Front and Center Newsletter: March 18

An update on nuclear arms control, national security and Pentagon spending from the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation 

What’s News:

Press Release: U.S. Chief Diplomat Rules Out Diplomacy

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s comments ruling out diplomatic engagement with North Korea and emphasizing military options are counterproductive to stopping North Korea’s nuclear advancement. To read the press release, click here.

Analysis of President Trump’s Proposed FY 2018 Pentagon Budget

The Fiscal 2018 budget outline presented by the Trump Administration includes a Pentagon spending request of approximately $639 billion. To read the Center’s analysis, click here.

The Huge Risk of Small Nukes

Hawks are calling for an expansion on America’s “tactical” nuclear weapons. In an op-ed penned for Politico, Center Senior Science Fellow Philip Coyle and Policy Analyst James McKeon explain why developing new, tactical nuclear weapons would be a bad idea. To read the op-ed, click here.

Center in the News:

Center National Advisory Board Member Lt. Gen. Robert Gard quoted in The Hill on what military options in North Korea could mean. To read the article, click here.

Executive Director John Tierney quoted in CNN on North Korea’s missile launches and U.S.-South Korean joint military exercises. To read the article, click here.

John Tierney quoted in Mint Press News on President Trump’s proposed increase in the Pentagon budget. To read the article, click here.

Senior Science Fellow Philip E. Coyle quoted in Foxtrot Alpha on North Korea’s missile launches and the THAAD missile defense system. To read the article, click here.

Philip E. Coyle quoted in PBS NewsHour on U.S. missile defenses in Europe. To read the article, click here.

What We Are Reading:

An Atomic-Weapons Expert’s Worst-Case Scenario for What Trump Might Do With All That ‘Access to the Nuclear Codes’

Center Senior Science Fellow Philip Coyle was interviewed by New York Magazine on how the U.S. should respond to North Korea, why we should be concerned about Pakistan and India and his own worst nightmares of our nuclear future. To read the interview, click here.

Over and Under Estimating the North Korean Threat

Center contributor Dr. Jim Walsh spoke to The Cipher Brief about the North Korean threat. Dr. Walsh described North Korea’s nuclear and missile capabilities, the significance of THAAD deployment in South Korea and made recommendations to address the rising risks. To read the interview, click here.

Pentagon’s Go-To Excuse for Spending: Readiness Crisis

Center Senior Fellow John Isaacs described how lawmakers use a military “readiness crisis” as a convenient excuse to increase the Pentagon budget. To read his op-ed in The Medium, click here.

Center Beat:

Brief Analysis of Fiscal Year 2017 Defense Appropriations Conference Report

On March 2, 2017, the House Appropriations Committee released a copy of the Fiscal Year 2017 Defense Appropriations conference report. To read the Center’s analysis of it, click here.

Fact Sheet: The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty Preservation Act of 2017

In response to Russia’s alleged deployment of a ground-launched cruise missile in violation of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, Republican lawmakers introduced the INF Treaty Preservation Act of 2017. However, the bill is more likely to undermine the INF treaty than preserve it. To learn more, read the factsheet click here.

Iran Deal Passes One-Year Checkup

On March 8, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) released its quarterly report on Iran’s compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) giving it a clean bill of health. To learn more about the report, read Center Herbert Scoville Jr. Peace Fellow Bernadette Stadler’s Nukes of Hazard blog post  here.

Will North Korea be the Trump Administration’s Greatest Challenge?

Earlier this month, North Korea fired a salvo of four ballistic missiles that landed in the Sea of Japan to coincide with U.S.-South Korea’s joint military exercises. To know our suggestion on how the U.S. should respond to the North’s provocation, read Center Scoville Fellow Bernadette Stadler’s Nukes of Hazard blog post here.

Don’t Miss:

Center Facebook Live: Understanding North Korea

On Monday March 20 at 5 PM EST, the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation and Dr. Jim Walsh, Council board member will host a Facebook Live discussion on the threat North Korea’s nuclear program poses to the U.S. and its allies, and offer options for an effective U.S. response. To join the virtual event, click here.

Watch:

Policy Analyst Greg Terryn On TRT World

Policy analyst Greg Terryn talked to TRT World about North Korea’s recent missile launches and how the United States and the international community should respond. To watch the video, click here.

Newly Declassified Nuclear Tests Show Massive Detonations

The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has started to declassify nuclear weapons tests films. To watch the nuclear horror in action, click here.

Rep. John Garamendi on Ground-based Missile Defense

In a segment on Vice News, Rep. John Garamendi articulately explained his opposition to expanding the Ground-based Midcourse Defense system, which is intended to shoot down intercontinental ballistic missiles, to a third site, pointing to its poor record of success during tests. To watch the video, click here.