Category Archives: Nuclear

Fewer Nukes Could Make the World Less Safe – Bloomberg View

Paradoxically, though, this means there’s a danger to having too few nukes. If stockpiles decline to the point that one side thinks it can wipe out the other with a first strike and suffer an acceptable level of retaliatory damage, the situation becomes unstable. Each side has an incentive to risk an attack. Improvements in the U.S. ability to track nuclear-armed submarines contribute to this danger, since that raises the tantalizing possibility of destroying the enemy’s second-strike capability in a surprise assault.

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So if the danger in the 1980s was that the world had far too many nuclear weapons, the danger in the 21st century may be that the U.S. and Russia have too few. Although President Barack President Obama’s recent speech in Hiroshima, calling for the eventual abolition of nuclear weapons, makes for good optics, actually pursuing that policy might remove the strongest protection against nuclear war. Meanwhile, shrunken nuclear stockpiles should make us a little more fearful of ever electing a president who might think that launching a first strike would be anything less than madness.

Fewer Nukes Could Make the World Less Safe – Bloomberg View

Failing To Modernize Nuclear Technology Is Threat To National Security | The Daily Caller

The effect of modernizing nuclear technology and weaponry would assure allies that they do not need their own nuclear capabilities. Modernization would also serve to deter other countries from engaging in warfare with the U.S., as well as deterring “escalation to de-escalation.” A country may choose to engage in nuclear warfare if they are losing a conflict to escalate their way out of crisis and force surrender.

For example, there is intel that Russia may be considering these strategies and training in nuclear warfare in an increased manner.

“It is concerning to see that the Russians are clearly continuing to look at nuclear weapons as a clear and important part of their arsenal and they are building it up both in size and type… they have violated the INF treaty for example,” said Hon. Scher.

The panel has claimed that some of the current U.S. technology is over 30 years old.

Failing To Modernize Nuclear Technology Is Threat To National Security | The Daily Caller

Secret document reveals key Iran nuclear constraints will ease in 10 years | The Times of Israel

In January 2027, Tehran can start installing thousands of advanced centrifuges, cutting time needed to make a bomb to 6 months or less

Key restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program imposed under an internationally negotiated deal will ease in slightly more than a decade, cutting the time Tehran would need to build a bomb to six months from present estimates of a year, according to a document obtained Monday by The Associated Press.

The document is the only part linked to last year’s deal between Iran and six foreign powers that hasn’t been made public. It was given to the AP by a diplomat whose work has focused on Iran’s nuclear program for more than a decade, and its authenticity was confirmed by another diplomat who possesses the same document.

Secret document reveals key Iran nuclear constraints will ease in 10 years | The Times of Israel

Nuclear Escalation Is Getting More Likely, It’s Time To Step Up Missile Defense | The Daily Caller

How serious is the current geostrategic balance? Are we in danger of any number of crises escalating to open conflict? And how should the U.S. respond? Should we deploy better military capabilities or ramp up our diplomacy, or both?

Certainly the Russian government has openly declared its willingness to use nuclear weapons against the United States and its European allies should NATO militarily step in to stop Russian aggression in Ukraine or the Baltics. On July 4th, RT published an essay — “U.S. Military Strategy Could Culminate in Nuclear Conflict” — warning that any armed conflict in Ukraine or the South China Sea would not be confined to those regions. The RT essay went on to note while the U.S. remained relatively unscathed in World War II, today’s military capabilities of China and Russia left no guarantee that the U.S. homeland would remain a sanctuary.

Nuclear Escalation Is Getting More Likely, It’s Time To Step Up Missile Defense | The Daily Caller

The World’s Nuclear Arsenal Is Getting Smaller But Deadlier

Nuclear weapons in Asia are on the rise. China, North Korea, India, and Pakistan are all increasing their nuclear arsenals and modernizing their delivery systems. The report says that China is “gradually increasing its nuclear forces as it modernizes its arsenal.” China has an estimated 260 nuclear weapons, but it has so far refrained from producing the nuclear fuel to create more. China  in the past has built gigantic, city-busting megaton nukes to make up for inaccurate missiles, but as accuracy improves they may dismantle existing weapons to create more smaller missiles. China is also preparing to send its latest nuclear missile submarines to sea and is placing multiple warheads on long-range land-based nuclear missiles.

The World’s Nuclear Arsenal Is Getting Smaller But Deadlier

Exclusive: North Korea restarts plutonium production for nuclear bombs – U.S. official | Reuters

North Korea has restarted production of plutonium fuel, a senior U.S. State Department official said on Tuesday, showing that it plans to pursue its nuclear weapons program in defiance of international sanctions.

The U.S. assessment came a day after the U.N. nuclear watchdog said it had “indications” that Pyongyang has reactivated a plant to recover plutonium from spent reactor fuel at Yongbyon, its main nuclear complex.

Exclusive: North Korea restarts plutonium production for nuclear bombs – U.S. official | Reuters

Tomorrow Never Comes: Neglecting the Nuclear Force

In 2014, following several high-level embarrassments, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel ordered two enterprise-level reviews of nuclear forces. Remarking on their findings, Hagel said, “The internal and external reviews I ordered show that a consistent lack of investment and support for our nuclear forces —over far too many years — has left us with too little margin to cope with mounting stresses.” Until now, documented problems with America’s nuclear enterprise have focused primarily on personnel issues— a lack of focus by the missile crews, pilots, technicians, or the leaders of those charged with handling America’s most powerful weapons. However, the persistent lack of investment in the nuclear enterprise suggests that the reasons for lapsed focus are actually structural, and thus require structural solutions. The findings of the 2014 nuclear enterprise reviews were not new. In 2008, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates fired Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne and Chief of Staff General Michael Moseley for their “drifted focus” away from the nuclear mission. New Air Force leaders spent the next six years refocusing the service on the nuclear mission. The nuclear enterprise’s structural problems require urgent attention, most of all how resources are allocated for nuclear forces.

Tomorrow Never Comes: Neglecting the Nuclear Force

US military uses 8″ floppy disks to coordinate nuclear operations

Report says many Federal IT systems use outdated and unsupported software and hardware that are ‘at least 50 years old’ in some cases

Maybe they use the ’80s flick “War Games” as a training film, too.

The U.S. Defense Department is still using — after several decades — 8-inch floppy disks in a computer system that coordinates the operational functions of the nation’s nuclear forces, a jaw-dropping new report reveals.

The Defense Department’s 1970s-era IBM Series/1 Computer and long-outdated floppy disks handle functions related to intercontinental ballistic missiles, nuclear bombers and tanker support aircraft, according to the new Government Accountability Office report.

US military uses 8″ floppy disks to coordinate nuclear operations

Obama’s Asian nuclear nightmare – POLITICO

Fueled by Trump’s rhetoric and North Korea’s threats, Japan and South Korea are eyeing nuclear weapons of their own.

North Korea is expanding its nuclear arsenal and upgrading its ballistic missiles. China is growing and modernizing its stockpile. Most strikingly, Pentagon planners worry that Japan and South Korea might explore developing nuclear arms of their own for the first time—promoted in part by the recent conclusion by U.S. and South Korean intelligence agencies that North Korea’s bizarre regime can now mount a small nuclear warhead on missiles capable of striking Japan and South Korea.

Obama’s Asian nuclear nightmare – POLITICO

China’s Nuclear Subs Are Ready to Terrorize the Sea – The Daily Beast

Beijing will soon be able to launch nuclear missiles from the sea. And that’s going to make it harder to deter any future Chinese aggression.

China’s about to join an exclusive club for nuclear powers. After decades of development, 2016 could be the year the Chinese navy finally sends its ballistic-missile submarines—“SSBN” is the Pentagon’s designation—to sea for the first time for operational patrols with live, nuclear-tipped rockets.

If indeed the Jin-class subs head to sea this year, China will achieve a level of nuclear strike capability that, at present, just two countries—the United States and Russia—can match or exceed.

China’s Nuclear Subs Are Ready to Terrorize the Sea – The Daily Beast