Reaffirming the Nuclear Umbrella: Nuclear Policy on Autopilot

In condemning the North Korean nuclear test and repeating its call for a denuclearized Korean Peninsula, one of the Bush administration's first acts ironically has been to reaffirm the importance of nuclear weapons in the region. "The United States will meet the full range of our deterrent and security commitments," President Bush told Japan and South Korea after last week's test. On Wednesday, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice strongly hinted that the commitments potentially include nuclear strikes against North Korea. But is it helpful or counterproductive at this stage to threaten North Korea with nuclear weapons?

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US Says North Korean Test Was Nuclear

In an extraordinarily brief statement, the Director of the National Intelligence Office announced that the United States has confirmed that North Korea’s large explosion last week was nuclear. How do they know and why did it take them so long to confirm?

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North Korea’s Bomb: A technical assessment [edited 16 October]

Last Sunday, North Korea apparently tested a nuclear explosive. The “apparently” is needed because the explosion was so small—by nuclear standards—that some have speculated that it may have been a large conventional explosion. What is the technical significance of the test, what does it mean, and what should we do now? There is no question that the political and security implications of the test are huge and almost entirely negative. The technical implications are more mixed; the technical significance of the test is somewhat less than meets the eye.

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Congress Appropriates $40 Million for DHS Counter-MANPADS Program

Last week President Bush signed the Fiscal Year 2007 Homeland Security Appropriations Act, which includes $40 million for the Department of Homeland Security's Counter-MANPADS Program – a multi-year initiative launched in 2003 to evaluate the feasibility of installing anti-missile systems on commercial airliners. The appropriation is nearly 10 times higher than the amount requested by the administration, and increases to $270 million the total amount appropriated for the program. Appropriators supplemented the administration’s request for the program after proponents of anti-missile systems intervened on its behalf. In February, Rep. Steve Israel called the budget request "lip service" and accused the administration of "ma[king] a decision to effectively kill the counter-MANPADS program..." A month later, Senator Barbara Boxer sent a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff calling the administration’s decision to reduce funding for the program “misguided and dangerous.”

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Article: Nuclear Threats Then And Now

A decision to trim a tree in the Korean demilitarized zone in 1976 escalated into a threat to use nuclear weapons. After a fatal skirmish between U.S. and North…

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FAS Obtains a Copy of U.S. Arms Sales Report

The Arms Sales Monitoring Project has obtained, via the Freedom of Information Act, a copy of the Defense Department’s contribution to the annual “Section 655” report* on U.S. arms…

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DHS updates Ready.gov…sort of.

Earlier this month, The Department of Homeland Security added two new sections to the Ready.gov website, one for people with disabilities and another for seniors. However, when you…

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