Arms Control Wonk

Its cold in Moscow. On a chilly day in a hotel overlooking Red Square, Boston Globe reported “the Russians informed the Americans that they were refusing any more US help protecting their largest stockpiles of weapons-grade uranium and plutonium from being stolen or sold on the black market.” How bad is it? Well, things are bad after Russia circumvented Ukraine’s state sovereignty. Today Jeffrey and Aaron discuss the cancellation of US-Russian cooperation programs. To lighten the mood, Jeffrey and Aaron call Dr. Bethany Goldblum, the Founder and Director of the Nuclear Policy Working Group at UC Berkeley, to talk about her efforts to train the next generation of nuclear security experts.

Links:

Direct download: ACW_17_Feb_15.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 8:29am EDT

After a series of scandals, incoming Secretary of Defense Ash Carter has some tough choices to make about US nuclear weapons and the future of the so-called “triad” of nuclear delivery system.

Jeffrey and Aaron discuss Carter’s confirmation hearing, Jeffrey’s article in Foreign Policy (The Nuclear Trials of Ashton Carter, Foreign Policy, February 5, 2015), and Janne Nolan’s account of Carter’s role in the Clinton Administration’s 1994 Nuclear Posture Review (see below).

Jeffrey also interviewed Geoff Brumfiel, a science correspondent at National Public Radio, about his reporting on the future of the US ICBM force. Geoff visited the 90th missile wing at F.E. Warren Air Force Base and reported a three-part series for All Things Considered:

Geoff also wrote a pair of very funny blog posts:

After outgoing Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel received a pair of reviews of the nuclear enterprise, Geoff revisited his reporting for All Things Considered:

Reading recommendations:

Direct download: ACW_9Feb15.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 4:36am EDT

We love open source. We talk about it all of the time. But it went wrong - like really wrong - in two different instances in recent weeks. Today, Aaron and Jeffrey talk about the dark side of open source and the need for analysts and journalists to be rigorous in how they approach open source work.

Links:

Direct download: ACW_3_Feb_15.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 7:59pm EDT

What’s up with Taiwan’s cruise missile program? What in the world compelled the Taiwanese government to deploy the HF-2E in poorly disguised civilian still trucks? And how cool is it that Taiwan displayed the HF-2E’s engine?
 
To get to the bottom of Taiwan’s cruise missile program, Aaron and Jeffrey speak with Dennis Gormley, the author of Missile Contagion and A Low Visibility Force Multiplier, about the proliferation of cruise missiles, the lack of an effective cruise missile defense, and Taiwan’s efforts to date.
Direct download: ACW_24_Jan_15.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 11:34am EDT

We love Serial. But what does it have to with arms control, nonproliferation, and disarmament - nothing, really. So why talk about it? Geospatial analysis, of course.

No, really!

Today, Jeffrey and Aaron speak with Susan Simpson, an associate at the Volkov Law Group (and an expert in national security law), about geospatial analysis and how it relates to the Serial podcast.

The View From LL2 | Thoughts on law, economics, and all things slightly geeky. - Susan’s blog

Direct download: ACW_9_Jan_15.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 10:34pm EDT

Today, Jeffrey and Aaron discuss the history of Saudi Arabia’s missile program and the reasons for the Kingdom’s new openness vis-a-vis its ballistic missiles.

Saudi Rattles Its Saber | NTI Analysis - by Jeffrey and Ala Alrababah

Direct download: ACW_21_Dec_14.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 9:42pm EDT

The INF debate continues. The controversy about Russia’s new cruise missile raises a number of key questions about American strategy in Europe: How should the United States respond to Russia’s INF violation? What are the security implications of a new Russian ground launched cruise missiles? Has Russia’s “circumvention” of state sovereignty changed the game? And - in a change from the status quo - the show does not end on a positive note, but rather with a gloomy prediction.

Direct download: ACW_17_Dec_14.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 12:42pm EDT

Washington is a mess. We are fighting three wars and we don’t have a Secretary of Defense. In this episode of the podcast, Aaron and Jeffrey discuss the Hagel resignation, Ash Carter, and the dysfunction in Washington. Tune in for commentary on automated systems, the autopen, and Aaron’s defense of Chuck Hagel’s socks.

Direct download: ACW_7_Dec_14.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:37pm EDT

7 months! Really? 7 Months! Is it over?

After the recent extension of the JPOA, Jeffrey and Aaron felt it necessary to hold an emergency podcast (Jeffrey is speaking from an undisclosed parking lot in Northern California) to discuss the future of the Iranian nuclear negotiations. Tune in to hear our take on the future of the JPOA and the threat posed by new US sanctions and Iran’s IR-5.

The Iran Nuke Extension Is a Death Sentence - Jeffrey’s article in Foreign Policy

Direct download: ACW_25_Nov_14.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 4:17pm EDT

After sitting poolside for two weeks, Arms Control Wonk podcast co-host Aaron Stein returns to talk with Jeffrey and Shashank Joshi about the P5+1’s negotiations with Iran. In it, we discuss the current state of the negotiations, the prospects for an extension to the JPOA, Iranian centrifuge research, and conclude, as always, on a positive note.

Direct download: ACW_22_Nov_14.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 9:05pm EDT