Goodbye to the B53, mystery behind the 1969 nuclear alert, new START data, advice for Washington regarding Iran and much more.
From the Blogs
- New CRS reports, including casualty figures from the war in Afghanistan and more.
- Mystery of the 1969 Nuclear Alert: In October 1969, the Nixon Administration secretly placed U.S. nuclear forces on alert for two weeks. Still today, no conclusive explanation for the potentially destabilizing alert can be found. Even with full access to the classified record, State Department historians said in a new volume of the Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS) series that they were unable to provide a definitive account of the event.
- FRUS Leads Declassification, but Sometimes Lags Behind: Steven Aftergood writes about the State Department’s Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS) series, which serves as a driver of declassification, propelling it farther and faster than it would otherwise go. But it’s not always at its best.
- End of the B53 Era; Continuation of the Spin Era: On Tuesday, October 27, one of the largest weapons in the United States nuclear weapons arsenal, the B53, was dismantled in Amarillo, Texas. Retired from the arsenal in 1997, the dismantlement of the B53 marks the end of the era of large, multi-megaton bombs, a hallmark of the Cold War. “We certainly congratulate the administration on finally dismantling the old B53, but one should not over-spin the achievement. The B53 dismantlement involves less than 50 warheads; the U.S. has approximately 8,500 intact warheads (counting those in the stockpile and dismantlement queue)”, said Hans M. Kristensen, Director, Nuclear Information Project.
- Army Weapons Systems: Steven Aftergood writes about the 2012 edition of the U.S. Army Weapon Systems handbook which provides a concise description of dozens of Army weapon systems and programs.
- New START Data-Modest Reductions and Decreased Transparency: Hans M. Kristensen writes that the latest New START treaty aggregate numbers of strategic arms, which was quietly released by the State Department earlier last week, shows modest reductions and important changes in U.S. and Russian strategic nuclear forces. Most surprisingly, the data shows that Russia has increased its number of deployed strategic nuclear warheads and is now again above the New START limit.
- Washington Should Not Let the New Iran Crisis Go to Waste: Dr. Ali Vaez, Director of the Iran Project, writes in the Huffington Post that, “Tehran has already beckoned its preparedness to stop enriching uranium to the 20 percent level and demonstrated receptiveness to accepting enhanced safeguards on its nuclear activities. Washington should not let the opportunity to curtail Iran’s most perilous nuclear activity and the prospect of establishing more rigorous monitoring on Iranian nuclear facilities go to waste.” The time has come for Washington to take the next step and negotiate with Iran.
- Release of Summer 2011 Public Interest Report, featuring articles on cyber warfare, small modular reactors, aspirations for clean electrical energy and protection of nuclear installations from natural disasters.
FAS in the News
- Oct 27: Washington Post, “U.S. Keeps Major Lead Over Russia in Nuclear Weapons”
- Oct 26: USA Today, “U.S.-made ‘Monster’ Nuclear Warhead B53 Dismantled”
- Oct 26: Global Security Newswire, “U.S. Releases New START Nuke Data”
- Oct 26: Huffington Post, “Washington Should Not Let the New Iran Crisis Go To Waste”
- Oct 26: The Telegraph, “U.S. Dismantles Last Big Cold War Nuclear Bomb”
- Oct 26: National Public Radio – The Two-Way blog, “Dismantling the Biggest Nuclear Bomb”
- Oct 25: National Public Radio – All Things Considered, “Cold War Bomb to be Dismantled”
- Oct 25: Associated Press, “U.S.’s Biggest Nuclear Bomb Dismantled in Texas”
- Oct 25: Agence France-Presse, “U.S. Dismantles Last Big Cold War Nuclear Bomb”
- Oct 25: Wired UK, “Last Nuclear ‘Monster Weapon’ Gets Dismantled”
- Oct 25: Daily Mail (UK), “Dismantling the mega-nuke: America begins to take apart B53 that was 600 times more powerful than bomb that flattened Hiroshima”
- Oct 25: Gawker, “Goodnight Sweet ‘Monster Weapon’”
- Oct 24: Wall Street Journal, “How Many Nukes Does China Have?”
- Oct 24: Global Security Newswire, “U.S. to Finish Disassembling Massive Nukes”
- Oct 24: Bloomberg, “U.S. Dismantles Last 10,000 Pound Cold War-era Nuclear Bomb”
- Oct 21: Science Insider, “143 New Patents That Won’t See the Light of Day”
- Oct 20: Global Security Newswire, “Looming Iran Assessment Worries Russia”
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