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

20 May 2018

The Necessary U.S. Response to Russia’s Nuclear Doctrine

By Bradley A. Thayer

After decades of neglect, the decline of the United States’ nuclear arsenal is being addressed by the Pentagon. This is driven in large measure by the growth and modernization of the Chinese and Russian nuclear arsenals. Their nuclear doctrines are salient as well. While Chinese nuclear doctrine remains deliberately opaque—which is, in itself, worrisome and a threat to strategic stability—Russian doctrine and statements from officials have emphasized the need to maintain their nuclear arsenal and evinced a willingness to use nuclear weapons in a conflict. 

18 May 2018

PAKISTAN’S NAVAL NUCLEAR AMBITIONS: CONCERNS AND CHALLENGES

by Sylvia Mishra

On March 29, Pakistan’s Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) confirmed in a press releasethat Pakistan had conducted another test of the Babur-3 nuclear-capable submarine-launched cruise missile (SLCM), after the first test in January last year. The missile, with a range of 450 km, engaged its target with “precise accuracy” and was successful in “meeting all the flight parameters.” While the yield of the Babur-3 warhead is unknown, analysts estimate from the 47 seconds of flight-testing footage shared by Pakistan’s defense establishment that the SLCM was fired underwater horizontally from torpedo tubes. 

Threat Report 2018: North Korea’s Nuclear Doctrine


Months of fruitful engagement between North Korea, South Korea and the United States may soon turn sour. Yesterday, Pyongyang warned that ongoing joint military exercises and aggressive statements made by the Trump administration were damaging the diplomatic atmosphere. The regime canceled upcoming talks scheduled with South Korea, and threatened to pull out of the Trump-Kim summit, slated for June 12. Today’s brief, a part of The Cipher Brief’s 2018 Annual Threat Report, looks at the history of U.S.-North Korea negotiations, and the latter’s nuclear program, with insight into the regime’s end goals and what it may—and may not—be willing to put on the table.

16 May 2018

3 Reasons Israel Would Start a Nuclear War

Robert Farley
Source Link

Israel’s nuclear arsenal is the worst-kept secret in international relations. Since the 1970s, Israel has maintained a nuclear deterrent in order to maintain a favorable balance of power with its neighbors. Apart from some worrying moments during the Yom Kippur War, the Israeli government has never seriously considered using those weapons. The most obvious scenario for Israel to use nuclear weapons would be in response to a foreign nuclear attack. Israel’s missile defenses, air defenses, and delivery systems are far too sophisticated to imagine a scenario in which any country other than one of the major nuclear powers could manage a disarming first strike. Consequently, any attacker is certain to endure massive retaliation, in short order. Israel’s goals would be to destroy the military capacity of the enemy (let’s say Iran, for sake of discussion) and also send a message that any nuclear attack against Israel would be met with catastrophic, unimaginable retaliation.

15 May 2018

The Cold Start hypothesis

Maj Gen Raj Mehta (retd)

BEREFT of a stated nuclear doctrine, Pakistan obdurately plans to use tactical nuclear weapons (TNWs) to neutralise Integrated Battle Groups (IBGs) if launched by India across the border against Pakistani proxy war terror strikes. Does this ploy throw cold water on India’s ‘Cold Start’ doctrine? Is Pakistan’s adaptation of an outmoded Cold War tactic implementable? Can nuclear wars be ‘tactical’? Is India’s no-first-use (NFU) policy ‘didactic’ (patronising) or ‘persnickety’ (irritatingly detailed) as former NSA Shivshankar Menon, author of Choices – Inside the Making of India’s Foreign Policy (2016), puts it? 

14 May 2018

After dumping the nuclear deal, Trump has no strategy for Iran

Suzanne Maloney

After months of speculation and a flurry of last-minute European diplomacy, Donald Trump has taken perhaps the most consequential decision of his unconventional presidency with the re-imposition of U.S. sanctions on Iran in a deliberately provocative breach of the 2015 nuclear agreement. By torpedoing U.S. adherence to the accord, Trump has all but guaranteed its collapse, a move that opens the door to the unfettered resumption of Iran’s nuclear program and unleashes unpredictable escalatory pressures in an already volatile Middle East.

3 May 2018

Can North Korea Really Give Up Its Nukes?


Ahead of the landmark inter-Korean summit, North Korea has offered to shutter its nuclear test site, suspend intercontinental ballistic missile and nuclear weapons tests, and ultimately denuclearize the Korean Peninsula. Although it was framed in ambiguous terms, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's announcement serves to set up both the impending meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae In and the subsequent proposed sit-down with U.S. President Donald Trump. A year ago, it appeared as if nothing would get North Korea to budge on its nuclear weapons program and its insistence on being recognized as a nuclear state. Now, it is making numerous public "concessions" even before it sits down with South Korean and U.S. leaders. It is little surprise, then, that there is quite a bit of confusion over just what North Korea wants, what it is willing to do, and whether the North Korean leadership can be trusted to stick to any deals that may be struck.

2 May 2018

Can North Korea Really Give Up Its Nukes?

By Rodger Baker

North Korea's diplomatic outreach again raises the possibility that it is willing to use its nuclear program as a bargaining chip. With an eye toward regime survival and eventual Korean unification, Pyongyang could trade away the public face of its nuclear weapons program.  Having offered such a concession, North Korea will demand a lot more than an easing of sanctions by South Korea and the United States in return. Ahead of the landmark inter-Korean summit, North Korea has offered to shutter its nuclear test site, suspend intercontinental ballistic missile and nuclear weapons tests, and ultimately denuclearize the Korean Peninsula. Although it was framed in ambiguous terms, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's announcement serves to set up both the impending meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae In and the subsequent proposed sit-down with U.S. President Donald Trump. A year ago, it appeared as if nothing would get North Korea to budge on its nuclear weapons program and its insistence on being recognized as a nuclear state. Now, it is making numerous public "concessions" even before it sits down with South Korean and U.S. leaders. It is little surprise, then, that there is quite a bit of confusion over just what North Korea wants, what it is willing to do, and whether the North Korean leadership can be trusted to stick to any deals that may be struck. 

How Artificial Intelligence Could Increase the Risk of Nuclear War


Could artificial intelligence upend concepts of nuclear deterrence that have helped spare the world from nuclear war since 1945? Stunning advances in AI—coupled with a proliferation of drones, satellites, and other sensors—raise the possibility that countries could find and threaten each other's nuclear forces, escalating tensions. Lt. Col. Stanislav Petrov settled into the commander's chair in a secret bunker outside Moscow. His job that night was simple: Monitor the computers that were sifting through satellite data, watching the United States for any sign of a missile launch. It was just after midnight, Sept. 26, 1983.

A siren clanged off the bunker walls. A single word flashed on the screen in front of him.

1 May 2018

The US Does Not Need New Tactical Nukes

BY WILLIAM J. PERRY 

There’s a false narrative afoot: that we lack the weapons to deter a Russian nuclear strike. Very soon, Congress will have to make a major decision: should it approve the Trump administration’s request for new, smaller, more usable nuclear weapons? No, it should not. There is no need for such weapons, and building them would make us less safe. These so-called “low-yield” nuclear weapons are a gateway to a nuclear catastrophe. There is a false narrative in Washington that the United States has a “gap” in its ability to deter the use of nuclear weapons by Russia. Administration officials allege that Moscow believes that an American president would not respond to Russian use of “tactical,” or lower-yield, nuclear weapons since his only options include “strategic,” or high-yield, ones. Since our president would not want to start an all-out nuclear war, he would be “self-deterred” from using big nukes, the logic goes, and Moscow would have a path to using small nukes that we could not block.

29 April 2018

How AI Could Destabilize Nuclear Deterrence

BY ELIAS GROLL
When Russian President Vladimir Putin announced last month that his country was developing an autonomous nuclear-powered torpedo, it marked a milestone in the marriage of nuclear weapons and artificial intelligence — that is, if the weapon does what he claims. The torpedo, armed with a nuclear warhead, would be launched from the Arctic Ocean and travel at high speeds for hundreds of miles until it reached its target — probably an American harbor — all the while maneuvering autonomously to evade underwater defenses and outrunning any adversaries.

Could The US Win World War III Without Using Nuclear Weapons?

by Dan Plesch

As the US, Russia and China test each other’s patience and strategic focus, speculation about the chances of a world war has hit a new high. But many of the people seriously engaged in this weighty discussion often get it wrong.

28 April 2018

How Artificial Intelligence Could Increase the Risk of Nuclear War

How Artificial Intelligence Could Increase the Risk of Nuclear War

Could artificial intelligence upend concepts of nuclear deterrence that have helped spare the world from nuclear war since 1945? Stunning advances in AI—coupled with a proliferation of drones, satellites, and other sensors—raise the possibility that countries could find and threaten each other's nuclear forces, escalating tensions. Lt. Col. Stanislav Petrov settled into the commander's chair in a secret bunker outside Moscow. His job that night was simple: Monitor the computers that were sifting through data from satellites and radar, watching the United States for any sign of a missile launch. It was just after midnight, Sept. 26, 1983.

27 April 2018

FUKUSHIMA'S NUCLEAR WASTE WILL BE DUMPED INTO THE OCEAN, JAPANESE PLANT OWNER SAYS

BY TOM O'CONNOR

A member of the media uses a Geiger counter at Tokyo Electric Power Company's (TEPCO) Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in Okuma, Fukushima, Japan, February 23. The site includes hundreds of tanks containing about 777,000 tons of water laced with tritium that TEPCO has decided to dump into the nearby sea, despite opposition from local fishermen.Toxic waste produced by one of the world's worst nuclear disasters will be dumped into the sea, according to the head of the Japanese company tasked with cleaning up the radioactive mess, despite protests from local fishermen.

25 April 2018

Rhetoric aside, the US commitment to preventing nuclear terrorism is waning

BY NICKOLAS ROTH, MATTHEW BUNN AND WILLIAM H. TOBEY

With the world focused on the United States and North Korea, it’s easy to forget that every president for a quarter-century has said preventing nuclear terrorism was a national security priority. This includes the Trump administration, which identified in its Nuclear Posture Review that nuclear terrorism is one of “the most significant threats to the security of the United States.” It appears, however, despite this strong rhetoric, the administration may not be putting its money where its mouth is.

19 April 2018

Relationships Between Highly Asymmetric Nuclear Powers

By Rod Lyon

The current tensions between Washington and Pyongyang aren’t just about history. Nor are they simply the result of personal frictions between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un. At their core, they reflect the difficulties that typically attend adversarial relationships between two highly asymmetric nuclear powers. Bernard Brodie, one of the doyens of deterrence thinking during the early days of the Cold War, canvassed some of the problems in this sort of relationship in his 1958 essay, The anatomy of deterrence. There he considered how the Soviet Union might be strategically hampered by the emergence of a much inferior adversary which could, however, threaten nuclear damage to a small number of Soviet cities. The following extract is taken from pages 7–9 of his essay: [D]eterrence effect in itself does not depend on superiority … Let us assume that a menaced small nation could threaten the Soviet Union with only a single thermonuclear bomb, which, however, it could certainly deliver on Moscow if attacked … [This] would be sufficient to give the Soviet government much pause … If we think of five to ten H-bombs delivered on as many … cities, the deterrence would no doubt be significantly greater.

14 April 2018

Relationships Between Highly Asymmetric Nuclear Powers

By Rod Lyon

The current tensions between Washington and Pyongyang aren’t just about history. Nor are they simply the result of personal frictions between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un. At their core, they reflect the difficulties that typically attend adversarial relationships between two highly asymmetric nuclear powers. Bernard Brodie, one of the doyens of deterrence thinking during the early days of the Cold War, canvassed some of the problems in this sort of relationship in his 1958 essay, The anatomy of deterrence. There he considered how the Soviet Union might be strategically hampered by the emergence of a much inferior adversary which could, however, threaten nuclear damage to a small number of Soviet cities. The following extract is taken from pages 7–9 of his essay:

11 April 2018

Pakistan Calls India's Nuclear Bluff in a Subcontinent Standoff


The nuclear arms race between India and Pakistan will escalate as both countries seek to introduce new technologies and strategies. Pakistan's improved ability to retaliate to an Indian strategic nuclear strike will make it more difficult for India to deter Islamabad from using tactical nuclear weapons on the battlefield. If India acquires its own tactical nuclear weapons, New Delhi and Islamabad will be more likely to use nuclear weapons in the event of a major conflict between them. 

9 April 2018

Russian Tactical Nukes Are Real

By Mark B. Schneider

Russia has the most extensive arsenal of naval tactical nuclear weapons in the world. In stark contrast to President Vladimir Putin’s frequent discussion of the country’s strategic nuclear weapons, the Russian government generally is quite secretive about its tactical nuclear weapons. The country claims it has reduced its tactical nuclear weapons inventory by 75 percent from late Cold War levels. This is probably true, but the Soviet tactical nuclear weapons arsenal was so large that this still could leave 5,000 or more tactical warheads available today, as Pravda reported in 2014. [1] The 2018 Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) reports that Russia has 2,000 non-strategic nuclear weapons and is increasing and modernizing them. [2] If Russian press reports are correct, the NPR number is a considerable underestimate.

The Attack on the Nuclear Reactor in Syria: The Intelligence Dimension


Although the public discourse after Israel took official responsibility for the attack in Deir ez-Zor has primarily revolved around the issue of the reactor’s discovery, it is important to recognize that intelligence operations did not end with the collection breakthrough. Intelligence had to cope with two particular challenges. First, at the strategic level, it had to assess the type of reaction - or lack of reaction - to an attack likely to come from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. In this context, developing the idea of Assad’s “room for denial” constituted a conceptual innovation. Regarding the second challenge, namely, the attack itself, the intelligence community had to provide accurate information on the facility, on the reactor, and on its surroundings. Execution of the attack necessitated close cooperation between the regular intelligence entities and the operational and operations research entities in the air force. In retrospect, it seems that the intelligence community, in its various elements, succeeded in uniting its efforts and operating with a high level of “jointness.” This was true regarding the transfer of intelligence missions from Military Intelligence to the Mossad as an intelligence collection organization, as well as the clarification of differences of opinion on the threat assessment and possible reactions to the attack.