Russia has been violating the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, but the United States won’t say exactly what the violation is. The INF Treaty prohibits intermediate-range missiles with nuclear warheads. Back in the 1980s, both the US and Russia had such missiles aimed at each other in Europe. The problem with missiles like this is that there is no warning time whatsoever, and thus a heavy motive to strike the other party first. James Action suggests a strategy for getting the treaty back on track. Top photo from here: Soviet inspectors and their American escorts standing among dismantled Pershing II missiles in Colorado as other missile components are destroyed nearby under the INF Treaty, January 1989. Read More
If Assad has been hiding chemical weapons, we need to know. By the chief inspector for the 2014 removal of chemical weapons from Syria. Unfortunately, Russia is protecting Assad and is unlikely to agree. And yes, it’s likely Assad has been hiding nerve agents. Photo from that link. What can forensics tell us about the attacks? Read More
On the Donald Trump presidency and its effect on America: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie says we need to speak clearly about the dangers. Similarly, Vann R. Newkirk II says we must confront racism.
Evan McMullin ran for president as an independent. Now, on Twitter and in the New York Times, he is warning about Trump’s autocratic tendencies.
The president alone can order a nuclear strike. Alex Wellerstein summarizes the procedure.
The Heritage Foundation recommends that Donald Trump withdraw from all nuclear treaties as president. Steven Pifer tells us why that’s a bad idea.
Meanwhile, in Russia. Putin and pseudoscience.
Fascinating long read on an Estonian dialect spoken in Latvia and the people who have researched it.
Issues in South Asia for the next president. (photo from here)
Attention Donald Trump: Strategic reasons for publicizing military offensives.
Estonia trains citizens for insurgency operations in case Russia decides to invade. The tactics recall those of the Forest Brothers who resisted both the Nazis and the Soviets. Photo from this article; I love seeing Estonia’s forests and countryside, hate seeing the idea of war there. Read More
Pakistan and India are glaring and occasionally shooting at each other again. Since both have nuclear weapons and no warning time at all to decide what it is the other has in that missile, this is a particularly dangerous situation. Here’s a good idea: Russia and China, which have good relations with the two, should press for a peaceful accommodation and better ways for India and Pakistan to relate to each other. Vladimir Putin seems to want to be seen as a peacemaker. He’s blown that in Syria. India and Pakistan present a real opportunity. Read More
India has applied to join the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group. It’s not going well. Read More
Vladimir Putin gave a long speech at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum last week. Here’s a summary (photo from here). Some of what he said sounded like he would like to be friendlier with Europe and the United States, but he has said that sort of thing before. One of the problems developing for Putin is that he has said so many things and contradicted them with his actions that it is hard for people to believe what he says. Full transcript of the speech.
The Night Before Christmas, as seen by national security wonks. Top image from here.
Holiday greetings from all of us at Nuclear Diner! Less cheery news below the fold.