TOP NEWS MDA kickstarts new way to kill hypersonic missiles Breaking Defense Russia exits nuclear conversion project, but stands by Iran Al-Monitor Iran president says country testing new advanced centrifuges Associated Press ANALYSIS: Bad idea: Assuming all arms control agreements are inherently good CSIS Defense 360 United States MDA kickstarts new way to kill hypersonic missiles Breaking Defense12/18/19 The Missile Defense Agency held a closed-door meeting yesterday at its Alabama headquarters with defense industry reps to talk through ideas for knocking hard-to-kill hypersonic missiles out of the sky. ANALYSIS: Missile-testing The Economist12/18/19 Proponents of the U.S. decision to leave the INF argue that land-based missiles are useful because mobile ground launchers are cheaper and can be replenished with fresh missiles more easily than ships, subs and planes, which can then be freed to do other things. Russia Russia exits nuclear conversion project, but stands by Iran Al-Monitor12/18/19 Russian company TVEL, a subsidiary of Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation, has suspended a research project with Iran that was designed to convert the latter’s Fordow uranium enrichment site to produce medical isotopes. But the decision doesn’t mean Moscow is reducing its support for Iran in the face of American pressure. Russia’s top General indirectly confirms Arctic deployment of the unstoppable Kinzhal missile The Barents Observer12/19/19 “The Kinzhal aviation missile system with a hypersonic missile is on experimental combat duty. These missiles were launched at training grounds in various climate conditions, including in the Arctic,” the General said. ANALYSIS: Learn about the 100-megaton nuclear torpedoes Russia has up its sleeve National InterestLyle Goldstein 12/17/19 The development of new weapons systems may benefit the military-industrial complex, but they don’t benefit the safety of Russians or Americans. Middle East Iran president says country testing new advanced centrifuges Associated Press12/19/19 Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said his country’s nuclear experts are testing a new type of advanced centrifuges, remarks likely meant to rally support for the Iranian leader as his nation struggles under crushing U.S. sanctions. Iran urges Johnson to support nuclear deal, economic openness Asharq Al-Awsat12/19/19 Iran’s Ambassador to the UK Hamid Baeidinejad urged Wednesday the British government to implement its obligations to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) signed in 2015. East Asia Seoul, Washington fail to agree on cost of U.S. troops; U.S. ‘not focused on’ $5 billion demand Reuters12/18/19 South Korea and the United States failed on Wednesday to agree on Seoul’s contribution toward hosting some 28,500 U.S. troops, but the U.S. side hinted after the two days of talks ended that it will no longer stick to its $5 billion demand. ANALYSIS: North Korea holds most of the cards in nuclear negotiations with U.S. Nikkei Asian ReviewSoo Kim 12/18/19 While pressing this year-end deadline, Kim has expanded and beefed up his nuclear and missile programs; progressively weakened Seoul’s defensive preparation against the North’s nuclear and conventional military threats; and widened the wedge in the U.S.-South Korea alliance. Experts: ‘abrupt end’ to talks likely if North Korea launches holiday missile Voice of America12/17/19 As Pyongyang appears to be preparing to launch a long-range missile, experts see an end to a diplomatic process Washington has pursued to denuclearize North Korea. South Asia ANALYSIS: Meet India’s fighter jet armed with supersonic nuclear missiles National InterestZachary Keck 12/18/19 Pairing a supersonic missile with a jet fighter strengthens one leg of India’s nuclear triad. Arms Control ANALYSIS: Bad idea: Assuming all arms control agreements are inherently good CSIS Defense 360Thomas Spoehr 12/6/19 Some individuals and organizations argue that, even when one of these agreements is revealed as deeply flawed, abridged by other signatories, or disadvantageous to the United States, our nation should remain a party to the pact and try, over time, to fix it.