Nuclear Policy News – August 12, 2019

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Retired Submarine Commander Sues Navy to Release USS Thresher Investigation
U.S. Naval Institute News

Death toll rises in rocket engine accident at Russian military site
The Guardian

A Dangerous Nuclear Agenda
The Epoch Times

U.S. Nuclear Policy

Here’s how the US Army’s missiles and space program office is being reorganized
Defense News8/9/2019
The U.S. Army is reorganizing its Program Executive Office Missiles and Space to focus on the integrated fires mission, the office’s chief said.

U.S. military is eager to take advantage of smallsats at scale if price is right
Space News8/8/2019
The U.S. military is eager to take advantage of small satellite constellations if the technology proves it can fulfill military requirements and the price is right.

USAF’s AEHF-5 communication satellite responds to commands
Air Force Technology8/9/2019
The US Air Force’s the fifth Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF-5) protected communication satellite is responding to commands given by 4th Space Operations Squadron.

Retired Submarine Commander Sues Navy to Release USS Thresher Investigation
U.S. Naval Institute News8/9/2019
A retired nuclear submarine commander filed suit against the Navy to gain access to records classified for more than a half-century after the sinking of USS Thresher (SSN-593) – the Navy’s worst nuclear submarine disaster.

Russia/Former Soviet Union/Europe

Missile Explosion Prompts Radiation Warnings in Russia
Popular Mechanics8/9/2019
The Russian Defense Ministry has said that no “dangerous substances” were released into the atmosphere during the incident, but other government agencies reported that radiation readings briefly spiked before receding to normal levels.

Death toll rises in rocket engine accident at Russian military site
The Guardian8/9/2019
Russia’s state nuclear agency Rosatom confirmed on Friday night that five of its staff members were killed in an accident during tests at a military site in northern Russia earlier this week.

U.S. missile shield site in Poland taking shape
Defence Blog8/12/2019
The newest U.S. anti-missile station in Redzikowo, Poland, will be home to the Aegis Ashore Ballistic Missile Defense System (AABMDS) mission in the coming years and is expected to be completed sometime in late 2020.

Germany thanks outgoing US missile defense commander with rare award
Stars and Stripes8/7/2019
The outgoing commander of the 10th Army Air and Missile Defense Command, Col. David E. Shank, received a rare German military honor prior to handing over command of the AAMDC to Brig. Gen. Gregory J. Brady.

East Asia

China’s First Homemade Aircraft Carrier Is Having Some Problems
Popular Mechanics8/9/2019
China’s first homemade aircraft carrier could be experiencing teething problems, as the ship prepares for yet another round of sea trials.

China warns it will not ‘sit idly by’ while the US moves to put new strike missiles on its ‘doorstep’
Business Insider8/6/2019
Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said Saturday that he wants to put ground-based intermediate-range ballistic missiles in the Pacific to confront regional threats, a move that is antagonizing rivals China and Russia.

A Threat to China? Taiwan’s New Supersonic Cruise Missile Can Fly 1,200 Miles.
The National InterestDavid Axe
Taiwan has begun production of a new land-attack cruise missile. But the island country still is badly outgunned by China’s own, much larger missile arsenal.


A Dangerous Nuclear Agenda
The Epoch TimesPeter Huessy
If the United states chooses to eliminate its land-based missiles, as arms control advocates have proposed, it would dramatically and dangerously simplify an adversary’s targeting calculus. The United States would be reducing more than 500 distinct American based nuclear-related targets—including 450 Minuteman silos and 48 launch control centers spread across five American states—down to only five continental U.S. targets—three USAF bomber bases, and at most two submarines bases—and only roughly 10 targets if U.S. submarines at sea were included.

The Post-INF Treaty Crisis: Background and Next Steps
Arms Control AssociationDaryl G. Kimball
Without the INF Treaty and without serious talks and new proposals from Washington and Moscow, Congress as well as other nations will need to step forward with creative and pragmatic solutions that create the conditions necessary in order to ensure that the world’s two largest nuclear actors meet their legal obligations to end the arms race and advance progress on nuclear disarmament.

Steady as She Goes: China’s New Defense White Paper
War on the RocksDennis J. Blasko
The Chinese government released its 10th defense white paper, China’s National Defense in the New Era, on July 24. Since the government published its latest white paper in 2015, the Chinese armed forces have undertaken the most far-reaching reforms since the 1950s. Unfortunately, this new document adds little to previous official reports on the details of recent reforms.

Special Interest

U.S.-China Relations
Congressional Research Service8/8/2019
Under U.S. President Donald J. Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping, the United States and the People’s Republic of China (PRC or China) are engaged in what the Trump Administration terms “great power competition,” including a prolonged stand-off over trade, severely straining ties on the 40th anniversary of the two countries’ establishment of diplomatic relations. The two lead the world in the size of their economies, their defense budgets, and their global greenhouse gas emissions. Both are permanent members of the U.N. Security Council. In 2018, they were each other’s largest trading partners.

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