Arms Control Wonk

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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.

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

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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:

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

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 EDT

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

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 EDT

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

Links:

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

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

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

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

Geoff also wrote a pair of very funny blog posts:

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

Reading recommendations:

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

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

Links:

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

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

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

No, really!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT