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
Almost immediately after Robert Mueller was named as special prosecutor, Wikileaks released something about him delivering highly enriched uranium to Russia when he was FBI director. And it’s secret! Scary, right?
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) May 18, 2017
Dmitry Gorenburg comments on the Russian military. He recently attended the Moscow Conference on International Security (MCIS). He also happened to see part of a rehearsal for the May 9 military parade. He links his photos and videos of that event here.
Gorenburg kindly shares slides from MCIS and a few comments on them. Links to them follow.
There is a lot going on in the world beyond the United States. The problems that Donald Trump is inflicting on the country are severe, but we need to continue to be aware of the rest of the world. Read More
China’s trade with North Korea in overhead photos. Photo from here: 30 days of activity as of April 26. Read More
Donald Trump denounced the New START Treaty in his first phonecall with Vladimir Putin. Putin brought up the treaty, which is coming up for renewal in 2021, so talks should be starting soon. The treaty limits the numbers of nuclear weapons for Russia and the United States, preventing an arms race. But the treaty was negotiated under Barack Obama, so in Trump’s mind, it is a bad treaty. Read More
Conflicting reports on whether a US carrier group steaming toward North Korea plans to intervene militarily if North Korea tests a nuclear weapon or a missile this weekend to celebrate the anniversary of Kim Il Sung’s birth. Seems like a bad idea. More about North Korea’s strategy. China is calling for restraint. Read More
Protests across Russia and Belarus over the weekend. The main target is corruption. Here’s a backgrounder about the situation in Belarus. Alexei Navalny, a leader of the opposition in Russia, sparked protests there with a video about Dmitry Medvedev’s corruption (English subtitles). Why the protests focused on Medvedev. They are a problem for Putin too. The discontent is likely to affect Russia’s next election. Photo: A demonstration in Belarus. Read More
Banning nuclear testing: lessons from the Semipalatinsk nuclear testing site. This is a good short history of the Semipalatinsk nuclear testing site. Top photo by me: Lake Balapan, excavated by a nuclear device. It is almost exactly the same size as Sedan Crater at the Nevada Nuclear Test Site, which was excavated similarly. Read More
Now that I’ve surveyed what’s in the declassified Intelligence Community Assessment on Russian Hacking (ICA) and the Steele dossier, it’s useful to compare them. Read More