FAS Roundup: May 19, 2014

Nuclear weapons modernization, nuclear exercises amidst crisis in Ukraine and more.

Nuclear Weapons Modernization: A Threat to the NPT?

In 1968, the five declared nuclear-weapon states pledged under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) to pursue negotiations to cease production of nuclear arms. However, all of the world’s nuclear-armed states are busy modernizing their arsenals, and by doing so, continue to reaffirm the importance of such weapons.

In a new article published in Arms Control Today, Hans Kristensen, Director of the Nuclear Information Project, examines the modernization programs underway in the nine nuclear-armed countries, and finds that none of the countries appear to be planning to eliminate its nuclear weapons program; instead they are committing hundreds of billions of dollars to modernize their nuclear forces. Without some form of limitations on the pace and scope of nuclear modernization, the goals of deep cuts and elimination of nuclear weapons remains elusive and unlikely with modernization programs that reaffirm the value of these weapons.

Read the article here. 

From the Blogs

CIA Seeks More Time to Declassify Interrogation Documents: The CIA asked a court to allow more time to declassify its response to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence report on CIA rendition, detention and interrogation (RDI) activities, which is undergoing a time-consuming declassification review. With respect to the Senate Intelligence Committee report itself, the government promised an “expeditious” declassification review of the executive summary, findings, and conclusions.

Nuclear Exercises Amidst Ukrainian Crisis- Time for Cooler Heads: Less than a week after Russia carried out a nuclear strike exercise, the United States has started its own annual nuclear strike exercise. The exercises conducted by the world’s two largest nuclear-armed states come in the midst of the Ukraine crisis, as NATO and Russia appear to slide back down into a tit-for-tat posturing not seen since the Cold War.Military posturing in Russia and NATO threaten to worsen the crisis and return Europe to an “us-and-them” adversarial relationship.

Selection of FISA Court Judges and More from CRS: Secrecy News has obtained recently released CRS reports on topics such as Ukraine, armed conflict in Syria, drug trafficking in Afghanistan and the Navy LX(R) Amphibious Ship Program. 

ODNI Defends New Pre-Publication Review Policy: “Recent media reports have misconstrued ODNI’s policy for pre-publication of information to be publicly released,” according to a May 9 statement that was issued by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. ODNI said that the new pre-publication review policy was basically a consolidation of two previous policies (ODNI Instruction 80.14/2007-6, July 25, 2007, and ODNI Instruction 80.04, August 5, 2009) and that it represented nothing very new. But that assertion is hard to understand, since the text of the revised policy appears significantly different from its predecessors in several respects.

Army Views Emerging Intelligence Technologies: The latest issue of the U.S. Army’s Military Intelligence Professional Bulletin (MIPB) examines emerging intelligence technologies. The Bulletin was obtained by Secrecy News under the Freedom of Information Act.

Short Course on CBRN Weapons, Science and Policy: Early Bird Registration EXTENDED

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 has been extended until June 1- register today to take advantage of discounted rate of $1,300. 

Click here for course information and registration. 

FAS in the News

May 14: Washington Post“It’s Sometimes Okay For Democracies To Pretend That Leaks Do Not Happen”

May 12: Washington Post“Pretending That Leaked Information Is Secret Hurts Democratic Debate”

May 12: Physics Today“Garwin: Witness To History- A Review”

May 12: U.S. News & World Report“Government Policy Bans Mention Of NSA News Leaks”

May 12: Boston Globe“Medical Device Stirs Security Concerns”

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