Pentagon think tank hires ‘Rumsfeld’s Dr. Strangelove’
Ray Locker, USA Today – 30 October, 2013
The Office of Net Assessment (ONA) within the Pentagon has hired the National Institute of Public Policy (NIPP) to conduct a review of the Obama administration’s plan to reduce the US nuclear weapons stockpile. The NIPP is run by former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Forces and Policy Keith Payne, who is known for advocating a large US nuclear weapons stockpile and the idea of a winnable limited nuclear war.
House Democrat Eyes More Powerful Alternative to B-61 Nuclear Bomb
Douglas P. Guarino, Global Security Newswire – 30 October, 2013
Representative John Garamendi (D-CA) asked top administration officials at a House Armed Services Subcommittee on Tuesday whether another US nuclear bomb, the B83, could be used instead of the controversial and expensive B-61 nuclear bomb. The officials responded that, despite savings in the short term, the B-83 was too powerful to be considered useful for current US strategic requirements.
Debating Nuclear Deterrence
Mark Thompson, TIME Magazine – October 31, 2013
Senior Pentagon officials are against the continued use of the B83 nuclear bomb as an alternative to another aging US nuclear bomb because it is too destructive. Questioned whether an expensive modernization program for the older B61 nuclear bomb could be scrapped in favor of using the B83, chief of US Strategic Command Robert Kehler said that he did not believe it could be. The B61, “because of its smaller yield”, is “more likely to be used” which, he claimed, “generates more deterrence.”
Syria Is Said to Destroy All Chemical Arms Production Sites
The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons has met its deadline for the verification and destruction of all of Syria’s declared chemical weapons production and mixing/filling facilities. The news comes after the organization announced that it could not inspect two sites due to their location within contested areas.
White House faces tough sell in Congress on delay of Iran sanctions
Patricia Zengerle, Reuters – October 30, 2013
High ranking officials within the Obama administration have been lobbying key Congressional figures in an attempt to stave off any new sanctions against Iran. This effort has not yet led to the desired result. A number of lawmakers have expressed their skepticism that diplomatic efforts could succeed in convincing Iran to dial down its controversial nuclear program.
Iran says nuclear site ‘saboteurs’ were thieves
Agence France-Presse, Globalpost – October 30, 2013
Four people recently accused of sabotaging a sensitive nuclear site in Iran were merely thieves according to the Iranian Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi. They had broken in to “collect scrap iron and steel and sell it on the market.”
Why Do We Keep Insisting That Use of Force Be ‘On the Table’?
Stephen M. Walt, Foreign Policy – October 30, 2013
Many foreign policy officials believe that the US must make it clear to other states that military force is “on the table.” However, such a stance is unnecessary. Countries such as Iran already know that the military option is “on the table” regardless of what US officials say. These officials should instead focus making US assurances more credible.
White House updates Jewish, pro-Israel groups on Iran amid concerns about new sanctions pause
Associated Press – October 29, 2013
A number of concerned pro-Israel groups, fearful that Iran may develop a nuclear weapon, have been reassured by senior Obama administration officials that the US would not allow Tehran to develop such a capability. However, the officials did emphasize that they wanted to attempt diplomacy before any military options would be considered.