bombers

The LRSO: It’s Time for Arms Control

The Pentagon’s plans to acquire a new nuclear air-launched cruise missile (ALCM), known so far as the Long-Range Standoff Weapon (LRSO), remain live. On 16th June, the House of Representatives rejected an amendment to reduce funding for the development of the LRSO. If adopted, the cut would have slowed the development of the new weapon by three years, perhaps buying enough time to reconsider the wisdom behind the programme.

Trident Advocates Target the Air-Launched Option

As Emily Thornberry, Shadow Defence Secretary, closes the consultation period on her defence review, critics of the review have been engaging on the substance. They worry that minds currently are just a little too open to alternatives for comfort, and that a non-Trident alternative could become Labour policy.

Understanding the new arms race

The stand-off between Russia and the West has prompted triggered fears of a renewed East-West clash. Amidst this climate of confrontation, nuclear weapons have regained some relevance for strategists on both sides, and political leaders have implied veiled nuclear threats. Against this background, the nuclear arsenals of both the US and Russian are undergoing important and costly modernisation programmes.

America needs the LRSO... just in case

Lord Salisbury said once that if generals were left to their own devices, they might well decide to put garrisons on the Moon to defend us from Mars. Envisioning worst-case scenarios and drawing up contingency plans for them is part of what the military does to get its job right. The problem with this professional reflex is that it often fails to assess comparative risk effectively, and in particular fully account for the risks of unintended consequences or the impacts on others. When it comes to nuclear policy and procurement decisions, the temptation for overkill is high.

GAO reveals challenges ahead for U.S. commitments to NATO's nuclear deployments

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) has warned that the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and the Department of Defense (DOD) could be in danger of failing to meet B61 Life Extension Program (LEP) goals and leave the United States unable to support its tactical nuclear deployments that are assigned to NATO.

Turkey, NATO & and Nuclear Sharing: Prospects after NATO's Lisbon Summit

Mustafa Kibaroglu presents Turkey's political, military and diplomatic views to the prolonged deployment of U.S. tactical nuclear weapons on their soil. Turkey's policy of non-proliferation contrasts with their hosting - albeit burden sharing - of NATO tactical nuclear weapons. He concludes that Turkey, preferably together with other NATO members, should take the initiative in asking the United States to draw them down and remove them entirely, in the interests of Turkish security and alliance cohesion.

Getting to Zero Update

Russia and the United States have begun the exchange of information on their nuclear arsenals under the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) as they assess next steps on arms control and also try to resolve their differences over missile defense. The Iranian and North Korean nuclear situations showed no signs of resolution, and instead pointed to more difficulties ahead.

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Russia ratifies New START

The Russian parliament completed on January 26 its process of advice and consent for ratifying the New START nuclear arms treaty, and President Dmitry Medvedev signed the ratification bill on January 28.

Both houses of the Russian parliament were required to approve of the treaty. The Duma (lower house) provided its final approval on January 25, by a vote of 350-96, with one abstention. The 137 members of the Federation Council (upper house) voted unanimously for the treaty a day later.

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