Links – December 22, 2016

Donald Trump tweeted today that the United States needs more nuclear weapons. So that has occupied a certain amount of mental space. I did a tweet stream. Here are the New York Times news and a Max Fisher explainer, NBC News, and Yahoo News. Particularly good from Jeffrey Lewis. We are in for uncertainty and instability if Trump continues his tweets.

Ronald Reagan’s first full briefing on nuclear war, declassified from 1982.

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell tells climate researchers to fight disinformation. Scientists at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco demonstrate.

We wrote about this guy and his death ray a while back.

Good explainer about Vladimir Putin’s reunification of the Russian security services.

Russia is no longer in the top five defense spenders.

This week is the twenty-fifth anniversary of the official dissolution of the Soviet Union. A reporter who grew up during that time reminisces. Photo from here.

Communications with North Korea are a good thing.

 

Links – November 26, 2016

Fidel Castro, who ruled through eleven American presidencies, is dead. The Miami Herald has the definitive (long) obituary. I think it’s a fair assessment; I recall Castro depicted in the United States as a freedom fighter against the landed overlords, and then his turn to Communism and the Soviet Union. As the obit says, we’ll never know if he was a communist all along. All that is vivid to me because my high school hosted a talk on Castro’s 1956 victory, one of my first understandings of international events.  Read More

Links – November 17, 2016

I’m posting more news and commentary about Donald Trump’s transition team and move toward the presidency. It appears that competence and even ideology have little to do with his choice of advisors; loyalty to him is all. But he has said that he likes to keep people guessing. He chortled in a tweet that only he knows who the “finalists” will be. Government as a game show.

Also some nuclear stuff. Read More

Links – November 2, 2016

Problems for the next president: North Korea. Assad’s phony farewell to chemical arms. Interview with Assad; hard to tell if he is self-deceived or trying to sell his line.

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

Links – October 14, 2016

This election campaign is utterly exhausting. It’s the drama that always accompanies a toxic personality. We try to keep Nuclear Diner relatively nonpolitical, but Donald Trump would do untold damage to the country – has done some damage already. Former ICBM launch officers say that Trump is not a person who can be trusted with the nuclear codes.

And here’s Michelle Obama’s response on how women should be treated. Short version: like respected people. But the video is very worth watching to see the emotion that many of us have been feeling. Read More

Links – September 13, 2016

Photo: February North Korean missile launch (BBC)

From April: South Korea considers its nuclear options. From last week: South Korea says it will flatten Pyongyang if North Korea moves toward using nukes. The point of threatening Pyongyang is to threaten Kim Jong Un directly. The downside is that it could motivate North Korea toward building a doomsday machine. The reality is that any war on the Korean Peninsula would be extremely damaging to both sides. Read More

Another North Korea Nuke Test

This morning in North Korea, last night here, North Korea tested another nuclear device underground at its test site. The yield appears to be larger than the last test, but determining that depends on how deep the test was and other factors that we don’t know. US planes are flying in the area to collect isotopes that may have been released in the test, but the North Koreans have been very skilled at containing their tests, so that may not give much information. Read More