Nuclear Policy News – July 15, 2019

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Top News

Prospective Joint Chiefs Chairman Supports Sub-Launched Low-Yield Nuke
Sea Power Magazine

SPECIAL REPORT: China, Russia Hypersonic Programs – Real Progress or Bluster?
National Defense Magazine

Can commercial satellites revolutionize nuclear command and control?

U.S. Nuclear Policy

Prospective Joint Chiefs Chairman Supports Sub-Launched Low-Yield Nuke
Sea Power Magazine7/12/2019
The president’s nominee for chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said that he supports development and deployment of a low-yield nuclear warhead as part of the nations’ strategic deterrent.

Lawmaker Optimistic DOD Agencies Can Deconflict Missile Defense Research
Air Force Magazine7/12/2019
House Armed Services Committee member Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) said he expects the Missile Defense Agency and the new Space Development Agency will learn to manage complementary—and possibly duplicative—research programs as they pursue missile-tracking sensors in space.

US puts rush order on long-range air-to-air missile
Ars Technica7/11/2019
The US is developing a new very-long-range air-to-air missile to counter Chinese and Russian weapons

East Asia

China holds drills in Taiwan Strait, calls for sanctions against US companies
China held military drills off the coast of Taiwan as tensions rise between Beijing and Washington over US support for the island that China views as a part of its territory.

Report: North Korea will maintain nuclear arsenal for decades
North Korea will maintain its nuclear arsenal for the next two decades and the United States’ insistence on its rapid disarmament is an “unrealistic goal,” according to a report by the Federation of American Scientists presented in Seoul on Friday.

Middle East

Inside Iran: What Iranians think of stand-off with US
BBC correspondent Martin Patience, along with cameraman Nik Millard and producer Cara Swift, have been in Tehran and the holy city of Qom, talking to Iranians about the escalating crisis.

Russia starts delivery of S-400 missile system to Turkey, setting up standoff with US
The first shipment of the Russian-made S-400 air defense missile system has landed in Ankara, in a move that sets up a potential showdown between Turkey and the United States.

Russia/Former Soviet Union/Europe

Russia Says U.S. Military Lied about Its Missiles and Plans to Put New Ones Near Border
A senior Russian general accused the U.S. military of deceiving Moscow about the intentions of missile positions across tense borders in Eastern Europe and of possibly planning to deploy new longer-range weapons in the region.

SPECIAL REPORT: China, Russia Hypersonic Programs – Real Progress or Bluster?
National Defense MagazineConnie Lee
China and Russia’s intention to pursue hypersonic weapons lit a fire under the U.S. military, forcing it to re-invigorate its own programs.


Trump’s Iran policy proves the primacy of US power — but to what end?
The HillLori Esposito Murray
As Iran slowly untethers itself from the Iran nuclear deal’s central constraints on enriched uranium, signaling the deal’s potential collapse, President Trump is proving that U.S. unilateral power remains paramount on the global stage.

Can commercial satellites revolutionize nuclear command and control?
C4ISRNETNathan Strout
The rapid growth of commercial space makes the use of non-government satellites for nuclear command and control increasingly tempting, according to one official.

The B-2 Stealth Bomber Is Now 30 Years Old. Take a Look Inside.
The National InterestKris Osborn
Slicing through the sky with bat-like wings, eluding enemy radar with stealth technology, quietly destroying enemy air defenses from 50,000 ft and using computers to merge sensor data with targeting information — the Air Force’s B-2 bomber … has been in the air attacking targets for “30-Years.”

China and Strategic Arms Control
Second Line of DefenseRichard Weitz
Chinese officials have long urged the Russian Federation and the United States to make considerably greater progress toward nuclear disarmament. Meanwhile, they have only suggested—without ever making concrete commitments—that Beijing might join the reductions process if Russia and the U.S. cut their forces to very low levels.

Special Interest

Hypersonic Weapons: Background and Issues for Congress
Congressional Research ServiceKelley M. Sayler
The United States has actively pursued the development of hypersonic weapons—maneuvering weapons that fly at speeds of at least Mach 5—as a part of its conventional prompt global strike program since the early 2000s.In recent years, the United States has focused such efforts on developing hypersonic glide vehicles, which are launched from a rocket before gliding to a target, and hypersonic cruise missiles, which are powered by high-speed, air-breathing engines during flight. As current Commander of U.S. Strategic Command General John Hyten has stated, these weapons could enable “responsive, long-range, strike options against distant, defended, and/or time-critical threats [such as road-mobile missiles] when other forces are unavailable, denied access, or not preferred.” Critics, on the other hand, contend that hypersonic weapons lack defined mission requirements, contribute little to U.S. military capability, and are unnecessary for deterrence.

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