Arms Control Wonk
India has some nuclear naval news, with its defense minister claiming a successful "first deterrent patrol."
What does this mean for Pakistan and nuclear dynamics in the Indian Ocean?
 
Aaron sits down with friends of the pod Ankit Panda and Vipin Narang to talk about the India-Pakistan relationship, India's ballistic missile subs, and Pakistan's cruise missile subs. 
 
This episode started as a Brilliant Pebble and ballooned into a full-blown episode!
 
Support us over at Patreon.com/acwpodcast!
Direct download: 114.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:09am EST

With the US on the precipice of withdrawing from the INF, all eyes have turned to China and its large number of INF range missiles. The think tank community has followed and a bevy of think pieces on basing modes in Asia have been published.

On this week’s episode, Jeffrey and Aaron talk about the cost of the BGM-109G and some of the implications of putting them on land... in the Pacific.

 

Support us over at Patreon.com/acwpodcast!

Direct download: 113.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:51pm EST

A Canadian reviews the month’s North Korea news together with a special guest. Andrea and Ramon Pacheco-Pardo, the Korea Foundation-Free University Brussels Korea Chair, look at Pompeo’s latest visit to Pyongyang, examine the outcomes of Moon Jae-in’s European tour, and talk about the North Korean middleman now on an FBI Most Wanted poster.

Links of Note:

Details of Pompeo’s October visit to Pyongyang.

NY Times, “South Korea backtracks on easing sanctions after Trump comment”, 11 October 2018.

Ramon’s article for NK News, examining what Moon Jae-in achieved and didn’t on his recent trip to Europe.

The Pope indicates his willingness to visit Pyongyang.

Department of Justice press release concerning the indictment of Singaporean national Tan Wee Beng, for his alleged dealings with North Korea.

 

 Support us over at Patreon.com/acwpodcast!

Direct download: 112.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:06pm EST

The end of arms control, or a sub-culture run amok?

In today’s special, live-recorded edition of the Arms Control Wonk podcast, Aaron and Jeffrey talk about the end of the INF, John Bolton's motivations, and the reasons behind the US pull-out (aka the Stormy Daniels).

Previous Podcast Episodes about this Topic:

Tightening the Screws on the INF

An Era Without Arms Control?

The INF, NATO, and the MSC

The Little Green Men and a New Cruise Missile

Russia and the INF: Don't Call it a Circumvention

Is Russia Cheating on the INF Treaty? This was the very first Arms Control Wonk Podcast episode!

 

Support us over at Patreon.com/acwpodcast!

Direct download: 111.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:46pm EST

Aaron and Jeffrey return to the topic to discuss the potential for a New Start extension and what it could mean for the future of the US-Russian relationship.

 

Support us over at Patreon.com/acwpodcast!

Direct download: 109.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:05am EST

US Ambassador to NATO, Kay Bailey Hutchinson, made some news. And not in a good way. She was trying to say that the US would develop countervailing capabilities -- something that started under the Obama Administration and that almost no one disagrees with.

But she mangled the quote and, in doing so, reinforced Russian paranoia about decapitation. The US and Russia seemed determined to relive the horrors of the early 1980s, albeit on accident. Find out why.

 

Support us over at Patreon.com/acwpodcast!

Direct download: 110.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:05pm EST

Andrea is joined again by John Hemmings, Director of Asia Studies at the Henry Jackson Society, to talk about the major developments in North Korea relations during September. They consider Pyongyang’s tamer military parade, examine the optics and outcomes of Moon Jae-in’s trip to North Korea, and look at the way those outcomes are being communicated to the international community at the UN General Assembly.

 

Links of Note:

DPRK’s English version of the Pyongyang declaration

Moon Jae-in’s speech to the 73rd UN General Assembly. 

Joint report on the negotiating situation from the Henry Jackson Society, King’s College London, and the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS).

Full text of the criminal complaint against North Korean hacker Park Jin Hyok.

Hamish Macdonald with all of the happenings at the 8th Rason trade exhibition.

Support us over at Patreon.com/acwpodcast!

Direct download: 108.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EST

Andrea discusses friction between Europe and the United States over the Iran nuclear deal with Justine Walker, Director of Sanctions at UK Finance. They review European engagement in the Iranian market over the last two years, consider the EU’s reaction to Trump’s withdrawal from the agreement, and examine the implications for companies now caught between two sets of opposing laws. 

 

Links of Note:

Full transcript of Trump’s speech announcing withdrawal from the JCPOA.

US Treasury FAQ on the reimposition of sanctions on Iran.

Daimler abandoning its Iran expansion plans.

UK Finance publications on the EU blocking regulations, Iran, and other sanctions issues.

Support us over at Patreon.com/acwpodcast!

Direct download: 107.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:30am EST

In today’s episode, Aaron and Jeffrey discuss the 2020 Commission and its relationship with how we are conditioned to think about nuclear weapons. The podcast is filled with spoilers (you’ve been warned), but attempts to use the book — and one of the main characters, President Donald Trump — to discuss nuclear war, American nuclear policy, the rationality of fictional North Korean actions, and the tragedy that would follow any use of the bomb.

We also take the time to discuss our new subscriber benefit, Brilliant Pebbles, a mini-pod about the wide world of weapons of mass destruction. The show will drop every Tuesday and will feature short takes on relevant topics that we would not normally discussing on the big show. 

Support us over at Patreon.com/acwpodcast!
Direct download: 106.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:35am EST

In today’s podcast, Aaron and Jeffrey discuss the geolocation work that underpinned Jeffrey’s research for his novel and how open source investigations can be leveraged to inform analysis.

Links of Note:

Previous Arms Control Wonk Podcast episodes on South Korea's missile arsenal:

South Korea's Missile Arsenal Expands

The Hyunmoo-2C: South Korea's 800km Missile

Jeffrey's new book, The 2020 Commission Report on the North Korean Nuclear Attacks Against the United States - A Speculative Novel, can be purchased here!

Support us over at Patreon.com/acwpodcast!

Direct download: 105.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:03am EST

It's a family pod today!

Andrea, Aaron, and Jeffrey review July's new North Korean developments. They dive into the developments at Sohae Satellite Launching Grounds, sanctions enforcement, and the repatriation of POW/KIA remains from the Korean War. 

Links of Note:

Treasury's press release of sanctions ordered against the Russian Agrosoyuz Commercial Bank.

Imagery analysis from 38 North of the dismantling of the engine test stand and covered rail transfer station at Sohae. 

Paul Boudreau's Juche Bird cocktail!

Jeffrey's new novel, The 2020 Commission Report on the North Korean Nuclear Attacks Against the United States.

Support us over at Patreon.com/acwpodcast!

Direct download: 104.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:19pm EST

Ellen Nakashima and Joby Warrick have a bombshell story about North
Korea producing one, possible two, Hwasong-15 ICBMs at its Sanumdong
facility.  Aaron and Jeffrey discuss the role that MIIS and open
source played in corroborating the report.

This episode brought to you by Jeffrey's new novel, The 2020 Commission Report.

 

Links of Note:

Ellen Nakashima and Joby Warrick's article in the Washington Post about ICBM production at Sanum-Dong.

Ankit Panda's Diplomat article on continuing ICBM production in North Korea.

Jeffrey's new book, The 2020 Commission Report on the North Korean Nuclear Attacks Against the United States - A Speculative Novel, can be preordered here!

Support us over at Patreon.com/acwpodcast!

Direct download: 103.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:30pm EST

KANGSON

We have the (probable) location of North Korea's original enrichment site: Kangson, now called Chollima. This is probably the spot where the DPRK has been enriching uranium since the early 2000's, which has previously not been openly identified! 


Jeffrey, Grace Liu, and Dave Schmerler combed over information dropped by friend-of-the-pod Ankit Panda.

Jeffrey, Aaron, and Scott talk about this old, newly discovered site, the history of North Korean enrichment tracking, and the difficulty in tracking major proliferation concerns.

Links of Note:

Ankit's bombshell article in The Diplomat about Kangson.

Geo4NonPro, The CNS/MIIS crowd-sourced satellite imagery analysis project.

Jeffrey's new novel, The 2020 Commission Report on the North Korean Nuclear Attacks Against the United States.

Support us over at Patreon.com/acwpodcast!

Direct download: 102.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:38pm EST

A Canadian reviews the last month’s news with two special guests.

Andrea talks to CNS Senior Research Associate Melissa Hanham and FAS Adjunct Fellow Ankit Panda as they go through the trajectory of U.S./DPRK diplomacy after the Singapore Summit, parse through the differences between U.S and DPRK public statements, and developments within the U.S./ROK Alliance.

 <!--more-->

Links of Note

 NBC report on North Korea's additional enrichment sites and increased nuclear activity.

Ankit's article in The Diplomat about the DPRK's additional missile TEL production in 2018.

Support us over at Patreon.com/acwpodcast!

Direct download: 101.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:34pm EST

Jeffrey spent the past week making Singapore Slings but it didn't help dull the pain.
 
The conversation then turned to the summit and ended with a conversation about the sustainability of summits without substance and what the two sides can do in the future to settle on an actual agenda for talks.
 
Jeffrey and Aaron commiserate over the complete goat rodeo that played out, including the Joint Statement, Trump's wild presser, and KCNA's excellent trolling of John Bolton.
 
 
Links of Note:
 
Full text of the joint statement between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un.
 
The weird movie that the U.S. team showed the DPRK team and the on-site journalists.

Kim Jong Un shaking John Bolton's hand on KCNA.
 
 
Scott wrote an article over at the blog about the "missile engine test stand." Dave Schmerler also wrote a twitter thread on it.
 
Support us over at Patreon.com/acwpodcast!
 
 
Direct download: 100.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:10pm EST

Back in March, Putin said that Russia has been testing a nuclear-powered cruise missile and showed a little bit of video footage. Throughout April and May, stories have come out questioning the success of these tests.

Jeffrey and his team at CNS have been peaking into the test site and trying to figure out what is actually going on.  

Jeffrey and Aaron discuss using satellite images to geolocate the launch site and what that tells about the state of the program.

Links of Note:

The Gertz piece on the possibly failed tests. 

The CNBC piece on the testing regime's successes and failures.

Previous Arms Control Wonk Podcast episode on Putin's new cruise missile and other nuclear weapons. 

Support us over at Patreon.com/acwpodcast!

Direct download: 99.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:42am EST

This is a full end-to-end OSINT episode, buckle up. 

Using satellite imagery, SAR data, Farsi-language television coverage, one rocket scientist's favorite color, and one very important box, the team at CNS/MIIS tracked down a second solid-propellant rocket production facility in Iran.

We suspect it may be moving towards ICBM research. 

Scott ventures out to California to join Jeffrey and Dave Schmerler in person to talk about Shahrud, the history of the Iranian missile program, and one very eccentric military scientist. 

 

Links of Note:

New York Times coverage of the Shahrud research

Support us over at Patreon.com/acwpodcast!

Direct download: 98.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:51am EST

A Canadian reviews the last month’s news with a special guest. Andrea talks to Hamish Macdonald from NK News about what went boom at Punggye-ri, recaps the diplomatic rollercoaster ride that was May, and ponders the Max Thunder joint military exercises (during an actual thunderstorm).

 Links of note: 

Will Ripley’s Instagram snaps from his visit to Wonsan and Punggye-ri.

North Korea takes issue with the Max Thunder joint air drills.

Press statement by First Vice Minister Kim Kye Gwan, telling the US he’s not so into Bolton

Text of Trump’s letter to “His Excellency” Kim Jong Un, (maybe) cancelling the planned summit

North Korea keeps doing those pesky ship-to-ship transfers.

North Korean vessels showing up at Chinese coal ports, again….

Our new report on North Korean companies active in the global IT sector.

 

Support us over at Patreon.com/acwpodcast!

Direct download: 97.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:34am EST

What is going on with the Trump-Kim summit following the recent cancellation of a DPRK-ROK meeting?

Will Trump and Kim meet?

And how does John Bolton fit into all of this?

Today, Aaron and Jeffrey discuss the latest twists and turns in the run-up to the Singapore summit, and raise broader questions about denuclearization and bureaucratic politics in the United States.

 

Links of Note:

John Bolton discussing that the summit will fail.

Dig!

Support us over at Patreon.com/acwpodcast!

Direct download: 96.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:56pm EST

Kim Jong Un said he is closing the nuclear test site at Punggye-ri. But if outside inspectors and exports aren't allowed in, it could just be a PR stunt with no substantive contribution to "denuclearization."

Jeffrey and Aaron talk about what this means for North Korea, why inspectors and outside experts need to be allowed in, and what the upcoming Trump-Kim summit may lead to. 

Links of Note:

CNS/MIIS research on the possibility that the nuclear test site at Punggye-ri is possibly being dismantled right now. 

Support us over at Patreon.com/acwpodcast!

Direct download: 95.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:57am EST

A Canadian reviews the last few weeks of North Korea news with a special guest. Andrea chats with Antoine Bondaz from the Foundation for Strategic Research in Paris. They dissect the optics and outcomes of the recent inter-Korean summit, analyse the responses, and look at some of the stories you may have missed amongst the flashbulbs.

Links of Note:

Full text of the Panmunjom declaration, signed by Moon Jae In and Kim Jong Un.

Rodong Sinmun’s reporting on the summit the following day. Articles herehere, and here.

Australia and Canada sending planes to monitor illicit DPRK shipping activity. UK sending ships to monitor the same.  

Support us over at Patreon.com/acwpodcast!

Direct download: 94.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:27am EST

Bibi showed off Iran’s bomb. And its pretty crappy. The slide show added some titillating details to what the world already knew about Iran’s nuclear weapons program and, in doing so, made the case for why the JCPOA is so important. The real news was not the documents or their provenance, but what they revealed about Iran’s nuclear weapons planning.

They wanted a few bombs in the basement. Literally.

Jeffrey and Aaron talk this week about the Iranian nuclear weapons program, how Bibi added to what we already knew about their program, and why the JCPOA is important to verify that Iran’s bomb program remains confined to dusty files in binders and CDs in a dilapidated warehouse.

Links of Note:

Netanyahu's presentation.

Jeffrey's Twitter thread walking through the presentation, step-by-step.

Joshua Pollack's Defense One article on the presentation.

Support us over at Patreon.com/acwpodcast!

Direct download: 93.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:57pm EST

A Canadian reviews the last few weeks of North Korea news with a special guest.

Andrea talks to Ramon Pacheco-Pardo from King’s College London about DPRK summit mania. They cover the recent high-level visits to Pyongyang, Beijing and Washington, consider North Korean pledges to refrain from certain nuclear and missile testing, and debate whether this is all a house of cards.

Links of Note:

Ramon’s take on the forthcoming inter-Korean summit, for War on the Rocks.

Yonhap on the Pompeo visit to Pyongyang, one of several ROK outlets creating an echo chamber for the Asahi Shimbun story.

The North Korean statement pledging to suspend ICBM testing and nuclear testing at the “northern” test ground.

Scott’s analysis of the recent North Korean test freeze pledge, for NK News.

Support us over at Patreon.com/acwpodcast!

 

Direct download: 92.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:18pm EST

Haaretz dropped an incredible article with new details about the 2007 Israeli air strike on the nascent Syrian nuclear reactor at Al Kibar.

So we thought it would be a good opportunity to interrupt Jeffrey's working vacation to talk about Al Kibar, the North Korean nuclear connection, and how our understanding of the event has evolved over the past decade.

Links of Note:

The Haaretz article with all the details on the strike on Al Kibar.

One reader's trip to the Syrian archaeological site near Al Kibar that should not, and we cannot emphasize this enough, ever be tried again.

The 2008 videos detailing the Al Kibar strike

Some ACW blog posts on Al Kibar:

Discussions on the details of the reactor.

Some US IC statements about Al Kibar.

Decisionmaking around the strike.

Al Kibar being overrun during the Civil War.

Support us over at Patreon.com/acwpodcast!

Direct download: 91.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:55am EST

A Canadian reviews the last month's North Korea news with two special guests, Jeffrey and Aaron. It's a family pod!

Andrea discusses the new UN Panel of Experts report on North Korea's illicit arms dealing, whether the DPRK is helping reconstitute the Syrian chemical weapons program, and some long awaited discussions on Myanmar's acquisition of North Korean ballistic missile systems.

 

Links of Note:

The New Panel of Experts Report!

The rest of the PoE reports, if you would like some light reading.

DPRK Foreign Ministry response to "maximum pressure" statements.

Direct download: 90.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:16am EST

What is Russia’s nuclear doctrine? Jeffrey talks to Dr. Olga Oliker about Russian nuclear doctrine and developments. Unfortunately, she speaks Russian, which turns out to he really inconvenient for a lot of people's theories. 

Jeffrey and Olga discuss whether escalate to deescalate is a thing and Putin’s awesome new menagerie of terror weapons. 

Dr. Oliker's hosts a podcast, Russian Roulette, with Jeffrey Mankoff over at CSIS. It can be found here, go take a listen!

Support us over at Patreon.com/acwpodcast!

Direct download: 89.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:05pm EST

The Russian chemical weapons attack in Salisbury is, sadly, not the first assassination to take place on UK soil.

Jeffrey and Aaron spoke about Russia’s use of a Novichok nerve agent, what this act says about a return of Soviet patterns of behavior, and some policy options.

 

Links of Note:

The Stimson Center report, Chemical Weapons Disarmament in Russia: Problems and Prospects.

Direct download: 88.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:44am EST

President Trump announced that he's going to meet with Kim Jong Un.

He seems to think that Kim Jong Un is giving up his weapons. Kim Jong Un seems to think that Trump is recognizing North Korea as a nuclear power. What could possibly go wrong? 

Jeffrey and Aaron discuss before Sarah Sanders walks this back. 

Direct download: 87.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:04pm EST

A delegation from South Korea visited Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang.  After a sumptuous lunch and what looked like a little boozy, over-the-top happy Kim Jong Un waved goodbye as the South Korean delegation drove off with promises.

Aaron and Jeffrey talk about the ROK's post-lunch (not launch, for once) statement, the history of DPRK negotiations, and what could go wrong and right with the talks on the Korean Peninsula. 

Links of Note

Statements on the inter-Korean meeting.

Mark Fitzpatrick's article on the Leap Day Deal and how U.S./DPRK parallel statements differed in 2012.

Support us over at Patreon.com/acwpodcast!

 

Direct download: 86.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:25am EST

Two Canadians review the last month of North Korean developments as they try to ignore Canada's Olympic performance in curling and hockey.

Andrea talks to Matt Korda about Olympic diplomacy, DPRK proliferation networks, maritime deception practices, and the most recent set of sanctions.

 

Links of Note:

The transcript of the 2008 Burmese military delegation visit to Pyongyang.

The Panel of Experts Report covered in Reuters.

An update to Olympic Diplomacy: The ROK Delegation meets with Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang this week.

Support us over at Patreon.com/acwpodcast!

Direct download: 85.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:25pm EST

Russian president Vladimir Putin presented his annual address yesterday.

He showed off a bunch of new or recent nuclear weapons systems, designed to defeat US missile defenses.

The weirdest idea of all is a nuclear power cruise missile with global range. You read that right. Nuclear powered.

Aaron, Jeffrey, and Scott convene to discuss Russia’s new generation of insane nuclear weapons, ponder how we got here, and wonder what the hell we can do about it.

Links of Note:

Video Links!

The whole speech.

The new laser.

The new intercontinental nuclear-powered cruise missile.

The Sarmat ICBM with global range.

The air-launched missile Kinzhal.

The Avangard/Vanguard HGV.

The Status-6/Kanyon nuclear autonomous underwater vehicle.

The Russian Ministry of Defense has opened up voting on some of the new systems' names... if you wanna vote, vote here.

Support us over at Patreon.com/acwpodcast!

Direct download: 84.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:29pm EST

We’re back. After a brief hiatus, Jeffrey and Aaron return from their myriad trips.

The show documents Aaron and superproducer Scott’s visit to missile central down at joint-base Anacostia, where the two got an up close and personal viewing of the Qiam/Burkan 2-H and other assorted Iranian made goodies on display.

Jeffrey then filled Aaron in on his trip to the Munich Security Conference and his assorted medical ailments while traveling through out Germany.

Links of Note:

Our two prior episodes on the Iranian materiel display, one focusing on the Qiam/Burkan 2-H and one focusing on the Qasef-1.

Our series of six episodes discussing strategic stability, European security, and the Russian/INF problem. See episode description for links!

Support us over at Patreon.com/acwpodcast!

Sponsored Links:

Our sponsor this episode is ActionKit, a powerful suit of online campaigning tools.

https://actionkit.com/wonk

Direct download: 82.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm EST

A Canadian reviews the last two months' North Korea news with a special guest. Andrea talks to Scott LaFoy for a whirlwind tour of December and January's developments. They cover Kim Jong Un's New Years Address, the Vancouver Foreign Ministers Meeting, and those pesky ship-to-ship transfers the North Koreans are so fond of these days.

 

Links of Note:

Andrea's pre-mortem of the Vancouver Meeting at Arms Control Wonk.

Andrea's discussion of the Olympic exchanges and negotiations over at The Diplomat.

NK News imagery of the nuclear backpacks from the 2013 parade.

Scott and Fyodor Tertitskiy's NK Pro article on the Olympic Negotiations.

Full text of Kim Jong Un's 'op ed' in KCNA/Rodong Sinmun. VOA link, safe for clicking in South Korea!

Support us over at Patreon.com/acwpodcast!

Sponsored Links:

Our sponsor this episode is ActionKit, a powerful suit of online campaigning tools.

https://actionkit.com/wonk

Direct download: 81.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:33am EST

India launched the Agni-V intermediate-range ballistic missile.

Launch a missile, get a pod.

Aaron is skiing in Vail, so The Diplomat's Ankit Panda joins Jeffrey to discuss India's nuclear and missile programs from rail mobile missiles to the guy who flooded India's only ballistic missile submarine.

Links of Note:

Ankit's Twitter thread on Agni test imagery.

Ankit and Prashanth Parameswaran did an excellent pod over at The Diplomat covering the Arihant and the Agni V.

 

Support us over at Patreon.com/acwpodcast!

Sponsored Links:

Our sponsor this episode is ActionKit, a powerful suit of online campaigning tools.

https://actionkit.com/wonk

Direct download: 80.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:06am EST

A draft of the Trump Administration's Nuclear Posture Review has leaked -- and its a doozy. 

Aaron and Jeffrey discuss the history of these reviews and recommendations to develop a new sea-launched cruise missile and a variable yield warhead for the Trident D5 submarine launched ballistic missile.

Links of Note:

The Huffpost article that originally leaked the document.

The 2010 Nuclear Posture Review from the Obama administration.

Support us over at Patreon.com/acwpodcast!

Sponsored Links:

Our sponsor this episode is ActionKit, a powerful suit of online campaigning tools.

https://actionkit.com/wonk

 

Direct download: 79.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:12am EST

The Trump Administration is naming names, confirming what Jeffrey has long said — that the new cruise missile Russia is building in violation of the 1987 INF Treaty is the 9M729, which is known in the US as the SSC-8 Screwdriver.

Aaron and Jeffrey discuss Russia’s violation of the INF Treaty, offering a deep dive on the new ground-launched cruise missile and the RS-26 intermediate-range ballistic missile.

Previous Podcast Episodes about this Topic:

An Era Without Arms Control?

The INF, NATO, and the MSC

The Little Green Men and a New Cruise Missile

Russia and the INF: Don't Call it a Circumvention

Is Russia Cheating on the INF Treaty? This was the very first Arms Control Wonk Podcast episode!

Support us over at Patreon.com/acwpodcast!

Sponsored Links:

Our sponsor this episode is ActionKit, a powerful suit of online campaigning tools.

https://actionkit.com/wonk

Direct download: 76.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:38am EST

We usually avoid chasing Trump’s tweets but when the President of the United States says his button is bigger than Kim Jong Un's ... well, we’re not made of stone.

Aaron and Jeffrey talk about whether Trump is bluffing and what the disarray in the White House says about policy process issues.

 

Links of Note:

The tweet in question and a backup in case it disappears. 

 

Previous Entries in The Donald and The Nuclear series on executive power and nuclear weapons:

The Donald, The Nuclear, and No First Use

2 Donald 2 Nuclear

The Donald and The Nuclear 3: Tokyo Drift

The Donald and The Nuclear Goblet of Fire (And Fury)

The Donald and The Nuclear V: The Senate Strikes Back

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Sponsored Links:

Our sponsor this episode is ActionKit, a powerful suit of online campaigning tools.

https://actionkit.com/wonk

Direct download: 77.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:41am EST

Ambassador Nikki Haley gave quite the presentation a few weeks ago. Standing in front of two Qiam/Burkan-2H missile pieces, the US Ambassador the UN called out Iran for its proliferation activities in the Middle East. Two weeks, Aaron and Jeffrey talked at length about the missile.

In this episode, Aaron circles back to the other two objects shown off: An Iranian drone and suicide boat. To talk Iranian drones and regional proliferation, Aaron spoke with Adam Rawnsley, the co-author of Foreign Policy’s SitRep, and a top expert on all things unmanned. 

Links of Note

Adam Rawnsley's Twitter thread on Conflict Armament Research's report on Houthi use of Iranian drones.

RAND report on IAF operations against the Hezbollah Ababils.

2006 Flight Global Report on Hezbollah Ababil.

CAR report on the drone boat.

CAR report on Qasef-1.

UN Panel of Experts report with Iranian Toophans in Yemen.

DVIDS Hub link to the 5568 x 3712 photos of the Iranian drones being used by the Houthis in Yemen.

Direct download: 75.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:14pm EST

Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera announced that Tokyo wants to acquire a pair of long-range cruise missiles -- the 500 km-range Joint Strike Missile from Norway and the 1000 km range JASSM-ER -- to arm the country's new F-35.  Aaron and Jeffrey discussion the implications for Article 9 of Japan's constitution and stability in the region.

Links of Note:

Japan Times article on the Japanese Ministry of Defense's plans for cruise missile acquisitions.

Sponsored Links:

Our sponsor this episode is ActionKit, a powerful suit of online campaigning tools.

https://actionkit.com/wonk

Direct download: 73.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:29am EST

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.

 

Sponsored Links:

Our sponsor this episode is ActionKit, a powerful suit of online campaigning tools.

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

No, Hilary Clinton did not sell America's uranium to Russia.

Aaron and Jeffrey attempt to patiently discuss the Uranium One purchase of Willow Creek uranium mine, the US firm that bribed Russian officials to win trucking contracts, and why this particular conspiracy theory is so prevalent in American political discourse.

 

Links of Note:

The Washington Post article fact checking the President's claim.

The 2015 New York Times article that set the conspiracy theorizing in motion.

A 2010 article from the Washington Times claiming that the sale of Uranium One would hurt the U.S. (it didn't).

Direct download: 63.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:54pm EST

Donald Trump announced a new "strategy"  -- loosely defined -- for confronting Iran. Trump also will refuse to certify that Iran is implementing its commitments under the Iran nuclear deal, aka the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), throwing the issue back to Congress and (possibly) starting a second nuclear crisis. 

Jeffrey and Aaron discuss why Congress created the requirement to certify the Iran nuclear deal, why Trump hates it, and what happens now.

Links of Note:
 
NPR full video and transcript of Trump's Iran speech.

Main and addendum text of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
 
Text of the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015 (INARA).
 
Jeffrey and Aaron can also be seen talking about this issue on Vice News Tonight (Season 2, Episode 4, October 16). 
Direct download: 62.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:04am EST

ICAN won the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize for its work on "for its work to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons and for its ground-breaking efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition of such weapons."

Jeffrey and Aaron discuss the prize, the treaty to ban nuclear weapons, and efforts to promote disarmament

Links of Note:

NTI's fact page on the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

Our episodes on the ban treaty negotiations, Banning the Bomb:

Part I

Part II

Part IIIA (with Beatrice Fihn herself!)

Part IIIB (with Beatrice Fihn herself!)

 

Direct download: 61.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:40pm EST

Donald Trump told the United Nations that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (aka the Iran nuclear deal aka the Vienna Plan aka der Weinerplan) between Iran and the so-called E3/U-3 "Is an embarrassment to the United States, and I don't think you've heard the last of it -- believe me."

Aaron and Jeffrey talk about the prospects for Trump to walk away from the Iran nuclear deal, why that would be a bad idea, why the "section T" talking point is tendentious nonsense, and why its time to make peace with the fact that the future of nonproliferation is mostly about persuading countries to take a pass on the bomb.

Links of Note:

Full text of President Trump's United Nations General Assembly Speech.

Section T of Annex 1 of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

Direct download: 60.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:07am EST

A Canadian reviews the month's North Korea news with a special guest. For September, Andrea talks to Alison Evans -- deputy head of Asia-Pacific country risk at IHS Markit.

They revisit UN General Assembly drama, developments in alliance politics, and North Korea's stunning victory at Disney puns.

Direct download: 59.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:24pm EST

Proliferators not only need to move goods around the world to support their WMD and missile programs, they need to move money too.
 
How do they get into the international financial system undetected? Can banks do more to stop them? Who is leading the global charge on countering proliferation finance? Andrea talks to Tom Keatinge, a former investment banker-turned financial crime specialist. 
 
Links of Note
 
The Financial Action Task Force Recommendations
 
 
 
Direct download: 58.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:56am EST

The Trump Administration is reportedly mulling the development of new "low yield" nuclear weapons in its Nuclear Posture Review. But is this really new? Or is it that we just don't trust the Trump Administration with sharp objects, let alone the bomb.
 
Jeffrey and Aaron discuss the recent history of proposals for new nuclear weapons, including low-yield ones, as well as how partisan framing and foreign perceptions may matter more than the technical reality.
 
Links of Note:
 
 
 
Direct download: 57.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:12am EST

The final part in our three part series! Episode 1 can be found here. Episode 2 is here.

This addendum episode includes discussion on new developments, the DPRK's 'Site B' for SLBMs, and the Golf submarines.

In addition to a new ICBM and thermonuclear weapon, North Korea is also developing new class of solid-fueled missiles.

 
Joseph Dempsey from the International Institute for Strategic Studies joins Jeffrey in a special three part episode to discuss the Pukguksong-1 submarine launched ballistic missile, the land-based Pukguksong-2 medium range ballistic missile, and Kim Jong Un's visit to the Chemical Material Institute in Hamhung.
 
Part 2 of 3, originally recorded in August, before ICBM and H-Bomb fever

Links (and Pictures) of Note

North Korea's SLBM and associated subsystems testing record, provided by Joseph

The Pukguksong-1 on parade with its potentially-new airframe on display.

Kim Jong Un visiting the Chemical Material Institute of the Academy of Defense Science, flanked by posters of the Hwasong-13 and Pukguksong-3

Direct download: 54Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:35am EST

The second part in our three part series! Episode 1 can be found here.

In addition to a new ICBM and thermonuclear weapon, North Korea is also developing new class of solid-fueled missiles.

 
Joseph Dempsey from the International Institute for Strategic Studies joins Jeffrey in a special three part episode to discuss the Pukguksong-1 submarine launched ballistic missile, the land-based Pukguksong-2 medium range ballistic missile, and Kim Jong Un's visit to the Chemical Material Institute in Hamhung.
 
Part 2 of 3, originally recorded in August, before ICBM and H-Bomb fever

Links (and Pictures) of Note

North Korea's SLBM and associated subsystems testing record, provided by Joseph

The Pukguksong-1 on parade with its potentially-new airframe on display.

Kim Jong Un visiting the Chemical Material Institute of the Academy of Defense Science, flanked by posters of the Hwasong-13 and Pukguksong-3

Direct download: 54B.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:25am EST

 

In addition to a new ICBM and thermonuclear weapon, North Korea is also developing new class of solid-fueled missiles.
 
Joseph Dempsey from the International Institute for Strategic Studies joins Jeffrey in a special three part episode to discuss the Pukguksong-1 submarine launched ballistic missile, the land-based Pukguksong-2 medium range ballistic missile, and Kim Jong Un's visit to the Chemical Material Institute in Hamhung.
 
Part 1 of 3, originally recorded in August, before ICBM and H-Bomb fever

Links (and Pictures) of Note

North Korea's SLBM and associated subsystems testing record, provided by Joseph

The Pukguksong-1 on parade with its potentially-new airframe on display.

Kim Jong Un visiting the Chemical Material Institute of the Academy of Defense Science, flanked by posters of the Hwasong-13 and Pukguksong-3

Direct download: 54A.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00pm EST

Jeffrey was lounging at the beach with his phone off. You know what the means: NORTH KOREAN NUCLEAR TEST TIME! North Korea released images of Kim Jong Un inspecting what looked like a two-stage thermonuclear weapon and then, before analysts could pretend it was just a pinata, kablooie!

North Korea detonated its largest nuclear explosive ever, with a yield of a few hundred kilotons.  Aaron and Jeffrey talk about North Korea's H-bomb and try to end on that ever elusive happy note.

Links of Note:

 NTI Punggye-ri Model with article

Just the NTI Punggye-ri Model

USGS Earthquake Reporting for the 6th nuclear test.

CTBTO Reporting for the 6th nuclear test.

Direct download: 56.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:35pm EST

The relationship between the United States and Russia is in the toilet.  The FY 2018 National Defense Authorization Act contains a number of provisions that call into question the viability of the INF and New START treaties, as well as the future of the entire bilateral arms control process.
Jeffrey and Aaron discuss Russian nuclear modernization including new missiles like the Son of Satan, RS-26 Rubezh and the 9M729 GLCM and the prospect of renewed nuclear testing at Novaya Zemlya.
 

Links of Note

The House NDAA Bill.

 
 
 
Direct download: 55.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:23am EST

In all the squinting at shiny missile bits, the bigger picture on North Korea has gotten a bit lost. Jeffrey and Andrea talk about some of the less pointy topics like new sanctions on North Korea, mollusks, and the reaction in Japan and South Korea. 

 

Links of Note

Andrea's article on the new UN sanctions.

UN Security Council Resolution 2371 (2017).

U.S. Fact Sheet on Resolution 2371 (2017) Strengthening Sanctions on North Korea.

U.S. unilateral sanctions introduced in the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (text here).

Direct download: 53.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:12am EST

The fourth part in our The Donald and The Nuclear series.

The crazy lunatic with the odd hair style and long-range nuclear weapons is talking about "fire and fury".  So naturally North Korea's Kim Jong Un threatened to fire four Hwasong-12 intermediate-range  ballistic missiles into the waters around Guam, saying that Donald Trump was "bereft of reason."

Aaron, Scott and Jeffrey survey the smoldering wreckage that was Jeffrey's marriage-saving vacation in wine country and try to find a happy note.

 

Links of Note:

NYT article about trump's "Fire and Fury" comment being improvised.

NBC discussion of a preemptive strike plan.

Instead of linking to KCNA, here is a link to the text of the KCNA article, but posted on twitter by friend of the pod Joshua Pollack. 

Direct download: 52.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:32am EST

Amidst all the hoopla surrounding North Korea's ICBM, Iran launched a Simorgh, a rocket designed to put a satellite into space. Aaron and Jeffrey discuss the Iran's space launch program, how it relates to the nuclear program. And, of course, the Dudes from the SHIG.

Links of Note:

Detailed video of the Simorgh and the NTI 3D Models of both the Simorgh and the Safir.

Jonathan McDowell and his excellent Launch Vehicle Database.

The maligned op-ed in the WSJ. 

Direct download: 50.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:32pm EST

The DPRK just launched a looooong range missile. According to podfriend Ankit Panda, it went farther, higher, and farther than the July 4th Hwasong-14 launch (with a data refresher here, courtesy of noted seersucker suit aficionado Shea Cotton)

Jeffrey and Aaron knock out a snap episode with very first reactions to a launch that literally happened while we were working on an Iranian pod. 

 

 

Direct download: 51.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:49pm EST

The second half of yesterday's Banning the Bomb III. Make sure to listen to that one first. 
 
122 countries just adopted the Treaty banning nuclear weapons, in the same week that North Korea tested an ICBM. 
 
AndreaGaukhar, and Beatrice Fihn from the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons continue their discussion of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (the Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty) and talk about what made the cut for the final treaty, debate some of the implications, and states sitting on their arsenals. 
 
 
 
Links and Documents of Note:
 
 
 
 
Revised texts of the working groups (held on 30 June) are available at: http://www.reachingcriticalwill.org/disarmament-fora/nuclear-weapon-ban/documents 
 
Text which incorporates working group proposals, and which was circulated to capitals on 3 July 2017, as Kim Jong Un was smoking his pre-launch cigarette: http://www.reachingcriticalwill.org/images/documents/Disarmament-fora/nuclear-weapon-ban/documents/L-X.pdf
 
 
Direct download: 49B.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:34am EST

122 countries just adopted a treaty banning nuclear weapons, in the same week that North Korea tested an ICBM. Andrea, Gaukhar, and Beatrice Fihn from the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons talk about what made the cut for the final treaty, debate some of the implications, and evaluate whether diplomats are most like a solid, a liquid, or a gas. 
 
 
Links and Documents of Note:
 
 
 
 
Revised texts of the working groups (held on 30 June) are available at: http://www.reachingcriticalwill.org/disarmament-fora/nuclear-weapon-ban/documents 
 
Text which incorporates working group proposals, and which was circulated to capitals on 3 July 2017, as Kim Jong Un was smoking his pre-launch cigarette: http://www.reachingcriticalwill.org/images/documents/Disarmament-fora/nuclear-weapon-ban/documents/L-X.pdf
 
 
Direct download: 49A.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:08am EST

No one has better sources in the U.S. government when it comes to North Korea's missile program than the Diplomat's Ankit Panda. 

He joins Jeffrey and Scott to discuss the Hwasong-12, Hwasong-14, a very strange North Korean concert, and Ankit shares some never-before-released data on the Hwasong-12 and some KN designations. 

This podcast is a joint release with The Diplomat's Asia Geopolitics Podcast.

 

New KN-17/Hwasong-12 Data:

Now we know the KN-17 has been tested at least 4 times with 3 failures. Two shots out of Sinpo, one of which failed during flight and one of which tipped over and exploded. One came from Pukchang Airfield and appears to have crashed in the DPRK.

Early reports of DPRK missile ‘pinwheeling’ during a failed test. The details led a lot of analysts (ourselves included) to assume this was the MaRV/Terminally Guided Scud, and thus continue to believe that the KN-17 was said Scud. However, the KN-17 is now known to be the Hwasong-12. The pictures below include some stills that may come from the pinwheel launch.

Designations we discuss:

KN-12: 122mm MRLS

KN-15: Pukguksong-2

KN-16: 240mm MRLS

KN-17: Hwasong-12 IRBM

KN-18: MaRV/Terminally Guided Scud

KN-19: KM-3 Coastal Defense Cruise Missile (Ground Based)

KN-20: Hwasong-14 ICBM

Links of Note:

Ankit Panda’s Twitter Feed

Joshua Pollack’s two articles on aging Russian Early Warning systems and the launch events they have missed.

South Korean lawmaker says ROK intel service doubts that the Hwasong-14 reentry vehicle was successful.

Images of Note:

The new MRLS designations

That nosecap that is bothering Scott so much, posted originally by Joseph Dempsey:

Hwasong-12 launch footage shown at the concert:

Direct download: 48.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:37pm EST

Test a missile, get a pod. North Korea tested a missile. The big one. An ICBM. To discuss recent events, Aaron, Jeffrey, and Scott talk about the KN-20/Hwasong-14, how we got here, and what we know about the missile. 

Links of Note:

The pod about the Hwasong-12, the immediate precursor to the Hwasong-14, including discussion of the DPRK's engine developments.

Ankit Panda's article that first mentions the KN-20 designation and that the U.S. observed the missile for around 70 minutes prior to launch (and Russian denial that the KN-20/Hwasong-14 an ICBM... a topic for another pod).

And, for your viewing pleasure, the Hwasong-14 and Kim Jong-Un doing the Smooth Criminal lean in the bottom right. 

Direct download: 47.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:54pm EST

South Korea tested the 800km Hyunmoo-2C ballistic missile ... from a barge! New President Moon Jae-in was in attendance, resulting in some geolocation goodies.

Aaron and Jeffrey talk about using open source information to track the interesting, but under-studied, South Korean missile program.

 

Links of Note:

A series of various twitter threads from Jeffrey with Schmerler.

Jeffrey wrote a blogpost about the Anheung Proving Ground with annotated Planet imagery.

The discussed Canadian Tuxedo Man holding a model of the reentry vehicle: 

Direct download: 46.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:34am EST

Norm enforcement: You test a missile, you get a pod. You test a missile in a shipping container, you get a pod and a reference to Russian techno music.

In today’s episode, Jeffrey, Aaron, and Scott talk Israel’s LORA, the spread of small solid fueled missiles, and improved guidance.

 

Links of Note:

Video/advertisement of the event.

Israel Aerospace Industries announcement of the trial.

Raytheon advertisement and fact sheets for the DeepStrike. (Seriously Raytheon folks, send me your best video)

Update on the DeepStrike's progress.

Direct download: 45.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EST

Iran fired a number of ballistic missiles, including the new solid Zolfaqar missiles, from bases in Kermanshah and Kurdistan against at least two ISIS targets in Mayadin in eastern Syria. 

Aaron and Jeffrey discuss using open source information to identify the launch points and impact points, and what the launches tell us about Iran's growing missile program. 

 

Links of Note:

Early analysis of the Zolfaqar by Jane's.

If you're interested in the Shahed-129 drone mentioned.

Jeffrey tweeted a bunch about tracking down the launch and impact sites.

 

 

Direct download: 44.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:02pm EST

The UAE is a missile power. Who knew? 

In today's episode, Jeffrey and Aaron discuss the UAE's 1989 purchase of the Scud B (or Hwasong 5) from North Korea, a second purchase of the Scud C in 1999, and the country's well maintained missile base.

 

Links of Note:

NIE 5-91C discussing missile proliferation. 

The 2015 Emirati email leak.

Direct download: 43.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:40pm EST

The US conducted a successful test, FTG-15, of the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system designed to protect the United States against a ballistic missile launched from North Korea. The Missile Defense Agency takes a victory lap after its first intercept of an ICBM-class target. 

Scott joins Jeffrey to discuss what the test proves -- and what it does not.

Links of Note:

Vice Admiral Syring (Director, Missile Defense Agency) made an unclassified written statement linked here.

A Department of Defense statement with video of the intercept event (FTG-15) linked here.

Video of Vice Admiral Syring's testimony before the U.S. House Armed Services Committee, FY18 Priorities & Posture of Missile Defeat Programs & Activities.

 

Direct download: 42.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:16am EST

A group of countries is negotiating a convention to ban the use and
possession of nuclear weapons. The chair has released a draft treaty
in advance of the second round of negotiations to be held this month.

 

Andrea Berger and Jeffrey Lewis discuss the good, the bad, and the ugly
of the draft Convention on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

Direct download: 41.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:53am EST

Turkey released footage of a test of a short-range ballistic missile, Roketsan's Bora/Khan. You know the Arms Control Wonk rule, test a new missile, get a podcast. 

Jeffrey and Aaron discuss Turkey's defense industries, armed forces, and cooperation in developing missiles with China. 

Direct download: 40.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EST

North Korea has finally tested (successfully) a new missile -- and boy it is a doozy. After the April 15 parade, we called this missile the KN-08 Mod Odd and the KN-08 +/-. But North Korea calls it the Hwasong-12 and it contains a surprise: the brand-new "indigenous" engine that North Korea debuted in March.

Jeffrey and Scott discuss this new IRBM, its odd firing table and launch configuration, the propaganda of missile testing, and whether or not an ICBM is next.

 

 

Direct download: 39.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:31pm EST

France has elected Emmanuel Macron as President, which is a chance for
Jeffrey to inflict upon Aaron endless stories illustrating his love of
French wine, food, and nuclear weapons.

Direct download: 38.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:30am EST

Jeffrey and Aaron don't really want to keep talking about North Korea,
but there is a US THAAD battery sitting on a fricking golf course.
That calls for a podcast, one in which Aaron and Jeffrey discuss the
politics of deploying THAAD now, China's opposition to THAAD, and North
Korea's probable countermeasures.

Direct download: 37.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:09pm EST

Do you remember THE GREEN BEE? Where we talked about a mysterious Taiwanese ballistic missile that looked a lot like the Lance? Well the research continues and new data has come to light putting the Green Bee firmly on the Israeli Jericho arc, not the U.S. Lance arc. 

Jeffrey and Scott continue to discuss Taiwan's understudied ballistic missile program, dive through declassified documents, and discuss Taiwan's strange connections to Israel, Iran, and the Jericho missile.

Direct download: 34.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:38pm EST

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson announced the the Trump Administration is conducting a comprehensive review of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, aka the Iran nuclear deal. Jeffrey and Aaron catch up on the deal and try to put the review in context.

Direct download: 36.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:06pm EST

Where were you, April 15th? Because we were in front of our computers ironically tweeting about what new missiles North Korea would show us, and then suddenly it got weird.

The North Korean's showed off 8 missile and launch systems, of which 5 were mods, reconfigurations, or totally new. While we don't think all of the missile systems actually exist yet, this was probably a glimpse of the DPRK's aspirational future missile arsenal.

Jeffrey and Scott get granular as they go through each ballistic missile system in detail and try to parse out what was real, what was signalling, what we learned, and what we will be watching for in the future. 


DISCLAIMER: This data is new and is still being processed. This is a set of second-impressions, not a set of final, settled analytic conclusions.

Due to the lack of a very high resolution parade at time of recording, this link was used.
The schedule:

The Kumsong-3 (Kh-35 lookalike)

The Pukguksong-1 SLBM

The KN-18 ASBM (UPDATE: ID'd erroneously in the pod as the KN-17)

The Pukguksong-2

The Musudan

The KN-08+ or -  (UPDATE: Called the Hwasong-12 and KN-17, though KN-17 designation erroneously used for the terminally guided possible ASBM)

The Soviet-looking DF-21A/31 ICBM MEL(no extant public designation)

The DF-41/RT-2PM2 Topol-M ICBM TEL lovechild (no extant public designation)

 

Direct download: 35.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:58am EST

Syria's Bashar Al Assad has used chemical weapons (again.) Jeffrey and Aaron discuss what happened, why and what to do about it. Jeffrey and Aaron debate the merits of a strike in a episode recorded a few hours before the airstrike on al-Shayrat Air Base.

Direct download: 33.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:22pm EST

Why are more than 100 countries negotiating a legally binding prohibition on nuclear weapons, at the same time that Donald Trump is arguing for more nukes, the P5 are modernizing, and Kim Jong Un is threatening to use Japan as target practice?

Andrea and Gaukhar explain the initiative’s origins, and report back from the first week of UN talks on the proposed treaty.

Direct download: 32.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:37am EST

Do you get lost in missile defense jargon? Have trouble with radar bands, layering, or interceptor types? Jeffrey and Aaron take a step back and discuss the basics of ballistic missile defense architecture and California wines.

Direct download: 30.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:34pm EST

North Korea launched 4 extended range Scuds in March. They weren't the long-awaited ICBM, but they are a big deal in their own way. Jeffrey and Aaron discuss North Korea's launch, US military exercises on the Korean Peninsula, and how a nuclear war might start.

Direct download: 29.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EST

Andrea Berger and James Pearson sit down to discuss their open source exposure of Glocom, a front company used by North Korea to sell military communications equipment. North Korea has a reputation for disturbingly impressive sanctions evasion, and the Glocom case is an example of hiding in plain sight. 

They track supply chains, Reconnaissance General Bureau personnel, and conference room architecture in their investigation to see how deep the front-company rabbit hole goes.  

Direct download: 28.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:59am EST

Jeffrey just returned from the Munich Security Conference. On his way back, he passed through DC where he sat down with Aaron and Scott to discuss NATO, extended deterrence, intermediate-range nuclear forces like the RS-26 and the SSC-8, and what makes for an ideal beer hall.

Direct download: 27.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:04am EST

North Korea tested the Pukguksong-2, a medium-range solid-fueled ballistic missile.

Jeffrey says "I told you so," Scott wonks out about the missile's canister and Aaron brings along his toddler to warn us of the dangers of an EMP attack.

By the end, they might even explain why this missile is a Big Frickin' Deal.

Direct download: 26.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:06pm EST

Donald Trump ordered up a new Nuclear Posture Review and reportedly told Vladimir Putin that the New START arms control treaty was a bad deal -- after first asking his advisers what it was. We don't know whether Trump really hired two Russian hookers to pee on Obama's hotel bed in Moscow, but Jeffrey tells Scott that the President is certainly directing a warm stream of abuse toward Obama's nuclear legacy.

Direct download: 25.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:18pm EST

Iran's Khorramshahr missile may be the BM-25 variant of North Korea's Hwasong-10, which the US calls the Musudan, which is based on the Soviet R-27 Zyb, which the US called the SS-N-6 Serb.

Simple, right? Don't worry! Jeffrey and Scott talk about Iran's latest missile test and what it might tell us about missile development in Iran and North Korea.

Direct download: 24.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:09am EST

Jeffrey and Scott celebrate the Lunar New Year by sharing two stories
about how the moon featured in the arms race.

Scott talks about plans to nuke the moon in project A119, while
Jeffrey discusses how a young Bill Perry helped the US monitor Soviet
radars by intercepting the signals reflecting off the lunar surface.

Direct download: 23.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:41am EST

Trident’s latest test was rather underwhelming. The missile's flight trajectory was error filled and flew at an unintended target (Disneyworld). Why? The dastardly grey weather, or something more pernicious. Is our dear Dreadnought in trouble? Tune in and find out.

Jeffrey and Aaron have a gentlemanly discussion about the British strategic deterrent. Tea will be served.

Direct download: 22.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:37am EST

If you study nuclear weapons, you study something secret.  Not
surprisingly, we spend a lot of time in the arms control community
thinking about intelligence estimates.  Jeffrey and Scott take a break
from the bomb to talk analytic method. The  Trump documents dumped on
Buzzfeed are as good an excuse as any to discuss the role of analysis in
making sense of raw intel.

Direct download: 21.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:46pm EST

Jeffrey and Aaron discuss a number of inaccuracies in the public debate over North Korea's long-range missiles and U.S. missile defenses, while Scott seethes on mute.

Direct download: 19.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00am EST

In the mid-60s, The Green Hornet was a popular TV show. Popular enough for the Taiwanese to apparently name an early ballistic missile after it, the Green Bee (青蜂). Also, did you know Taiwan had its own ballistic missile program? Its anti-ship and cruise missiles tend to make the news, but Taiwan has a storied and strange history with ballistic missile proliferation that involves the infiltration of American universities, the laundering of missiles, and Israel. 

Jeffrey and Scott sit down to discuss Taiwan's history with ballistic missiles with data fresh from Jeffrey's primary source research.

Direct download: ep18.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:26pm EST

Can the North Koreans still trade coal effectively? What is going on with North Korean ships? Are transit lounges smokey dens of proliferative behavior?

Andrea Berger, Deputy Director of Proliferation and Nuclear Policy at the Royal United Services Institute, joins Jeffrey to talk about UNSC 2321 and recent UN attempts to close the loopholes in existing sanctions on North Korea.

Direct download: 17revision.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

Aaron and Scott talk about the Fourth Player in the Cuban Missile Crisis. Turkey was the lesser-known player in the Cuban Missile Crisis, with nuclear-tipped Jupiter missiles that ranged the bulk of the western USSR and Warsaw Pact countries. The U.S. opted to pull back the Jupiters in exchange for those pesky missiles south of Florida. Turkey was not thrilled. 

Scott also sneaks in a reference to his favorite never-was missile, the Italian Alfa.

Direct download: EP16.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:17am EST

Donald Trump can independently order the United States to launch nuclear weapons. No, really ... he can independently order the use American nukes. This realization has made some uncomfortable, prompting discussions about presidential power and the bomb. Jeffrey and Aaron talk Donald, the Bomb, and independent launch authority.

Direct download: ep15.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:46pm EST

The election is over and Donald Trump is our president elect. The president elect and the nuclear did make regular appearances on the podcast, but things are different now. This week, Jeffrey and Aaron discuss the election, the Donald, and the nuclear.

Direct download: ep14.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:03pm EST

Did you know Egypt has a robust ballistic missile program?  And has had, since the 1960s?  Or that Egypt worked with Argentina and Iraq to design missiles?  Or that Egypt was the source of the missiles that are the basis of North Korea's missile programs?  Ever wonder what the Egyptians are up to now?  Aaron and Jeffrey discuss one of the world's least understood missile programs.

Direct download: ep13.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:53am EST

Scott Lafoy sits in for Aaron as Scott and Jeffrey discuss China's hit-to-kill program being tested out of Korla in China's western desert. Is designed to defend against missiles or shoot-down satellites?  BOTH, SILLY!

Direct download: ep12-2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:26pm EST

Donald Trump made a bunch of crazy claims about the 2010 New START treaty, misnaming it the START UP treaty.  And, on top of that, State published the semi-annual aggregate data causing raising a few eyebrows and signing a couple of others with hot takes.  All of which is plenty of reason for Aaron to tell Jeffrey what it was like the negotiate an arms control treaty in Bill Potter's famous simulation class.

Direct download: ep11.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:37pm EST

Russia deployed the Iskander missile system to its tiny enclave of Kaliningrad and is reportedly churning out ground-launched cruise missiles like sausages.  The 1987 INF Treaty is probably in a lot of trouble,  which is as good a reason as any for podcast.  Jeffrey and Aaron talk.

Direct download: ep10.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:43pm EST

Yemen showed off a new missile called the Burkan-1 that looks an awful lot like an Extended Range Scud. Aaron and Jeffrey discuss the very ignored missile program of a very ignored country. 

Direct download: ep9.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:38pm EST

Former French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius has written an article for The Washington Quarterly that dishes some of the dirt about negotiations leading up to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) -- better known as the Iran Deal.  Jeffrey and Aaron discuss what the revelations mean for the past and present of the US-Iran relationship.

Direct download: ep8.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:19pm EST

There is a healthy debate about how much a new ICBM will cost the US Air Force.  One question is whether to base the new missile in silos or consider something more ... exotic.  Jeffrey and Aaron take a light-hearted look at basing modes discussed during 1980s when the American defense community last confronted this question.

Direct download: Ep7.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:52pm EST

Leaked audio proves that Hilary Clinton revealed her secret plan to cancel the nuclear-armed cruise missile at a fundraiser in February.  Except it doesn't.  Aaron and Jeffrey discuss.

Direct download: ep6.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:36pm EST

During the first Presidential debate, Donald Trump was asked about whether the United States should pledge not to be the first to use nuclear weapons.  Jeffrey and Aaron use Trump's ramblings as guide to nuclear weapons declaratory policy.

Direct download: Ep5.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:25pm EST

The UN Security Council passed Resolution 2310 calling for an end to nuclear testing and the entry-into-force of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.  Jeffrey and Aaron discuss the origin of the proposal to pass a UNSCR against nuclear testing, the politics of the damn thing, and "World's Greatest Deliberative Body"™.

Direct download: 9272016.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:50am EST

Jeffrey and Aaron discuss North Korea's test of new rocket engine.  In January 2016, the US Treasry Department sanctioned several Iranian individuals associated with Iran's Shahid Hemmat Industrial Group (SHIG) for helping North Korea develop this engine -- the infamous "Dudes from the SHIG."

Direct download: 9222016_dudes_from_the_shig_II.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:18pm EST

President Barack Obama entered office with a speech in Prague committing the United States to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons. Like every other two term President, his attention in the final months has turned to his legacy.  Jeffrey and Aaron discuss the reports that Obama considered and rejected no first use, and what he might do as his term comes to an end.

Josh Rogin, "Obama plans major nuclear policy changes in his final months," Washington Post, July 10, 2016.

David Sanger and William Broad, "Obama Unlikely to Vow No First Use of Nuclear Weapons," New York Times, September 5, 2016.

Julian Borger, "Obama to decide on cuts to US nuclear arsenal in October," The Guardian, September 17, 2016.

Direct download: Dolittle_Do_a_lot_9202016.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:05pm EST

North Korea conducted yet another nuclear test. On a school night.

Aaron and Jeffrey discuss North Korea's fifth nuclear test, what it is like to write three articles in three days, and how quickly a toddler can decorate a television in lotion.

North Korea’s Nuke Program Is Way More Sophisticated Than You Think, Foreign Policy, September 9, 2016.

Why Is North Korea's Fifth Nuclear Test Different From Its Other Tests? The Atlantic, September 10, 2016. 

The Fifth Test: North Korea Building A Strategic Rocket Force? Beyond Parallel, September 9, 2016.

Direct download: ACW_20160913.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:16am EST

“MIRV” stands for Multiple Independently-targetable Re-entry Vehicles, the ability to put lots of very accurate nuclear warheads on a single missile.  Michael Krepon watched the US-Soviet arms race dangerously accelerate as both sides deployed large numbers of MIRVed missiles in the 1970s. Now other countries, like China and India, seem to be heading down this path.  Michael has edited a new book, The Lure and Pitfalls of MIRVs, that looks at the challenges and includes, among others, a chapter by Jeffrey on China’s nuclear forces.  Jeffrey and Michael discussion counterforce, MIRVs and the possibility of more intense nuclear arms races in East and South Asia.

The Lure and Pitfalls of MIRVs: From the First to the Second Nuclear Age, Michael Krepon, Travis Wheeler and Shane Mason, editors (Stimson Center, 2016). 

Jeffrey Lewis, “Great, Now China’s Got Multiple Nuclear Warhead Missiles?” Foreign Policy.com, May 26, 2015.

Support the show (and Karl the producer) by making a small donation on Patreon!

Thanks to: Dr Mark McCall, Sean Wain Dunlevy, Tim Emerton, and TD MacDonald for supporting the podcast!

Direct download: ACW_MIRVS_4_Jun_16.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:11pm EST

Jeffrey and the Center for Nonproliferation Studies have been busy hosting a series of track 1.5 dialogues in the foggy bit of California. Under the direction of Stephanie Lieggi, CNS brought together American and Chinese officials for a much broader conversation about nonproliferation that was hijacked by the North Koreans - sorta like this podcast. Earlier that same week, a group of Russian and American officials met to discuss the DPRK nuclear threat. In this latest addition the podcast, Aaron and Jeffrey discuss these two track 1.5 events, in addition to our mutual love of Santa Lucia Pinot Noir and whales (tune in to find out how we worked in these last two topics).

Here is the write-up of our Russia meeting: What to do about North Korea: U.S., Russian officials talk in Monterey

Here is the link to Anna’s story in the Post: North Korea’s missile launch has failed, South’s military says - The Washington Post

Here is my write up of the static engine test: New DPRK ICBM Engine

Support the show (and Karl the producer) by making a small donation on Patreon!

Direct download: ACW_19_Apr_16.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 3:50pm EST

Would South Korea ever build the bomb? Probably not, but there is a constituency in the country that has thought about it. Aaron and Jeffrey discuss South Korea’s nuclear weapon history - and constraints on proliferation.

Direct download: ACW_26_Mar_16.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 7:12pm EST

North Korea’s Kim Jong Un visited a missile factory and posed with a nuclear weapon promoting the obvious question: Which one is Fat Man and which one is Little Boy? Aaron and Jeffrey discuss.

Direct download: ACW_10_Mar_16.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 12:57pm EST

The DPRK launched a small satellite using its latest SLV, the Kwangmyŏngsŏng. In response, the United States and its regional allies deployed missile defense systems to defend their population from the DPRK threat. One problem: the systems deployed had no hope of shooting down the DPRK rocket. Today’s podcast explores the politics of alliance reassurance and why the US needs a new playbook to deal with DPRK space launches.

Direct download: ACW_10_Feb_16.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 2:18pm EST

The U.S Treasury Department sanctioned individuals in the UAE and Iran, including some “dudes from the SHIG” for cooperation with KOMID. What the hell is KOMID? Jeffrey and Aaron discuss the Korea Mining Development Corporation, North Korea’s major arms seller and ponder the future of efforts to stop the (further) spread of ballistic and cruise missiles.

Treasury Sanctions Those Involved in Ballistic Missile Procurement for Iran

Direct download: ACW_20_Jan_16.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:36pm EST

North Korea tested a submarine launched ballistic missile called the KN-11. The North Koreans released footage of the test that showed the missile soaring into the heavens. A close analysis of the footage by the Middlebury Institute team, however, determined that is exploded catastrophically shortly after launch. Jeffrey and Aaron discuss North Korea’s missile programs, the analysis of the test and what we should do about a problem like this.

Catherine Dill, “Video Analysis of DPRK SLBM Footage,” Arms Control Wonk, January 12, 2016

Direct download: ACW_14_Jan_16.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 11:46pm EST

North Korea tested a nuclear weapon, claiming it was an H-bomb. Was it? Aaron Stein returns to talk with Jeffrey about North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.

Direct download: ACW_North_Korea_test_6_Jan_16.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 5:03pm EST

Russian cruise missiles are in the news lately, from allegations from strikes in Syria to ongoing allegations that Russia is violating the 1987 Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.  Why are the Russians so nutty for cruise missiles?  Jeffrey talks to Tom Moore, a former professional staff member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, to discuss Russia new air, sea and ground-launch cruise missiles.

Direct download: ACW_Russian_Cruise_Missiles_14_Dec_15.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 7:11pm EST

Red Mercury. It does not exist and anyone promising you riches for it is a conman. Following CJ Chivers massive story in the New York Times magazine about the red mercury hoax, inlcuding efforts by groups like ISIS to obtain what they think is an ultra-secret nuclear material, Jeffrey talks to Michael Moore about the awful humanitarian impact of the widespread belief in Subsaharan Africa that landmines are a source of Red Mercury, and how he started a website, The Campaign Against Red Mercury, to get the word out.

C.J. Chivers, “The Doomsday Scam” New York Times Magazine, November 19, 2015.

The Campaign Aganst Red Mercury Website

Direct download: ACW_3_Dec_15_Red_Mercury.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 7:48pm EST

The IAEA has completed its managed access to Iran’s Parchin site, which reportedly included the taking of samples and images. The process by which the samples were taken and questions about how the IAEA would authenticate the samples has led to a recurring debate about whether Iran is “inspecting itself.’ Jeffrey is joined by Cheryl Rofer, a retired chemist from Los Alamos National Laboratory and founder of Nuclear Diner, a blog about nuclear policy stuff.

Sampling At Parchin | Nuclear Diner

How the AP Got the Iran Inspections Story Wrong

Direct download: ACW_2_Oct_15.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 8:35pm EST

In this week’s podcast, Jeffrey speaks to Aaron live from Hiroshima. Seventy years after the first use of nuclear weapons, Aaron and Jeffrey discuss the decision to use the bomb, the bureaucracy underpinning American nuclear decision-making, and the role of nuclear weapons in the twenty-first century.

Links:

Direct download: ACW_Hiroshima_10_Aug_15.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 11:27pm EST

Sanctions and the Iran Deal

Sanctions relief is a super important part of the Iran deal. It can also be kind of boring. We know boring. We study arms control verification, for pete’s sake.

But it’s still super important. Jeffrey and Aaron are joined by Sam Cutler, policy advisor at Ferrari & Associates, P.C., in a special joint Arms Control Wonk and Sanction Law podcast. You might even say it’s s Joint Comprehensive Podcast. Special bonus: Jeffrey and Aaron help Sam develop some sanction law related pickup lines.

Links:

Direct download: ACW_SanctionLaw_21_Jul_15.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:34am EST

After months of negotiations, the EU3+3 and Iran have signed a nuclear agreement. Jeffrey was so excited he got up at 3:30 in the morning California time to get a jump on reading the 159 page document. Meanwhile, Europe based Aaron read it over coffee at a cafe outside. All in all, the JCPOA looks a lot like the US fact sheet after Lausanne - and that is a good thing! 

In today’s episode, Aaron and Jeffrey talk about the merits of the deal, why we should have cared more about Cyprus, and Iran’s Fordow compromise. The discussions also touches on the missile issue, as well Russia’s cornering of the Iranian conventional weapons market. On it merits, the agreement is good for nonproliferation, but will do little to help solve the region’s security problems. But based on the deal’s original intent - sanctions relief for greater access to Iranian nuclear sites - the agreement achieves what it set out to do. 

Direct download: ACW_15_Jul_15.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 4:17pm EST

After a four week absence, Aaron returns to the show to discuss the current state of the Middle East and related nonproliferation challenges/concerns. The wide ranging conversation touches on the prevailing stability-instability paradox, the Saudi Air War in Yemen, Scud hunting difficulties, the proliferation of ballistic missiles in the Gulf, and why the Saudis can probably build a Bomb - but won’t because most states don’t choose build nuclear weapons.

It also wades into the mess in Syria and sorts through the concerns about the Islamic State’s overrunning of Syrian nuclear sites, and whether or not Bashar al Assad stashed fuel rods in Hezbollahstan

Sorry, Fareed: Saudi Arabia Can Build a Bomb Any Damn Time It Wants To | Foreign Policy by Jeffrey

Direct download: ACW_3_Jul_15_Final.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 2:11pm EST

In May, North Korea released pictures of the Kim Jong Un watching the launch of what appears to be a submarine-launched ballistic missile. Jeffrey sits down with Melissa Hanham and Dave Schmerler to discuss open source and the DPRK’s SLBM program.

Sponsor:

Tinderbox - a personal content assistant that helps you visualize, analyze, and share your notes. Download and try it today.

Direct download: ACW_15_Jun_15_CNS_show.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 8:33pm EST

The 2015 Review Conference of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, known among wonks as the REVCON, collapsed in acrimony. If that sounds familiar, that’s because it is – last week we talked with Andrea Berger about the debate in New York over disarmament and a long-planned conference on Weapons of Mass Destruction-free Zone in the Middle East. Joining Aaron and Jeffrey for Part 2 of NPT REVCON Follies is Jeffrey’s colleague at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, Gaukhar Mukhatzhanova.

Gaukhar is the Director of International Organizations & Nonproliferation Program. She attended the REVCON for all four weeks and wrote two posts for the Arms Control Wonk blog (one and two) from the REVCON.

Sponsor: Tinderbox a personal content assistant that helps you visualize, analyze, and share your notes. Download and try it today.

Direct download: ACW_6_Jun_15.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 4:32pm EST

The 2015 Review Conference of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, known among wonks as the REVCON, collapsed in acrimony. After weeks of debate over disarmament between the nuclear haves and have nots, the parties failed to agree to a consensus state after Egypt and the United States deadlocked over the details of a long-planned conference on Weapons of Mass Destruction-free zone in the Middle East.

Joining Aaron and Jeffrey to talk about the REVCON is Andrea Berger, the Deputy Director of the Proliferation and Nuclear Policy programme at RUSI.

Gangs of New York: The 2015 NPT Revcon by Andrea Berger

Direct download: ACW_28_May_15.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 7:50pm EST

The Pentagon’s annual report on China’s military power (PDF) describes for the first time, China’s CSS-4 mod 3 missile equipped with multiple independently-targetable re-entry vehicles. MIRVs! Hans Kristensen noticed the passage and, over the weekend, David Sanger and Bill Broad published a nearly 1000 word piece in the New York Times that includes quotes by several experts including Jeffrey.

Aaron and Jeffrey discuss what China is doing, whether it heralds a change in Chinese nuclear posture and what the US should do in response. Jeffrey also gets in plugs for his two books on China’s nuclear weapons programs, Minimum Means of Reprisal (2006) and Paper Tigers (2014).

Direct download: ACW_19_May_15.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 1:36pm EST

Iran has been dominating the news, but the North Koreans have been busy too. Whether it is missile testing, nuclear activities at Yongbyon or new space launch facilities, there is a lot to look at. We use open source tools from satellite photographs to computer models for keeping up with the Kims.

Jeffrey and Aaron discuss North Korea’s new general satellite control center, changes at the Soha launch site, North Korea’s missile testing and changes at the Yongbyon nuclear complex.

Kim Jong Un Visits Newly-built General Satellite Control Centre,” Rodong Sinmun, May 5, 2015.

Nick Hansen, “North Korea’s Sohae Satellite Launching Station: Major Upgrade Program Completed; Facility Operational Again,” 38 North, October 1, 2014.

David Albright and Serena Kelleher-Vergantini, “Yongbyon: A Better Insight into the Status of the 5MWe Reactor,” ISIS, April 29, 2015 (PDF).

Jeffrey Lewis, “DPRK Missile, Rocket Launches,” ArmsControlWonk.com, February 10, 2015.

Jeffrey Lewis, “Don’t Know Where Waldo Went, But Kim Jong Un Was in Wonsan: Geolocating North Korea’s June 26 and August 14 Missile Launches,” 38North, November 3, 2014.

Jeffrey Lewis, “North Korea’s Nuclear Weapons: The Great Miniaturization Debate,” 38North, February 5 2015.

Greg Scarlatoiu and Joseph Bermudez Jr. “Unusual Activity at the Kanggon Military Training Area in North Korea: Evidence of Execution by Anti-aircraft Machine Guns?” HRNK Insider, April 29, 2015 (PDF).

Direct download: ACW_5_May_15.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 1:25pm EST

A bill to have both Houses of Congress vote on any deal between Iran and the E3/EU+3 to limit Tehran’s nuclear program is winding its way through the United States Senate. Some people are worried that the measure known as Corker-Cardin – or even just the freakshow that is debate within the self-proclaimed world’s greatest deliberative body – will kill off negotiations. Aaron and Jeffrey discuss the substance and politics of the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015.

Direct download: ACW_28_Apr_15.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 8:30am EST

The United Kingdom is having an election in May. Inexplicably, the issue of whether London can afford to replace its fleet of nuclear-armed ballistic missile submarines is shaping up to be a major issue, especially if there is a hung parliament. Actually, the debate is getting downright nasty. The Tory defense secretary has already warned the Labour’s Ed Milliband would “barter away our nuclear deterrent in a backroom deal with the SNP,” adding that Milliband “stabbed his own brother in the back to become Labour leader. Now he is willing to stab the United Kingdom in the back to become prime minister.”

Jeffrey and Aaron are joined by Toby Fenwick (@Tobbes73), a Middlebury College alum who has written a monograph entitled Retiring Trident: An Alternative Proposal for UK Nuclear Deterrence. We were also joined, briefly, by Toby’s neighbor. That was weird. But very polite.

Toby Fenwick, Retiring Trident: An Alternative Proposal for UK Nuclear Deterrence, CentreForum, 2015. (PDF)

Direct download: ACW_9_Apr_15.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 3:33pm EST

We have a deal! Or, at least, a “framework” agreement between Iran and the E3/EU+3. Whether the negotiators can hammer out the details by June 30, especially on the timing of sanctions relief, remains to be seen but the terms of the deal look pretty strong.

Aaron and Jeffrey run through what we know, what we think and what we wonder about the Iran nuclear deal. Then Max Fisher from Vox joins to talk about what its like to cover the Iran issue.

Links:

Follow the hosts & guest on Twitter:

Direct download: ACW7_Apr_15_Fisher.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 10:39am EST

The circus continues! In Obama’s America, the truth is revealed! The US helped with Israel’s H-Bomb. But wait, there’s more! To punish Bibi Netanyahu, our Muslim Brotherhood lovin’ president released a declassified a report detailing said cooperation with Israel on nuclear weapon, thus indirectly confirming for the first time Israel’s nuclear program. Scandal, right? 

Not really. It turns out that the prestigious news organizations that have reported on this “news" - Iran’s Press TV, Russia Today, The Nation, Anti-War.com, and the Weekly Standard - failed to read the never classified document. The study is about missile defense; the Strategic Defense Initiative to be more specific. What does this have to do with nuclear weapons? Edward Teller’s Project Excalibur, or a nuclear pumped X-Ray Laser to shoot down Soviet ICBMs in flight. It goes boom!

To find out more about this story, tune in to the latest podcast.

Direct download: Israels_H-Bomb.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 4:32pm EST

With negotiations between Iran and the E3/EU+3 coming down to the wire, Aaron and Jeffrey talk about the circus surrounding the talks including the false allegations about secret underground centrifuge plants and nastygrams from members of Congress. Jeffrey has a newborn and a head-cold, but called in anyway. Why? It’s another emergency podcast!

Jeffrey Lewis, “Why a ‘Bad’ Deal With Iran Is Better Than No Deal at All,” Foreign Policy, March 11, 2015

Jeffrey Lewis, “That Secret Iranian ‘Nuclear Facility’ You Just Found? Not So Much,” Foreign Policy, March 3, 2015

Direct download: Iran_Talks_Have_Become_a_Coughing_Goat_Rodeo.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 9:02am EST

Russia’s last early warning satellite is dead. It is no more, has ceased to be, is bereft of life, it rests in peace. This is an ex-early warning bird. So should we be worried? Jeffrey and Aaron talk to David Hoffman, author of the magisterial The Dead Hand: The Untold Story of the Cold War Arms Race and Its Dangerous Legacy.

David Hoffman, The Dead Hand: The Untold Story of the Cold War Arms Race and Its Dangerous Legacy (Anchor, 2009).

Russian Strategic Nuclear Forces,” Pavel Podvig, editor (MIT Press, 2004).

Valery E. Yarynich, “C3: Nuclear Command, Control, Cooperation.” (Center for Defense Information, 2003).

Pavel Podvig, “Russia lost all its early-warning satellites,” Russianforces.org February 11, 2015.

Anton Valagin, “Guaranteed wages: how the Russian system ‘Perimeter’,” January 22, 2014. Rossiya Gazeta.

Michael Tymoshenko, “Retaliatory Nuclear Strike Will Be Mounted Under Any Circumstances,” Red Star, February 19, 2015.

Bruce Blair, “Russia’s Doomsday Machine,” New York Times, October 8, 1993. See also: William J. Broad, “Russia Has ‘Doomsday’ Machine, U.S. Expert Says,” New York Times, October 8, 1993.

Previously Classified Interviews with Former Soviet Officials Reveal U.S. Strategic Intelligence Failure Over Decades, 1995 Contractor Study Finds that U.S. Analysts Exaggerated Soviet Aggressiveness and Understated Moscow’s Fears of a U.S. First Strike,” William Burr and Svetlana Savranskaya, editors, National Security Archive, September 11, 2009.

Direct download: ACW8_Mar_15.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 12:48pm EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

How does Jeffrey find time to podcast? He has super talented staff to do the real work! Jeffrey talks with Melissa Hanham and Catherine Dill, research associates at the Center for Nonproliferation Studies, about their latest work modeling North Korean missiles and eyeballing Chinese military bases.

A collection of missile models produced by the Center for Nonproliferation Studies

Direct download: ACW_12_Nov.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 1:36pm EST

How can open source information help verify arms control, disarmament and nonproliferation agreements? Jeffrey and Aaron talk with the NTI’s Corey Hinderstein. In the 1990s, Corey was one of the first nonproliferation experts to use commercial satellite images and other open source tools to peek into foreign nuclear programs. Here is Corey way back in 1999.

Today Corey is Vice President, International Programs at the Nuclear Threat Initiative and author, along with Kelsey Hartigan and Andrew Newsman, of Innovating Verification: New Tools & New Actors to Reduce Nuclear Risks.

Direct download: ACW_6_Nov_14.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 7:19pm EST

Aaron and Jeffrey talk with Theresa Hitchens, the Director of UNIDIR, about life in Geneva, space, and emerging technologies. The podcast begins with some useful tips for cheese lovers and Jeffrey’s advice for finding the perfect sausage, before moving on to a discussion about difficulties in defining a “space weapon,” the Russian and Chinese approaches to space issues, cyber threats, and the need for the US to craft a more comprehensive policy to address future proliferation threats.

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Direct download: ACW_27Oct14.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 4:32pm EST

The Iraq Survey Group did a poor job. How did the ISG miss so many pre-1991 chemical weapons? Did Donald Rumsfeld do anything right? Why did US soldiers receive poor medical care in Iraq and then after they came home? Why wasn't the Pentagon prepared to find poorly disposed of chemical weapons in Iraq? And, finally, what should the US do about it? Today, Aaron and Jeffrey discuss C.J. Chivers' latest piece in the New York Times, The Secret Casualties of Iraq’s Abandoned Chemical Weapons.
Direct download: hipcast-12056-u-392781-s-1.audio.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 2:45am EST

Where is Kim Jong-Un? Is he sick? Has there been a coup? Or is North Korea simply trolling DPRK watchers? Today, Jeffrey and Aaron speak with Andrea Berger, a Research Fellow at RUSI, about North Korea, Kim Jong-Un's whereabouts, the DPRK's nuclear doctrine, and whether or not North Korea wants to be seen as a responsible nuclear state.
Direct download: hipcast-12056-u-392219-s-1.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 5:21am EST

What are the regional perceptions of Iran's nuclear program? Are the Gulf States obsessed with breakout times and the Arak reactor, or are their concerns more political in nature? Is the United States doing enough to reassure its Gulf Allies about the nuclear negotiations with Iran? Do the Gulfees actually have an Iran nuclear strategy? Today, Aaron and Jeffrey speak with Dina Esfandiary, a research associate in the Nonproliferation and Disarmament program at the International Institute of International Studies, about the regional perceptions of Iran's nuclear program.
Direct download: hipcast-12056-u-391140-s-1.audio.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 5:25am EST

Jeffrey Lewis interviews Dr. Lassina Zerbo, Executive Secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBO). They discuss the CTBTO's monitoring system and the future of the CTBT.
Direct download: hipcast-12056-u-390125-s-1.audio.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 8:53pm EST

Jeffrey Lewis interviews Dr. Lassina Zerbo, Executive Secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBO). They discuss the CTBTO's monitoring system and the future of the CTBT.
Category: -- posted at: 1:14pm EST

How will the West verify a nuclear deal with Iran? Jeffrey Lewis talks to the Christopher Bidwell of the Federation of American Scientists, about a new report entitled "Verification Requirements for A Nuclear Agreement with Iran." Jeffrey and Chris discuss how much Iran should disclose up front about its past nuclear activities.
Direct download: hipcast-12056-u-389659-s-1.audio.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 3:47pm EST

Did Vladimir Putin just threaten the West with nuclear weapons? Could nuclear weapons be used in Europe? What is Russia's nuclear doctrine? Does a nuclear balance make the world safe for conventional war? That is to say, if two states have nuclear weapons, might they feel safe enough to fight low-level conflicts more often? Today, Aaron and Jeffrey talk about Russia's nuclear weapons and the recent chatter about them in Moscow.
Direct download: hipcast-12056-u-388312-s-1.audio.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 8:06am EST

What is the status of China's and the United States' hypersonic weapons programs? What can open source tell us about China's most recent rest? What happened at Zodiak Island? And why were Jeffrey and James searching for resorts in Mongolia? Today, Jeffrey and Aaron speak with James Acton, a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment, about hypersonic weapons.
Direct download: hipcast-12056-u-387811-s-1.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 4:02am EST

Are NATO based nuclear weapons an advantage in a dangerous world? Or are they an expensive and obsolete weapon that undermine NATO burden sharing? Is NATO divided about US nuclear weapons in Europe? Are the weapons secure? Are Euro-Hippies a threat to world peace? Today, Jeffrey and Aaron discuss Brent Scowcroft, Stephen Hadley, and Frank Miller's recent op-ed in the Washington Post about US nuclear weapons based in Europe.
Direct download: hipcast-12056-u-387079-s-1.audio.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 1:37am EST

What are the implications of the spread of hit-to-kill? What are the differences between ground based missile defense interceptors and anti-satellite weapons? Why is China continuing to develop ground based anti-satellite weapons? Why did the US feel the need to shoot down its own satellite, USA-193, in February 2008? And what are the implications of the spread of hit-to-kill for space security? Today, Aaron and Jeffrey talk about anti-satellite weapons, the spread of hit-to-kill, and the need for a general code of conduct for ASATs.
Direct download: hipcast-12056-u-386340-s-1.audio.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 8:57am EST

What should we make of the United States' conclusion that Russia has violated the INF? What do we know about the violation? What is the substance of the State Department's arms control compliance report finding? What do we know about the supposed ground launched cruise missile alleged to have violated the Treaty? How does the GLCM differ from the RS-26? Does this have anything to do with Ukraine? And what should the United States do about the alleged violation? Today, Aaron and Jeffrey talk Russian missiles, the INF, and Obama's policy options.
Direct download: hipcast-12056-u-385025-s-1.audio.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 8:12am EST

What open source information is out there about the MH17 shootdown? Do the rebels have the Buk missile system that reportedly downed the aircraft? How has open source analysis helped analysts fact check the Kremlin's claims about the shooting down of MH17? And what does all of this have to do with a billboard? Today, Aaron and Jeffrey talk all things open source and the downing of MH17.
Direct download: hipcast-12056-u-384447-s-1.audio.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 9:32am EST

Has the focus on the unlikely possibility of a nuclear-armed Japan distracted from more important policy challenges that threaten the shared interests of the United States and Japan in arms control, disarmament, and nonproliferation? Should policymakers take Japanese "nut-jobs" seriously? How has the domino theory of proliferation hindered more serious discussions about nuclear issues in allied states? And finally, how do Aaron and Jeffrey manage to live "glamorous jet-setting life-styles" while working as wonk (and thereby receiving "wonk style" salaries)? Tune in to find out.
Direct download: hipcast-12056-u-383727-s-1.audio.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 6:57am EST

Why did North Korea just test two Scud missiles? Was North Korea responding to the US-South Korean military exercise? Does the pairing of conventional and unconventional missiles pose a unique challenge for military planners in the future? Today, Jeffrey and Aaron talk North Korea's missile tests, the Dear Leader's burlesque style approach to propaganda pictures, and the stability/instability paradox.
Direct download: hipcast-12056-u-382965-s-1.audio.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 2:57am EST

Are cruise missiles proliferating? Are the North Koreans in the cruise missile business? Are cruise missiles proliferating? And do we need more blimps to protect cities? Today, Jeffrey and Aaron discuss North Korea's latest youtube sensation, Dennis Gormley's Missile Contagion, and the likelihood of cruise missile proliferation.
Direct download: 52cf48f7-6008-dd37-6c82-d9f63c54a567.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 5:03am EST

How has open source impacted arms control and nonproliferation research? How has work done by the likes of Eliot Higgins impacted our understanding of the conflict in Syria? How have other scholars used open source to enhance their research? Today, Jeffrey and Aaron discuss open source, their own work with satellite imagery, and how that has helped advance their own research interests in Asia, Turkey, and the Middle East.
Direct download: ac40256d-0f41-5b90-9570-868ee28bd1f9.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 10:56am EST

Tension boiled over at the Shangri La Dialogue last week. Are the tensions a cause for concern in the arms control community? Is China ready for primetime? And how should the US react, should one its allies in the region decide to leave the NPT? This week, Jeffrey and Aaron discuss the United States' pivot to Asia and how the Shangri La brouhaha could impact arms control and nonproliferation.
Direct download: d3150ad2-702e-4bfd-0968-d2f459abad82.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 11:17am EST

It's budget time in the United States! And what's on the agenda - nuclear weapons. Today, Aaron and Jeffrey discuss the plans to replace the Triad. Can the United States afford to replace all three legs of the Triad? Should it? And what signal would a mismanaged modernization program send to US allies who count on US nuclear weapons for deterrence? Tune in and find out what we have to say about these issues.
Direct download: 5b7cdb89-ade3-81a6-f5af-17200c80d392.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 4:36am EST

Is there a sensor gap? Today, Jeffrey and Aaron discuss the Treaty on Open Skies, Russia's new spy plane, compliance concerns, and the "taxi" option. The conversation begins with a general discussion about the Russian spy plane, before pivoting to a more general discussion about the continued value of the Treaty.
Direct download: a1816599-33e0-430a-0ad2-9d64ae8a182e.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 3:17am EST

What is Burma building in the jungle? In this week's podcast, Jeffrey and Aaron discuss Jeffrey's and Catherine Dill's two recent pieces on Burma's very large - and very suspicious - facility in Pauk. The conversation begins with a discussion about the facility and then pivots to the Obama administration's outreach to the Burmese government. The conversation concludes with a discussion about ongoing human rights abuses against the Rohingya muslims and the difficulties of democratization.
Direct download: 970eb58c-1096-3894-5cb9-44a7869dcdf0.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 3:44am EST

Jeffrey and Aaron discuss Ken Pollack's latest oped in the New York Times and ask whether the international community should focus more on inspections or "breakout" times. The discussion includes our thoughts on Iranian nuclear decision-making, the potential for post-deal "spoilers", and finishes with a plea from Aaron for a visa to visit the Islamic Republic.
Direct download: 45e82b17-dad0-1c17-ec01-3aa8c3cbd32b.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 3:07pm EST

Aaron and Jeffrey discuss the Saudi decision to unveil the Kingdom's DF-3 missiles.
Direct download: 8cfc1ce9-27e8-e167-d5e2-4069bc67c70d.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 9:59am EST

Is North Korea about to test (another) nuclear weapon? Or perhaps more than one? Jeffrey Lewis and Aaron Stein discuss the possibilities.
Direct download: 125ea1da-e832-52a3-840f-11deb556560d.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 12:58pm EST

Is Russia cheating on the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty? Jeffrey Lewis and Aaron Stein discuss the allegations and what the United States might do about it. (ACW1)
Direct download: b9b03d61-fb27-b316-797a-582dc30f0812.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 12:35pm EST