TOP NEWS

Marines considering adding land-based hypersonic weapons to arsenal
USNI News

ANALYSIS: Revelations about Russia’s nuclear deterrence policy
War on the Rocks

U.N. condemns Iran over nuclear activity, fueling U.S. calls to end deal
Wall Street Journal

United States

Shifting gears, DoD moves to LEO for future OPIR sats
Breaking Defense6/18/20
As the DoD deliberates future missile warning plans, senior officials say the second iteration of the Next Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared (Next-Gen OPIR) constellation could include multiple satellites in Low Earth Orbit (LEO), a revolution in the traditional US approach to early warning.

Marines considering adding land-based hypersonic weapons to arsenal
USNI News6/18/20
The Marine Corps is in talks with the Pentagon’s research and development community over how a land-based hypersonic weapon could be incorporated into the smallest service’s quick-maneuver concept.

U.S. “not going to allow Russia and China to continue” increasing nuclear weapons stockpile, top negotiator says
CBS News6/19/20
U.S. arms control talks with Russia, and perhaps China, are slated for Monday, June 22 in Vienna, just days after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo flew to Honolulu to meet with China’s top diplomat Yang Jiechi at Hickam Air Force Base.

ANALYSIS: Why America’s B61 nuclear bomb lives on
The National InterestKris Osborn
6/18/20
he Air Force is working with Boeing to sustain and improve an advanced variant of the B61 air-dropped nuclear bomb, engineered to give pilots much-expanded attack options with which to hold potential adversaries at risk from the air. The Air Force just awarded Boeing a continued development deal for the weapon.

OPINION: Why, in nuclear weapons policy, sometimes fewer options are better
Bulletin of the Atomic ScientistsErik Gartzke
6/18/20
On rare occasions when low-yield nuclear weapons would allow America to protect an ally, it can do so with existing capabilities, using options that are inherently more credible and more stable for world affairs.

Europe/Russia

ANALYSIS: Revelations about Russia’s nuclear deterrence policy
War on the RocksCynthia Roberts
6/19/20
The Kremlin’s release of a six-page deterrence principles document is notable for identifying the range of threats that Russia seeks to deter with its nuclear forces, clarifying Russia’s approach to nuclear deterrence, and articulating the conditions under which Moscow might escalate to the use of nuclear weapons.

Middle East

U.N. condemns Iran over nuclear activity, fueling U.S. calls to end deal
Wall Street Journal6/19/20
Member states from the United Nations atomic agency board voted Friday to condemn Iran for failing to cooperate with its probe of Tehran’s nuclear activities, a move that gives the Trump administration fresh ammunition in its push to kill the Iranian nuclear deal.

East Asia

U.S. talking with Japan on concerns over halted Aegis Ashore missile defense plan
Japan Times6/19/20
The United States is in talks with Japan to address its concerns over the U.S.-made Aegis Ashore missile defense system, Missile Defense Agency Director Vice Adm. Jon Hill said Thursday, after Tokyo suspended plans to deploy the defense technology earlier this week.

ANALYSIS: China’s strategic assessment of the Ladakh clash
War on the RocksYun Sun
6/19/20
China and India — the two most populous countries in the world, and both nuclear-armed — are now engaged in the most dangerous border crisis since they fought a war in 1962. For now, hopes that cooler heads would prevail in Beijing and New Delhi appear misplaced.