Nuclear Policy News – April 15, 2019

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Do States Still Care About Nuclear Disarmament in The Middle East?
Army Technology

Top US general: ‘I think we should have more communication with Russia’
The Hill

Much Ado About Less Than One Percent: Reducing America’s Nuclear Deterrent
RealClear Defense – Aaron Miles

Multilateral Arms Control

Do States Still Care About Nuclear Disarmament in The Middle East?
Army Technology4/15/2019
After 20 years, the 1995 Middle East resolution designed to establish a WMD-free zone remains unimplemented. Based on a report by non-proliferation expert Dr Tytti Erästö for the Stockholm International Peace and Research Institute, which addresses the prospects for a WMD-free zone at the NPT Review Conference 2020, we take a look at countries’ current positions on a WMD-free Middle East.


The Chill In US-Russia Relations Has Some Worried About Stumbling into A Military Conflict
Military Times4/14/2019
American and European analysts and current and former U.S. military officers say the nuclear superpowers need to talk more. A foundational arms control agreement is being abandoned and the last major limitation on strategic nuclear weapons could go away in less than two years. Unlike during the Cold War, when generations lived under threat of a nuclear Armageddon, the two militaries are barely on speaking terms.

Top US general: ‘I think we should have more communication with Russia’
The Hill4/14/2019
A top U.S. Army general said in an interview published Sunday that the U.S. “should have more communication with Russia.”Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, the top NATO commander in Europe, told The Associated Press that he believes communication “is a very important part of deterrence…So, I think we should have more communication with Russia. It would ensure that we understand each other and why we are doing what we’re doing,” he said.

East Asia

South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in Is Calling for Another Summit with Kim Jong Un
South Korean President Moon Jae-in said Monday he’s ready for a fourth summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to help salvage faltering nuclear negotiations between the North and the United States.Moon’s comments came after Kim issued his harshest criticism yet of South Korea’s diplomatic role last week, accusing Seoul of acting like an “overstepping mediator” and demanding that it diverge from Washington to support the North’s position more strongly.

Trump, Kim tease third North Korea summit
President Donald Trump tweeted Saturday that a third summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un “would be good,” writing glowingly of his relationship with the despot and adding that he anticipates the day the repressive state becomes “one of the most successful nations” on Earth.

Japan’s foreign minister slams efforts on North Korea
Financial Times4/14/2019
Sanctions on North Korea are full of holes and the international community needs to crack down, Japan’s foreign minister has said in an interview with the Financial Times. Taro Kono said that the Pyongyang regime continues to get around sanctions by transferring cargoes between ships at sea, harvesting funds from North Korean workers abroad and hacking attacks on cryptocurrencies.

South Asia

Modi Claims India Has ‘Deflated’ Pakistan’s Nuclear Threat
South China Morning Post4/14/2019
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Sunday that India had called Pakistan’s nuclear bluff in recent cross-border air strikes that almost triggered a new war between the nuclear-armed rivals.

Opinion and Analysis

Much Ado About Less Than One Percent: Reducing America’s Nuclear Deterrent
RealClear Defense – Aaron Miles4/13/2019
With the federal budget season underway, it is a good time to remember that nuclear weapons cannot solve all of America’s problems. Just as they are not well suited to preventing terrorist attacks, nuclear weapons cannot solve major DoD or national budget challenges. This is because even drastic cuts to U.S. nuclear deterrence capabilities, which might have significant negative repercussions for American security, would likely reduce long-term defense spending by less than 1%.

South Africa a Shining Example Of Dismantling Nuclear Arsenal – Analysis
Eurasia Review – J. Nastranis4/15/2019
As the nuclear weapons and fossil fuel divestment campaigns gather steam, their political impact could be as powerful as the divestment campaign against South Africa in the late 20th Century, which was a critical factor in moving the South African government to end apartheid in 1994, anticipates Thies Kätow, researcher for the World Future Council.

Special Interest

Bomb Watchers Twitching as Looser Rules Weighed for Uranium
Back in the 1970s and 1980s when he was keeping America’s nuclear weapons up to date, Robert Kelley didn’t pay much attention to their source of uranium. But then he was reassigned to lead the international team that accounted for the of hundreds of tons of the heavy metal Iraq secretly extracted at a fertilizer factory to feed Saddam Hussein’s weapons program. That discovery at the Al-Qaim phosphate plant underscored a loophole in the global policing of nuclear materials, allowing countries without much scrutiny to derive uranium from a mineral more often used as a nutrient for soil.

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