FAS Roundup: April 21, 2014

B61-12 nuclear bomb design features, crisis in Ukraine and more.

From the Blogs

History of 1953 CIA Covert Action in Iran to be Published: In 1989, the Department of State published a notorious volume that purported to document U.S. foreign policy towards Iran in the early Eisenhower Administration. The volume triggered an avalanche of criticism because it omitted any mention of the CIA’s role in a 1953 covert action that helped overthrow the government of Iran. Later this year, the State Department will publish a supplemental volume of declassified documents in its Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS) series that is expected to fill in the missing pieces of the documentary record of the 1953 coup against the Mossadeq government of Iran.

B61-12 Nuclear Bomb Design Features: Last week, additional design details of the new B61-12 guided standoff nuclear bomb emerged with the publication of new images. The B61-12 will have a new guided tail kit to improve accuracy and will give the bomber a limited standoff capability. The NNSA budget request for FY2015 includes $643 million for development of the B61-12, which is expected to cost $8 billion to $10 billion to develop and produce. An estimated 480 B61-12 bombs are planned, with first production unit in 2020.

U.S. Prisons are Bursting at the Seams and More from CRS: Secrecy News has obtained recently released CRS reports on topics such as: the U.S. federal prison population, implementation of chemical facility anti-terrorism standards and U.S. foreign aid to Israel.

Is the Ukraine Crisis Spiraling Out of Control?: The debate on Ukraine has become paralyzed with the West focused on protecting the interim, pro-Western government and its primarily ethnic Ukrainian supporters, while Moscow’s concerns center on protecting ethnic Russians living in Ukraine. Dr. Martin Hellman, Adjunct Senior Fellow for Nuclear Risk Analysis, writes that the situation is descending into a repeat of the Cold War, where each side pointed to the misdeeds of the other but neither side looked at the errors it was capable of correcting – namely its own.

Conference: Faith Communities on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons

Soka Gakkai International-USA, the Federation of American Scientists, Abolition 2000, International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, Pax Christi International, Pax Christi USA and Women’s Action for New Directions invite you to a one-day conference examining the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons and means for collaboration between the faith and advocacy communities on Thursday, April 24, 2014 at the United States Institute of Peace in Washington, DC. The event will be held from 9:30 am to 4:00 pm.

Leaders from faith-based organizations, advocacy groups and government will come together to examine topics such as how faith views nuclear weapons, areas for partnership and U.S. nuclear policy.

The conference is free but advanced registration is required.

To RSVP and for conference agenda, click here. 

Short Course on CBRN Weapons, Science and Policy

FAS and George Mason University will host a short course from July 7-9, 2014 as part of GMU’s 2014 summer program in International Security. This three day, non-credit short course is designed to introduce participants to the science, security, and policy dimensions of the threats of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) weapons as well as ballistic and cruise missile.

This course is aimed at professionals in energy policy, nuclear policy, nuclear industry, public health, life sciences, law enforcement, emergency management and national security who have responsibilities for preventing, preparing for, or responding to acts by states, criminals, or terrorists using chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear weapons. Early bird registration is $1,300 until May 15 and 2.1 Continuing Ed Units will be awarded upon completion of course.

Click here for course information and registration. 

FAS in the News

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