Nuclear Policy News – March 18, 2019

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US Sends B-52 Bombers Over South China Sea For Second Time In A Week
Stars and Stripes

Navy vs. Nukes: U.S. Navy Plans to Test Missile Defenses Against ICBM
National Interes

The Transatlantic Tussle — A Historical Case Study on How to Handle NATO
War on the Rocks


North Korea – US Relations: More Nuclear Weapons Testing In The Works?
International Business Times3/18/2019
Less than a month after a second landmark summit between the United States and North Korea and a little over a week before satellite images of activity at a North Korean production facility showed evidence of preparation for a possible missile launch, a North Korean official has indicated that the country might break off negotiations entirely with the U.S.

The U.S. and North Korea Are Back to Talking Tough
The Atlantic3/16/2019
Pyongyang’s latest threats don’t necessarily mean diplomacy is dead. But they are a sign of just how deadlocked nuclear talks have become.

South Korea’s Nuclear Dilemmas
Journal for Peace and Nuclear Disarmament3/15/2019
Since the beginning of 2018, the nuclear dynamics surrounding the Korean Peninsula have started to change rapidly and dramatically. This article describes the country’s current nuclear capacity, reviews the history of spent fuel management in South Korea, discusses differing views of nuclear elites and the Korean public on the nuclear phaseout and back-end fuel cycle policies, and explains how these paradoxes in current nuclear policies have emerged.

North Korea Just Threatened To End Talks With US And Restart Weapons Testing
Satellite images show that Pyongyang may be preparing to launch a space vehicle in the coming weeks. While not a missile or nuclear bomb, launching a space rocket could be seen as highly provocative by the United States.

US Sends B-52 Bombers Over South China Sea For Second Time In A Week
Stars and Stripes3/15/2019
“Two B-52H Stratofortress bombers took off from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, and conducted routine training in the vicinity of the South China Sea on March 13, 2019 [Hawaii Standard Time], before returning to base,” Pacific Air Forces said in a statement Friday.


A Big Batch Of B-52 Bombers Is Flying Into Europe Amid Heightened Tensions With Russia
Business Insider3/15/2019
A Bomber Task Force consisting of bombers from the 2nd Bomb Wing out of Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana are deploying to the US European Command area of operations.

South Asia

How Terrorist Actors in Pakistan Use Nuclear Weapons For Political Influence
Journal of Asian Security3/14/2019
This article focuses on the rhetorical use of nuclear weapons issues using the case of Pakistan, which has a substantial nuclear weapons complex, widespread domestic support for nuclear weapons, and numerous jihadist terrorist groups. It argues that some terrorist groups (Lashkar-e-Taiba, and the Pakistani Taliban) are increasingly participating in the nuclear discourse for political influence and to transform themselves as mainstream political actors.

U.S. Nuclear Policy

Navy vs. Nukes: U.S. Navy Plans to Test Missile Defenses Against ICBM
National Interest3/18/2019
The Pentagon plans a “first-of-its-kind” test of an unprecedented weapons capability to intercept and destroy an enemy Intercontinental Ballistic Missile “ICBM” — from a Navy ship at sea using a Standard Missile-3 Block IIA.

Rubio, Menendez Request Probe Into Administration’s Nuclear Negotiations With Saudi Arabia
The Hill3/15/2019
Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) on Thursday called on the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to investigate the Trump administration’s nuclear negotiations with Saudi Arabia amid reports that senior White House officials pushed for the sale of nuclear technology to Riyadh.

Opinion and Analysis

The Transatlantic Tussle — A Historical Case Study on How to Handle NATO
War on the Rocks – David Goldman3/18/2019
Trump has been particularly outspoken about his distaste for multilateral institutions, and his preference for unilateral and bilateral arrangements. On NATO, he has threatened to withdraw the United States from the alliance altogether or markedly reduce U.S. defense expenditures in Europe, and he has also raised the prospect of substituting bilateral trade and defense treaties with the United Kingdom and France.

Special Interest

Wargaming: How to Turn Vogue into Science
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists3/15/2019
In 2015, the US Defense Department published a memo about the need to reinvigorate wargaming. Two years later, the Pentagon requested $525 million over five years for the effort. Now Britain is following suit. The Ministry of Defence is establishing a new Wargaming Centre of Excellence to explore wargaming techniques. At the same time, a new pool of wargame suppliers–defense contractors, think tank experts, and university researchers—has emerged to cater to policymakers and others interested in wargaming.

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