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.