Nuclear Policy News – September 18, 2019

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Trump names Robert O’Brien as National Security Advisor
Wall Street Journal

U.S. intel shows cruise missiles fired at Saudi oil facility came from Iran, officials say
NBC News

‘Yes’ on the low-yield warhead for Trident
Real Clear Defense

United States

Trump names Robert O’Brien as National Security Advisor
Wall Street Journal9/18/19
President Trump named Robert C. O’Brien as his new national security adviser, picking a top hostage-affairs official for the high-profile White House role.

Modernized nuclear triad is best deterrence
U.S. Department of Defense9/17/19
Chinese, Russian and North Korean advances in cyber and space technologies mean the Atlantic and Pacific oceans no longer provide safety buffers for the U.S. mainland, said Air Force Gen. Timothy Ray.

Middle East

U.S. intel shows cruise missiles fired at Saudi oil facility came from Iran, officials say
NBC News9/17/19
The attack on a major Saudi oil facility originated geographically from Iranian territory, with a series of low-altitude cruise missiles fired from at least one location in the western region of the country, according to two U.S. officials familiar with the latest intelligence.

Hard-liners in Iran see no drawback to bellicose strategy
New York Times9/17/19
Tehran has concluded that its recent aggressions have effectively strengthened its leverage with the West and in the region.

U.S. tells Saudi Arabia: nuclear push depends on snap inspections deal
The United States will only provide Saudi Arabia with nuclear technology if the kingdom signs an agreement with the U.N. atomic watchdog that allows for intrusive snap inspections, U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry repeated on Tuesday.

East Asia

For North Korea, more leverage and more big demands ahead of talks
Voice of America9/18/19
North Korea’s Foreign Ministry this week said a “discussion of denuclearization” may be possible following the removal of unspecified “threats and hurdles endangering our system and obstructing our development.”


‘Yes’ on the low-yield warhead for Trident
Real Clear DefenseJohn R. Harvey and Franklin C. Miller
The rationale for a lower-yield Trident option is to raise Russia’s nuclear use threshold, not lower ours.

Lessons to be learned from negotiating with North Korea
38 NorthRobert L. Gallucci
We have a tendency to approach engagement with the North Koreans with a strange combination of ignorance and arrogance about what they are really about.

Compete with Iran without trying to destroy it
War on the RocksAaron Stein
As the world struggles to understand the reason behind the Iranian missile attack, it is best to ask why no one anticipated it in the first place.

A silver lining in the North Korea nuclear impasse?
Japan TimesTed Gover
While Trump’s and Abe’s efforts to form a rapport with Kim are unlikely to result in the North’s denuclearization, they may just set the stage for moving relations with North Korea from a state of impending war to one of basic, working ties.

Probabilistic verification: A new concept for verifying the denuclearization of North Korea
Carnegie Endowment for International PeaceMareena Robinson Snowden
Implementing an agreement on the denuclearization of North Korea will require a creatively designed verification scheme. The probabilistic approach to verification could be a solution to the need to design a credible, implementable agreement to which the United States and North Korea could agree.

Post-INF great power arms control
American Enterprise InstituteJohn Maurer
Despite the arguments of arms control proponents that restraint is the best way to curtail arms races and promote dialogue between great powers, the history of arms control negotiations suggests that restraint is the wrong tool to achieve that goal.

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