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Arms Control Wonk

an arms control blog network

Last Build Date: Wed, 26 Apr 2017 06:10:22 +0000


Skin in the Game: Why Worry about North Korean ICBMs?

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 05:39:34 +0000

Around these parts, North Korea’s ICBM program is the national-security obsession du jour. That’s validating for someone like me, sure. But why? And why now? As I see it, there are good reasons and bad reasons to be concerned, and focusing on one set or another will lead to very different conclusions. Let’s start with the good reasons. The …(image)

The Great North Korea War Scare

Mon, 24 Apr 2017 21:05:46 +0000

Today’s news continues, or perhaps renews, the weird sense of self-imposed crisis surrounding U.S. North Korea policy:   Entire U.S. Senate to go to White House for North Korea briefing: — Reuters Politics (@ReutersPolitics) April 24, 2017   Why not just have a hearing? But anyhow. Having declared an end to the era …(image)

Nuclear Learning

Mon, 24 Apr 2017 00:04:15 +0000

Quote of the week: “The [U.S. Strategic Bombing] survey’s task was to measure as precisely as possible the exact effects of the two [Hiroshima and Nagasaki] bombs – in other words, to put calipers on the problem so that people back home would have a factual frame of reference within which to draw conclusions about …(image)

DPRK Wound Filament Airframes

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 18:20:36 +0000

High-resolution photographs of the airframe for North Korea’s Pukguksong submarine-launched ballistic missile have a surprise. The airframe appears be wound filament, not the simple metal airframes we’ve seen on North Korea’s space launchers. That opens up a lot of possibilities for North Korea — and ticks off an important requirement for North Korea to build …(image)

Putting the North Korean Threat into Perspective

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 04:41:04 +0000

It’s not easy, right? To put North Korea’s nuclear and missile threat into perspective. Everywhere you turn, you’ll hear widely differing factual claims, strongly opposed views on what to do or not do, etc. A cacaphony. And that’s a little hard to take, especially if you’re suddenly inclined to hunt for information on the subject. Serious journalists often …(image)

A Three-Person Rule for Nuclear First Use

Mon, 17 Apr 2017 17:11:47 +0000

Quote of the week: “We still tend to conceive of national security almost solely as a state of armed readiness, a vast, awesome arsenal of weaponry… We are haunted by this concept of military hardware.” —Robert S. McNamara, The Essence of Security Whiffs of grapeshot and sarin gas are in the air – enduring conflicts in …(image)

The Counterforce Compulsion in South Asia

Wed, 12 Apr 2017 13:06:14 +0000

Quotes of the week: “There has been literally no chance at all that any sane political authority… would consciously choose to start a nuclear war. This proposition is true for the past, the present, and the foreseeable future. For sane men on both sides the balance of terror is overwhelmingly persuasive… There is no prospect …(image)

Syria: A Modest Proposal

Sun, 09 Apr 2017 20:44:19 +0000

Those of us laboring in the vineyards of nuclear nonproliferation are forced to learn, alas, at least a little about energy policy. If nuclear technology only were good for making weapons, and not also for electricity, our lives would be much simpler. Nuclear power is especially important nowadays, since it offers the only low-carbon form of “base …(image)

Kerr on the JCPOA

Fri, 07 Apr 2017 16:14:35 +0000

My friend Paul Kerr — the original second blogger at Arms Control Wonk — has taken time from his day job to write an essay that focuses on the enduring value of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action’s prohibition on “activities which could contribute to the development of a nuclear explosive device,” a prohibition that permanently define’s the terms of Iran’s …(image)

The Ban Movement’s Moment

Sun, 02 Apr 2017 17:24:11 +0000

Quote of the week: “The great tragedies of history often fascinate people with approaching horror. Paralyzed, they cannot make up their minds to do anything but wait. So they wait, and one day the Gorgon devours them. But I should like to convince you that the spell can be broken, that there is an illusion …(image)