Nuclear Policy News – June 20, 2019

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Top News

New Air Force Nuclear-Armed ICBMs to Deploy by 2029
Warrior Maven

Oops. The Pentagon Just Revealed Its Nuclear Doctrine
The National Interest

Blessing the holy ICBMs: The Russian Orthodox Church and Putin
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

U.S. Nuclear Policy

HASC Chair on Mini-Nukes: ‘We’re Not Trying to Manage a Nuclear War’
Defense One6/19/2019
A week after beating back a Republican effort to restore funding for a new low-yield nuclear warhead, the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee said he doesn’t buy the Pentagon’s notion that having a smaller nuke would help avoid defeat in certain war scenarios.

Nuclear weapons: experts alarmed by new Pentagon ‘war-fighting’ doctrine
The Guardian6/19/2019
The Pentagon believes using nuclear weapons could “create conditions for decisive results and the restoration of strategic stability”, according to a new nuclear doctrine adopted by the US joint chiefs of staff last week.

New Air Force Nuclear-Armed ICBMs to Deploy by 2029
Warrior Maven6/20/2019
The Pentagon will have new, upgraded nuclear-armed Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles operational by 2029, launching a new era in nuclear weapons technology — to include improved targeting, guidance technology and overall resilience against enemy attacks and attempted intercepts.

Middle East

Iran shoots down US drone aircraft
Iranian forces have shot down a United States military drone, a move that appears to have escalated the volatile situation playing out between Washington and Tehran in the Middle East.

Understanding nuclear weapons and Iran’s uranium enrichment program – Miles A. Pomper6/19/2019
Miles Pomper, a senior fellow at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, explains one of the key activities that the Iran deal covers—uranium enrichment—and why it is central to both peaceful nuclear energy programs and building nuclear weapons.

Senators reach deal to vote on blocking Saudi arms sale
Associated Press6/19/2019
The Senate will vote Thursday on more than a dozen resolutions aimed at blocking the Trump administration’s sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia, setting up a new challenge to President Donald Trump’s steadfast alliance with the kingdom.


Russia Believes Terrorists Want To Steal Nuclear and Biological Weapons
Terrorist groups are making a concerted effort to access nuclear and biological weapons technology to carry out attacks, officials in Russia warned on Wednesday.

Great Power Competition Ushers in a New Generation of European Weapons
Defense One6/19/2019
Rising tensions on display at the Paris Air Show as NATO and Russia unveil new and proposed arms.

No Alternative to Ballistic Missile Defense in Central Eastern Europe
Aviation International News6/19/2019
NATO’s layered ballistic missile defense (BMD) is part of the Alliance’s response against the increasing threat posed by the proliferation of ballistic missiles and changes in the political climate. In central eastern Europe (CEE) a key component of this system—capable of eliminating a limited ballistic missile attack—is being deployed at two bases: in Deveselu, Romania (operational) and Redzikowo, Poland (under construction). Although they are operated by U.S. personnel, they constitute part of the overall NATO system.

Europe’s 5th-generation fighter jet to get stealth missiles – source
TASS Russian News Agency6/18/2019
The European Next Generation Fighter (NGF), which Germany, Spain and France are jointly developing, will get advanced low-signature armament, a source in Europe’s largest missile armament developer MBDA Group told TASS at the 53rd Paris Air Show on Tuesday.


Oops. The Pentagon Just Revealed Its Nuclear Doctrine
The National InterestDavid Axe
The U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff in mid-June 2019 briefly published the Pentagon’s official doctrine on the use of nuclear weapons. The joint chiefs quickly pulled the document — Joint Publication 3-72, Nuclear Operations — from the public website.

There is an off-ramp in the U.S.-Iran crisis
Brookings InstitutionSuzanne Maloney
Now is the perfect time for advocates of more ambitious diplomacy with Tehran to put their money where their mouth is.

Everything You Need To Know About the Chinese Military If You Don’t Read Chinese
U.S. Naval InstituteDavid Finkelstein
The Pentagon has released three very detailed reports this year on the Chinese People’s Liberation Army. They are exceptional sources at a critical time in the modernization of China’s military.

Special Interest

Blessing the holy ICBMs: The Russian Orthodox Church and Putin
Bulletin of the Atomic ScientistsRobert E. Berls, Jr.
Russian Nuclear Orthodoxy: Religion, Politics, and Strategy (Stanford University Press, 2019) by Dmitry Adamsky, a professor at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya university in Israel, is a penetrating analysis of the growing influence of the Russian Orthodox Church in Russia’s nuclear world—both in the military and the scientific communities.

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