Obama and the Nuclear War Plan

The current U.S. strategic war plan is directed against six adversaries. Guess who.

By Hans M. Kristensen

While the completion of the Obama administration’s Nuclear Posture Review continues to slide, FAS today published an issue paper on how a decision to reduce the role of nuclear weapons might influence the U.S. strategic war plan.

President Obama pledged in his Prague speech last year that he would “reduce the role of nuclear weapons” to “put an end to Cold War thinking,” and reaffirmed earlier this month that the “Nuclear Posture Review will reduce [the] role….”

How to reduce the role in a way that is seen as significant by the global nonproliferation community, visible to adversaries, and compatible with the president’s other pledge to “maintain a safe, secure and effective arsenal to deter any adversary…as long as these weapons exist” apparently is the subject of a heated debate within the administration. Continue reading

Missile Watch – February 2010

Missile Watch
A publication of the FAS Arms Sales Monitoring Project
Vol. 3, Issue 1
February 2010
Editor: Matt Schroeder
Contributing Author: Matt Buongiorno
Graphics: Alexis Paige


Global Overview

Afghanistan: No recent discoveries of shoulder-fired, surface-to-air missiles in insurgent arms caches
Eritrea: UN slaps arms embargo on major missile proliferator
Iraq: Fewer public reports of seized shoulder-fired missiles in Iraq, but MANPADS still a threat
Ireland: Alleged plot to shoot down a police helicopter may have involved surface-to-air missile
Myanmar: 300 shoulder-fired missiles in insurgent arsenal, claims Thai Colonel
North Korea: North Korean arms shipment included MANPADS, Thai report confirms
Peru: Igla missiles stolen from Peruvian military arsenals, claims alleged trafficker
Spain: Failed assassination attempts underscore the risks for terrorists of relying on black market missiles
United States: Congress to receive DHS report on anti-missile systems for commercial airliners in February
United States: Documents from trial of the “Prince of Marbella” reveal little about his access to shoulder-fired missiles
United States: No new international MANPADS sales since 1999
Venezuela: U.S. receives “assurances” from Russia regarding controls on shoulder-fired missiles sold to Venezuela, but questions remain

Additional News & Resources

About Missile Watch

About the Authors

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Nuclear Posture Review to Reduce Regional Role of Nuclear Weapons

The Quadrennial Deference Review forecasts reduction in regional role of nuclear weapons.

By Hans M. Kristensen

A little-noticed section of the Quadrennial Defense Review recently published by the Pentagon suggests that that the Obama administration’s forthcoming Nuclear Posture Review will reduce the role of nuclear weapons in regional scenarios.

The apparent reduction coincides with a proposal by five NATO allies to withdraw the remaining U.S. tactical nuclear weapons from Europe.

Another casualty appears to be a decision to retire the nuclear-armed Tomahawk sea-launched land-attack cruise missile, despite the efforts of the Congressional Strategic Posture Commission.

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Kleine Brogel Nukes: Not There, Over Here!



The U.S. Air Force’s 701 Munitions Support Squadron at Kleine Brogel Air Base must protect and handle the nuclear weapons at the base.

By Hans M. Kristensen

An astounding statement by a Belgian defense official has pointed an unexpected light on the apparent location of nuclear weapons at the Kleine Brogel Air Base in Belgium.

After a group of peace activists climbed the base fence and made their way deep into an area assumed to store nuclear weapons, Ingrid Baeck, a chief spokesperson for the Belgian Ministry of Defense, bluntly told Stars and Stripes: “I can assure you these people never, ever got anywhere near a sensitive area. They are talking nonsense….It was an empty bunker, a shelter,” she said and added: “When you get close to sensitive areas, then it’s another cup of tea.” Continue reading