is considering increased deployments of U.S. nonnuclear strategic assets to South Korea, changes in military exercises and the expansion of U.S.-ROK consultation strategic consultations

For further studies Read here

What Total Destruction of North Korea Means


As Trump considers military options, he’s drawing unenforceable red lines.

North Koreans watch news report showing North Korea's Hwasong-12 intermediate-range ballistic missile launch on an electronic screen at Pyongyang station in Pyongyang, North Korea, on September 16, 2017.Kyodo via Reuters

Hypersonic Missile Nonproliferation

by Richard H. Speier, George Nacouzi, Carrie Lee, Richard M. Moore
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What are the implications of the proliferation of hypersonic missiles to additional nations? That is, why should the United States and the rest of the world be concerned with such proliferation, and why should it be addressed now?

What are the possible measures to hinder such proliferation? That is, is it feasible to hinder the spread of this technology, and who should buy into such an objective and with what measures?