Thu, 19 March 2015
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 EDT
Sun, 8 March 2015
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.
“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 EDT
Tue, 17 February 2015
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.
Direct download: ACW_17_Feb_15.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 8:29am EDT
Tue, 10 February 2015
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:
Direct download: ACW_9Feb15.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 4:36am EDT
Mon, 2 February 2015
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.
Direct download: ACW_3_Feb_15.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 7:59pm EDT
Sun, 25 January 2015
What’s up with Taiwan’s cruise missile program? What in the world compelled the Taiwanese government to deploy the HF-2E in poorly disguised civilian still trucks? And how cool is it that Taiwan displayed the HF-2E’s engine?
To get to the bottom of Taiwan’s cruise missile program, Aaron and Jeffrey speak with Dennis Gormley, the author of Missile Contagion and A Low Visibility Force Multiplier, about the proliferation of cruise missiles, the lack of an effective cruise missile defense, and Taiwan’s efforts to date.
Direct download: ACW_24_Jan_15.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 11:34am EDT
Fri, 9 January 2015
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.
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.
Direct download: ACW_9_Jan_15.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 10:34pm EDT
Sun, 21 December 2014
Today, Jeffrey and Aaron discuss the history of Saudi Arabia’s missile program and the reasons for the Kingdom’s new openness vis-a-vis its ballistic missiles.
Saudi Rattles Its Saber | NTI Analysis - by Jeffrey and Ala Alrababah
Direct download: ACW_21_Dec_14.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 9:42pm EDT
Wed, 17 December 2014
The INF debate continues. The controversy about Russia’s new cruise missile raises a number of key questions about American strategy in Europe: How should the United States respond to Russia’s INF violation? What are the security implications of a new Russian ground launched cruise missiles? Has Russia’s “circumvention” of state sovereignty changed the game? And - in a change from the status quo - the show does not end on a positive note, but rather with a gloomy prediction.
Direct download: ACW_17_Dec_14.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 12:42pm EDT
Mon, 8 December 2014
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.