Nuclear Policy News – June 13, 2019

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House Committee Votes to Prohibit Low-Yield Nuclear Weapons on Submarines
U.S. Naval Institute News

Russia: Meeting with US on arms control a starting point
Associated Press

The new red line on Iran will fail
The Hill

U.S. Nuclear Policy

House Committee Votes to Prohibit Low-Yield Nuclear Weapons on Submarines
U.S. Naval Institute News6/13/2019
The House Armed Services Committee added several provisions to its annual defense authorization bill, but the among most contentious was if the Pentagon should develop a low-yield nuclear weapon to deploy on nuclear ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs).

HASC Markup Punts Space Force Decision, Chops Next-Gen OPIR
Breaking Defense6/13/2019
House Armed Services Committee (HASC) Chair Adam Smith didn’t act on the White House proposal to spend $72.4 million to launch a new Air Force-embedded Space Force in the draft version of the NDAA. This is a clear sign of the proposal’s divisiveness, including among House Democrats.

U.S. House to debate bill to purchase 2 Iron Dome anti-missile batteries
The Times of Israel6/13/2019
US military seeks to install Israeli-developed defense system to protect its troops against potential Russian and Chinese cruise missile threats

Kirtland Air Force Base gets upgrade for space defense
Air Force Times6/13/2019
The U.S. Air Force has begun construction on a facility at Kirtland Air Force Base that officials say will play a role in the proposed space defense force.

Middle East

Turkey Won’t Bow to US ‘Ultimatums’ on Russia Missile System
U.S. News & World Report6/13/2019
Turkey’s foreign minister says his country won’t bow to “ultimatums” after the United States warned Turkey it is excluding it from the F-35 fighter jet program overs its deal with Russia to purchase its S-400 missile defense system.

US Navy assists 2 tankers after ‘reported attack’ in Gulf of Oman amid tensions with Iran
USA Today6/13/2019
U.S. Navy ships rushed to the aid of two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday after an apparent attack left at least one in flames and forced evacuation of both less than 20 miles from the coast of Iran.


Exclusive: US Intelligence Officials and Satellite Photos Detail Russian Military Buildup on Crimea
Defense One6/12/2019
Russia has added troops, aircraft, and weapons to Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula in what amounts to a “significant” buildup of forces over the past 18 months, according to U.S. intelligence officials, observers, and new satellite photos that reveal the locations of new S-400 air defense systems and improvements to Soviet-era bases.

Russia: Meeting with US on arms control a starting point
Associated Press6/13/2019
Russia’s deputy foreign minister said Wednesday that a meeting with a U.S. counterpart was a starting point for working out fraught arms control issues.


America’s Vulnerable Nuclear Triad
NewsmaxPeter Pry
The most survivable leg of the U.S. strategic nuclear Triad of bombers, land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), and ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs) are the submarines. Ballistic missile submarines are the last best line of deterrence and defense to defeat surprise nuclear attack. Today, U.S. strategic bombers and ICBMs have never been more vulnerable to surprise attack.

America’s Vulnerable Nuclear Triad (Part 2)
NewsmaxPeter Pry
Part 1 of this article warns U.S. strategic bombers and ICBMs could be destroyed by surprise attack, leaving 4-5 U.S. ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs) on daily patrol at sea as the only U.S. nuclear Triad survivors for deterrence. However, even SSBNs may now be vulnerable.

Nuclear Weapons Vulnerable To Cyber Threats – OpEd
Eurasia ReviewYevgeny Pedanov
According to a new report from the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI), Cyber Nuclear Weapons Study Group, US nuclear weapons can’t be effectively protected against cyberattacks with technical means alone.

The new red line on Iran will fail
The HillEric Brewer, Richard Nephew
While Washington was focused on the highly visible ratcheting up of tensions between the United States and Iran over the past few weeks, the Trump administration quietly began rolling out its first real red line on the Iran nuclear program, which is that any reduction in the one year timeline it would need to produce enough material for a bomb is unacceptable.

The New India Versus the Nuclear Revolution: The Future of Crises Among Nuclear Powers
War on the RocksT. Negeen Pegahi
To drastically simplify an immense and rich body of work: Nuclear weapons mean everybody should just be cool already. So why are we seeing all these nuclear powers threatening and even using armed force against one another?

Special Interest

Incredible photos capture SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket piercing the fog during its successful launch
Business InsiderLauren Frias
Despite a layer of heavy fog blanketing the launchpad, SpaceX successfully launched a used Falcon 9 rocket, which deployed three satellites before sticking a landing on the California coast.

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