Top News: Senators Markey, Merkley and Reps. Beyer, Garamendi lead colleagues in urging President Biden to reduce military role of U.S nuclear weapons in upcoming Nuclear Posture Review Ed Markey U.S. seeks ‘reliable, predictable’ way forward with N. Korea Reuters OPINION: The phoniness of opposition to the Iran nuclear agreement Responsible Statecraft United States Senators Markey, Merkley and Reps. Beyer, Garamendi lead colleagues in urging President Biden to reduce military role of U.S nuclear weapons in upcoming Nuclear Posture Review Ed Markey7/22/21 The lawmakers urged the Administration to consider a series of bold actions that would fulfill the President’s pledge to reduce the role of “nuclear weapons in our national security strategy.” Nuclear officials discuss modernization of arsenal in online forum Stars and Stripes7/21/22 A group of nuclear weapons managers agreed Tuesday that making more plutonium cores for warheads will be key to modernizing the nation’s arsenal as a deterrent against rival countries. East Asia U.S. diplomat worried about pandemic, food supply in N Korea The Washington Post7/23/21 America’s No. 2 diplomat on Friday expressed sympathy for North Koreans facing hardships and food shortages linked to the pandemic, and renewed calls for the North to return to talks over its nuclear program. U.S. seeks ‘reliable, predictable’ way forward with N. Korea Reuters7/23/21 The United States is seeking a “reliable, predictable and constructive” way to secure progress in stalled denuclearisation talks with North Korea, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman said on Friday. Middle East OPINION: To deter Iran, give Israel a big bomb BloombergDennis Ross 7/23/21 The best way to ensure Tehran doesn’t gain the capability to make a nuclear weapon is for the U.S. to empower its ally. OPINION: Just how dangerous is Iran to the world? The HillEric R. Mandel 7/23/21 Assessing the danger that Iran poses to the world through its development of nuclear weapons, missiles and other weapons may be misleading. Focusing on its conventional and potential nuclear abilities misses a crucial factor in evaluating the level of danger. The key lies with understanding who in Iran would decide when to use weapons and, more importantly, what motivates them. OPINION: The phoniness of opposition to the Iran nuclear agreement Responsible StatecraftPaul R. Pillar 7/22/21 Arguments against the JCPOA only become comprehensible only when one understands that nuclear nonproliferation is not their goal. Russia Russia’s hypersonic missiles are response to U.S. missile shield near its borders — Kremlin TASS7/20/21 Russia’s work on developing hypersonic missiles is a response to strategic stability risks created by the United States and NATO and also to ensure its security in the wake of U.S. ballistic missile deployment in Romania and other countries close to Russia’s borders, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday. ANALYSIS: Russia test-fires Tsirkon hypersonic missile International Institute for Strategic StudiesNiklas Ebert 7/23/21 Although the Tsirkon’s primary role is as an anti-ship missile, it has now been tested against coastal ground targets on several occasions. While fielding a very high-speed anti-ship missile remains a priority for Moscow, the weapon’s secondary land attack capability (at least against coastal targets) is also gaining traction. Russian President Vladimir Putin has said Russia would develop a land-based version of the missile in response to the United States’ withdrawal from the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty.