Speaking at the CSIS Global Security Forum

By Hans M. Kristensen

Clark Murdock and John Warden with the Center for Strategic and International Studies invited me to speak today at their Global Security Forum. My co-panelists were General Larry Welch (USAF, ret.) and Morton Halperin.

The question posed to us was whether the United States should, in a proliferated world, continue to reduce the role of nuclear weapons in its national security strategy. There were different views on how much and for what reasons the role could be reduced, but at least no one could envision a need to increase the role.

CSIS will probably make the video available online soon, but in the meantime here are my prepared remarks: Continue reading

FAS Needs Your Help: Become a Member During this Critical Time in Nuclear Security

Friends,

Thank you for your interest in the work of the Federation of American Scientists (FAS).

Last week, the Obama administration released the total number of nuclear warheads in the U.S. stockpile — 5,113 — a number that was classified for decades. In February 2009, FAS expert Hans Kristensen published an estimate that now turns out to have been only 87 warheads off. Over the past week, Kristensen’s estimate and FAS efforts on nuclear security have gained widespread recognition in the mainstream media.

Continue reading

FAS video, Paths to Zero, released.

As Alicia already mentioned in the previous post, in conjunction with the Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference, FAS yesterday held the “big screen” premiere of its new video, Paths to Zero at the United Nations in New York.  The video will be the core of a new interactive feature on the website.  As topics are mentioned in the video, viewers will be able to click on key words to jump to additional information.  Until we get that all set up, I think the video works well as a stand-alone product so we are posting it as such.  It is 43 minutes long, so set aside some time to watch.  If you find it useful, feel free to link to it.  (It is also on Vimeo.)

What Alicia did not mention is that she did a lot of the production work and organizing, along with Rich Abott.  I wanted to thank both of them for a great job.

Ivan

FAS side events at the RevCon

by Alicia Godsberg

Yesterday FAS premiered our documentary Paths To Zero at the NPT RevCon.  The screening was a great success and there was a very engaging conversation afterward between the audience and Ivan Oelrich, who was there to promote the film.  As a result of some suggestions, we are hoping to translate the narration to different languages so the film can be used as an educational tool around the world.  You can see Paths To Zero by following this link – we will also be putting up the individual chapters soon.

This morning I spoke at a side event at the NPT RevCon entitled “Law Versus Doctrine: Assessing US and Russian Nuclear Postures.”  I was asked to give FAS’s perspective on the New START, NPR, and new Russian military doctrine.  Several people asked me for my remarks, so I’m posting them below the jump.   Continue reading

Small Arms in Iraq Vulnerable to Theft and Diversion

By Matthew Buongiorno
Scoville Fellow

Shortly after the United States invaded Iraq and disbanded its army, the Bush Administration concluded that a key to stabilizing the country was the creation of a self-sufficient and effective Iraqi Security Force (ISF). To this end, the Iraq Relief and Reconstruction Fund (IRRF) – later succeeded by the Iraq Security Forces Fund (ISFF) – was established as a train-and-equip program charged with quickly delivering weaponry to the ISF. While the ad hoc program was successful in quickly supplying large quantities of weapons to the ISF, it lacked the stringent accountability procedures applied to other U.S. arms transfer programs and, consequently, may have failed to prevent the diversion of U.S. weapons.

Recognizing the dangers associated with poorly secured weaponry, the United States has taken several important steps to improve stockpile security and accountability procedures for U.S.-origin and U.S.-funded weapons transferred to Iraq. These steps are assessed in the latest edition of the Public Interest Report.

The article draws on documents retrieved by the Federation of American Scientists via the Freedom of Information Act. These documents, as well as additional documents not cited in the article but of relevance to the debate over security and accountability procedures in Iraq, are posted below:

▪ Compliance with Section 1228 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 (FY08 NDAA)

▪ Presidential Certification of Compliance with Section 1228 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 (FY08 NDAA)

▪ Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) Compliance with Section 1228 of FY08 NDAA

▪ Foreign Military Sales (FMS) Program Compliance with Section 1228 of the FY08 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)

▪ Directive-Type Memorandum (DTM) 08-041 – Registration and Monitoring of Defense Articles and Services Provided to Iraq

▪ Background 1228 Policy Changes

DOD Inspector General Report SPO-2008-001 – Special Plans and Operations: Assessment of the Accountability of Arms and Ammunition Provided to the Security Forces of Iraq (Part I)

▪ DOD Inspector General Report SPO-2008-001 – Special Plans and Operations: Assessment of the Accountability of Arms and Ammunition Provided to the Security Forces of Iraq (Part II)

▪ DOD Inspector General Report SPO-2008-001 – Special Plans and Operations: Assessment of the Accountability of Arms and Ammunition Provided to the Security Forces of Iraq (Part III)

Russian Nuclear Weapons Account Falls Short

A Russian brochure misrepresents the size of the Russian arsenal.
Click image to download copy of full procure

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By Hans M. Kristensen

A brochure handed out by the Russian government at the ongoing nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference in New York appears to misrepresent the size of the Russian nuclear arsenal. Continue reading