TOP NEWS

Warren, Smith Introduce Bill to Bar US From Using Nuclear Weapons First
Defense News

A Sino-Russian Entente Again Threatens America
Wall Street Journal – Graham Allison and Dimitri K. Simes

US Intel Chiefs Contradict Trump on North Korea, ISIS Threats
Military Times

Russia/FSU/Europe

Russia And China Will Join Forces on Nuclear Weapons Strategy As U.S. Threatens To Leave Arms Deal
Newsweek1/30/2019
Russia and China are boosting bilateral cooperation on nuclear weapons strategies as they accused the United States of disrupting nonproliferation measures during a high-level meeting of the top five nuclear powers.

With Putin and Trump in Charge, the Risk of Nuclear War Returns
Bloomberg1/31/2019
Feb. 2 is when the Trump administration has said it could suspend its obligations under the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. If it announces a full withdrawal, the treay will die in six months. A treaty controlling anti-ballistic missiles was allowed to expire in 2002. That would leave just one binational treaty: New Start, which covers long-range missiles. Up for renewal in 2021, it has grim prospects.

East Asia

US Intel Chiefs Contradict Trump on North Korea, ISIS Threats
Military Times1/30/2019
Directly contradicting President Donald Trump, U.S. intelligence agencies told Congress on Tuesday that North Korea is unlikely to dismantle its nuclear arsenal, that the Islamic State group remains a threat and that the Iran nuclear deal is working. The chiefs made no mention of a crisis at the U.S.-Mexican border for which Trump has considered declaring a national emergency.

Middle East

Iran ships 30 tons of yellow cake to facility in Isfahan
Reuters1/30/2019
Thirty tons of yellow cake from a production plant in the city of Ardakan in central Iran was sent to a uranium conversion facility in Isfahan on Wednesday, the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) reported. The activity is permissible under the nuclear deal, which allows Iran to enrich uranium to 3.67 percent — far below the 90 percent of weapons grade — and caps its stock of enriched uranium hexafluoride at 300 kg.

China scales back Iran nuclear cooperation ‘due to fears of US sanctions’
South China Morning Post1/31/2019
Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran (AEOI), said on Wednesday that the Chinese were “reducing the speed of cooperation despite their commitment” to redesign the Arak heavy water reactor. Salehi told the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency that China fears possible US sanctions on its nuclear-related firms if it continues its cooperation with his country.

South Asia

Challenges in South Asia to grow due to elections in Afghanistan, India: US report
DAWN1/30/2019
United States Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats expects challenges facing the South Asian region to grow in 2019 due to elections in Afghanistan and India, large-scale Taliban attacks and “Pakistan’s recalcitrance in dealing with militant groups”.

U.S. Nuclear Policy

Warren, Smith Introduce Bill to Bar US From Using Nuclear Weapons First
Defense News1/30/2019
House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a 2020 presidential hopeful and Senate Armed Services Committee member, offered a bill — “The No First Use Act” — to establish in law that it is the policy of the United States not to use nuclear weapons first in a conflict.

Opinion/Analysis

A Sino-Russian Entente Again Threatens America
Wall Street Journal – Graham Allison and Dimitri K. Simes
1/29/2019
Graham T Allison and Dimitri K Simes commentary calls for more realistic US foreign policy to meet threat in growing cooperation between Russia and China.

Special Interest

Judy Asks: Is NATO Deterrence a Paper Tiger?
Carnegie Europe – Judy Dempsey
1/31/2019
A selection of experts answer a new question from Judy Dempsey on the foreign and security policy challenges shaping Europe’s role in the world.