In early 2014, the ICBM community was rocked by a cheating scandal that has profoundly affected the way they train. In response to the scandal, Air Force Global Strike Command initiated the Force Improvement Program to improve training, evaluation, and morale in the nuclear community.
Stuxnet illustrated the art of the possible in the cyber-nuclear space. This malware defeated security systems, jumped iargaps (which disconnect networks from the internet) and, most importantly, caused physical consequences. Stuxnet’s aim was limited-break centrifuges. But what if hackers had more catastrophic ambitions?
Hot off the heels of the 2016 Nuclear Security Summit, the international community is once again abuzz with plans to secure nuclear materials and thwart the efforts of terrorists to acquire these materials. Chief among these efforts is securing nuclear and radiological materials. Are these efforts the same, though? The answer is a resounding “No.”
The third Kim likely hopes to use recent missile activity, and a rumored fifth nuclear test, as an attempt to shore up his image and demonstrate military power in advance of the celebration of his authority. And how has the international community responded? As usual: with sanctions.
Having a better understanding of threats and knowing what to do in emergency situations allows people to make safer decisoins and makes them less likely to panic. Experts in the radiological emergency response field and agencies prepare to respond to radiological emergencies, but widespread and general knowledge on the topic could be improved.
Right now, the world’s attention is focused firmly on the negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program. But there is another country that deserves at least as much attention, if not more: North Korea. The hermit kingdom’s nuclear weapons program is looking more and more dangerous these days.
In a recent piece of nuclear news easily overshadowed by the Iran deal, teh Center for Public Integrity (CPI) highlighted new information about South Africa’s refusal to give up six bombs worth of weapons-grade uranium. In 2011 and agian in 2013, President Obama wrote letters to South African President Jacob Zuma asking him to relinquish the country’s highly-enriched uranium, to blend it down to low-enriched uranium (LEU), or to transfer it to the United States in exchang for $5 million worth of LEU. President Zuma refused.
After sixteen months of negotiations, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) reached April 2, 2015 is an exceptional milestone in the thirty-six years of fraught relations between the West and the Islamic Republic of Iran. However, according to a statement delivered by President Obama outlining the JCPOA, “nothing is agreed until everything is agreed,” and plenty of hazards exist along the way to reaching an eventual comprehensive agreement by the current talks’ stated deadline of June 30th.
There are currently five NWFZs, which have been bound by international treaties signed by all states in those respective regions. The idea of a Middle East NWFZ has been around for nearly forty years, when Iran first proposed it in 1974.
All three legs of the U.S. nuclear triad are aging and will need large-scale, expensive modernization in the coming decades if they are to be maintained. This has prompted a discussion about the continued necessity of the nuclear triad in the post-Cold War era. Is maintaining the triad worth the money?