Front and Center: January 20, 2019

 
 
Trump Administration Releases Missile Defense Review
On Thursday, the Trump Administration released its long-awaited Missile Defense Review (MDR), the guiding document for the administration’s plan for the systems that, among other things, are supposed to protect the United States from incoming nuclear missiles. As Executive Director John Tierney explains, the MDR lays the groundwork for massively expanding national missile defenses before proving the existing program works. If the plan is funded by Congress, it would come at an astronomical cost and threaten strategic stability with Russia and China. 

The Center has revamped its website with all new missile defense content. We’ve added new infographics explaining the basics of national missile defense and questioning why we should trust it; FAQs that answer questions like “Isn’t something better than nothing?” (No!); and a short animated video explaining what national missile defense is, what it isn’t, and what lawmakers should do about it. 
 

Top 5 Must-Reads
1) White House Announces Second Trump-Kim Summit
2) US to begin nuclear treaty pullout next month after Russia missile talks fail
3) Facing nuclear reality: 35 years after ‘The Day After’
4) New House, new vision for America’s nuclear weapons?
5) India Has 140 Nuclear Warheads  And More Are Coming

Like this feature on key nuclear news and opinions since the last newsletter? Want to see something else in this newsletter? Email Anna at info@armscontrolcenter.org with your ideas!
 

New Nukes of Hazard Podcast: Trumping Reagan’s Nuclear Legacy
President Trump has announced that the United States will withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, a landmark agreement negotiated by President Ronald Reagan in 1987. This episode dives into the consequences of the decision and what it could mean for broader nuclear arms control moving forward. Listen now | Download from App Store | Download from Google Play
 

Our Take
Op-ed: What You(th) Can Do About Nuclear Weapons: Center Senior Policy Analyst Dr. Sara Z. Kutchesfahani and Program Assistant Erin Connolly wrote an op-ed in conjunction with the Outrider Foundation explaining how youth (and non-youth) can help the disarmament and non-proliferation movement. Read more
 

Center in the Press
Trump’s Missile Defense Plan Creates More Problems Than it Solves: Executive Director John Tierney was quoted in WIRED saying that while the idea behind national missile defense may sound simple, it has proven itself very difficult. Read more

Trump pledges to devise system to down missiles launched at the U.S. ‘anywhere, anytime, anyplace’: Senior Policy Director Alexandra Bell told The Washington Post that the MDR takes an approach that risks “voluntarily walking into a new arms race.” Read more

Donald Trump’s Space Missile Plan Is Too Expensive and Will Not Work, Just Like His Border Wall, Experts Say: Executive Director John Tierney was quoted in Newsweek saying that national missile defense is more theology than technology. Read more

US to begin nuclear treaty pullout next month after Russia missile talks fail: Senior Policy Director Alexandra Bell told The Guardian that the U.S. should not have rejected an offer from Russia that could have been a foundation on which to rebuild nuclear talks. Read more

US, N. Korea, appear headed toward a second summit, but to what end?: Senior Policy Director Alexandra Bell told Stars and Stripes that a best-case scenario for a second summit is that Kim Jong-Un and President Trump agree on general parameters of an agreement then let technical experts hammer out the details. Read more