FAS Roundup: June 3, 2013

Nuclear modernizations in China and North Korea, stockpile security of light weapons and much more.

From the Blogs

Air Force Briefing Shows Nuclear Modernizations But Ignores US and UK Programs: According to U.S. Air Force Global Strike Command, China and North Korea are developing nuclear-capable cruise missiles. The new Chinese and North Korean systems appear on a slide in a Command Briefing that shows nuclear modernizations in eight of the world’s nine nuclear weapons states. However, there is no mention of U.S. or British program modernizations. Hans Kristensen writes that the nuclear modernizations shown on the slide underscore the urgent need for the international community to increase its pressure on the nuclear weapon states to curtail their nuclear programs, and calls upon the Obama administration to reenergize its efforts to reduce the number and role of nuclear weapons.

Surveillance Court Orders Govt to Respond to EFF Motion: The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court issued an order on May 24 directing the Department of Justice to respond no later than June 7 to a motion filed on May 23 by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). EFF had asked the Court to formally consent to the release of records in which the Court found government surveillance activities to be inconsistent with the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution.  In response to a prior Freedom of Information Act request, the Justice Department had asserted that Court rules did not permit such disclosure, though that position is not explicitly stated in Court rules.

Operation Northwoods: In a new post on the ScienceWonk Blog, Dr. Martin Hellman writes about Operation Northwoods, a formerly top secret proposal by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, written seven months before the Cuban Missile Crisis, which suggested ways to build public support for an American invasion of Cuba. Hellman writes that Operation Northwoods is a prime example of why we need to raise critical questions before going to war.

The Role of Contractors in Military Operations and More from CRS: Secrecy News has obtained recently released CRS reports on topics such as federal research and development funding in FY14, DoD’s use of contractors for military operations and a primer on major disasters and emergencies in the United States.

Issue Brief: Ad Hoc Arsenals

A new issue brief published by Small Arms Survey and edited and co-authored by Matt Schroeder, Director of the Arms Sales Monitoring Project, on stockpile security procedures adopted by non-state groups is now available. The security and management of stockpiles of small arms and light weapons is a growing concern, as poor stockpile security practices can lead to diversion to other non-state groups and accidental explosions.

Read the issue brief, “Ad Hoc Arsenals: PSSM Practices of Selected Non-State Actors” here.

Ballistic Missile Defense: Technical, Strategic and Arms Control Challenges

The Federation of American Scientists and the Center for Science, Technology and Security Policy at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) are hosting an event on Thursday, June 6th at 5pm in Washington, DC on the technical, strategic and arms control challenges for ballistic missile defense.

Topics that will be discussed include: ballistic missile defense capabilities, realistic testing for reliability and effectiveness, countermeasures, and strategic considerations such as the relationship of current and proposed programs to arms control with Russia and China.

Speakers include: Mr. Philip Coyle from the Center from Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, Dr. George Lewis from the Judith Reppy Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies at Cornell University and Mr. Bruce MacDonald from the Federation of American Scientists.

To RSVP click here.

Additional event details are available here.

FAS in the News

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