Arms Control Wonk

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley gave a dog-and-pony show with debris from the recent Houthi missile strikes against Saudi Arabia.

Jeffrey and Aaron go over the debris, explaining why the U.S. thinks the Yemeni Burkan-2H is actually the Iranian Qiam and asking what that means. 

Links of Note:

DVIDS Hub link to the 5568 x 3712 photos of the alleged Iranian missiles being fired into Saudi Arabia by the Houthis in Yemen.

 

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https://actionkit.com/wonk

Direct download: 74.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:44pm EST

"A shot was just taken by Iran, in my opinion, at Saudi Arabia. And our system knocked it down," Donald Trump told reporters. "That's how good we are. Nobody makes what we make and now we're selling it all over the world.”

Except it missed. Or maybe never even fired. Jeffrey and Aaron discuss the CNS OSINT teams investigation of the missile attack on the Riyadh airport that appeared in the New York Times.

 

Links of Note:

The New York Times article investigating the missile attack.

 

Direct download: 72.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:03am EST

A Canadian reviews the month’s North Korea news with a special guest.

For November, Andrea talks to John Hemmings, the Director of the Asia Studies Centre at the Henry Jackson Society. They dig into major stories about North Korean defectors and the Kim Jong Nam assassination, and consider the stunning views from Cathay Pacific flights.

 

Links of Note: 

Defector crosses the border at Panmunjom.

Statement by Rex Tillerson on the Hwasong-15 launch.

Kim Jong Nam carrying VX antidote. 

North Koreans bootlegging in Pakistan. 

Cathay Pacific air crew gets a good view. 

Direct download: 71.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:04am EST

North Korea tested a new ICBM called the Hwasong-15.

We'll keep these show notes brief. Its frickin’ huge.

Aaron, Jeffrey, and Scott discuss the missile, the launch site, the truck that carried it, and its oh-so-roomy payload.

Links of Note:

Dave Schmerler compiled the KCNA imagery into one big flickr album.

 

Direct download: 70.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:45pm EST

“Liddle Bob Corker” and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a hearing on the President’s authority to use nuclear weapons. A bipartisan panel testified that “it’s fine.”

But is it?

Aaron and Jeffrey discuss Trump, the bomb, and the President’s War Powers.

 

Links of Note:

C-SPAN video of the entire Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearing on Nuclear Weapons Authority.

Direct download: 69.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:23am EST

The US and South Korea agreed to revise the missile guidelines that have limited South Korea’s missile programs since the 1970s.

Aaron and Jeffrey discuss the origin of those limits, their evolution, and the impact of missile proliferation on the Korean Peninsula.

 

Links of Note:

Arms Control Wonk article about South Korea's Anheung Proving Grounds, where the missile tests occur.

Our last podcast on the Hyunmoo-2C, South Korea's latest publicly displayed missile.

Direct download: 68.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:42am EST

Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari, commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps, recently stated that Iran has no need to extend the range of its missiles beyond 2,000 km. With debates about Iran's missile program affecting the debate about the Iran nuclear deal, Aaron and Jeffrey take a survey of regional missile proliferation from Egypt to Iran.

Special bonus, Jeffrey tries not to giggle uncontrollably every time Aaron mentions the Hague Code of Conduct, aka the H-COC.

 

Links of Note:

IRGC says that Iran's missiles are capped at 2000km by the Supreme Leader.

Shea Cotton's Iranian Missile Launch Database at NTI.

Sponsored Link:

Douglass Alchemy kindly provided Jeffrey, Aaron, and Scott with a wide variety of quality cocktail bitters.

ACW Podcast listeners can use the promo code ACW to get 20% off any orders. Perfect for keeping you warm while missile-watching this winter.

Direct download: 67.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:34pm EST

A Canadian reviews the month's North Korea news with a special guest. For October, Andrea talks to Adam Cathcart -- a lecturer at Leeds University and editor of the website Sino-NK

They dig into the events of the 19th Party Congress in China, talk about the dodgy stuff the Egyptians have been buying from Pyongyang, and try to figure out what's in the water (or maple syrup) up North. 

Links of Note:

Adam Cathcart's China Brief article on Chinese PLA troop movements near the border with North Korea.

Joby Warrick's Washington Post article on the Jie Shun.

Andrea Berger and Matt Korda's Canadian International Council article on Canada's Ballistic Missile Defense Debate.

Direct download: 66.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:29am EST

The New York Times has a splashy interactive editorial, "Trump’s Nuclear Arsenal." It's good, but gets a few things wrong --
things that matter like Mutual Assured Destruction, Robert McNamara's famous thought experiment on sizing US nuclear forces, and how the US targets nuclear weapons. Also, they misuse decimate.
 
Aaron and Jeffrey talk through the problems with US nuclear policy and Jeffrey's proposal to state that the US will not use nuclear weapon against a target if a conventional one will do.
 
Links of Note:
 
 
Jeffrey and Scott Sagan's article, and its shorter, op-ed version in the Washington Post.
 
 Aaron's recently revived podcast, Turkey Wonk.
 
Direct download: 65.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:20pm EST

President Trump said each of the missile defense interceptors at the
Ground-based Midcourse Defense site in Alaska has a 97% chance of shooting down a North Korean missile and that two would have a 100% chance.

Statistics don't work like that, at least that's not
how it was taught where Jeffrey and Aaron went to school. We discuss
how to think about missile defenses and statistical risk, while Scott
joins us to explain the online calculator he built for just such a
problem.

 

Links of Note:

Mostly Missile Defense's List of Claims about GMD Effectiveness.

The Washington Post's Fact Check on President Trump's 97% claim.

Joshua Pollack's article on the 97% claim on Defense One.

Scott's been fiddling with missile defense calculators and put together a few helpful tools:

The Simple Model (pulled from Wilkening's work), but without radar/sensor probabilities. This calculator is used to estimate the probability of a multilayer missile defense architecture intercepting X number of incoming warheads.

Another Simple Model based calculator, but with a very basic estimation for sensors and tracking probabilities, also based on Wilkening's writings.

Scott's under-construction experimental tool for sticking these probabilities on a map (with examples!).

 

 

 

 

Direct download: 64.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:11am EST