department of defense

The First Trends of Trump’s Nuclear Policy Emerge: 27 March 2017

As the Senior Director for Weapons of Mass Destruction and Counter-Proliferation of the National Security Council, Chris Ford plays perhaps the most important role in the US Government for defining the Trump Administration’s upcoming Nuclear Posture Review.

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.

UN First Committee and NATO Defence Ministers meeting

The United Nations General Assembly First Committee opens today in New York, the UN forum for disarmament and international security affairs. Its month-long session contains an ambitious program of work, including discussion on nuclear weapons and other WMDs, in the weaponisation of space, conventional weapons, regional disarmament and security, and disarmament machinery (conventions and treaties).

Getting to Zero Update

NATO proceeded quietly with its Strategic Deterrence and Defense Posture Review, while U.S. and Russian disagreements over missile defense continued. The United States was also conducting a review of nuclear targeting. In the United Kingdom, the “successor” to the Vanguard-class submarine that carries Trident missiles officially entered “Initial Gate,” or the initial design phase.

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What's next with Trident in the United States?

The United States and the United Kingdom have collaborated very closely for many decades on their submarine-based nuclear weapons systems, and developments in one country are likely to continue having an impact on the other. This brief reviews the United States' strategic nuclear submarine program within the context of U.S. and U.K. plans for replacing the fleets.

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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Iran Update: Number 148

Getting to Zero Update

Getting to Zero Update

The Obama Administration was hoping for the U.S. Senate to ratify the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) now that the U.S. mid-term elections are over. If the treaty is not brought to the floor before the end of the year, then prospects for the treaty dim in a Senate where more members will be reluctant to hand the President a foreign policy achievement, and votes in favor of the treaty will be more difficult to muster.

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