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Arms Control Wonk

an arms control blog network

Last Build Date: Fri, 09 Dec 2016 00:40:40 +0000


Nuclear Weapons in the 21st Century

Fri, 09 Dec 2016 00:40:40 +0000

Ages ago, I was a Legislative Assistant on Capitol Hill, working for a member of the House Armed Services Committee. The most impressive person who testified before the Committee was Secretary of Defense James Schlesinger. His mind was like a steel trap. He personified cold logic, equanimity, and mental toughness. I disagreed with almost everything …(image)

Trump and the Bomb (cont.)

Thu, 01 Dec 2016 13:40:36 +0000

Donald Trump’s narrow victory could bring a reprise of President Richard Nixon’s “madman theory” of deterrence – except on steroids. Nixon and Henry Kissinger believed that projecting an image of readiness to use nuclear weapons could provide negotiating leverage. They tested this assumption in the 1973 Middle East crisis and during the Vietnam War — …(image)

Presidential Command and Control in the Age of Trump

Sun, 27 Nov 2016 04:09:56 +0000

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? Let’s remember! At various points during the campaign, candidate Trump’s promises included a campaign of millions of deportations, barring all Muslims from the …(image)

Trump and the Bomb

Fri, 25 Nov 2016 19:56:00 +0000

Note to readers: A somewhat different version of this essay appeared at on November 20th. Donald Trump becomes President when the global nuclear order is wobbly and arms-control agreements are unraveling. Nuclear dangers are growing along three axes – North Korea, U.S.-Russian relations, and the triangular competition among India, Pakistan and China. The potential for …(image)

Fred Iklé on the Second Nuclear Age

Fri, 18 Nov 2016 17:40:09 +0000

Fred Charles Iklé has not gotten the credit he deserves as a strategic thinker, perhaps because of the density of his prose. Here he is twenty years ago, in “The Second Coming of the Nuclear Age” in Foreign Affairs: “Now that the bipolar order of the Cold War has crumbled, nonuse and deterrence will no …(image)

Egypt’s Missile Programs

Sun, 13 Nov 2016 14:06:40 +0000

Did you know Egypt has a robust ballistic missile program?  And has had, since the 1960s?  Or that Egypt worked with Argentina and Iraq to design missiles?  Or that Egypt was the source of the missiles that are the basis of North Korea’s missile programs?  Ever wonder what the Egyptians are up to now?  Aaron and …(image)

Cry, the Beloved Country

Thu, 10 Nov 2016 15:37:27 +0000

The United States is so divided that the election of a new President has become a cause of mourning for half the population. To me, Donald Trump’s election feels like Ronald Reagan over Jimmy Carter and George W. Bush over Al Gore — only worse. It’s impossible for people like me to forget how Trump …(image)

China’s HQ-19 Hit-to-Kill Interceptor

Mon, 07 Nov 2016 19:28:12 +0000

Scott Lafoy sits in for Aaron as Scott and Jeffrey discuss China’s hit-to-kill program being tested out of Korla in China’s western desert. China released video of some the tests! Is the HQ-19 designed to defend against missiles or shoot-down satellites?  BOTH, SILLY! Listen to the episode and then leave us a review on iTunes …(image)

Bombs, Bans, and Norms

Sun, 06 Nov 2016 18:19:17 +0000

Early drafts of the Nuclear Ban Treaty green-lighted by the UN First Committee seek to prohibit the development, production, testing, acquisition, stockpiling, transfer, deployment, threat of use and use of nuclear weapons. This would be the most ambitious treaty negotiated since the 1928 Kellogg-Briand Pact, which outlawed war. The Kellogg-Briand Pact didn’t work out so well; …(image)

Learning About Nuclear South Asia

Tue, 01 Nov 2016 18:51:51 +0000

Two new sections are now ready for consumption of the Stimson Center’s free, open, online course, Nuclear South Asia: A Guide to India, Pakistan, and the Bomb. These sections cover India and Pakistan’s nuclear doctrines and postures, as well as their place in the global nuclear order. (See here for an overview.) Stimson is grateful to the following …(image)