20 Episode results for "Nuclear Weapons"

Ending the Nuclear Era: Fred Pearce

Future Hindsight

29:08 min | 7 months ago

Ending the Nuclear Era: Fred Pearce

"We have some exciting news to share. Future hindsight is now in partnership with Lyceum and new audio platform for the curious and creative to listen learn and connect. Sounds like it's perfect place for us. Here's a message from the founder hi? I'm Zachary Davis. I'm the host of two podcasts Ministry of ideas which explores the philosophy behind everyday concepts and writ large. A new podcast about the books that changed the world. I love educational podcast. I love listening to them and talking about them. I want everyone to have that chance. And so I've built a new platform called LYCEUM. Which makes it easy to discover great educational podcasts and have conversations about them. There are more than a million podcasts. Out there we've done the hard work of sifting through them and finding only the very best education shows to listen to shows like the one. You're listening to right now so if you love. Learning download seem today on the APP store or Google play or visit us at LYCEUM DOT FM. That's Elway C. E. U. M. DOT FM Welcome to future hindsight. I'm your host me La atmos- each week. I speak with citizen. Change makers who sparked civic engagement in our society. Our guest today is Fred Pearce. He's the author of fallout disasters. Lies and the legacy of the Nuclear Age and has reported on environmental science and development issues from eighty eight countries over the past thirty years. His book is a full account of our nuclear history from harrowing stories of gross negligence and irresponsible behaviour by governments. Were testing nuclear weapons in the Pacific to nuclear reactor accidents around the globe including Chernobyl and Fukushima. You could perhaps for a while said. The overwhelming long-term threatened the chiltern threat for the World Today. Vol's around climate change. You could have made the case that nuclear power is relatively low. Carbon source of energy won't zero relatively low and for a while. It was a reasonable argument. I think but now there are so many other low carbon sources of Energy Ring Power Soda Power Title Our that. We have no need for nuclear power as only alternatives to burning fossil fuels. Most of those alternatives are cheaper getting cheaper whereas nuclear power as expensive than getting more expensive and the principal reason for that is to keep it safe. We discuss the various reasons. Nuclear Energy is not practical whether it is in the cost or in the management of its waste the link between nuclear weapons and nuclear energy. And what this means for the future of nuclear power. Let's listen thank you for joining us. It's good to be with you so the atomic age starts with the detonation of the first nuclear weapons in World War Two in Japan in nineteen forty five. What caught your attention at this time that you started to write this book. What struck me was the. I believe we're reaching towards the end of the nuclear age so what I wanted to do with. The book was basically Cha the coal soot we've taken back in the nineteen fifties Toma Cage Seniors of the height of modernism. There were the bombs but there was also nuclear power the idea of almost free nuclear energy that all societies. We're going to run off. Is a huge degree of optimism. As well as fair about nuclear energy a now seventy and Moya so on. It seems to me like we're coming to the end of that where reaching the limits. All a patient in many ways with this technology PAPP's particularly our ability of all societies to Majid successfully a wanted to be even-handed about the benefits of nuclear energy. Some of the more frightening side. The cops we've found difficult to manage the psychological inability to cope with this technology. The implications of it just charges caused perhaps in doing that to give some signposts about future technologies. How we may manage those in the anthro proceed. So it's a kind of precursor. I suspect to on new age. Well I think you do a great job in laying out. The landscape and I was really struck by several things. One is the amount of secrecy and lies about what you write consistently throughout the book. That have come from the government's trying to cover up their tracks especially in the fifties when there was open air testing of nuclear bombs into the atmosphere and the fallout and the radiation sickness that have befallen people who down wind one of the things that makes it so difficult. For NUCLEAR POWER TO BE WIDELY ACCEPTED. Is that these. Things are somewhat inseparable. The nuclear testing the bombing and the energy and then of course the accidents still at the end of the day after examining the evidence of civilian nuclear activities including Chernobyl and Cuckoo Shema. You've concluded that they're mostly safe. How do you reach that conclusion? Public- new technologies that everybody's on a forest or against it so I deliberately tried to charter a different. Hof To analyze robin to take a side on it. Even though the the risks that we probably run from this technology are in many of our minds very inflated even the Noble Accident which is pretty much the worst accident you could imagine a call from a Detonating a nuclear bomb. Probably not kill that many people but nobody is going to kind of believe what even the best scientists say about is because of the history of cover up history of deceit. Why should we believe what we're told by the experts so perhaps in this era where very cynical about expos? Perhaps it was. The nuclear industry told us to be cynical about expert told us not to accept what you'll authorities said pops that's another symbol of the anthro. Proceed an era where we very dependent old cutting edge technology. Bruce also really fearful about you and certainly raw the questioning about the experts who bring it to this. Well I think one of the problems with the experts is that their data is not necessarily that good. I was really surprised by the inadequacy of testing all around. Can you speak a little bit more? About how shoddily testing was done so one of the things that you said about. Chernobyl is like well. They didn't test before. So whatever they have after was collected surreptitiously and may not be up to snuff economically in the natural world. There's been a lot of concern about both low levels of radiation my due to humans. It's frightening how bad the evidence Solis is. This really failure of good science. Some experts believe that any level of radiation is dangerous or even a tiny amounts that we might get some leftover goes for nuclear bomb tests the small amount of radiation. I would say it was bowl coming out to accidents. Like General Below Three Mile Island carries the risk with it so we just increased risk of dying of account so by a a given a map of the experts. Believe there's quite a high threshold below which there really is no risk to humans. The human body has an ability to cope with a certain amount of radiation. And they would say well. Radiation is natural in the environment. Money while rox mildly radioactive. We live in an environment where radiation is coming in from spice. And if you take a fly to across the Atlantic you pick up a dose of radiation. Is You go now? You're the whole. That was the basic question that would have been resolved by now and yet it remains a fundamental dispute among scientists about the risks that we run for radiation so the estimate of how many people might have been killed by the atmospheric testing that reached a peak in the late fifties. Early nineteen sixties. The estimates vary from tens of thousands of people dying across the world during the the sixties perhaps Saudi to the seventies and eighties to people who believe that virtually nobody died. It is really very strange. Even basic things that have not been resolved in the research. That's been done into the exclusions of around Chernobyl. The nuclear accident in Ukraine in nineteen eighty s people have been looking at damage to DNA to wildlife that a lot of wildlife is come back into that exclusions because there are so few people airlines left really likes the absence of people so the question is whether the wolves basil and everything else being damaged by radiation and yet we don't have an onset of either. There's always a level of DNA damage in the natural environment. Weather from radiation will just from normally Lucien. So we don't know if these radioactive wools caught a one way trip to genetic disaster because of the build up of mutations imaginable whether this is just kind of regular noble so these kind of basic questions remain unresolved and I think this is part of a quite natural fair of is technology but it arises also after the secrecy is pervaded it through ad so government. Scientists suv very often being given the freedom to do research. I found your chapter on the management of waste super fascinating because I think people don't understand or certainly Ayden understand until I read your book. Just how much is involved in? Shutting Down Nuclear Reactors and in managing the waste. Tell us about what you discovered by going to southfield and to Germany will left with these really very long lasting and really very radiologically dangerous new products hundreds of tons of plutonium that we've produced is a highly radioactive isotope. We've gotTA KEEP SAFE for future. Generations thousands tens of thousands of years arguably the biggest practical problem with nuclear energy is dealing with these wastes them mostly sitting in silos and holding facilities of power plants and recycling facilities in these nucleus stores on final resting places for this waste. Some of it is still very unstable condition. Some of indeed was being made. More stable pickers paper longtime won't felt though a gun to use these isotopes either famour nuclear weapons all for new kinds of fuels new kinds of reactors. So we've created a very large amount of extremely dangerous ways which is not currently causing great damage but it is extremely expensive to stall. So we're going to have to find a final resting place we're GONNA have to make the materials safest we could manage. That probably means treating it then fixing eighteen colossal something of that sort and we're going to have to bury it very deep underground. The Germans for instance having decided a few years back that they were going to get out of nuclear energy altogether of finding the bassinet at the end of the story because they still have these wastes. And they've still got to decide what to do with them. For instance some of them have been sent to the UK and L. Sweat for treatment but will ultimately has to go back to Germany. Will Germany take them back. Some people say well. They won't be nuclear-free so they don't want to take these wastes. Brat but then other people say what we have a responsibility to take them back because they're always the was generated on nuclear power stations so they're huge disputes going on in Germany Germany. That could say not nuclear. And it's discovering the. It's not so easy. We have these huge legacies which we have to deal with that is true for the world as a whole very large stockpiles of really long term. Dangerous NUCLEAR WASTE THOUGH. We have now no alternative but to try and keep safe it already. Ralph a sobering assessed while I think the cost and the uncertainty like you said going into the future in thousand years. We won't be alive but somebody will still have to deal with. Let's say one of the SALT MINES. Caving or some of the canisters leaking and in fact one of the things that really struck me is how sloppy. This industry is in many ways. You talk about some of these pipes. Cracking things leaking for an industry. That is this unsafe. There is no room for mistakes whether it's human error or failsafe that's gone wrong and yet it happens all the time though. Stockholm International Peace Institute actually estimates that the world currently sitting on around five hundred fifty tonnes of plutonium which you just mentioned takes thousands of years to decay so in the year two thousand Russia and the US agreed to get rid of thirty seven and a half tons of surplus military plutonium each by mixing it with uranium to make marks fuel for burning and power stations. That I want. This is maybe a good to get rid of it but it failed. What happened? Mocks. Power stations were extremely expensive. Technology hadn't been developed the Russians of of will be gone the furthest with this but essentially the British Americans got little way damn attraction abandoned. The project I think really. It's very expensive in as public support for continuation of nuclear industry in any form. We will once told. The nuclear power would be too cheap tomatoes back in the nineteen sixties in the early days when we were having atoms for peace which was the cry of the nuclear industry but it is turn out to be an extremely expensive technology. Especially when you take account to the waste products virtually uninsurable so everything has to be underwritten by governments and we live in an era now is not popular politically to have governments underwriting industry so it falls foul of a whole range of Multan feelings about risk about economic management about the role of the state and society. You could perhaps for wile who said that if the overwhelming long-term Fred Indie Chilton Fret for the world today voles around Climate Change. You could have made the case that nuclear power is relatively low carbon source of energy zero but relatively low and for a while. It was reasonable argument. I think but neither of so many other low carbon sources of energy ring power solar power tidal power and the number of coming along the we have no need for nuclear power as O'Neill alternatives to burning fossil fuels. Most of those alternatives are cheap. Getting cheaper were nuclear. Power is expensive getting more expensive on the principal reason for that is to keep it. Safe is very expensive operation. Decommissioning is now the biggest business in the nuclear industry. The business of taking Boston keeping safe nuclear power plants on the fuel. Let's go through them. If you talk to people in the nuclear industry they're all talking about decommissioning mental. Talking about building. New Power prompts virtually no it outside. China and Russia redoing. Everything is now about how Decisi shot down the industry that so ironic. Well given everything that you have researched. What do you actually think are safe levels of radiation for people every day so if in a year my own feeling is that there are really very limited risks. That's by sense of having read the literature. Being produced over the years. Very few people are dying of the Austr- effects of Nagasaki and Hiroshima. Even the people who were exposed to very high levels of radiation. Most of the people were living in Hiroshima Microsoft. You in the Bohm's rental have live decent lives and have died natural deaths at the end of their expected life span so the evidence seems to be the. We're not living in a sort of nuclear cloud. That is a danger to us. The radiation risks that we run in olive daily lives. I don't really think amount to very much compared to other kinds of risks certainly compared to corona virus which is a much higher risk than almost any of Cilikely to come across from radiation. But it's something that we could minimise in something where we could reduce the legacy for future generations. Where one of the things that you mentioned in the book at length is in fact the fallout of Fukushima may not have been so much radiation as it was PTSD and depression. You know living with uncertainty. Not Knowing when they can go back to their old communities or not being sure that it will ever be safe and therefore not returning. I think a lot of people. Don't think about nuclear accidents in this way that it isn't only the actual radiation but it's also the psychological fallout and the long term. You End your book with a chapter on going to Nagasaki and meeting with the Director of the Research Center for Nuclear Weapons Abolition and after the Fukushima accident. He changed his mind about advocating for nuclear energy. What made him change his mind. I think he sold the nuclear energy. Nuclear weapons do go together because that essentially the same technology the risks. We run a risk that we don't need to wrong. Japan was really quite pro nuclear power until the Fukushima accident he soul the society damage that was done by the Nami and by the exclusion zone that had to be created because of the fallout from. What happened power plant now? The Japanese have spent a great deal of money cleaning up the landscape scraping soil removing vegetation. Tiling it all up is cost. Tens of billions of dollars. And they're still spending on. They still haven't made the nuclear power plant safe at his still also extremely dangerous extremely large amount of radiation and a huge area of Japan which is a densely populated countries being fully lost ten years. Uninhabitable people are being told now that they can move back into the areas that have been cleaned up but by and large people. Don't want to go back. They're fearful of the radiation especially for their children. But also you know people's lives of moved on they've taken the government compensation got near lies new jobs new schools. You could understand why they won't go back the society dislocation as well as the cleanup cost of this accident absolutely huge and I think need racist. I'M CONCLUDES MISS THAT. While probably the number of people died from radiation and that accident was perhaps just a handful of people. Many more people die as a result of the impact of the evacuation. I'm some old people. Were simply left. Behind in old people's homes in the council evacuation. Some people got very depressed off to a surgeon. Suicides among the people who evacuated whole series of social programs and psychological problems that have come from me evacuation now. Those are the real victims of the accident. And nobody should pretend that somehow naught but at the actual outcome was more about psychology radiation. Those who really effect in real consequences. It may well be true that the similar thing could be said about other nuclear actions about Chernobyl for instance that most of the outcomes with psychological and social in other reasons far as I'm concerned to say we should say goodbye to technology if I wanted to be an activist and and the practice of nuclear power electricity. What are two things that could be doing? I would be spending my time looking at. What are people doing with waste? We don't have the solutions what to do with the waste coming out to the reactors. We don't have the solutions for what to do with the contaminated material of the On themselves when they reach the end of their lives and if always come nuclear energy issues will be saying. We should not be persevering technology where we haven't sold these basic problems. The heart of mile position to nuclear energy really would come back to nuclear weapons. That is a real fast impact. The creation of nuclear weapons creates a huge an entirely unnecessary risk to the world. Bums Felon Russian. Were Nagasaki Killed. Tens of thousands of people but that tiny compared to the bulbs that we've created since the hydrogen bombs that are still sitting inside those ready to go if the politicians decide those would kill millions of people's individual answered kill millions of people's raise should not have technology of that so sitting around the planet in case you know so media decides to let them off these days perhaps read more than before we don't know what kind of idiots are going to be in charge of all politics in future. We should be decommissioning. Nuclear weapons as an activist. That is where I would place my greatest stress. The only way of securing the final defeat of nuclear weapons would be to get rid the technology itself and that would in crude nuclear powers. Well looking into the future. What makes you hopeful? Do believe that we come into the end of the nuclear age. I see round the world outside China and Russia which democratic societies. Nobody really wants to build nuclear power because there is no public support for it so democratic societies really giving up on nuclear power. That seems to be a good thing. We need to extend that now to getting rid of nuclear weapons that have been non-proliferation Agreement. Neither have been decommissioning agreements. We still have a load of weapons that on some of our politicians today dead seem to Kane to get rid of them. The public pressure is not strong to get rhythm because we've almost as a society forgotten about them but I'm hopeful it in thirty or forty years time not in my lifetime but soon afterwards the world can be free of nuclear weapons. There is really no reason to keep them now than perhaps for the ego of some politicians in the UK we still have our own independent nuclear deterrent. Which in factory could only launch with the supporter. Americans seems to be the height of folly ending. Britain is so great wasted. Money is an stupid Cognitive Egotistical thing that politicians have gone into the same applies to Russia the US China to France and to Ola nuclear POWs. They really have no need of these weapons. They provide no security. They only provide insecurity. I believe because I am an optimist that in thirty or forty years time we would have got rid of these weapons. We will have got rid of Nuclear Energy. And we'll probably look back and say wow. That was a real crazy mistake that night but at least we over it. Oh well said thank you. Thank you very much for your time and thank you for writing this book. Thank you I enjoyed talking to you by returning to the roots of nuclear energy which is nuclear weapons. And it's inherent secrecy. I finally have a better understanding about the spotty data and why there is still disagreement about what doses of radioactivity are safe. I basically agree with Fred that humans seemed to be ill equipped to deal with nuclear technology. It is unforgiving in the face of human error or unforeseen unlikely accidents and finally the idea that nuclear waste is so small in comparison to the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and is therefore a viable alternative grossly misrepresents the issues with safely maintaining that waste. Yes nuclear is low carbon in comparison to call. But that's unfortunately where the allure ends. I hope that solar wind and water really will be the simple low carbon solution for our energy needs in the future next week. Our guest is Jeffrey Superman. He's a research associate and the Department of the history of Science at Harvard University and investigates the history of global warming politics particularly the climate communications denial and delay tactics of fossil fuel interests. His study assessing ExxonMobil's climate change communications demonstrates that the company misled the public about climate change. We discuss how Exxon invented the advert oriel how relentless the propaganda by the fossil fuel industry against climate change continues to be and why we need to develop a trust and reputable sources on climate reporting. We found that whereas roughly eighty percent both companies peer reviewed academic literature accepted acknowledged. The basic reality that climate change is real in cools basically the same fraction about eighty percent of their vittorio that public communication promoted doubt on that. Very same matter. So what we'd have sensually. Empirically demonstrated was a systematic discrepancy between what they were saying privately and in academic circles and what. They were saying loudly publicly times until next time. Stay engaged. I'm Michaela atmos- thank you for listening to future. Hindsight the executive producer and host of this program is meal atmos- The audio producer and music composer. His Peter Fed AC. The associate producer is medium dum boom additional production by Brooke Science. Listen to US online at future hindsight dot com or your favorite streaming service. This podcast is part of the democracy group.

Research Center for Nuclear We Japan Fred Pearce Germany LYCEUM UK principal La atmos Elway C. E. U. M. DOT Russia Zachary Davis Google founder
Renewed Nuclear Testing in China?

Arms Control Wonk

27:56 min | 6 months ago

Renewed Nuclear Testing in China?

"You are listening arms control one. Podcast podcast on arms control disarmament and non-proliferation. I'm Jeffrey Lewis. The founding publisher of the Arms Control Walk Log and professor at Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey Nine Pellegrin now an independent analyst and Monica California Bacon this weekend I made some Sour Discard Blueberry Muffins. This morning what is sour dough discard? It sounds like a fantastic indie band from Portland. it's to feed your starter. You like discard half of it. And usually you can just dump trash or you can make other delicious things with it. Yeah well I wouldn't say it's like having a baby because that would be really disparaging to people who actually have children children. Who are driving US crazy as we suffer through. I I am actually hiding from my children. An knows but listeners you know. I am broadcasting from my bathroom if you listeners. Remember when Jeffrey and I were in Vienna and we had to film to Record Palace and so to prevent the ECHO. Jeffrey locked himself in between the doors of to two rooms. Too Fancy ballrooms with double doors. There's actually like a space between the doors. Which is like a normal person's closet but if you were a Habsburg it was your fricken threshold but yeah go ahead so it cracked me up back then because it looked like he was on a toilet but today is actually on toilet. Not doing any business mind. You not not doing any business that you know of any ways. We are here today to discuss. We've been trying to actually record. The spy cast for a couple of weeks so apologies for the kind of backlog but accusations of potential preparations to potentially test a nuclear device at Lop. Nor in China. You can't prove that they're not doing it. Prove they're not doing it and you can't prove it you can't prove they're not doing it and I say they are so they are unless you can prove they aren't broken record. Yeah so listeners. The State Department compliance report is out and last year. There was a little bit of new language suggesting that Russia and China might be conducting Extremely low yield nuclear tests which I like to call mouse farts And this year Last year was really Russia's. Turn so if you don't remember the State Department report. The Complaints Report. It wasn't done in. There was a big politicized roll out so that the head of Dia went to the Hudson Institute. He gave a talk where he very publicly accused the Russians and the Chinese of conducting very low yield nuclear tasks his remarks before he even gave them. We're given to Michael Gordon of the Wall Street Journal. Who made sure he was in attendance at this otherwise boring meeting. He made sure to ask a question about that. So you got a couple of Wall Street Journal stories out of it and then it followed up with the compliance report so there was a very publicized. Rollout last year to make the argument that the Russians conducting low-yield nuclear tests with some reference to the Chinese and this year I think thanks in part owing to the Wuhan virus. It's it's China's. Turn to take center stage with accusations that China's conducting extremely low yield nuclear tests. We should probably you know if you indulge me and I can read the very short paragraph in this executive summary of the report because the actual report hasn't dropped on the State Department's website. But it's very thin and so you can't prove not doing it in I know but the Jerry you prove. They're not my gosh okay. I'm just GonNa read it quickly because it it. I think it's important. Don't you love our Freeman? God anyways up. I under nuclear testing Moratoria as interpreted in accordance with the US Zero Yield Standard People's Republic of China. But before. I even read this. Can I say this word in this goofy way because the US has signed but not ratified the CTBT and Republicans? Hate the the ban on nuclear testing. And so they can't the compliance report can't assess China's compliance with. Its TBT. Because we don't believe in that so instead they say nuclear testing Moratoria as interpreted in accordance with the US zero yield standard. Which is you know some but go ahead anyway. It says China maintained high level of activity at its Lop Nor Nuclear Weapons Test Site throughout twenty nineteen China's possible preparation to operate. Its Lop Nor test site year round. It's use of explosive containment chambers extensive nation activities at Lop Nor and lack of transparency on its nuclear testing activities which has included frequently blocking the flow of data from its international monitoring system stations to the international data centre. Oh Gosh operated by the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-test-ban Treaty Organization raise concerns regarding its adherence to the quote zero yield standard adhere to by the United States the United Kingdom and France in their respective nuclear weapons testing Moratoria. And it's important to note that that is actually quite carefully written but the careful. Wording of the compliance report is not what matters politically? It's the public rollout so even though that is very carefully written the way that that information appears in the Wall Street Journal is not right. The opening of that article is China might be secretly conducting nuclear tests with very low explosive power despite Beijing's assertions that it is strictly adhering to an international accord banning all nuclear tests so two sentences are not the same but one one one purports to summarize the other and I do I do think it fairly summarizes the political argument being made up by others including Your your boyfriend Tom. Cotton gross like birthday cake but really murky cake birthday cake all year round. He's quickey and Nice. Do you know this. There's one of these little puff pieces you know. Tried to make him quirky and relatable as opposed to insane and so the example given was that he and his wife bonded over their shared love of eating birthday cake even when it wasn't their birthdays. That's gross that makes me one of on it but anyways it's really just I mean he came out swinging like immediately after this and was like you know a once again attacking the CTBT but before we get to that You had some stories you wanted to tell me. Oh I do because you know for listeners. Thanks to the the joy of source. We do monitor activity at China's Lop Nor nuclear test site and one of my favorite blog posts. Which by the way. It's when it's the first nice thing Heather Williams ever said to me. I was so I was so pleased I still we were at a meeting. It S and she cheat. She indicated. She'd read that post and I thought. Oh not so nice The test site that China us to conduct nuclear tests up until it signed but has still not ratified The in Nineteen ninety-six is still there and so we have always Kinda kept an eye on it and in the era when it was a lot harder to get commercial satellite imagery. There was just kind of funny thing that I noticed. Which is I was reading this. I think it's a really great paper but I assigned it to my students and they tell me it's boring fix accurate locations of nuclear explosions at the Lop Nor test. Site using alignment of seismic grams and IKONOS satellite imagery. Okay I spent a very long time trying to do that with the Nova's emily tough. Do I feel an affinity for that research? So students can use also very matthey because he was trying to come up with corrections for the seismic grams using the tunnel adults because basically this very large test site and this is just one portion of it but this particular portion which is where all the horizontal tunnels were You know it's basically there's a a line of Mountains and then there are In fiscal settling image. They're these four tunnels running into the mountain and I. I just kind of loved this because that I think the image for maybe nine or two thousand two thousand but at the time I went into Google Earth because I didn't planet didn't exist. We didn't have the kinds of partner relationships than two thousand five. I guess I was still still working at the University of Maryland graduate student but in Google Earth. There's two thousand five image and I was trying to compare Fisk image to Google Earth image and it just. I couldn't I couldn't get it to work. And then I realized 'cause they dug a new tunnel between two thousand and two thousand five right and so that is literally precisely the kind of activity that might cause the US to conclude that the country was going to conduct a really low yield nuclear test. Other things that can be done in those tunnels related to testing but the jumping to conclusions that yield nuclear test is is one. I think disingenuous and it's disingenuous. Well we actually now have some insight into how little the intelligence community knew about this stuff because there's a declassified nineteen ninety-five document where they saw activity at Lop. Nor right and they weren't sure what that activity was and they had three. Hypotheses was a nuclear artillery. Shell which we can talk about in the second one was a safety test and then the third was a hydro nuclear experiment and it's it's kind of grim but the document notes that. Hydra nuclear experiment went out of Control at China. Southwest Institute of Fluid Physics Nineteen ninety-three resulting in contamination at four scientist off a portion of the laboratory. Such mishaps may have motivated the Chinese to transfer their hydro nuclear activities to Lop. Nor ooh which was like holy crap so I have always assumed that that new tunnel. was for conducting hydraulically. Herb was voice for conducting either at subcritical or other small events. I mean one of the things that's very frustrating about this debate is whether something is a sub critical tasks which would not be prohibited by the treaty by the CTBT or whether something is a hydro nuclear test which would be prohibited. You can't tell that from satellite image. All you can say is there is a new tunnel right and so like the fact that the intelligence community believes they're really really small hydro nuclear tests as opposed to non yield producing sub tests. Like unless. You're there you don't you don't know that. And that's what the article actually says right so when you look at the compliance report it's activity at the test site and if you look at General Ashley's remarks I think they're very telling I'll read them for you because the question is like okay. So you know. They're doing nuclear activity at the test. Site is it subcritical which by the way we do in the US and and of course you know we do in the rise. Emily which talk about or which you know the Russians doing devise emily whether it's that a sub critical test which is fine or hydro nuclear task. Here's what Ashley says. Based on the United States experience developing nuclear weapons. We understand the efforts required for China's substantive and rapid expansion of their nuclear weapons program and its capabilities so the it literally starts off with well if he were them right. Which by the way newsflash you're not. Us government information indicates China's possibly preparing to operate its test site year round in a development that speaks directly to China's growing goals for its nuclear force further China continues to use explosive containment chambers at its nuclear test site and China leaders. It's mistaken the way it's written but it should say Chinese leaders previously join Russia watering-down language of the P Five statement that would have affirmed uniform understanding of zero yield testing. Like there ain't nothing there It's literally like buses. Show up people go in a tunnel. We don't know what they do in the tunnel but we think it's bad and you can't prove it's not bad. I know away. Yeah we could approve. Where thing fishy. It was going on or not you dome. Yeah you know just would require. Just you know it's easy. It's simple simple Ratification of the CTBT. Yeah because then you can have an onsite inspection. Yeah do that thought can. Who would've thought that the people in that would mean that would mean you would have to want an answer to this question And it may be that you don't want an answer to this question because you just don't WanNa be in the CTBT at all and it's easier to blame the Chinese than admit that you're the asshole who wants to do hydro nuclear tests. I just I. Oh it definitely is. Oh it's totally it is. The Chinese are doing it why because I wanted to right it is just an attack on the TV and you know we could get into all of the political ramifications of what would happen if the United States actually did that. But I just I. Maybe I'm naive. I don't think so. I honestly working with you. I became quite cynical but I just think that like the stupid arguments are such. It's God well the thing that will make you. Cynical is having the same article for argument for twenty years. I mean I've only been through two rounds that so far but at some point you start to doubt the good faith in your interlocutors and I should say by the way just to make sure that all the facts are on the table. I do think that the proximate cause of the freak out is that China has again done some excavation in one of the tunnels so one of the tunnels they pulled some spoil out which indicates there digging and so you know that could be a number reasons. It could be. It certainly could be that they're gonNA do new hydro nuclear tests. I mean right. I can't prove they're not. It could be that they want more space to do some critical nuclear tests. It also frankly could be that they wanNA make sure that the test site is ready to conduct a full yield nuclear test if The Moratoria breakdown. Yeah I would if I were China if I were Russia I would totally be hedging. My bets right now and it's important to keep in mind that we focus so much on what the Chinese and the Russians are doing it their nuclear test sites but the Nevada test site is kept constant state of readiness the US does sub critical tests underground at Nevada The US has a policy of being able to conduct on relatively short notice a full yield nuclear test at the Nevada. Test site and during the deliberations for the Nuclear Posture Review. It was reported. There were people who wanted to resume testing. So you know in an environment like this. You don't have to think that the Chinese are totally innocent To have a little perspective that in an environment in which the Russians and the Chinese have real doubts about our commitment to the that they may either be taking steps that we don't like where they may be hedging but all the goes back to your point. Which is we could do things about this if you really wanted to we could. We could do it. 'cause I mean we know where where these things happen right. But it's never going to happen right. Yeah for listeners. The thing that we're we're bemoaning is anenih. We went through this last year with Russia where we had spent so many years on. Nevada's Emily AH the Russian nuclear test site including I think commissioning the first high resolution satellite photographs of damn place In this day and age of available commercial satellite imagery. Yes we heard that Israeli company to take pictures which was crazy because it was just cloudy all the damn time and then Benchley planet started taking and those pictures were were were were Pan chromatic. Right there were black and white and then finally planet started taking color pictures of the site so we really for the first time got really great images and we could see that. Russia was maintaining the test site which again the US does and China does. It was open about it too. I mean they were articles that were written. No it was all secret and they put it in a secret language called Russian you would have had to read my gosh just like the Chinese. All those characters. Don't you think that somehow suspicious? Yeah uh-huh but we actually right. We could see the. Us has an underground facility where we do critical tests. Russia looks like it was building a dedicated facility for its critical nuclear tests. The US accused the Russians. Doing more than that like you. We could negotiate test site. Transparency measures that Tweeden. It fell on deaf ears. I pitched it to the Obama Administration. I said why there's all these claims that we don't agree on zero yield is which I am not sure I believe but whatever. Why don't we go and talk to the Russians? And maybe the Chinese and get a an reaffirming agreement on zero yield that I believe was reached it in CD and negotiate some tests like transparency measures. Which by the way the Russians have proposed and I got patted on the head and thank for my interest in national security so gutten condescending so we could do the same thing here right because we can see all the tunnels and you know who really like this who barons. Oh Yeah Ferrans really wants to put anti neutrino detectors in tunnels next to sub critical test facilities because you could detect very low yield events. Which by the way I think is a really good idea. It's funny. He was having an argument with somebody. So the idea would be. You would say you would. You'd have an agreement that said these activities are permitted in these activities are prohibited rights. You'd have a pretty clear demarcation between critical tests and hydro nuclear tests that produce some yield. You would have to have an agreement to restrict critical testing to these declared facilities. And then you could. At the declared facility put an anti neutrino detector which would be large and would cost like tens of millions of dollars. But I don't know scientists always think that like that's like a lot of money and I'm always like hey how many thirty five and then I think you could verify in a non intrusive way To a very high degree of confidence that you know countries weren't conducting series of hydro nuclear tests. Which by the way they would have to do you. You're not really going to just do a one off low-yield event you're going to do a series of them chance that somebody would get away with it. Be Very Limited thing I was laughing about was the scientists where like well they could just do one secretly someplace else and guys spotting the big tunnels underground. That's the thing we're good at light like. Yes yes they could. That would be an intelligence challenged but it turns out if you could. It's impossible to remotely tell if something sub-critical or hydro nuclear it actually is feasible to imagine that you would catch somebody digging a new tunnel for a sub critical tasks or for for nuclear test since as the Chinese scientists at the southwest institute of fluid mechanics discovered. You really don't want to do that. They'll APPS space. Gosh that must have been nasty. I don't even WANNA I. Oh I have a quota to all this okay. When I finished my a dissertation I went back to China and who sit up. Who used to be the head of the Chinese Nuclear Weapons Program Had arranged for my history of China's nuclear weapons program to be translated into Chinese. And so he said he read it and he sat down with me and for two hours. Answer every question I had well. It was incredible holy smokes and the best part was I. I showed him this declassified document about the artillery. Shell and his reaction was whole areas. What was it he was? I trying to remember the exact phrase but it was Chinese but the it was something to the effect of I don't think the CIA understands very much about us at all. You just laughed at the airport like you know in fairness she was just that was. That was very clear after taking your class but before we beat up on them too much. Yeah it's it's a hard job I mean like. I'm pretty sure that every single analyst. Who WAS PUZZLING OVER? Whatever the hell was happening at. Lop Nor would have loved to have two hours with WHO Sitta so? It's complicated but the point is you. Can you can arrange to go ask right. You couldn't negotiate test site transparency measures. You could let you could let them come see hours. We could go see the errors you could do it if your goal was to solve the problem but if your goal is to have the problem so that you don't have to sign the CTBT than solving it is unwelcome. What a world we live in. If just like one thing go right in twenty twenty. That was called the nine hundred ninety s awesome. I know you were a kid but yes is great. I don't remember anything bad. Stick well. There's lots of bad stuff but it all kept getting fixed so you know you had bad stuff but you also have this incredible feeling that you could fix things like you remember the hole in the ozone layer. I mean yeah but not when I was like four. Yeah like when I was a kid there was a hole in the Ozone Layer. It was caused by chlorofluorocarbons and it wasn't a Republican Administration to. It's like Oh well. We should ban those terrible things and it was the same arguments you here today. Which is all my God if you get rid of CFC's entire economy will collapsed and people are like that silly. It will be fine and sure enough. It was silly it was fine and there's a hole in the ozone layer by today. Those arguments are effective in keeping us from doing the things we need to do. Which sucks so on that happy note. It's not a happy note. I know I'm we gotta have a happy note. Tell me more about your bread now. I'm no I've been doing. I've been doing cookies lately. So this is the solution. You will make a big beautiful plate of cookies a mask. We'll put you on a plane. We will send you to Lop. Nor will give them the cookies and they will let you go. See The test setup and then you will invite them to come to Los Alamos while actually come to Nevada right And we'll have somebody here. Bake them cookies all right. I'll start working skis they can. They can bring their own cookies. Have those what the mooncakes? Yeah I was thinking. I was thinking cakes. If you enjoy the podcast you can help us. Keep making podcasts by becoming a patron just go to patriotdepot dot com forward slash W. podcast for five dollars a month. You get access to our backers only slack channel where we pass around satellite imagery documents and kind all kinds of cool stuff And you can actually get that for only three dollars if you're a student. Honor System only But either way you will be helping to sustain this enterprise nope fee and Sourdot so an thank you for joining me pleasure and thank you for listening.

China US CTBT Russia Nevada Nuclear Posture Review Wall Street Journal Chinese Nuclear Weapons Progra Moratoria Jeffrey Lewis analyst Republic of China State Department Portland. Heather Williams founding publisher Hudson Institute
And Now the Hard PartHow to Manage North Korea

First Person

28:43 min | 1 year ago

And Now the Hard PartHow to Manage North Korea

"From foreign policy and the Brookings Institution we bring you and now the hard part. I'm Jonathan Temperman on each episode. We examined one vexing problem. Problem trace its origin and offer a way forward today how to deal with North Korea and its nukes. Kim Jong UN is sending a message here and it's crystal clear he wants a full-fledged nuclear capability and right now nothing is slowing him down. North Korea may claim the launch and space program is peaceful but outside the country at seen as a front for long range. Missile Test Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime according to a psychological profile put together by. US intelligence. Kim Jong UN may feel compelled to prove just how tough is in order to make up for his inexperience. The president is right now on board Air Force. One headed back to Washington after his summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. We had a very good field right from the beginning. And we're able to get something very important people were saying what's he like. He's got a very good personality he's funny and he's very very smart. He's a great negotiator. Our guest today is June pack back. She's a senior fellow at Brookings and former CIA analyst. John thanks so much for talking to us today. Let's start by discussing the problem of North Korean nukes. Okay talk us through it you know for decades it has been a core a priority of US foreign policy to limit the spread of nuclear weapons and yet analysts predict that by next year North Korea will have as many as one hundred hundred bombs. So what's going on here. I think when we look at North Korea it's poor it Scott a repressive system Forty percent or fifty percent of its people are malnourished or undernourished. There is widespread stunting because people can't get enough food. You might would have as many as a hundred twenty thousand two hundred thousand people in prison camps and yet they're stole relevant and North Korea's relevance is in the fact that they're a disruptive entity not in East Asia where we have most of the world's economic growth and we have leading that country a thirty five year old who is paranoid power obsessed and has nuclear weapons and so that is the problem here is that how do you deal with a state like North Korea at that refuses to engage in any meaningful way and the regime has a death grip on these nuclear weapons that they're not willing to give up and let's talk talk about why this problem has proved so stubborn and persistent. It's because it's not like the United States has been ignoring this issue right presidents going back at least Bill Clinton have been and struggling to deal with it. Jonathan I've been looking at some of the old CIA declassified documents going back to the fifties when nineteen fifty when North Korean forces attack South Korea and North Korea even without nuclear weapons has been a national security concern for the United States And it's because it had a large army that was forward deployed deploy toward the peninsula. We had Kale Song. The country's founder that was intent on reunification by force and who was not willing to give up his own power and consolidating dating his power through repression through military means through mass purges an ideology of isolated and self reliance he would eventually create one of the most host secretive totalitarian and unique states in history and sometime around the one thousand nine hundred sixty S. He started thinking about nuclear weapons. He saw this as the ultimate to make guarantor of his rule to godlike status a cult of personality. The world has rarely seen. Now you've written that a former colleague of yours in the once said that trying to understand. The North Korean problem is like working on Jigsaw puzzle. Where you have a mere handful all of pieces in your opponent is purposely throwing pieces from other puzzles into the box? What does that mean? I get the intent or the spirit of that message is that there are lots of the pieces out there. There are lots of information out there and you as the analyst you put those pieces together to have a story but when you look at a puzzle you have the box and and you know what it's supposed to look like the problem is that we don't know what it's supposed to look like and our adversaries continue to throw an extra pieces different pieces different different colors shapes sizes to throw you off. You know it's common for every administration to do a policy review on North Korea. And I think that's one of the key differences and says and one of our key weaknesses North Korea the Kim Dynasty has thought about US relations and about its regime survival bowl and geopolitics. It Sarah from a dynastic perspective whereas we talk about it in terms of four years or eight years or every presidential all election. It's harder for democracies to have a consistent policy on an issue like North Korea I am pleased that the United States North Korea yesterday reached agreement on the text of a framework document on North Korea's nuclear. Lear program. This agreement will help to achieve and negotiations did not fail because the gaps were wide because the level of trust trust was too low danger of the people of Northeast Asia. They are a blatant violation of international law and they contradict North Korea's own prior commitments. Now and you think consistency would have helped in this case but I think North Korea takes advantage of inconsistency and this is one of the things that the North Koreans towel our diplomats and other people all the time is that why should we trust you guys because you throwaway grow away. Various agreements never follow through. Why would we give something up if we can't trust you to follow through on your end? And that's you know that's our strength as a democracy mccreavy but it's also a weakness when we deal with North Korea so it sounds like we can summarize the problem by saying the following the. How do you deal with nuclear-arms state? That's building more bombs all the time that represents an existential threat and yet is not interested in any of the typical typical inducements that we offer in cases like this because it doesn't really want peace doesn't want to be integrated into the Western system. Everything that we've tried has failed and yet we can't stop trying because the threat is so great. Is that fair I would also add that It's highly unlikely that North Korea would use nuclear weapons on us. I I but the dangerous what that does to North Korea's decision making I have nuclear weapons that means that it can poke and prod elsewhere. And you know we're not just talking talking about the nuclear weapons program. I think the regime almost certainly knows that using it against the United States or anybody in the region or elsewhere is likely to lead to a regime ending response. So I don't think we're there on regime intentions The problem is what the regime feels emboldened that it can indu because it has weapons and because other countries would be reluctant to strike at North Korea for fear of sparking a nuclear conflict. Kim Jong UN is sending a message here and it's crystal clear he wants a full-fledged nuclear capability and right now nothing is slowing him down. So let's now switch tracks and talk about how we got here. We could go all the way back to the invention of nuclear weapons. We we could definitely go back to the one thousand nine hundred but for the sake of having a coherent conversation. Why don't we start in two thousand and eleven? That's the year that Kim Jong then. The third third member of the Kim Dynasty inherits power from his father. WHO's died today? Kim Jong UN was officially named Supreme Commander of the North Korean army. The government also referred to him for the first time as great leader succeeding his late Father Kim Jong Il and the government said it has no. You're at the CIA at the time. Right yes How had you become a North Korea watcher? And how long have you been in the agency at that point. I was at the agency for about two years so I was a mid career higher error before that I was teaching. US history at Hunter College in New York I was a US historian. I looked at civil war and reconstruction and the Progressive Progressive Era. And naturally I would end up at the CIA as North Korea analyst but how does a US historian become a North Korea expert Burnett. I had focused in my graduate studies on. US missionaries who went abroad. In the nineteenth century century had children and grandchildren overseas who grew up to be spies and diplomats area studies experts during the early years of the Cold War. There's some assertions that over fifty percent of US diplomats and spies and area studies people who were founding these programs in in US us. Universities were children missionaries There are everywhere there in Greece. They're in Turkey there in. What is now Sri Lanka there? Were you know in China. Obviously the in Japan but I focused on Korea because the missionaries children were still there in government and non-government academic positions And that's where I did some field work When I was a fulbright scholar there and having being a historian and working in the archives and looking at declassified documents men's I thought to myself it would be really cool to be there at the agency and provide this analysis that somebody's going to eventually find fifty one hundred years from now of my analysis on this issue so I started at the agency moved down from New York and started the hope when they hired? I heard you you went to your Korean immigrant. Father and said a history degree is useful. Dad Yes you know. He was horrified that I got a history. PhD because because as an immigrant coming from South Korea you know he had visions of his daughter is being accountants and lawyers and doctors real jobs and he had no oh expectation that his daughter would get a PhD in history and then ultimately end up at the CIA but that made him pretty happy so I had just started in early. Oh nine and that was a really interesting time. Because Kim Jong Il the father had suffered a stroke a few months prior to you my entering. CIA as an analyst brand new pictures coming in North Koreans weeping and wailing collapsing and morning after learning of the death of Kim Jong U The state TV announcer bear unable to contain her emotions. So that was very dramatic. It's scary and Kim Jong came to power. Mid December of two thousand is an eleven after his father died. She put up by following our Party and People Supreme Leader Kim Jong Leadership. We're going to transform today's sorrow into a thousand times more strength and courage okay. So you're at the agency. And all of a sudden Kim Jong Il dies in Kim Jong UN even becomes the new leader. I how did he get the job. It's not like exactly covered himself academic glory when he was at school in Switzerland or a particularly eh distinguished intellect. Yeah I think it was as much a process of elimination and you'd have to look at the three sons. You had Kim jong-nam who was murdered in two thousand seventeen and at the airport in Kuala Lumpur airport. If the half brother of North Korean strongman Kim Jong Hoon has triggered a recall of ambassador now hearing that one of the female suspects was paid just ninety dollars to help carry out this attack. The second son was Kim Jong Chul who some reports say that Kim Jong Il thought that his second concern was to effeminate. I take that to me that he was not strong enough or aggressive enough. He was not interested at all in any anything except music music. And then you have Kim Jong the third son who was competitive was aggressive and was probably somebody that Kim Jong Il thought like like he does in terms of aggressiveness in his approach to things very shrewd and ruthless and how he got rid of anybody who could pose a threat to him so basically he was meaner than his brothers. Yes and in a dynasty. I think that's what matters right. So beyond that. What was your assessment of him when he took power and that of the agency in general you know it's hard to say because you know? North Korea is called the hardest of the hard targets for a reason And we saw what was interesting. Is what the regime wanted us to see. And it's that you know. He started accompanying father and on a lot of these guidances. These on the spot guidances that the Kim's like to do to make sure that they touch everything and everybody In the country and Kim Njenga started getting these honorifics his birthplace was designated a historic landmark. Songs were created about him and just by his appearances with his father was was a clear. Obvious sign that Kim Jong UN was the designated successor in those years between his father's stroke and His death breath in December of two thousand. Eleven you've called him in your writing a ten foot tall baby. What do you mean by that when we look at North Korea and I think it's especially true Kim Jong Un? We tend to either overestimate or underestimate it. You know I remember seeing a New Yorker cover back doc in two thousand sixteen after Kim Jong UN had conducted a nuclear test that He is this chubby toddler in a onesie playing playing with nuclear weapons and tanks and bombs and ballistic missiles. He was twenty seven just shy of twenty eight when his father died and he became a leader of North Korea So so that's just a handful of years removed from university when he was playing basketball and hanging out with his friends and doing what young adults do your a psychological profile put together by. US Intelligence Kim Jong UN may feel compelled to prove just how tough is in order to make up for his inexperience. Anything I think underlying that assumption or perception is that he can't think clearly or that he's irrational or that he's He doesn't think in the way that most country leaders would calculate and calibrate. But I think when we look back on the past seven or eight years He has been able able to calibrate he has been adaptable. He has been flexible and he has been able to outmaneuver in a lot of cases. Can you think of an anecdote or two that really demonstrated demonstrated for you that he was irrational actor because he on the other hand we see things like the torture and killing of the American auto. warmbier that don't seem necessarily necessarily like a rational move for small threatened country to make warm beer for more than a year only to release him nearly a week ago in a coma and then today a a tragic ending to this story with so many questions unanswered right. But I think that has to be put in the context of what he's been able to get away with Kim's talent and his his father's talent and that of his grandfather has been to poke and prod at a layer below that would meet the threshold for a violent lint reaction from the United States so we're not going to go to war because Kim Jong UN used a nerve agent at an international the airport against his brother. We're not going to go to war. Because he detested what he calls rocket launchers or satellite launches because he's he's framing it as a satellite launch of peaceful use of space. The North Korean regime would say but he also understands how far his leash can go so so I look back on August of two thousand fifteen not that long ago but I remember it was a really tense time North Koreans had planted to land mines at Adrift Or Landmines that had drifted south in maimed to South Korean soldiers. who were doing routine patrols? There and South Korea was not going to have it and so there were going to respond in a very robust way In two thousand fifteen so I think North Korea Goths and what is North Korea. Do the Kim regime suggested posted that. Hey we should sit down and have talks and so we had some family reunions of people who were separated by the Korean War. We had some high high-level dialogue between Seoul and Pyongyang and so that was at least one example of how Kim knows to calibrate and pullback to make sure that it doesn't escalate to a point where he can't control the situation analysts predicted that he was too young and too inexperienced to lead the country. Well P- proving them wrong. Okay so let's now fast. Forward to January two thousand seventeen donald trump becomes president and there hasn't been and much action on the nuclear front in recent years between the US and North Korea and then trump becomes president and things start out very badly threats. Threats are exchanged. There's a lot of name calling. Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime gets called something like doted. Return mentally deranged dough tarred or senile. Old Man. That word now trending online but then things change how. How and when did the mood start to change for the better in two thousand seventeen? Things got very tense. North Korea did a series of highly provocative actions intercontinental ballistic missile testing for the first time he did it three times He called the. US President names. He did a nuclear nuclear tests. I think that was Kim's way of making sure that the new president knew who was bald. Kim Jong UN's regime saying they successfully detonated a hydrogen bomb. Our chief foreign correspondent Terry Moran. His father did a similar thing back in two thousand and nine when President Obama came into office and that was to to wrest the initiative from the US Make sure that everybody in the neighborhood including the US president knew that who was going to be setting the agenda and so in twenty seventeen. We saw a lot of heightened rhetoric a lot of scary things that were happening. That could have easily spiraled out of control into a devastating military conflict. But we saw Kim to a pivot in early two thousand eighteen and I think he did so for a variety of reasons One was that he had a very receptive environment environment. He had a South Korean president who had been calling for engagement in two thousand seventeen. As soon as the president moon came to power. We had a Chinese President Xi Jinping who was highly alarmed about What was happening between the US and North Korea and wanted all sides to you come to talks and we also had some strong sanctions in place? This maximum pressure campaign and so I think for variety of reasons. Kim Kim decided that he was going to do a pivot and start engaging but I would also remind your listeners that this was after came had said that he had completed his nuclear Weapons program and that he was now going to pivot to the economics part of his dual track this nuclear weapons plus economic prosperity policy. Let's see that he's had since two thousand thirteen okay so he reaches out and he finds this wildly receptive audience in the body of the US President Donald Trump and this begins begins this very strange bromance which continues to this day with trump seeming to waste no opportunity to shower praise on Kim thanking him for the beautiful letters that he gets and saying all kinds of good things about him and his regime but it does seem to have actually made any difference has has it It was worth trying because Kim Jong UN has been clear since the early years of his rule that the nuclear weapons program belongs to him when he's talking about nuclear weapons. He's right there you know. He's at their control center. He is high fiving the the nuclear technicians and the ballistic listrik missile technicians. He's observing all of these ballistic missile tests and so it made sense for to engage at the level to try to draw him out out and see what kind of progress can be made at the highest levels but I think what the past three engagements that president trump has had with Kim Jong Un. It shows the the limits of this high level diplomacy. It's clear that since we still don't have any working level conversations negotiations with the North Koreans that Kim is still looking at president trump as his only interlocutor and that he has very little incentive I have to do otherwise than to go directly to president trump. If you look at some of the regime comments it has decried secretary of state POMPEO's role it has excoriated excoriated. The National Security Adviser Bolton target of North Korea. Media's criticism has told the Moon Administration to back off North Korea slammed South Korea reds upcoming joint military exercise with the West next month according to that it shouldn't concern itself with the affairs of the US. North Korea That Kim still laser focused on appealing. Personally to president trump. And I think that they're serious downsides to that and has trump gotten anything for all the charm that he's lavished on Kim has changed North Korea's behavior for the better in any way any concrete way that we can measure if this personal diplomacy between leader to leader is working I would have expected to see working level conversations at a minimum and so far we have yet to see that And I think that because of the focus on the leader to leader relationship. I don't think Kim has very much incentive to go oh beyond that because he knows where the national security advisers stands on sanctions on maximum pressure and he has called Secretary of State Pompeo go to task for his gangster like Demands on North Korea to show its sincerity and to Make significant concessions nations another signposts that I would have looked at is if Kim is making significant. Economic reforms are loosening some aspects of his repression or decreasing seen the rhetoric or the regime's Commitment to nuclear weapons and we have yet to see any of those things happening and although there are reports that some of the anti-america posters are down in Pyongyang. Those posters are still in the storage lockers and there can come back as quickly as they came down. Okay so now we come to the money part of the podcast and this is the hard part which is how are we gonna fix this given that nothing worked John. Can you think of anything that might actually actually help. It's not all lost and I'll be optimistic in that because we have the strongest sanctions to date it on the books on North Korea Curie Council unanimously approved new sanctions against North Korea. This morning the sanctions would affect many so anything that North Korea it makes money on North Korea's big-ticket items have been sanctioned so that has dramatically reduced North Korea's ability to generate revenue for the regime and for are its weapons programs so I think that's good I think it's also good. That we have an engagement with him and that he is still interested to some extent on being out they're out and about and engaging but I think we have to keep an eye on the prize on what the ultimate goal is and that is North Korea completely abandoning abandoning. Its Nuclear Weapons Program. I don't think Kim has made that decision yet. But that is the goal of the sanctions. That is the goal of increasing diplomatic exchanges and dialogue with our partners in the region And to make sure that we're all in lockstep that it's either his weapons program or or his survival that he can't have both economic development and Nuclear Weapons and regime survival at the same time. And can you imagine a scenario scenario. Where Kim or some future North Korean leader give up their nuclear weapons? I would like to believe in a future. Where we we have a non nuclear North Korea? I mean otherwise we give up and say well let North Korea nuclear weapons and I think that would be a terrifying vying. Option will say more about that. Because why can't we learn to live with a nuclear North Korea the way we have with a nuclear Pakistan which also terrified a lot of people so the the US and the international community have been working on the global non-proliferation regime I think what happened in two thousand in seventeen with fire and fury really brought to light how terrifying. It is to have a nuclear conflict on the Korean Peninsula in Asia not just a humanitarian the facts which will be devastating but also the global economic effects would be also highly damaging second We have a North Korean leader. Peter who has probably decades of rule Ahead of him Who is isolated paranoid power hungry and represses his people as a high tolerance for other people's pain in charge of nuclear weapons? And I don't know that we are ready to rely on in East Asia or AH global security based on this one person and his whims and preferences so Jong. It sounds to me like you're saying that the odds of success in solving serving the North Korea nuclear problem aren't particularly high but the risks. The alternatives are so intolerably dangerous. That we we have to keep trying. That's right that's perfect. John Thank you so much talking to us. June pack is a senior fellow at Brookings and a former CIA analyst. Thanks for listening to and now the hard part I'm Jonathan temperament. FP's editor in chief. Our podcast is a collaboration between F. P. and the Brookings Institution our production staff includes. Danny Ephron Rob Sachs Maya Gandhi Kamilo Ramirez says Anna Newbie and Emily Horne next week on and now the hard part how the West can help Africa. Integrate more fully into the global economy. Economy leader should be held responsible on sure adopted right policy to diversify the economy brookings scholar and Cameroon Native Landry Senior That's coming up next week.

Kim Jong UN North Koreans Kim Kim Kim Jong United States Nuclear Weapons Program South Korea analyst president CIA Kim Dynasty Kim Jong Chul Kim Jong Hoon North Korea Curie Council Kim jong-nam North Korean army John Kim Njenga
Mini. Nuclear. Weapons.

Worldly

44:25 min | 10 months ago

Mini. Nuclear. Weapons.

"This episode is sponsored by the Antigen a new podcast about vaccines powered by Pfizer. The Antigen takes you through the science and history of vaccinations each each episode. Features leading policymakers and scientists discussing the social cultural and political responses to knock relations that have saved countless lives around the world. It's never been more important to understand the role. Vaccines play in improving global health. So listen and subscribe to the Antigen Adviser Dot com slash. Vox Today this episode is brought to you by progressive. What would you do with an extra eight hundred dollars? Buy a plane ticket pay down your student loans. Treat yourself to those shoes. You've been eyeing with progressive. You could find out drivers who switch and save save an average of seven hundred ninety six dollars on car car insurance get your quote online at Progressive Dot Com and see how much you could be saving national average annual car insurance savings by new customers surveyed who saved saved with progressive in two thousand nineteen and many nuclear weapons. It's kind of a weird thing to think about right. The smallest version of the world's most destructive live weapon yet. It's become a raging debate in the American Foreign Policy Community and defense community right now because the trump administration has for the the first time. Put One of these mini nuclear weapons on a submarine. A move that some say is likely to help the United States in the event of a war with Russia or China breath and a move that others say could possibly do us all if that same conflict happened to unworldly part of the VOX media podcast network. We are going going to talk about this debate. We're going to tell you what the stakes are. And we're going to tell you literally. What a mini nuke is and why you should care? I'm ZAC Beecham. Here's always with generally out toward. Hey let's let's go yeah. Alex is very very amped. In case you can't tell. He loves talking about weird destructive defense policies and Dugan's it's it's just like his favorite thing and we haven't done it very much on the show So Alex I hope you're happy very happy Jenner. You happy. I'm so happy okay. I'm not as happy as Alex's or maybe you I don't know I can't uh-huh definitely into talking about this. I love existential crises. It's like this pandemic is all. I could talk about Klay all right we missed our shots. Talk Pandemics so. Let's talk about this instead Alex. What is a mini nuke so it is technically called a low yield nuclear weapon? We're just GONNA call them in. We are going to be clear. We are going to call it many. I knew I wouldn't call them Mimi new even the one we're tossing powers. It is not a good movie. In retrospect very bad so low-yield nuclear weapons powers the awesome power of a mini nuclear weapon. It was worth a shot. So this is the the name of this is is the w seventy six dash two. That's the last time I will say that. But this weapon is basically it has a roughly according to experts a five kilotonne yield which is about think of it this way. A third of the destructive power of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima Right. So it's not like we say mini nukes not like it's a very small explosion and it is a small lure explosion but it is still incredibly destructive and as I mentioned we put it for the first time ever on a nuclear carrying submarine which expertly Tennessee? We put it on an intercontinental missile. So it can go far right and it's a big deal because so far we've only really had on. Airplanes gives us a nuke capability To Strike and almost more stealthy way and avoid defenses. So that's an and and because of that people are freaking out for the reasons that you described and we will get into it for one quick question. Yeah so many new. I just want to get a better sense of the destructive power our here. So how would this compare to a really big conventional bombs like the Moab the mother of all bombs that like big giant bomb dropped Afghanistan. How does that compare roughly the yield of the mother other Volkov's was eleven tonnes? Okay this w this mini nuke is five kilotonnes. Okay so that seems bigger much bigger again. It is a seems bigger. You know the metric system right again it is. It seems the bomb dropped on. Russia was roughly fifteen sixteen. Sixteen kilotons so this one is about a third of its destructive power. The and and the last technical thing I mentioned about it is the reason it is. Minier is basically with bombs like these have what's called the primary and secondary explosion. What this has done has turned off the secondary so there's actually like a smaller bigger? You're the first explosion is smaller that triggers off the bigger second explosion. There is no bigger second explosion with this. Bob Got it. So this came about as a result of I believe the Nuclear Posture Review is the name of the trump administration initiated. Exactly the argument that the trump administration makes them in that document for doing what just happened is is what exactly so willing to it in the show notes but what it says is that so the grand theory here is that between a conventional weapon right so like the mother of all bombs a regular bomb and a nuclear weapon. There's a lot of space. In between and that countries like Russia or China whoever could exploit that space base and and do whatever they kind of wanted to us or at least broken many ways and they are not deterred from doing those things because they know that we would not use the big nuclear weapon so having a mini nuke in this case they would say makes it more likely that we might respond because it is not as destructive and therefore actually increases the deterrence value and so- Russia may go. Oh wait there is a chance they use a smaller nuke against us and so we are we will no longer. I do. XYZ provocative thing because America might respond and will no longer be a self deterred by using this many nuke got it to be clear. Russia is in like a hypothetical random example that you're talking about here right. It's this is a response to an understanding of a new Russian strategic doctrine. That may that may or may not exist assist right. It's sort of some debate about this in which they would infect US nuclear weapon As part of a conflict with the west onto destroy cities but the game battlefield advantage. Yes so this The strategies called escalate deescalate and at the way to summarize. This is in a conflict rush. Many experts believe that Russia would use a a nuclear weapon. I or early on and they have many nukes to which in parliament are called tactical nukes and so there's a belief that Russia may use one of these Early early on and the United States from acting further so escalate to de-escalate. So you gotta get up to get down pretty much. Got It now as you mentioned. There's massive debate. What about this This is s does not in any official Russian military doctrine In fact I was at an event last year in which the Russian ambassador to the. US vehemently denied that Russia has a strategy So you've because it's it's a weird thing but the T. l.. Dr Here is that because Russia's sort of thought about doing this in the Cold War and we sort of thought about doing this in the Cold War that therefore extrapolating thinking will surely Russia's still has this kind of mentality. I know that sounds ridiculous but like that's why does that does sound ridiculous if that's the justification for this policy there's already starting out on shaky grounds right. It's conjecture Tur- about Russian security policy with no grounding and like an actual document or intelligence or anything it's just like maybe if you've seen doctor strangelove that that kind of defined the Cold War right like the they made fun of you know the missile gap. which was this thing that kind of defined the US Soviet relations at the Cold War of like you know we don't want them to have a strategic advantage or strategic or strategic superiority And you know Dr Strangelove obviously parodied that by saying there's a mineshaft gap that we were GonNa have a mine shaft where we could live and survive a nuclear winter And you know if they're going to have when we have to have one so yeah it's the same kind of thing right. It's the missile gap. Exactly just to get out of the jargon. Hell that is the nuclear field. When you're saying strategic what what are you really referring to large weapons to use them? Yeah no I just don't want to be clear about that because I think when people think about strategy to like well how do I you know what to do to to get whatever goal in this case. We're talking about big bad nuclear weapons. Every time we talk about nuclear weapons. I really like I start to understand feminist international relations a lot more because because the language is so like masculine nuys. And it's the psycho sexual stuff going on here anyway. So nuclear weapons to be pink and Frilly okay so the argument for raw pretty clear right. Russia could use these and it's good for deterrence. I'm guessing I I don't know just maybe knowing view Zach and knowing you Alex that there's a difference of perspective at least. I'm not to say that you agree or disagree but I'm guessing Zack. In particular has a different perspective. Would you like to lay out the case against it and why you find this utterly terrified I would love to make the argument against. It's not like a strongly held L. belief but it does seem to me to be dangerous and the reasons why I wrote a really good piece this morning in war rock from friend of Oxford in rang. WHO's an MIT professor? And an expert on nuclear weapons and Veterans argument is that this creates what he calls a discrimination problem. This particular put him submarine. What that means is The missile that you would fire in a conflict to deliver these mini nukes felt like a cruise missile which looks different different from a big nuclear missile of the type that can destroy cities it looks just like one of those when fired for a submarine or submarines have the capacity to do that. Not only that that but firing one. Missile is not clear enough as to what you're doing because one missile often contains multiple warheads and the multiple warheads could go off and deliver like Chameleon kilotons and flatten several cities or nuclear facilities. So if you're on the receiving end of the small American nuclear weapon again small relative terms this missile starts coming towards from suffering. You're Russia and you're thinking okay what we do here because if you don't respond immediately really with your own nuclear weapons. It's possible that this is a really big strike from the Americans that will blow up your entire nuclear deterrent and you lose it and you have to respond now. Early split a large portion of event. Maybe it's just a small one maybe actually is a big full scale milk American retaliation and and you just don't know and you can't afford to make the wrong guests if you're the Russians so you have to respond as if it's a giant massive like world ending attack right so the discrimination Asian problem being it's hard to discriminate between right at least not discrimination in the way that you probably think of it but in terms of like figuring things out discrimination right right and so this means that any even just like putting this on a submarine makes esscalation more likely but the the fact that we might use it and we might think Vancouver sending a particular signal during conflict with a great power would send the opposite signal and get all of us killed so what if trump or to just tweet. Don't worry Russia it's just a mini nuke coming. Yeah yes that would definitely work but they would believe that we are nuking them right exactly act and not get as mad now. This is actually ninety five percent persuade persuaded by this argument In mostly because of the discrimination problem Also I just take it step step further like okay so the US chose five kilotonnes versus fifteen kilotons or something. Whatever like okay is Russia GonNa be happier about that right like like I am a nuclear explosions and nuclear explosion period? End of story Yes you could have killed more people. You could have caused more radiation but the politics are such. I would argue that. Any government that gets bound by nuclear weapon has respond pretty frigging forcefully And so I'm I'm I just don't believe in the measured responses based on the kilotonne of the bomb. Yeah I mean that's the question right. Is that there's this the nuclear threshold sold right and the nuclear taboo is like a famous and of concept that's been talked about in political science into turns literature as that. There is a taboo on using any kind of nuclear nuclear weapons so the question is would that nuclear taboo hold if it's a low yield new like does the fact that it's still nuclear technology that it's still a nuclear weapon. Fundamentally still put you into that category of no we have to respond in kind with nuclear weapon as opposed to we drop a very large conventional bomb on on Moscow and also sorry to everyone in Russia. We're not actually joking about like bombing people in Russia. I understand this is very serious. And we're talking about about a very theoretical level so but we all understand this very horrific and very real terms in terms of possibility in human life so I don't think we're being to flip with that but if we were to drop a conventional conventional weapon would Russia or China respond with a nuclear weapon. Or would they think no. That's that's taboo. We don't want to cross so we would just respond in kind with a conventional weapon and I think that's the question is do low-yield. Nukes still meet nuclear taboo threshold right. Yeah no I agree completely. I think that that's That that is one of the bigger issues and I I guess I just. I am of the belief. It's these moments right. I have trouble believing like rationality of government because at one case. It's almost more rational to respond with a bigger nuclear weapon. If your mom to the mini-nuke you another sense. It's also kind of rational to not because if if you're rushing this case you do know that if you go into a nuclear with United States you're probably GonNa end up losing losing moving. Beat you strong. But everyone's not gonNA end up. Well right we show disrupt. Yeah exactly so like I'm just I would just be kind of like setting off off of me new leads to the obviously con side of this argument. which is you could start a nuclear war? This would be a problem. It's not even just like an issue you of if we use it during a conflict on its own right. There's also a question of announcing all of these new uses and theories. The reason and practical technologies and deployments for Nuclear Weapons has the potential to set off a version of a nuclear arms race. Swear if the US is starting to do all of these different kind of innovative and aggressive things other countries will have an incentive most notably Russia and China to do similar sorts of things. Things could make nuclear use more likely in the future so even just the act of declaring that we're putting these these mini nukes on our submarines is one on that could theoretically destabilize global politics right like not in an immediate catastrophic. I'm not trying to be doomsayer e about it. I'm just saying that. There is not only a risk in the event of a war with Russia and China which is unlikely to begin with anytime in the foreseeable future. It's that the act of doing so raises the risk of conflict on its own in a very very very small but I would say measurable way honestly measurable but it also so gets into trump's broader approach to the nuclear arsenal kind of in general You know we've talked about this on the show before but you know the end of of new start at the end of if these missile nuclear treaties that we've had with Russia going back to the Cold War when John Bolton was in the White House he he is not anymore. You may have noticed this week But he was very skeptical of arms control agreements and was trying to pull the US out of these various agreements. So it's not just this right if you take this one you know isolated issue of the of the submarine low-yield Nuke. Maybe that alone wouldn't kick off the nuclear arms race potentially but when you put it together with the entire rest of you know also going to say that we're GONNA do other issues field other Missiles and weapons that we haven't before under treaties And then you hear. Trump's statements on wanting to just rebuild the nuclear arsenal in general general that have collectively I think very much has the potential to set off a nuclear arms race. Let me give just a little bit of credence to the trump administration's argument here because as I mentioned before I'm ninety five percent persuaded by the arguments that you guys have said. The five percent on trump's side here is his team. I don't think he's thinking deeply about it but like we're kind of already in an arms race in the causation is hard to find great but you know. Russia is claiming to build a nuclear powered. Missile that is unstoppable. Russia has built an incredible missile arsenal. That would make it very hard to the United States to if in the event of a large war with China for us to kind of get involved we have the missile has nuclear weapons and also runs on nuclear power yet. That's the theory. Yeah Yeah Yeah. No one believes. That's true the batteries smart that's but anyway And then on top maneuverable it's a whole anyway And like I there are capabilities that we are missing like we Russia just to be clear. Sorry to cut you off but Russia does have like way more nuclear weapons than we do still route way more or it's where it's close but they do have more okay. It's not like at that point. It's like Marshall Returns right they do have numerically more but it's also aging etcetera right but like look Marsha tactical nukes as well We do have a thousand but they're on airplanes and they and it's hard to beat missile defenses defenses Depending on where you are and it's it's hard to be air-defense as well and so having a stealthy sub with the ability to kind of shoot this many new from any point and almost at any point in the world is probably a good thing to have if they have it. We should have essentially kind of I I. I definitely understand that in terms of the traditional deterrence theory. That's very standard. Right right like the realist. Argument of nuclear deterrence is like well. If you're going to have have the big bad weapons I need to have the big bad weapons too so that you can't control me and you can't dominate. But what does instead. Nobody had them. What if we had international world I WANNA WANNA get into a little bit later? Is You know we can talk about it now. But the trump administration's policy is really interesting when you look at trump's statements themselves he's been super were contradictory even on the campaign trail twenty sixteen. He's really contradictory and his views. A nuclear weapons in one breath will say that you know they're an existential threat humanity in there. You know one of the scariest things and you know he talks about. I think his uncle You know explaining nuclear weapons to him when he was younger and it's scaring the hell out of them seems genuinely frightened. Yeah in the same breath. He'll say but I think you know. Nuclear proliferation is Bob in the same breath. Jose will Japan should mean to get their nukes and South Korea. One point join so you know. It's kind of interesting because he seems to actually understand. Zach your perspective which I also share in the middle Yes these women's are terrifying and it would be great if we had none of them. I think that the realistic point of view. He probably has an and the one that I actually share. Is that the cats bag We're at the point where lots of countries have nuclear weapons. We could have international arms agreements that could restrict them. And and you know cut down the number we have like we did during the Cold War but right now it doesn't seem like that's where the world is is moving and so the argument there there is you know well then we should have to obviously the. US could be the way in moving. That direction is is the other argument to be clear. I wasn't advocating for unilateral and immediate disarmament. I thought I was saying was like these. Different newfangled nuclear technologies. That people are developing We don't need to be developing new ways to blow up the world and we could possibly limited committed to the things that we have right now in any event. We're GONNA talk about more and all of this after short break beer back. 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Winning hundred flowers dot com. Click the radio icon and enter code. Romance that's one eight hundred flowers dot com code romance. Welcome back to worldly folks we've been talking about the trump administration's decision to put a mini nuclear weapon on a submarine and we've mostly been talking about it in the context of potential US war with Russia and U S strategic doctrine relative to that country but it also seems to figure are relatively prominently. Now we had to do this in the way that we think and talk about potential conflicts and competition with China So Alex is our president. nuclear tech NERD Taco about how this relates to US China thinking or planning Pentagon stuff and I prefer end the world enthusiast so obviously China is worried about America's military might and they're worried about what the United States could do in the event that these two countries go to war as there are many experts. Were that historically the number two. As it rises towns the number one. The city's Triassic yes. Let's not go no further to that but one thing that China has done very intently is what they call anti access area denial so a two ad which is not got a star wars character but in regular human words. What does that mean exactly? So it's basically saying that like as it is trying to stop or at least defend against as American warships and warplanes approach that it has this missile system that can shoot them down and make it very hard for the United States a stage. Let's say an aircraft carrier off of China's shores or start sending fighter jets in along the way exit ways to keep America the hell away exactly precisely or were they claim. Are there areas. Say all of you stay right and There are many other things we could talk about here. But the considering this Mini new on the submarine Marine Right. This helps take away. That problem like I said earlier. The thousand or so many nukes that we have are currently on planes so if we had them on submarines which are much harder to stop Much harder to find and doesn't really. I heard there was a hunt for one called Red October. One there was Alec Baldwin is part of the bullying. It makes sit in on top of that says it has it can shoot this missile with the many new on it for such a range talk about the fact that movie Sean Connery plays the Russian submarine chief and he has his Scottish accent the entire time I believed it. I love that movie but sometimes take me out of the movie. When it's like like jumping into a job in the middle of his conversations with Kurt Listen Commander Barista coffee good you get? I'm impressed sorry talking about serious things. Fine Sean connery accent. You know so. Just just UH recap here urged synthesize it having this submarine that can shoot this. Many from so far away could help us with a void that Defense offense of China race many nukes That's a great question I they don't have that many nuclear weapons. I would be surprised I would. I know they have nukes. And I don't think that being in terms of kilotonnes but I don't think they have tactical but honestly I'm not sure I need to look that up. The argument here is that as opposed to Russia where we would be responding to their air use of a nuclear weapon. In the case of China views would be going. I write as a way of countering China's conventional capabilities in its area area. That is to say the area that we'd WANNA be. Let's say defending Taiwan or Japan in the event of a war there. We'd use nuclear weapons to neutralize their defenses. Allow us just to get in and defend our ally. Yeah and in fact I just to make a just one thing clear on the China. Like eight hundred like if you've ever seen those mov- movies of like like Alexander. The great the formation like the shields on top and the shields in front and the spears out like. That's kind of how I think of what China's doing and then our plan here is just well. What if we just from further away just dropped like a big thing on on top of those shields sort of like blue that defense up like if you WanNa think of an old timey wars thing like that's Kinda theory here got it okay? So the Phalanx Wchs Molotov cocktails really far over the failing. Yeah exactly that's kind of what the theories or non-academic versions what happened to the failings. Eventually centrally is that You had light infantry who could get in between the spheres and I actually really know a lot about the premodern warfare avenue anyway. All right all right so I have a question on this and and we talked about this a bit beforehand and When this policy ruled out Alex and I was wondering how does this relate to North Korea? Because we've had stories recently. In reports recently that North Korea's reas developing submarines. That could have nuclear weapons. There were pictures of Kim Jong UN walking near submarine so is any of this related to that related directly to North Korea or is that sort of like a secondary benefit is the right word but a secondary use before I ended. I should just say quickly at the United States has not yet said that it would not bet like it has not committed to not using a nuclear weapon. I in the conflict right right. This is the thing to know I correct. Yeah I didn't WANNA I didn't WanNa go the technical but yes that's right. No I use so we still on the table that we would launch nuke I exactly so this is part of the reason why people worry about many new and the reason I bring this up. Is You know in in the theory of like. Oh we should have this capability we should put it on the sub up all of the talk like ninety nine point eight percent of it was about while we need this for Russia because of the the gap that we talked about earlier. Now that it's a policy now there's a thing being shockingly and not shockingly. It's come up in like Oh Iran war plans. Oh North Korea war plans And so he's sort of seen it disseminate nate out into. Oh this could be a usable weapon. In the case of basically conflict with anybody which Iran of course? It's not having nuclear weapon. North Korea does and this is So I guess more important thing about the North Korean context and one would assume I guess that the US could In the case of a war with North Korea. Just kind of start off with one of these After a conventional bombing if North Korea were to attack and then kind of see what happens or we could go with a with a bigger weapon but the point being is that like there is the worry that these are now more usable at the fact that they are lower kilotonnes kilotonnes that the threshold for using them is while lower and so therefore we can worry. That's the point of the to exactly. Yeah so it's it's kind of the same thing. It's like a double edged sword like the entire point is to make it so where these are more usable hence making deterrent stronger because saying there's a lower threshold we will new cue you with a small nuke so don't mess with US essentially But on the other hand because they're more usable there thus more usable and scarier so knife-edge. It's very worrying right in and get gets to a point about military technology That is often confusing right like when we talk about these technologies. oftentimes the issue is the policy. Rate like drones are really classic example. Here abuse could've used men planes. Do the exact same thing that we've used. Drones is to do in Afghanistan and Pakistan when it comes to killing various different OKITA affiliated people Could have though. The drones are more efficient for it. So it's not it's not so much. The technology reconfiguring policy as policy figuring out what technologies are most useful to employ them but sometimes the very existence of the. The technology changes the way that we think about our policy because it creates new openings and opportunities to redesign what we can do do and in this case it seems like the very fact of putting a low yield nuclear weapon on a submarine causes us to think differently about what we could do in the event of a conflict with even Iran or North Korea. And that means the technologies literally reshaping the policy in these circumstances from stances. I mean obviously there is the policy of putting it there in the first place but it had second order a fax and that worries me right. Because you're both saying. There's this idea of a nuclear taboo that nuclear weapons should be something distinct scarier and terrifying that are kept out of ordinary war planning because they are so destructive and because the risks of their deployment are so high and so making them more thinkable and usable in this way seems to have a a serious degrading effect on the untouchability of nuclear weapons overall and in reintegrating them into normal mold military stuff and that really worries me. There's a famous book That people who study international relations of all read called thinking about the unthinkable which there's about basically thinking about what nuclear war which would be unthinkable. Think about what would actually look like and how we would survive and things like that this is essentially thinking about this becoming thinkable right making nuclear war thinkable against so that it could actually be usable nuclear weapons that we are deploying against each other and that is really scary. No matter how you slice it and I think so spring boarding off of this I think therefore it is important to I was somewhat lenient on the trump administration. The first half here in the second half because has it has Earlier purposefully dismantled the arms control architecture that it took decades and decades to build We we are thinking about a so it is as basically as of now. We are officially under a year from the new start. Treaty goes away and that treaty. Just simplify things things like it makes it so the the kinds of nukes that we can put on missiles and like send to each other kinds of Nukes that we can have those occur tailed we've talked already on a previous episode about the IMF treaty and how that's basically gone and to be fair. Russia was cheating on that but still like that's gone the Open Skies Treaty which basically allows the US and Russia to check in on each other. A guy like see. We're developing anything just for just to build confidence that seems to be on the table to go away as well and and the more this goes away you like the baby out with the bathwater right. It's going to be near impossible to build this up again and this leads due to worries about an arms race and like I said earlier there is already happening but any barrier is good barrier at this point. They're gypsum fair reasons to consider criticizing using the way we've built up the like certain treaties themselves but I think in totality they're good in totality. They are good because they keep the. US and Russia from going at each other's throats with nuclear the weapons. So I'm going to play devil's advocate here and ask a question. which is you know if you think back to the Cold War architecture with you know we had you know? Mutual assured destruction right we each have really powerful thousands of very powerful nukes that can essentially obliterate each other us and the Soviet Union. And because of that we didn't get into direct armed conflict flicked. But what we did is we proxy conflicts all over the world and this low level but still horrific civil wars intervening Rabin and each other's areas. I guess the counterpoint would be if we do have tactical nukes. We have these mini. Nukes wouldn't make that kind of competition less likely. Now because if those are usable at a lower level you know we also don't want to get each other mad so we also won't mess in Your Neighborhood Newell Mess around in ours. Is it possible that could limit some kind of that conflict short. That's the theory. The theory of all of this is that having this many new makes other conflicts less likely but I just don't believe in the rationale you leaders. I think I am also persuaded by Sax Point and I think history bears this out that if you build bill technologies we end up finding ways to use them or at least justifying their use and Look I wished the US had invested in other capabilities instead of the mini like. I'm totally down for more cyber capabilities. Capabilities I'm down for Take this money away from any nukes and and you can repair a bit of our aging nuclear arsenal already. You could invest in other sort of conventional capabilities. Whatever may be? I just. Don't think this is something that we needed of. This is kind of going back to the future for the future. And and I I'm I'm more worried than satisfied by this policy decisions. Going back to the future for the future was the plot of back to the future. Yeah that's the future is now losing meaning to me. They're saying quickly. But you're just another another point about that. Is that the design of these weapons. The strategic design of them not not that like physical technological design. Kind of countermands. What you're describing? They're only supposed to be used in the event that a conflict like a direct conflict has is already broken out right. No one is going to be concerned about toppling a Russian friendly leader. We're not like in that Cold War paradigm but in a world world where that would happen in practicality Syria right now the. US troops are there. Russian troops are also there. And there's an article out today we were talking about before for the show that says that they're encountering each other. It's an interesting word to use either coming into contact more frequently and that's worrisome because you have the US and Russia in the same country and a third country and you know the feared there is that they could it could escalate right. There could be an accident. They Russian troops fire on American troops. We've fire back then. It escalates so in that context. How do you see the mini nuke becoming activated right? But what I was trying to say. Is that the mini doesn't serve as a barrier esscalation any more so than conventional nukes do a scenario like that right they are likely as likely to escalate and to get into a shooting war as a result of misperceptions and miscalculations with like this extra added padded level of deterrence as they are are with without it and only straight up deterrence to bigger nuclear weapons. Right like that's the scary thing. And the thing that wants to push both sides to de-escalate there's no no reason for me to believe that having something in the middle at least nothing no plausible argument. I can think of that. Having something in the middle there would prevent a scenario like that like I dunno a a Russian military contractor gets killed by an American Special Forces operator the Russians retaliation so on prevent that from escalating to full-scale conflict and actually have a process where here That builds off of this so as of now I am unsure whether using the mini nuke requires like the president's approval. I would assume so. I'm like ninety five percent of moving. I think this might be delegated to battlefield I mean that was the the US. John Nicholson General. Nicholson at the time. He's the one that chose to drop it. I am like ninety ninety five to one hundred percents shore that trump would have to authorize it but I could assume in the future right that because we have while they're bigger nuclear weapons and maybe and since we have smaller ones it might be were a future president can say I'm going to delegate anything from like five kilotons down to the commander. I don't know if that's true or not I'd be like that's plus. I'm not sure how like how the potential of that but like that's a concern. I might have and I do like I could imagine you know. I don't think trump would do that. I mean he has been giving tons of authority to military commanders. I don't think he would probably say you know. If you're the Centcom commander whatever may be. You can decide to use against Iran. If you want to. I don't think he would do that. You can imagine President Tom. Cotton in two thousand twenty eight doing it. Yeah I can imagine a future president being like yeah seriously like like anything five kilotonnes out and even like you know one kill down even whatever may be like. That's the commander's responsibility. In which case we could have a future in which like on the presently has over oversight authority over the big stuff and we could start kind of using smaller nukes throughout battlefield. I know that's dystopia and it's kind of scary like I don't think the chance of that zero percent. It's the kind of thing we need to think through and you're radically changing nuclear posture. It right you think through the longer term consequences and how you're going to deploy these weapons so I think it's important to talk through and and again like I know we have these on planes lanes already in like so. I'm not saying I'm saying the the more you put them on more platforms. In the more ubiquitous they become the fewer restrictions. There are and I could imagine a president. President kind of thinking through this scenario does get to something that you were saying yesterday. Alex when we were preparing the show that I thought was really interesting. which is that? It's the It's part of an overall overall trump administration policy the this many new thing of giving the military whatever it wants like this seems like something that I the navy wanted. I don't know which branch all the whole military it was the dod. Okay Jerry so something that the military in general wanted and they got it right and it seems like that's happened a few times times were the military will request something from trump and then he's just like fine. Whatever right so you get this over all policy of not sort of civilian control over with the military when it comes to technological and physical capabilities? It's the military just like deciding what it should have and then getting. Yeah I still I still really. Yeah I mean there are a couple of instances where trump has said like. I don't want the military to have this. He seems to believe that. Like digital catapults or bad and steam catapults are good Others very steam punk. He's pump but like other other than that. You know. The military wanted a lot more money by Gosh they got it under trump The military wanted authority on the battlefield to kind of to be decentralized from the White House and I I think one could argue over-centralised administration but like trump has completely disseminated. He's basically given commanders total authorization to do what they want. That's how we got the mother of all bonds US in Afghanistan for example Now as of last week for example The military did this review and said we would be good to have land mines and war again Right in the Obama administration he restricted their use outside of the Korean outside between Peninsula. The reason is of course the people are so worried that north three and then three military could come over thirty eighth parallel and so we need to stop them. LS broke that story by the way willing to it in the show notes. Now now the military if commander decides we could use a landmine in this battlespace They can use it and land. Mines are not that useful and they hurt civilians and we haven't really used in nineteen ninety one but like the military said. It's something that we could use because we can't replicate this capability and so trump just gave it to them so I think part of me wonders in. This is a little bit more far field but you know. We haven't had a commander in chief who has served in the military at trump went to military school which is very much not the same thing. It's like one of those reformed schools But he didn't serve in Vietnam. He had burst bone spurs that allowed him to avoid the draft. And we haven't had a you know a military military veteran in the White House for quite a long time and I wonder if part of this I mean. Obviously there's a difference between the Obama Administration and the trump administration. So it's not totally really down to that but I wonder if having someone who does actually understand military capabilities better rather than someone like trump or Obama. Either way that that doesn't either seize weapons all as you know dangerous or sees some of the stuff is all the. US military's all bad or all. Good you can have everything you want. Don't you know someone who better understands. It would be useful to have in the White House. I'm not advocating Freddie candidate or anything I'm just no no one no military test for serving in office office right right exactly but I'm just wondering if part of the civilian control of the military you know I'm wondering what do you think that would help. I think it's always good to have some understanding. I don't like you have to have served I mean I think arguably the consensus best foreign policy president at least in the expert community would be George W Bush and he did serve in the navy. If my memory's correct but we've had plenty of good foreign policy says that did not end. I don't think it's a requirement but I think if you want to be the commander in chief you need you'd have some familiarity with these kinds of things and I think a president should be willing to say that the should be willing to understand that the military is kind of interest group. They of course they want right and things right. They're gonNA want more power. They're gonNa what I'm thinking is like trump seems to be say compensating but I mean you know. He doesn't have any military Gary Becker whatsoever. He doesn't even have government background and he's very much you know trying to show. I'm very big and strong national security. You know Republican. I'm very keeping strong on there so the military can have anything. If you listen to his speeches he says you know over and over again lately. You've rebuilt our great military. We're the strongest in the world. Knows what that is part of his Entire campaign stick so giving the military everything they want fits in with that but whether or not that's a great idea is a different question the it's GonNa be really interesting to see how that plays out over the course of the twenty twenty campaign especially given the fairly strong divergence between certain Democratic candidates on how to think and talk about the military So I imagine we'll be coming back to trump's defense policy at one point but for now that's where we're gonNA leave it I WanNa thank our engineer. Bridgette Armstrong our producer. Jackson beer fell. And I want to encourage all of you to rate. Subscribe and review worldly. Wherever your podcasts? Thanks a lot Al

United States Russia China trump Alex Nuclear Posture Review commander America Russia Afghanistan White House Bob Pfizer Iran American Foreign Policy Commun
Tailkits and the Turks: US Nuclear Weapons in Turkey

Arms Control Wonk

32:34 min | 1 year ago

Tailkits and the Turks: US Nuclear Weapons in Turkey

"You are listening to the arms control walked off gas podcast about arms control disarmament non-proliferation I don't think I country is going to create a little improvise Spins personal post bracketed a small American Special Operations Forces base in Syria as Turkey was invading and we were retreating To San Francisco from Monterey is a report today in the New York Times with Oh my gosh you tell us where you are on the road I am outside of Watsonville but you know I've done some digging on this and I think it's worth unpacking little bit because the New York Times I think sort of doesn't place only re written in the New York Times I believe I said that this has to be some kind of I in which a country where the United States stores which reported that I'm GonNa read the direct quote midst turmoil with Turkey over events in Syria over the we the potential withdrawal of these within the broader context of why these things were being withdrawn in the first place so what is or at least why officials are clear weapons is firing artillery at US forces and you tweeted that in in response to the news over the weekend where Turkish artillery according to the wash Yeah well I mean as I always joke these crises are good again State Energy Department officials quietly revealing plans for evacuating roughly fifty tactical nuclear weapons at the United States that the United States had long stored under American her and research associate at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Overcast Monterey Jeffrey Lewis Founding publisher of the Lord that means Jeffery has to make a turn as he navigates his way to separate Cisco among the indignities that we are suffering is cheap which I have muted insists on for my business but relatively bad for everything else but you don't want my business to be booming no it it's pretty bad and it's pretty grim get every direction Curly coming up in one way one miles and I have to have the temperature control off which means it keeps getting a little steamy in here Eddie Professor at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey but I am not in Monterey I am a car enrich San Francisco but we had to have emergency pod in my face right maybe you can hear a tone of my voice oh Jeez okay well I think the phone in routes killer incidents these weapons were as best as I understand from interviews need to be withdrawn for me the host to be coming out anyways but not all at once okay the idea is that the ones that are in Turkey will be the bill and you're the you're GPS is going to Ding in four mile and five miles after that correct seven miles for listeners if you hear dings `examining withdrawal this has been but this has been this has come up it's kind of like a cyclical fashion every few years and so this is not role at airbase in Turkey which is about two hundred and fifty miles from the Syrian border according to to to to American officials these weapons one senior officials gets that there's been an ongoing conversation about the status of those weapons and the bureaucratic arrangements that allow the status of those weapons steam the windows up Aaron when you were a teenager my father listens to this podcast thank you very much so that's to be discussed that were now essentially everyone's hostages to fly them out of Angelique would be to mark the defacto end of the Turkish American alliance to keep them there though is to perpetuate a nuclear vulnerable and liability in the case of an accident which isn't beyond the realm of like crazy just it's it's sort of bureaucratic sideshow to what is already so at some point each of those weapons individually has to come home and then go back in its new modernized for this isn't new but what what's the underlying now why does this keep popping up I think as the US Turkish relations ship kids and probably replacement with You know all of these specific modes of the B sixty one or being upgraded or at least having components things of these negotiations to pull them out for upgrades and then put the back in Turkey is the host nation and wanted some upgrades to the language so it's essentially going to make smart what had been a dumb bomb which you said that's a good way to to to to summarize at Jefferson I mean it's going to be smarter smarter they make sure you make you turn Jeffrey and toward Hollister baby on March twelfth things that we can put in the show notes and maybe maybe talk about on slack yeah that's a good way to put it but I think in the within the context of these things I I don't I don't know that we should call a bomb dumb I mean I don't I don't need a p sixty one being angry with me I mean okay it's to give him a little bit more in part because there is going to naturally be a process of removing and returning them and the scoop in the New York Times is one the weapon I think there is a little bit of a misunderstanding about the safety and security of US nuclear weapons so all not not all many it's still there too they're considering as they remove them not sending them back that's certainly the subtext I was getting Gilroy garlic and yeah so you've written about the permissive action link in how what they're actually in to do and what your like I guess worst case scenario for these weapons in Turkey why they may not be adequate for safety action links which again require a code to be entered an order to arm the weapon the thing about permissive action links and there was huge debate about this in the ninety s and if you read the kind of descriptions of them really really carefully they are it should have been eliminated years ago and the piece goes onto quota none other than the driving Jeffrey Lewis do you WanNa tell the listeners what you tweeted with subsequent that's been like a perspective discussion there is a command disable option as I understand it but to a first approximation like if Turkey sees later should we even send them back is it wise to sit in the back no no spoiler alert no well you know so we've all I those weapons while they would need codes to be able to use them those codes would not last forever right that is mind to delay someone who has access to the weapon from being able to armament they aren't they aren't impregnable and there was a big debate in the ninety s about how long it would take say a terrorist group if they got a weapon like how much time would you have before they could work around permit takes over and that you have these things there that are not impregnable bleed off some steam here the on with what you were talking about an the collapsing the relationship that just general questions about the safety of weapons so Erin if I understand what you're saying range sixty one the the the all of the different mods are being consolidated into a new single mom to be sixty one twelve progressive I am partly worried about the wrong person getting his hair her hands on on on a weapon but I I am more worried about the general the damage that would be done to us maybe credibility is not the right word but just the ability of the United States to operate around the world I think it'd be substantially constrained if people thought that we were in the habit of losing things like the in most probably now most I'm not sure but most types of nuclear weapons are fitted with actually all weapons are fitted with coded control devices Bulla facts kind of everywhere and that credibility just goes like into the toilet and then you just like you just like shove it in they're flush it down like I mean some kind of teenage make out session well for listening you know Jeffrey you've always been concerned about like I mean sort of wary of like like the Ku type scenario where a hostile so I have a slightly different take on this and that now that I don't disagree with anything you said but I find the weapons Turkey destabilizing for a different reason oh my gosh I this is too much for a Monday morning man the event that a weapon has lost probably new safety in that way but like they are not not not designed to work forever and they're definitely not designed to deal with I mean go ahead Jerry I mean you've been very vocal about this because you have this really unique way of talking about it in that you know people always bring up the permissive action links as the deterrent you know it's because of the way that they are slated for us in that the Turks don't have dual capable aircraft stationed alongside them any longer in fact most reports mm-hmm and and they definitely don't have self destruct mechanisms with maybe one exception there's been a discussion about putting those kinds of mechanisms in but rush foreign policy problems. Yeah I think you're spot on about that I mean I hadn't really thought about that aspect before but this certainly would I mean I know people will object to the word upgraded but I'm just GONNA use it upgraded the explosive package were more will will more or less stay the same but it's going to get a guided tail kits if they really wanted to they could reverse engineer those things so like permissive action links are good and they provide a lot of security and a sense of safety right you don't have to use them for that to be a really difficult for policy scenario in like a whole bunch of areas the US does it permanently base such aircraft there It really is just for storage and you know there are other places in Europe particularly talk Japanese into it like you know good luck if if the Turks end up in possession of a bunch of nuclear weapons I wonder what it is that we're keeping them for in the first place it's a glorified storage depot I mean as you say the Turks don't have any aircraft that are certified to deliver them the second part is certainly a is that they're still there absolutely and that once they all come out or it's it's more or less if this thing continues to create your weapons I think it'd be much harder to sustain ATO's nuclear mission and and I think it would just just I think Eric in level of readiness to use these things are low too but imagined in a crisis where we get to the point where we're even thinking about using these nuclear you said something that the the the Turks have always wanted to renegotiate the basing arrangement that's been in the back of my head I can at camping precision guidance I mean but that's not lovely video of the B Sixty one twelve doing sixty in Germany in Italy sorry I have stand the route Particularly Germany and Italy fish do have the space to accommodate those weapons doing this at all right right allegedly these weapons of their to reassure our allies but they're they're really reassuring Turkey right I mean a nasty host nation that seizes them this is come up within the context of the the the coup attempt in July twenty sixteen and now with with being fired upon and so all to say Russia in the event of a conflict and so they're destabilizing in a different way in addition to the security concerns you already have so if the Turks don't even Wanna use them I always weapons and we have to fly in an American squadron to carry them I mean you guys I mean Jeffrey I think you're on your way to to to to labs I've learned from an you know think about how fast the world would know if a squadron of fifteen showed up in Turkey and what that would signal but you know they have maintained it has been Turkish policy is that while they decertified their aircraft it's the sixteen sometime in the mid ninety it's just that we judge David is politically too hard to put us weapons in those countries kind of phrases this big question about like the devices in which you have to put in a code in order to be able to use that the B sixty one is one of one set of devices that have something called permissive had can we talk about that well they wanted to renegotiate a best as I understand. is a liability clause within the arrangement case there's an act would it be broader arrangement within NATO itself and that's more or less how Turkey thinks about it and like you can see why that would be a policy like the comes up on the I we'll think about the people trying to put conventionally our air meteorology missiles in countries in Asia right and they like Oh yeah we'll be Turkey's relations so earlier Erin book before we were talking before we were recording nineties we all we all know exactly exactly a year they would be like the one to call for these weapons removal from Europe that would have to come as sent with this weapon I mean my guess is that like who would pay right in case there's an accident or who's on the Hook Camerin Stein Director of the Middle East Program at the Foreign Policy Research Institute and back in my office after a week of travel in Belgium an Pellegrino a project ninety s when there's jeopardy was saying the concern was one of these things would get out into the wild and like a terrorist would use it rather than nuclear war abuse of of US tactical nuclear weapons from Greece. I believe it was in two thousand and one whether or not there's applicable lessons here yeah we don't know very I mean we have kind of a similar case study in like Jeffrey I don't know like we don't quite know all the details but maybe you know more than I do about the US removal ten used to sink ever lower and lower concerns about the security these of the US nuclear weapons at Incirlik Air Force Base you know grows and grows but I think in this city decertified their pilots so that Turkey doesn't have a physical nuclear role within the alliance or if they do have one very very very low levels of readiness I mean much I'm actually the best account we have is this guy who was running for some you know like running for Dogcatcher thank Omaha I mean not really dogcatcher right some menial public office gave different accounts of his involvement and each geriatric no they were pretty young they were like they were like you're I was at that was twelve okay sorry security problems and concluded that this wasn't like an isolated incident but rather a persistent problem that was like version is that is that there were real reliability concerns particularly involving the commander of the base planes from taking off but there was no security no one arrested them so they kind of got bored of pretending to be dead on the runway right I'm surprised that like Armando IANNUCCI has not made a film about one of these incidents down so so they they walked out into the central area and finally a Belgian security guard like rolls up and he's he's got a gun but it doesn't have a kind of a basic account and his version which again 'cause we've never got you know there's this neither confirm deny policy we don't really have an official version so so the guy so finally there you know like they're sent off the Belgian authorities by the way had helpfully pointed out that the nuclear weapons were stored on the and so they started wandering around and they got into they found a fence open and they found the hardened protective shelters where aircraft are based yeah flip it so he's Dr fronting like you know some reasonable number of protesters I can't remember four five some of which are well so I this is me being weird there are narrow security problems like in Greece the the commander was drunk in Belgium what I think happened in Greece and what I think should happen in Turkey and frankly I think it probably should happen in Belgium to is that the US looked at the Marauder sense that the Greek governmen wasn't taking care of these weapons safely and or was it and you know in basically in the floor vaults where US nuclear weapons are stored and they walked around and put them stickers on the on the Leader worker so like I I and that's what I think about the Belgian case like you can always hire a dog master but the fact that we're unwilling to do it bothered me more than the actual act of the dog master you're you're talking to us because we know the storyteller listeners the story about why a dog master wasn't providing the general environment in which the US fit take care of the weapons what what does that mean general fire moment of like and some idiot had left one of the doors to the shelter open so they got inside the shelter and they took a picture of the control their side of the base because they have wanted to reassure people and so then the protesters went into the apart with the weapons really were stored hippies matter for Belgium oh okay so of added that peg eight ago there was a group that got into a Belgian airbase with nuclear weapons station Flying Brogel and they got in through the fence and they went out to the runway and they were going to like lay down on the runway. Tom Failed to hire dogcatcher which is how the activists actually got inside one of the but you can fix individual security problems on the the shelters and still nobody came in arrested them and so then they kind of like or like how do we get arrested right you know it's like the old saying get arrested finals because they had failed to hire dog master my gosh well then that raises the is probably store and the dog and so then the question is how does that happen and one of the things because one thing is question right like well so is this about not having a dog master or or in fact is about just not giving and all the while they took a picture of the shelter inside you could see the control panel for

Turkey American Special Operations Fo San Syria Tom
Should the United States Rethink Its Nuclear Weapons Policies?

The President's Inbox

49:01 min | 1 year ago

Should the United States Rethink Its Nuclear Weapons Policies?

"And welcome to the president's inbox be see if our podcast about the foreign policy challenges facing the United States. I'm Jim Linzie director studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. Today's episode is a part of the Special Election Twenty Twenty series on the president's inbox each week between now and the Iowa caucuses. I'm sitting down with two experts with different views and how the United States to deal with the foreign policy challenge. It faces the hope that the contending views will give you a fuller understanding of what the candidates are in art saying on the campaign trail. This week's topic is nuclear weapons and arms control Within discussed whether the United States should rethink its nuclear weapons policies are L. Bridge coby and Lori Esposito. Murray Bridge is it co founder and principal at the Marathon Initiative which seeks to repair the United States. Great Power Competition. He was previously director of the Defense Program at the Center for new American insecurity from two thousand seventeen two thousand eighteen. He was Deputy Assistant Secretary of defense for strategy enforced development and led the development roll out of the two thousand eighteen national national defense strategy bridge joining us. Thank you very much Laurie. Speedo Murray is the president of the Committee for Economic Development at the Conference Board and until last month and adjunct senior senior fellow here at C. Afar. Her past positions include distinguished national security chair at the US Naval Academy Special Advisor to President Bill Clinton on the chemical go weapons convention and Assistant Director Multilateral Affairs at the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency Laura. Thanks for joining us. Thank you Jim. Thanks for having me. Back is his great to have you back and great to see you. I want to begin with a big picture question to both of you. And maybe I'll start with you first bridge in it takes off of an article that appeared in recent issue of foreign affairs by former secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz and former U. S. Senator Sam Nunn the title of their article was the return if Doomsday and their great concern is that we are moving into a much more dangerous. Period resumed nuclear weapons competition. Do you share the view that we are entering a new era. Well and thanks again Jim for for here. I share the concern that we're entering a more dangerous era. I as I I think my belly wes Mitchell and I put it in in this issue for an affair. Same issue we. We certainly believe that we are reentering period of great power competition. I think I disagree. Respectfully with Secretary Monies and Senator Nunn in emphasizing the nuclear elements that competition. I think the a great power competition. That's reemerging the nuclear dimension is likely to be considerably less salient than it was in the Cold War. That's not to say that the military competition won't be very significant. I believe it will will be. But the nuclear element of that is going to be more attenuated. And I think that's for a couple of reasons. The most significant of which is that I think both the Chinese and the Russians and we understand I'm that nuclear weapons are incredibly significant and having a survivable nuclear arsenal and something more than that people dispute is very significant. But afterwards there's diminishing marginal returns and the Chinese for instance are very very acutely aware of errors that the Soviets made in their view in the Cold War which led to the collapse of the USSR and Karnal among these is the overreliance of the Soviet Union on nuclear weapons in the production nuclear weapons. Not Say the Chinese they are advancing their nuclear forces and their Emphasis on nuclear weapons in certain respects. But I don't think were reentering is sort of nineteen the seventies early nineteen eighty s world. You're really optimistic on that score the nuclear Porsche. Yeah I would say optimistic. Pro a bit more sanguine. I mean. It's a significant issue. I think it's becoming more salient. Lee Anthony has been in the last generation certainly and that's a role for both nuclear deterrence and arms. Control more sanguine probably than they Larry. Let me ask you do you think we're entering a period of returning to doomsday. James Day. Jim I categorically disagree with bridge. I think we are moving in the direction that Senator Nunn informed Secretary of Energy Monis had indicated and there a number of reasons for this and one is because the tensions between the US and Russia are escalating. Putin has been behaving for years now since two thousand listen in very dangerous ways as far as promoting aggressive military behavior that could lead to miscalculation buzzing air naval naval ships with his aeroplanes. Things along those lines. In the meantime the relationship with China's also moving in a very negative direction. Although the agreement to a partial social trade deal might actually put that a little bit on pause but we are really dealing with as grim Alison said trying to figure out how we are going to relate as a major your power with a new coming power. And it's either going to lead to conflict or if we handled correctly it may not and nuclear so called through CDs trap Harkening back to the greatest story and who wrote the history of the Peloponnesian war between Athens and Sparta. The three powers are modernizing their nuclear systems and the nuclear nuclear systems that are coming online and the technology that's coming online and potentially coming online is very dangerous and destabilizing. You're looking at hypersonic. Lied vehicles things that are hard right to detect because of the speed. Never mind the the role that AI could plan command control. So there's a whole series of reasons why it's becoming more dangerous in terms of miscalculation with the major powers. Buddy also want to end in terms of the proliferation threat that you're also dealing with mid size powers Iran and North Korea that potentially could lead us and we're seeing this in the Gulf ready ready with provocative actions and we're seeing. We've seen it with how Kim Jong UN has been behaving with is missile tests in the Asia region. That could actually provoke conflict. That could then lead us down this road towards escalation nuclear use. I want to dive into this whole series of questions. Some of them are political dealing with arms control some of them or technical in terms of how weapons or developing and what consequences that has been. Let's begin sort of with the set of issues that I'll just generally call arms control and and there've been a number of developing perhaps the most significant this year in August. The United States formerly left the treaty the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty Eighty. You've written bridge that that was the right thing to do. Can you sort of briefly explain. What the Aina Treaty is and why you think it was smart to leave what to me was for many years presented as the great successor achievement norms control couple thousand? I'm well first of all what is on F I F was the intermediate range. Nuclear Forces Treaty was formally ratified ninety. Seven it was a hugely important treaty radiant and the negotiations during the Cold War because it was kind of the cap on the debate about the famous or infamous depending on your perspective pershing two and ground launched cruise missile deployments which led to millions of people in the streets of places like Germany and Italy and so forth. It was a very important certainly a political element in the end of the Cold War. Why do I think it was important to move beyond it and I have a colossal on that the IMF treaty was a disarmament treaty that ban an entire class of weapons eats called the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty but it actually banned any ground on launch ballistic or cruise missiles with ranges between five hundred and fifty five hundred kilometers? Now in the military circumstances that prevailed after the end of the Cold War. That was totally fine for the United States. It's my view. Is that in. The view of pay com and senior military and defensive analysts that this had become actually already had become very serious hindrance and indeed undermine are conventional military posture in the Pacific in. This has to do with a couple of things we can get into more detail. But essentially the the main military dynamic that's happening in the world is the growth and maturation and development of the People's People's Liberation Army of China as the most formidable military challenged the United States by order magnitude minimum and conventional systems. Vergara article by Michael Gordon. The Wall Street Journal Nets. Yussef yourself today. Talking about the Pentagon just tested a conventional system. My view on I N F is we could actually go back to having an NF arms control treaty nf is really a disarmament treaty eliminated entire clock explain. Explain the difference between an arms control disarmament so disarmament is getting rid of an entire class of weapons arms. Control is actually a different idea. And if you go back to the canonical literature of Tom Shelling and Morton Halperin and around nineteen sixty. It's actually a mechanism to control. It's about you know the difference between getting rid of guns and controlling guns while you can sell them. You don't sell them these kind of people all that that that you have these kinds of weapons that's arms control you know. Getting rid of all guns is disarmament I actually think. The most significant arms control and really stability measure of the end of the cold ward was actually the start process which is the strategic systems. Those are the Intercontinental long-range once. We think when we think of nuclear weapons in the end of the world those particularly think of and that is an arms control structure and that was continued in the new start processing which was ratified in two thousand eleven and is now an issue of course got lower. Your take on the I I understand it is that it was not a wise idea to walk away from the treaty. I will actually Jim. I I do agree with bridge on the IMF Treaty and walking away from the IMF treaty. I think Putin left us with no choice except to walk away from the IMF treaty. And that's because he was cheating on the IMF agreement. The estimate was that he has about or the estimate is that he has at least one hundred of these systems deployed in Russia. Already although the Russians say that they have not deployed any systems where confident and our allies. Confident that these systems have been undeployed and so once he broke out the tree and broke out at the not only in terms of research and development testing and deployment left the United States with no choice. What was important was? Is that at least in that. In this situation. President trump did listen to the allies and our NATO allies and did try to not very quickly move out of the treaty but actually tried to work with the allies as well as with the Russians. And so I I actually also think the way we left the treaty was actually done properly but looking forward. Where do we go from here? I think think in terms of the US looking to deploy these systems and whether we really want to move in that direction as opposed to trying to at least ensure the security ready and safety of our allies and both European and the Asian area and other ways in terms of deployment in Asia really creates very serious problems both for Japan and South Korea. Very if. We're thinking of doing lambaste deployments. Their create serious new targets. If we deploy these systems in Guam where we have significant deployments ever our military assets. Let's and in Europe again. It is going to be very difficult to deploy these systems in Europe s we saw during the nineteen eighties. I think whether they're either conventional or nuclear although Oh be less controversial if they are conventional warheads systems as opposed to nuclear but it does open up this whole area and I actually think Europe is really significant in terms of these systems because the issue was their their short flight time and their accuracy because they were land based actually threatened command control system so command and control systems the Nino and why is that significant. That's significant because in terms of putting an escalation of the conflict and a hair-trigger situation where you're actually escalate to a nuclear weapon. Use Use if you feel that you may end this. What the Russians felt which is why they were interested in an I.? N. F. Agreement that if these systems could threaten their command control could threaten the Kremlin You have to go I. I'm jumping in a couple. A couple of thoughts. I mean I think I. I didn't quite finish the thought but issues the lorries raising are actually completely valid and those are arms control issues so so one of the big concerns of the Soviets was of course the the the short fight. I'm particularly of the pershing to which is grandma implicit missile of quite a long range so a lot of the emotions in the nineteen eighties. The famous walk in the woods between Paul Nitze and I forget to the Soviet negotiator was the time in Geneva were about potential reach limitations. Transparency data exchange exhibitions. Those are all things that are actually in the framework on the street level. Those I think in fact my view is first of all I would not advocate any nuclear-tipped. I NEF systems. I think the United States basically say we are not going to deploy 'cause we can deliver in a reasonable way all the nuclear forces that we want through other mechanisms. Let me let me just intervenes and asks. How does that follow given that? You WanNA elite treaty. Why not stay in the treaty could be cleared the IMF treaty limited ground basis in many ways? It was one of the most lopsided treaties ever negotiated because because the Soviets dependent upon ground based missiles. The United States had edition ground-based missiles see an airbase missiles. So the United States billy that provide target get coverage still existed. Why not be an assistant? Where you can point to the Russians cheating when you still have the ability to deliver munitions to where you WanNa go also given these east deployment issues? You've toe. I actually Kinda I mean. It's all about China. So so we need the volume of fires. Conventional Fires vis-a-vis the Chinese to say more weapons that can penetrate great and we need to put the Chinese in a position where they have more targets. They have to go. I disagree with Lori about the political situation. This is an evolving situation. I think the kind of things that we saw in Europe is totally different because nuclear systems and so forth bridge if I could just In terms of being all about China may be all about China in terms of the US calculation among our national security analyst but in terms of Europe. I think Putin his view has shifted and it's about Europe and that's where he's actually my view would be I would actually probably be cautious if our dot about deploying any systems one exception might be systems that are short range like the fifteen hundred or below kilometer range which cannot plausibly threaten Moscow so the only the legitimate arms control issues which which could be the topic of arms control discussion with Moscow would be fast flying systems that is very rapid particularly ballistic missiles that can attack Moscow or potentially intentionally their missile fields deeper into Russia. If you're talking about a fifteen hundred kilometer missile that's deployed traditional operating areas for NATO. There's no way they're going to get there. especially if they're also they're cruise missile systems. Now I think those could be deployed. My view is we should talk to the Russians now. We have to resolve the fact that they've been lying and they've been deceitful about it. I mean we got out of the ABM especially no dispute over bonus honest. Russian tried to resolve these issues for several years without any success and the trump administration actually continued with the Russians. Say they have concerns of their own. Whatever but that's you know classic kind of behavior my view who is actually the fact that there are deceiving and the fact that we have more problems make these conversations all the more important I mean arms control really? Wasn't that important in the post Cold War era. The paradox of arms control is that the actual agreements tend to happen when you don't need them if I can interject in terms of Responding to arms control. It's not that important. The Post Cold War era. It was the reductions that what happened. Particularly in the post core ear have been incredibly significant in terms of taking us down since one thousand nine hundred eighty five from an overall global level which over ninety percent of US and Russian nuclear systems from seventy thousand nuclear weapons to the fifteen thousand today and this is why arms control and nuclear weapons are really significant. The progresses sources actually never really acknowledged because on the left is seen as not going far enough because fifteen thousand. Nuclear weapons can destroy the world several times over and as far as getting getting attention from the right. No one wants to really congratulate the success of arms control agreements but we have reduced over eighty percent of the global and again these are. US Russian Russian systems for the most part from seventy thousand to fifteen thousand. And we are at the crossroad. Where the last probably most important major arms control will process? The start process is coming to an end in about a year and a month Leonora and I think we have different and fundamentally different visions. I mean I would say a couple of things I mean. One is is that both sides wanted to come down so arms control ratified something that both sides wanted to the military establishment. United States wanted to decrease if you look at the immediate aftermath essentially the the Cold War for instance and things like the presidential nuclear initiatives. The military services were thrilled. He asked the Navy to take nuclear weapons off of aircraft carriers because basically in the second half of the Cold War we reinvigorate our conventional forces which are more usable on a wide variety of real trouble with PORTA colts with nuclear weapons on our site in and actually most of those weapons were actually three targeted each other so both the US and the Russia's still have the ability to blow each other up so that basic level and more is still there a lot of it was just access to both sides. And Actually I. I don't think I think that's a fallacy. I think that's one of the problems with say Senator Nunn and some of his confidence in that effort many whom I have the highest respect for but is this focus on abolition and that continuing reductions. That's not what arms control is in fact shelling who's not super hawkish. Conservative or anything but he said Nobel prize with one or two but he said He said that Armstrong's will lead you to have more weapons because the purpose is stability and that's what star is a better than elimination rather significant. It's not about reduction says about about how you do. The reductions and reductions were really important in terms of stability. And this all started as you know we all know after the Cuban missile crisis the more weapons systems. You have out there. The more nuclear systems. You have out there the more you your command and control of these systems. Detroit your ability level the use of those weapons or not used the right right and as as as that command and control devolves to the commanders level on the field you lose control of the escalation process and so if you could figure out exactly how much need for stability reasons and that's having assured second strike capability within a certain shooting the ability to absorb attack and then still have enough leftovers so stability was incorporated into all of this. And we're about to lose. We we really are on the precipice of losing that framework and I am not as sanguine as you or bridge that there's a rationality analogy. There are budget constraints that will lead to good decisions. Where stability will be emphasized over? Build up I think if you look at from nine hundred forty forty five on. All of those budget concerns all the stability concerns were all there and without a formal rules base structure that each side could feel confident that they they were verifying which is a significant part of the start process that they were able to verify that these constraints were being followed. I don't think there's a natural built in stability in terms of how leader look at these systems could have an armed conflict. You'd have a fantastic arms control structure. That had nothing to do with numbers. It was totally permissive. Numbers you could have a stable system at five hundred weapons or at ten thousand weapons. I I disagree with that I mean. I think it's very clear if you look. At what the department offensive there's a clear modernization program that the department offense is undertaking with respect to the weapons it's largely largely recapitalisation of existing systems. And it doesn't allow the kind of ballooning that we had in the Cold War in which we deliberately emphasize nuclear weapons as I. I use those within the context of the start numbers for let's. Ms Is a good point for us to talk about. Start or or I should say new start. We're I guess what went into effect in two thousand eleven and goes for ten years which means it's going to expire. I think February fifth twenty twenty. Anyone it is like the last pillar of what we call the traditional arms control architecture that people began constructing the late nineteen sixties. Does it make makes sense to renew Nustar. Because under the terms of the treaty bridge it could be renewed by mutual agreement for one five year term. Yeah I think so because I mean I think if you look at start. Art has modest direct benefits largely. Would you describe as what you see what I think. The most direct concrete material benefits the United States relate to the transparency and did exchange provision which essentially allows to get in the Russians are required exhibit. We're required to exhibit. I'm not so worried about like numerical breakout other people like you know Matt craning and others are worried about more than numerical bounce. I think nuclear is not quite that delicate so I think that's an indirect benefit. I also think there's substantial indirect but very meaningful in fact possibly more meaningful political benefits prickly cleaner nationally in the sense that new start is a public effort by the two major nuclear powers demonstrate the degree of stewardship and responsibility and restraint in the possession and employment of of the world's most destructive weapons. And I think that's important in demonstrating that we are responsible and that Ben therefore we get more support for things that we might want to do like increasing say for instance NATO's conventional military posture. And so I think I think extending you start. I also think it would allow ineffective platform for the United States to then push more on China to engage on nuclear arms. Control troll. Think it's makes more sense to do it sequentially because you know having dealt with the Chinese on this over the years you know we. We don't have the degree of clarity on on their forces that we do with the Russians but they are clearly quite a bit lower hour so if we just automatically trilateral is that we run into the problem where we're essentially inviting them to build up which is not what we want. The main problem posed by the Chinese are conventional built up. And that's what I was saying. Earlier is the vast majority Jordy. The Pentagon's effort going forward has to be to strengthen our conventional forces because we don't want to go back to the problem that we had the early nineteen sixties where we had a strong nuclear force a week conventional force and a symmetry of of interests and basically a situation where we say to the Chinese if we got an award in the Western Pacific. We're going to be forced to go nuclear. We may have to go nuclear at some point. But we don't want that to be really are only or early recourse course. I should note that the Chinese much smaller nuclear arsenal than the United States or Russia. Three hundred I think there isn't sufficient reason to counter that by against you but just to be clear you're concerned about the Chinese is the conventional posture not the nuclear commissioner. But I think we should press them on the nuclear because I think they are modernizing and expanding it get Laurie. How do you view the new start? Treaty should note that given it set to expire on February fifth. Two Thousand Twenty one. That's fifteen days after jour- president is sworn in so this is an issue that whether it's president trump in his second term or his successor is going to have to deal with right away. What's interesting Jim him as we've been talking about and I mean by we the policy community as well as US right here have been talking about extending new start as if it is a major impactful decision the president and Putin have to make in fact new start a required a significant reductions? That were met just this past February. Were at fifteen hundred. It deployed warheads apiece. We have met the reductions in the treaty. So in fact extending new start really means just holding onto the accomplishments. BUSHMAN's that new start has brought us to in terms of the size and construct of our strategic systems strategic nuclear systems. And so. It's actually a very easy easy decision to make because it's a five-year extension of what was achieved almost a year ago now and it shouldn't actually even be raised to this level of debate. The bigger challenge of course is what comes next. And how do you deal with these advancing technologies. And how do you deal with a child. Turn to that in a moment you know. I agree with bridge in terms of the the difficulty of pursuing the president's policy without really doing significant analysis of including the Chinese in these agreements. Because remember the way we we actually started to negotiate with the Russians was when we were able to acknowledge and the basis of it was the acknowledgement that there was parity between the two superpowers. We we are numbers away. The Chinese systems are much much lower. And how you actually frame and arms control tri-part agreement with the the Chinese who are significantly lower and again stewardship in terms in new start. Ninety percent of the nuclear weapons in the world are still U. S. and Russian and so there's a element of stewardship and it's really hard to fit the Chinese into that. I do think what we should be doing. Though and very purposefully doing is having strategic stability talks with the Chinese unease military to military talks they are very difficult to deal with nuclear weapons. I think on on defense issues but particularly nuclear weapons because they are very opaque and we. He worked for years with the Soviets on trying to move them in a direction where you could actually consider sitting down and going to the negotiating table and I think that's very significant vacant that we we work with the Chinese on that and talk to them about. It's really about stability and where they're heading with their nuclear program just stability is defined as you don't Wanna CBS situation. Which countries have an incentive to go? I write more or less. I mean I think I think on the stuff I mean. The irony is that there's a lot of criticism from the right of new start. It's a little L. befuddling because new start. It's essentially an extension of the start framework which does not touch. Missile Defense does not touch conventional strike. It does not touch the nuclear forces sources of our NATO allies which are like traditional Soviet and Russian complaints those incredible accomplishments of the negotiations that we didn't include the allies. Well I mean I want to make is. Is that some of the criticism from this sort of hawkish end of about the things that the tree doesn't capture it. Be careful what you wish for because the Russians will immediately raise these issues that are acute sensitivity activity. So if you don't want an arms control obviously there's a sort of poison pill argument here but the problem from the right that I don't quite understand is like start numbers I mean the fifteen fifty numbers and artifice. It's it's operationally deployed weapons. So it doesn't artificially counts bomber weapons doesn't count weapons in the stockpiles county. Okay but basically it tells you like if you're wearing being a pistol it gets counted if the pistols in your home it doesn't count so it's Kinda like all right but that works for us. I mean it. Basically allowed strategic command to work with OCD and so for the Pentagon Kinda gone to figure out what we needed to the Russians. I have a few things I would have done differently. But but on the whole it's not it's not a big deal so I don't really understand. What the heartburn? Oxide I can understand the the heartburn on the dumpsite and a lot of dubs quietly disappointed at the time but I think you know I. I don't look at it as a kind of a modest sort of like I mean gun control. It's such an emotional issue. Convert a nuclear Armstrong. I don't know what the right analogy would be. But I mean it's kind of it's a very basic level of a control just on the Chinese. I think it's different. I mean the Chinese. They mean business They've been and growing it. You know on the P. L. A. Roughly seven to ten percent for twenty five years they are not increasing their size and reliance on their nuclear forces for very sound on strategic reasons which they understand that the stakes at issue are not. They don't really make sense but also that the the mistake that the Soviets made was to turn it into a kind of a fundamental nuclear competitions very very hard to do this to to kind of make limited gains under this kind of show. The Chinese on the other hand are immensely improving their conventional forces. Now I think what they're GONNA do is they're going to have very very sophisticated is to get a conventional forces sufficient nuclear forces to try to deter American intervention or I use and then tried to isolate our allies in the region. That's a very dangerous strategy arms control for us. We're not going to solve this problem with arms control. I do think though daughter problem with the challenge but we should be putting pressure on the Chinese to be kind of because this this is not an innocent strategy. This is in fact. It's a very smart strategy. which is very disturbing? I WANNA get to the issue of where technology is going before we do that. I WANNA finish up with two more or less arms control issues and get your quick takes because not all arms control necessarily requires a formal treaty. You can have an essence tacit signaling mutual agreement to do do things and one issue that has been on the table. Periodically is the question about testing of nuclear weapons. We've been observing a voluntary moratorium Taurean since one thousand nine hundred ninety two. Should the United States reconsider that at all or does it make sense to not conduct tests of nuclear weapons. I think so long as there are two reasons. Why main reasons why? I think we shouldn't be looking at testing nuclear weapons and one as long as the labs are confident national labs like Cindy Alamos us right in terms of the reliability of our nuclear systems. I think that's a clear indication that we should not be thinking about moving towards testing and breaking this moratorium of other countries. Countries are also observing the more. They're they're not the North Koreans and there is the comprehensive test-ban treaty that has not come into force that one hundred and eighty three countries. Just one hundred underneath. Three countries are party to so in terms of formal agreement right and it hasn't come into force for very technical reasons. In terms of the number of countries that are needed to ratify the United States. Senate voted it down. Probably seven other countries come into won't commit to force anytime soon but there is a an international moratorium that is respected by that number of countries so long as the. US doesn't need to and here again. We're talking about stewardship. Be the first to break out the only ED member of the club and testing that we would join if we did test a would be North Korea and I think given that such an overwhelming number of countries are in the club supporting the moratorium on testing of nuclear weapons. I think you could get more Torian bridge out of Santa Fe. Let let me ask you a policy. We don't have but some people argue we should should have an is one that can be naked unilaterally and that's no I use some people say it is what we should do partly stewardship to signal to the world that we don't intend tend to use weapons for offensive purposes you've written on no-first-use saw give you a chance to make the argument that I did want him out about idea. I mean no I use is kind of a bizarre issue and all in the first place because even those numbers US pledges that are made by the Chinese are not always really believed says. kind of it's it's you. Can you actually make a no first. I use pledge believable. Because can't you change your mind. Yeah and if you if you don't have the forces that would allow you to conduct rational I use. That's more incredible. I mean for instance if you only have very large warheads that are essentially designed to kill cities. Those are unlikely to be used. I it's possible you can imagine these tin have warheads on your systems especially if you don't have more discriminative capability that the Chinese have the ability for instance they are advancing rapidly. And if you look at the Chinese military power report you'll you'll see it in missile precision command control etc.. So I mean the other point is China like us in certain circumstances doesn't actually have the incentive to go first so it's not necessarily like it's I mean we relied for NATO's defence effective deterrence for forty years on a credible no-first-use. Pledge My basic strategic point is our fundamental grand strategy which is which is right and I mean we're sort of in the process of justice. I talked about with West and our piece in Kern issue. Foreign Affairs is to develop an cohere a coalition of states in particular. That's strong enough and resilient enough to stand up to China. You need the military strategy for that in order for countries to stand with us that Japan's of the world the South Korea's etc Australia we need to have an effective defense posture and if in this world corruptions if you're going to have an effective defense or you need a credible nuclear strategy. The problem with the no first use strategy is that our allies basically if we save enough for if the Chinese can achieve local conventional national manage in Asia say over Japan that basically means we would allow China to defeat Japan without going the whole distance. Right which then. Obviously Tokyo or cameras as logical deduction as well I guess I nuclear weapons which in my view there are worse things could happen in the in the world then. That usually advocate note. I use that that is the worst thing that could happen. But I I don't like and I want the Chinese to have to worry that we might decide and that we have selective options for nuclear first use. If they push for Enough Laurie. I actually agree with bridge in terms of no I you he said I. I really don't think it's a feasible policy. I don't think it's feasible policy for the US and it's alliances So I do agree on his analysis on and arguments about no I use but I do want to in terms of. Is there a feasible. No first use policy. I do think a country can say that it has a no first use policy and can take certain actions actions that make that more credible such as not pudding the nuclear warheads on the on the missile or or their their bombers So that they actually have to take more or time before they do a strike so the world would know that they were preparing to use nuclear weapons and with slow down. The process of systems were on high alert. So you can actually we see. I think it's infeasible. I don't think dangerous. Because if you take star on Yes yes yes home with that is you can change change. You can decide to mate. How long would that take? Do we know how long it take you to Maine. We know our weapons are so. It's just once you have. Nuclear Weapons is kind of like disarming advocates advocates. Tend to think that worst case thinking is really bad and sometimes it is but actually arms control is predicated on the idea of like. Let's think the worst case work back from there and then figure out what's a stable situation so so to your point Jim at You know as a as a defense national security planner dealing with a tense situation. That's building globally. You can't take another country's no I use pledge seriously you have to assume that they may use nuclear weapons and so in fact. It doesn't really have much effect in terms of technology. I keep saying we're GONNA talk about technology Let's let's talk about technology. And I I guess I want to begin with what when I first got in. This business was the big issue talking in the early mid nineteen eighties. That was missile defense. We've been working the missile defense for thirty five years now. I'm told we spent about two hundred billion dollars or more on the development of missile defense. We're spending about fifteen billion or so in the current budget and it does missile defense work. Yeah missile defense works for certain things I mean I think a couple points first of all missile defense tends to have an enormous amount of political salience but actually what you said is is is really a great point I remind people that sometimes which is two hundred billion dollars sounds like a lot but that's over you know thirty years or whatever fifteen billion dollars also is a lot of money but when you compare it to the total size of the defense budget which is Seven hundred eighty billion. It's actually gives you a sense of the role. The missile defense plays here. We have to separate the nuclear and the conventional in conventional wars even sort of incremental or marginal evanger can be significant. So if you should you know if you should ten missiles in me and I shoot down eight and you only get to through. Hey that's I'm actually. I can work with that because I might provincial. Conventional scenario right so so you know free throw level Shooting percentage actually is actually pretty good in a nuclear war. You know if we're talking about homeland defense in particular if three nuclear warheads come through and penetrating killer cities. It's very likely that whatever the scenario that started that war that that that was worse than what we are heading. So Ronald Reagan's vision of rendering nuclear weapon. Oh you've been an obstacle or not we are not capable of doing that is obviously a sort of a grand vision but but were nowhere in the in the universe where that's possible that actually gets to the point. Laurie made about hypersonic severance. Actually stabilizing right here. I have to ask what is a hypersonic weapon. It's a weapon that goes about fifteen times. The speed of sound travels about fifty times so ballistic missiles go right but it can have it can have have different kinds of trajectories so basically what it does is it makes it harder. Shootdown ballistic a blizzard. Trajectories literally goes I think in a parabola basically goes I recall my high school physics. You're better off than I but but it. It basically follows a trajectory so once it's like throwing a baseball. Exactly you can tell where it's GonNa go right. Hypersonic as commonly talk about it is something that can maneuver and that makes missile defense is very difficult because missile defense is trying to hit a ball with a bullet is declining and moving. That's much harder. This was that famous display that Putin gave about about a year or so ago when he showed a hypersonic vehicle using very clever trajectory to make its way to Florida which happened to be right about where Mar Largo was but the under the logic of strategic stability. Those kinds of things can actually be stabilizing. The paradox of arms control is that the the most grisly weapons are the safest because their weapons that are that are used at the kind of end the escalation Shane. The ones that are most dangerous are the ones that are called counterforce which is why start and these processes try to eliminate the dynamics that would make a first strike. What's the stabilizing in a traditional language is if I think I can shoot the pistol out of your holster? If you've got your Ulster behind your back to shoot three or Ulster I gotTA shoot through heart. Well then there's no problem and that's Kinda the basic or if you've got like a bazooka so the only way to do it is going to kill me. That's actually a stabilizing weapon. Now that doesn't mean they're not grizzly but I think what you're missing missing bridge in terms of stabilisation is a threat that this makes and this is why was raising the Putin video that he showed that it went to mar-a-lago he was showing. He's the the fact that it's a One of the most beautiful areas of the kind of his point was that he was threatening our command and control. He was threatening the President United States without actually having to use Washington. And that's one thing. I don't think that's true because my point about command and control and so I think in terms of technology technology and you were saying these weapons systems and hyper sonics may actually be stabilizing. The biggest threat is the threat to command and control. And when you get into the situation this is this. This has been true of arms control all the way through and and and nuclear strategic developments all the way through that one you actually challenge command and control. You lead yourself to a physician where it's use it or lose it and you push yourself to escalation and you push your enemies descalation quicker two new nuclear weapons use than than just on this command control absolutely a huge problem with command and control very difficult for arms control the solve threatening the president if he were and mar-a-lago is not going to decapitate the US system because the US has has prepared for this for fifty or more eight years right. We know that we have. I mean in the infamous story from the Soviet side if we had captained to write that. And that's exactly my point but that's moving leaving the decision to use nuclear weapons down to a very very low level and we get to not. They're not low level right because there's always somebody level. Well Dan dead hand is what we have to stop. Now that we've introduced dead hand we have to explain it to people. I know what you're referring to but let me. I always find so so basically the command control problem is is one. That's very old. It's basically you can destroy all over your eyes forces but if I shoot you in the head and you can't pull pistol out of your holster achieve the same effect right in a in a small leadership cadre. This is something where you know. If you can take out the leadership cadre you can achieve the same effect and make your enemy subordinate now. According to I mean there's still historical work on this but according to the store for work and it's in books by people like David Hoffman and so forth the Soviets had a system called the dead hand or I think perimeter which was basically an automated system that if there were sufficient number of nuclear explosions I think if I recall Dave correctly in the Soviet Union that even if there were no signal sent from Moscow it would automatically launched a system for people who've seen the movie Dr Strangelove. This has some resonance. That's what I think just on the commandment control problem arms control. Cancel that because it has to do with internal processes largely most of what command control. It's very very familiar to both sides is that you have processes also sees and you have people trained and understand technical capabilities if you look at Shrek homes website. You can figure out some of the things but we are very accustomed to dealing with as part of this also is is that where the arms control discussion kind of evolves is like both sides kind of have to do their own work. You can't put yourself in a position where you're trusting the other side too much. You know the Americans have to figure out okay. Okay if the Russians decided to do something like that are we prepared. That is a relatively easy scenario and the Russians have to do the same the same thing rich in terms of arms control not solving the problem. I just WanNa adds something about I about Dan The perimeter system. What was happening in the Soviet Union at the time according to the work that particularly David Hoffman did in and using the Soviet archives they opened up was that it was not something. They publicly announced it was not something to use for deterrence. It was a process to ensure that the Soviet Union could would retaliate and it was a revenge process it had nothing to do with deterrence. And so they were going to go fully automated and then decide to put a very low level military person underneath in a deep bunker. If he couldn't hear back from the Kremlin to shoot that they didn't go totally automated I think. Ai Puts us in a place. Explain while you're you're you've you've written about this right so the problem of the reason why I think is is very threatening and I want to get back to. I also WANNA make the point about arms control solving it but the reason why Ai Is really important here is that as the IMF treaty was falling apart they are actually started discussions with the former head of the Soviet Soviet rocket forces where the perimeter system has actually been modernized. So they're thinking about as a way to respond to this new race. In the intermediate immediate range area. That had been disarmed. These ground based systems had been removed that the response would be returning to a perimeter system that was automated automated. And relying that means if it's modernize you're relying on your taking out human control and human decision making on went to use nuclear weapons and the reason why that is so disturbing we've have so many incidences throughout the Cold War both on the US side and on the Russian side when it was actually believed that there was a strike happening and because of decision-making man may decision making as opposed to rely Janice Love Petrov Ninety days if you look at the history of the Cold War it's actually pretty remarkable how professional and it was because the man is not clear across. It was because it was actually bridge in it was when Margaret Archer realize that at that time when they were doing a NATO exercise that escalated to nuclear. Weapons that the Soviets actually thought what this was a way of of actually hiding the fact that they were about to invade the Soviet Union and use nuclear weapons when she realized that that was when she went to Ronald Reagan and said we have to do something in order to ensure stability. I just want to get back to make sure that this doesn't escalate. And that was by talking and using arms control. Yeah but but it was Margaret Thatcher. Convinced Ronald Reagan that. We don't WanNa have miscalculation so we need to be talking to the Soviet Union and then that's a different. That's one more point to make in terms of arms control solving it with perimeter system. What was happening in terms of the destabilization and the risk of miscalculation Shen in the one thousand nine hundred eighty s because of ground launched deployments of ground-launched missile systems? You had the IMF treaty and arms control did solve it. That threat did take away. The command control in terms of the Soviet Union. Concern about the missile deployments in your points pretty working because I think we need to get and it's actually very problem that the command and control issue is a very difficult one and there is. There's a lot of thought. Being put into the relative balance in the advantages endangers news of automation versus human control. I mean humans make Mr let me let me for. Humans can make mistakes. They've made many mistakes. Curtis Lemay had had the decision. In fact there's evidence that Curtis Lemay Actually if there were sufficient indication other treat your gear. He was the famous commander of an founder Strategic Air Command. Who you know the phrase bomb back the Stone Age attributed and I'm actually he's brilliant figure in in some ways but he basically it suggests that he basically would have ordered the the SAC bombers to attack the Soviet Union? Whatever the president said so like human control can go both ways an automated control over the most if an automated system basically says if there are dozens if not hundreds of nuclear detonations? They are confirmed by multiple. phenomenology is multiple different ways. We will retaliate Beck and actually be stabilizing if it's communicated and if it's understood because it says you can't figure out a way to decapitate if I know that I shoot the more the more if I shoot are you in the head and you die but I know your pistols GonNa come out anyway. That's actually pretty compelling so I think the command control thing. We need isolated. What we want to try to get out with arms control in the traditional original arms control as sort of thinking is get after the systems that most logical imperil and most clearly imperil that ability to have the confidence to have time and make the decision? So the problem with the pershing. Two's which were very very fast. Flying Intermediate Range Systems they could reach western Europe. And hit the Kremlin in seven minutes. Actually the Kremlin had ways of dealing with that problem. No doubt I don't know this was the prune or some other process. We just don't know what I want to wrap this point but we don't want to give me a chance to respond. I want to ask one one last question. While I was in terms of technology in terms of their there are obviously very important contributions that technology can make in terms of knowledge and knowledge of what the battlefield looks like. And so this is not making a point that we should control a I. I am making the point. That in terms of nuclear weapons and the fact that technology allergy in terms of hypersonic you're decreasing the time you're decreasing the ability to even track where the systems are going that you really need to make sure that you have human and just taking working together. I'm actually this is something that on the decision making issue. Ai Can help you in the train. But Hey I can give you more time for instance. People are advocate off navigate. The de alerting issue which is an issue often comes up in these conversations which is take missile systems off alert. Will if you if you make more time to force you turn on your computer before you essentially hit the button that gives you less time to have a conversation about it so in a sense what we want to Max. Jeffrey Lewis others have written could stuff about this is actually maximize has the amount of deliberate decision making and minimize the chances that you wrongly perceive an attack of kind of the same thing in terms of what what in what technological analogical advances can bring in terms of knowledge of the battlefield. I will just note on the issue of AI. My friends in the cyberworld will say you also had better be very sure that your systems cannot be hacked and that could be very difficult standard to me because these systems are so complex just on this point actually general heightened when he was distracting stratacom. Commander I believe this is about a year and a half ago. At their annual conference he literally openly in front of an international audience is on Youtube he said we need ideas and designing command control architecture that that helps us deal with these problems. And actually he's singled out a essay by a twenty four year old woman who is a graduate student. He said this great kind of conceptual papers problems that we're dealing with another the other fields but the the consequences are much. Let me ask one last question and the question I wanna ask is what advice would you give the next president whether it's president trump war or one of his Democratic challengers on this front on nuclear weapons and arms control. What would your advice be review? Bridge Yeah I mean I would mar has nuclear deterrent So that it's unquestionably survivable. And it can destroy any potential challengers as needed that we have discriminate options that are militarily capable at the kind of theater and local level but also that critically this is most of what the defense where I'm doing is that we have conventional forces that along with those were allies and partners can help defeat kind of Chinese or Russian theories of victory. And don't don't basically don't put the likelihood in necessity of first use of nuclear weapons too much. We WanNA reserve the right. We don't want to be put in that situation at the same time. We should be pursuing a diplomatic arms arms control agenda vis-a-vis the Chinese and the Russians. That's designed to solve problems. You know for Instance Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty. Maybe we could actually get back to a point where we wouldn't have surprise exercises. Most conventional wars start by invader pretending that they're having an exercise but actually rolling into the neighbor. If we can get rid of some of these problems that'd be great at minimum however it helps us politically. It helps us with showing that the the the other side is the problem actor. So I you know I. I think I think that kind of logic i. I don't see why Republican or Democrat doesn't matter but I think that's a a smart agenda for any president. Laurie Lori. The first thing I would emphasize that these weapons are very different than any other weapon and these weapons have existential impact and I would argue you if he or she said that cyber has that I would say. Cyprus catastrophic you combined cyber with nuclear capabilities whether it's blowing up nuclear power plants. Whatever become samsa existential so it's the nuclear weapon existential? These issues haven't gotten any of the important attention that they deserve and they probably won't get them in this twenty twenty election and that we are at a major major crossroad in terms of our policies on on these issues with the arms control framework. Really coming to an end if not completely collapsing and being off the table in terms of being a tool. It's not an answer. It's not a panacea but as a tool in ensuring that we do not race ahead or by miscalculation relation or accident use these eggs essential weapons or escalate to these existential weapons in conflict as the world is becoming more and more tense and it really warrants. His time his attention number one on on his agenda should be extending new. Start which I said. It's just a baseline but then he's really got to take on the challenges of how are we going to address these new technologies in which could be extremely destabilizing and how we going to address the fact that the Chinese are advancing an even though their numbers will still remain lower. The technology That the systems will use will be advancing and that we have proliferation threats growing around the world including North Korean Iran. which we're all aware of but also the situation of India and Pakistan in South Asia on that note a close up the special election twenty twenty episode of the presence in boxer this week my guess had been breached? Colby will be co founder and principal at the marathon initiative in. Laurie Esposito Mary. President of the Committee for Economic Development of the Conference Board Bridging Lori. Thank you for joining me. Today's conversation I posted links to what Bridge Lori and others have written about nuclear weapons in arms control on my blog. The water's edge edge. You can find the blog at sea afar dot org again that's the water's edge on. Cf Art Dot Org a heads up about future programming. The president's inbox will be taking two week break for the holidays. We will be back on January seventh with a new episode. In the meantime wish everyone happy holidays and he prosperous New Year's if you're not already subscribing to the presence inbox I would hope you would consider doing so you can subscribe to it on Apple Podcast spotify or wherever you listen whichever podcasts. Every she used. I also hope you would consider Cedar leaving as a review as well as your suggestions for what topics to cover. Your feedback helps improve the show as always opinions expressed in the president's inbox a solely those of the host host or our guest not a C. Afar which takes no institutional position. Today's episode. Which boosts zoe call us with senior producer Jeremy Charlotte? Zoe also did double duty this week. asked recording engineer special. Thanks to Margaret Gach for her assistance. This episode presents inboxes me possible in part by a grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York. This is Jim Linzie. Thanks for listening

United States NATO Putin president China Jim Laurie Nuclear Forces Treaty Russia IMF Intermediate Nuclear Forces Tr Intermediate Range Nuclear For U. S. Senator Sam Nunn Soviet Union Asia Pentagon
The U.S. Hypersonics Program Matures

Aviation Week's Check 6 Podcast

31:04 min | 3 months ago

The U.S. Hypersonics Program Matures

"You're listening to the check six podcast brought to you by editors from across the aviation week network listeners now have access to special subscription offers including thirty percent off aviation week and space technology. Go to podcasts, DOT Aviation Week DOT COM to learn more. Hi, and welcome to the check six podcast. I'm Jen Damasio, the executive editor defense and space, and I am here with defense editor. Steve Trimble and technology editor, Guy Norris, and we're here because really in the span of a couple of weeks, our knowledge of the US hypersonic weapons program is significantly expanded and a lot of these disparate pieces that we have been tracking are falling into place. Steve. been at the forefront of reporting a lot of these developments. Can you summarize the highlights for us? Right well, just to kind of give you a a an update Eh cross the entire spectrum because it's a huge portfolio. So let's go back to March that was the last flight test hypersonic flight tests that the DOD has has carried out with that was with the blog zero common hypersonic lied body. That's the glide body that's going to be the front end for the army's long range hypersonic weapon and the Navy's intermediate range, conventional prom strike, which is summering launch missile. That was a successful flight test It was later described by president trump as a as the super duper missile We were trying to figure out what that was, but that according to CNN's reporting. That's that's what he was referring to. At the time. The Air Force meanwhile has got a couple of different programs. Ongoing one is the AGM one, eighty, three A. Rapid Response Weapon Lockheed Martin design for for both the front front end and the integration, and they did a captive carry flight tests that would appear to be pretty successful just a couple of weeks ago and they are moving that into flight test with the FRONTON actually incorporating the design from the tactical boost glide program from Darpa that was supposed to be an independent separate. Well, not quite there. They are linked that was supposed to be a separate flight test program that they've now folded that into the aero vehicle design and will continue testing that through era there. was also on the Hawk programs. That's the next set of flight tests that are supposed to be happening That's hypersonic everything weapon concepts which is basically a scream jet powered cruise missile There's a Lockheed version and Raytheon version We know back in May that the Lockheed attempted to do a captive carry test with their version of the Hawk missile but there was some kind of failure during the flight test We still don't know exactly what it, what it was but it appeared to be somewhat damaging and but since then we hit me for nothing about. where. They're going with that except for the fact that the Air Force a few weeks ago, launched a follow on program to develop an operational prototype. Jet Powered cruise missile that you know would be a follow on to the the program But in the competition Air Force basically selected three companies a couple of weeks ago to form the competitive field for the follow on Hawk missile and those three companies are Lockheed Raytheon and Boeing. Which of course, the interesting part there is Boeing locking Raytheon are heavily involved in the Arrow Program and the TV g program and Hawk program, but Boeing has been shut out. So this gives them a chance to come back into the hypersonic Arena for at one point buying of course, was the sort of champion in especially in the air breathing propulsion space with the x fifty one program, and if you go way back I'm sure guy could could chime in on on these programs would be like the space shuttle and fifteen with Boeing's legacy companies so. That kind of brings us up to speed with where we are right now. Okay and then in the last couple of weeks. You've stumbled onto a few really interesting stories. One of them this week can you tell us? What's happening with the air force and what new weapons down the road they might be looking at? Right so the big disclosure came this week that we we found out that the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center briefly published their requests for information on the government's acquisition website, Betas Dot Gov. in the if I was about upgrades, future upgrades for an ICBM that sounded a lot like the ground based strategic deterrent which is going to replace madman three and one of the upgrades that were list that were. was listed in the are fine. Was for a hypersonic glider. And it was seeking thermal protection systems for an intercontinental range. hypersonic glider, and that would be a new embiid and very controversial stop it. If they actually moved into acquisition program, it would violate a current dod policy that would prohibit. a nuclear. Version of a hypersonic lied vehicle or cruise missile. I know you said that this is contrary to current dod policy. But where is it with regard to the global race to produce hypersonic weapons? And that's what's been kind of interesting because you know rush is already deployed a nuclear armed hypersonic glide vehicle on an Inter continental ballistic missile In fact, the S. Nineteen they hypersonic glide vehicle is the the having guard. And that became operational Russia declared that it was operational at Dombrowski in December of last year. China has not been quite as a public about their plans for. for a nuclear or even intercontinental HDTV. But you Northern Command the head of US Northern Command General Shaughnessy testified in Congress in February was actually in his written testimony that was submitted to the Senate, Armed Services Committee That's where he said that ordering command. Or believes that China is currently testing. in an intercontinental range hypersonic glide vehicle perhaps further DEA forty one, which is also in development right now. Yeah. So the US is actually outlier among the major nuclear powers in that it doesn't yet have hypersonic. Glide Vehicle Development Program for a nuclear ICBM missile if you believe the Northern Command testimony in February. So this new development from the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center. Indicates that there is perhaps some interest long term in developing that capability from the Gbi St. in fact, just yesterday general, Clark who's The head of strategic systems nuclear deterrence for the air staff at headquarters air. Force did say he told me specifically that there is not a threshold requirement for hypersonic glide vehicle in the GBI SD program. But of course, all the acquisition program set up threshold requirements and objective requirements and he would not speak to what the objective requirements are. For HDTV the certainly the RFI which has since been removed from Betas Dot Gov because it contained information that was for official use only probably should never. have been posted there in the first place that are if I suggest that perhaps one of the objective requirements would be a hypersonic glide vehicle that's really interesting Steve and I'd like to talk more about that. But there have been so many developments I want to move onto another sort of expanded role for hypersonic, and that is this missile that you've been writing about called mayhem. What would that do How would that expand the mission and the types of technologies that the Air Force is working with? Or would certainly add a really cool new name for a hypersonic weapon program. I like the name him but we just found out about this last week and get it was another guy that we weren't expecting came out of the Air Force Research Laboratory Laboratory. Now, it's only a demonstrator for an expendable demonstrator vehicle that we'd be powered by an air breathing hypersonic propulsion system. Initially we thought that meant scrammed jet I should say that one of the main features of this vehicle is that it could host at least three different payloads and it just a fairly fairly large vehicle and perhaps a multi mission vehicle that could perform intelligence missions attack missions you know be something a lot more than just a a hypersonic glide vehicle that is essentially just a missile but as we looked at as we look for this program in the budget justification documents we didn't see anything by that name. But we did see something called the mission cruiser. which we noticed earlier, but that is a an an a of our program that was supposed to be launched in fiscal year twenty, twenty one and is described as a multi cycle engine program and F R L. just yesterday confirmed to us that mayhem is the multi-mission cruiser. So we know that it is linked to this idea for a multi cycle everything propulsion system, and that has some really interesting. Implications that I think I'd let our air breathing hypersonic propulsion system experts on staff go into in a little further detail over to you guy thanks Steve Yeah it is bewildering. Jenn. What's going on here there's so much activity across air-breathing and Boosted vehicles right Nabet Ju just before we go any further I, my my view is that mayhem is not a missile It may well end up becoming amid saw BA accident. When it gets a when it gets lost in the sea but said on its trial but I think essentially it's we're talking about a flight demonstration sort of test vehicle Really it's Steve. Sort of mentioned it's the it's the beginning really of the next phase of maturity furthest technologies because it introduces for the first time the idea of a much longer range air-breathing. Element, which is integrated from potentially from a runway, start all the way to hypersonic speeds. So it's not necessarily a case of dropping this off the wing of save of beef fifty two and firing the button and off it goes. This thing is the beginnings of what they air force has been dreaming really since the days of Nass since innocence, the X. Thirty onwards. And we we should say that there's been a lot of work going on in the background probably leading up to this both Nassar on the come on the civil side and Darpa really on the military side have been working programs in the US for several years. Now on the sort of combined cycle engine that we would need for the you know presumably would be at the core of mayhem. So just quickly remind people while that is you're talking about a a jet engine essentially, which would be a turbine that. Would allow the vehicle to go from a standing start to a speed of mach three to four at that point, which again, high-speed one engine being up to do from zero to four is pretty significant. We have seen in the pass through programs like high stead, other high speed turbine programs. The fact that you could push to binds to that limit you can do it. It's been proven. It's just what happens next the in the normal cutoff for a turbine Engine v Mach two point two or so is that right? Well so They made this. A trick question none of well, it really depends on what the literature says, but we've seen evidence that people have pushed beyond mouth three and I'm not just talking about obviously, yes or seventy one with a ramjet kind of idea. But really a small compactor by an engine has you know. If that has the ability to go beyond the mouth three range and and there's work obviously underway already to increase that with for example, reaction engines working on prequel technology early test with Pratt and Whitney did with a mythic program to basically condition the entering these turbines really feels them into thinking that they're going a lot slower. It's so it's all about at temperature and the operating condition in that engine. So anyway back to back to the basics. You'd have this turbine engine as the the beginning phase. It would then transition to this ramjet mode and the Ramjet itself would then transitioned scrammed jet as you go from beyond mark for through to five and onwards so. Let's say it's sort of an. Dope has program they advanced full range engine was really the driving force for for us sort of the really the focus ready for a lot of the US military research in this area D- operation began really the the main run to this four years ago and in twenty seventeen awarded aerojet rocketdyne contracts him, and we've we're not sure if there was another one also competitively awarded but Aerojet Rocketdyne certainly spoke about that at the time. So So. So yeah this would be about the right time assuming that things went well in that area to to begin moving this into a flight demonstration phase and forever, of course, with this multi-mission cruiser mayhem kind of fickle is painting that picture and one last thing Steve just going to mention this is that of course, Lockheed when they unveiled to several years ago this idea Vanessa someday to. Also, outlined their vision for using the same kind of tpc a combined cycle. Capability. Really is the fundamental power system for an ir saw vehicle whether it would be crewed not crude and. Under that plan, they outlined by twenty twenty by now, they would be testing a subscale demonstrator. Flight demonstrator. Now, if that's that's probably if it's happening is definitely in the world, we don't know about it, but we've had reports none of which have been verifiable that vehicles have been seen. It's Again at this stage it's all a bit of a mystery so. As. A multi mission aircraft or an intelligence aircraft. How is it recoverable on the other end? Well it's a good question. So I mean at the moment they the May mayhem itself is considered expendable rights, Dave I think that's that's but that's just the demonstrator and As I said, it could go off into separate directions you just you could use the cycle foreign expendable vehicle, of course, but the big goal about it overseas to be reusable because you obviously increase your operational envelope enormously by having something that you can. You don't after rely on an an a mothership or whatever to launch it, but also you can expand dramatically expand your range capability and flexibility. By flying at different speeds for different regimes and so forth. However, the longer term goal would be to bring this thing back and to grow it in scale and get to the size where you are literally talking about an ESA seventy one type vehicle or or at least a vehicle it does that mission or did that mission. So you're not gonNA throw that away you're going to bring that home. Thanks guy as we're talking about the technology really maturing and rapidly one of the other big stories is about technology actually maturing to the point that production might begin Steve. Can you catch us up on your conversation with dianetics this week? A. Sure, I mean this is really the consequence of the Hypersonic Push Bhai Dod for Sixty seventy years. It's it's it's the entire industry has been this sort of cottage sector that has supported experimental vehicles every other year, maybe a couple of year and the in the best of times very bespoke unique designs that are not meant to be industrialized and that's what's changing. Whether it's hypersonic glide vehicles or have you sign a cruise missiles The time has come now to start industrializing Those systems for when they become operational at least in the US So there's two different. Strands to this on the in the in the hypersonic glide vehicle area There's the the Army and Navy program where the glide body is being assembled in Huntsville by dianetics, and then there's the Air Force Arrow program where the glide body will be assembled. We we we think in are pretty sure about this in Palmdale at Lockheed site ten campus, which is part of skunkworks. And So, in in in Huntsville. They are just they have built the facility for the Hypersonic Glide Body Factory and They're just in the process of completing the the building they plan to open the production area for the subsystem, Component Assembly in October, and then by mid-december opened up the final assembly testing integration part of the building. That's where they're going to bring in The control modules for the Ele- vons there's four Ella von. Control Services on the on the common hypersonic wide-body and the control module for that is being supplied by Raytheon. Gerald Tomic's electromagnetic systems is coming in with subassemblies, Electron IX and and cables, and then the army's interestingly is coming up with a is actually supplying the thermal protection system to dianetics on contract. All of that will be coming together in December with the second unit of the common hypersonic lie body. That's where it will be produced. The first unit is actually being symbol right now in albuquerque at Sandia national laboratories. dianetics is the contractor for that, but they are essentially shadowing. This India workforce as they assemble the first one, and then the Sandia workforce will go from Albuquerque to Huntsville and shadow dianetics employees build the second. And all the way through the twentieth, which is currently the contract that dynamic says to produce the first twenty. So that is the. That is where things Dan with the industrialization on the Army Navy Air Force side for the hypersonic glide bodies. But grow guy can also talk about his recent interview. With the aerojet people aerojet Rocketdyne on the everything side. Yeah that well, thanks Steve in fights it's everything boosted because Close. Go a long long history in both in both areas. Really. But yes. So kind of light paralleling what Steve is saying, and of course, a lot of this does seem to be based in Alabama and Arkansas and Florida that kind of. The southeast corner that but much the industrialization focus that are you know aerojet rocketdyne is doing is building on. A lot of these early programs to sort of glide breaker at Darpa up fires both another Darpa Program free which we just talked about and and hawk. Those are the things that only the things that we know about that they're involved in but Yeah. They've basically opened last year they opened an advanced manufacturing silty in Huntsville which is really sort of beefing up their new capabilities for for booster essentially the booster side of things but also will be aligned to any air-breathing work I, think in the future and. they also just opened up this engineering manufacturing development facility in Camden Arkansas, which is really expansion of again existing side of their work, which they do the standard missile three Thad and the GPS Steve Steve just mentioned but they know that hype Sonics is coming. It's part of the plan for this facility and as part of this overall strategy they've also. Developed, just acquired a company called three the MTA in Florida, which is this additive manufacturing specialist. So and that seems to be really going to be part of their scrammed jets philosophy they they know that they're going to have to build lots, lots of these things and make it incredibly. The thing about scrammed jets is very, very precisely bill there's a sort of. There's very little room for error. So when you build these things, you have to make them absolutely the same every single time and additive manufacturing is probably the best way to do that and do it at cost as well. So sakir lamented their strategy and Yeah. It'd be good to find out more. There has been some other elements on the side to that I found. Kind of interesting is as a as a tried to industrialized this I mean the idea that they really want to build hundreds or thousands of these things You know maybe dozens per year to begin with but you know by the end of this decade I mean really pump out these things like they would do with Jasim or ams, or you know where it's really in batches of hundreds or thousands. And the way to do that is really to kind of Well, I mean, we're not exactly sure how they're going to do that. But there are companies that are sort of lining themselves up to to compete for those things. Spirit aerosystems is a really good example back in January they announced the acquisition of FM I which had supported like the space shuttle program and other You know rocket booster programs with very advanced composite three, D. Manufacturing Assembly techniques. You combine that with Spirit aerosystems sort of mass production capability on the commercial side get potentially a pretty interesting combination of you know very advanced very exotic material technology with you know sort of mass production aircrafts. You know manufacturing know how spirit aerosystems has could be really interesting. That's a really good link. One thing I was going to say regarding Steve's earlier story about the this idea of a hypersonic glider on the front of an ICBM. Part of the huge huge technical challenge of that is it's going to be even greater than having to deal with massive heat flux is that you get on the shorter range systems but And Steve mentioned this in his original story he's talked to people have said that you know we're talking about potential thermal flux capability here of seven thousand degrees. Calvin. So you know over nearly six, thousand, seven, hundred plus degrees say so just a an, it'll be interesting to give you a little idea of how that compares the space shuttle at its peak temperature deals with about two thousand, nine, hundred degrees Fahrenheit the Orion crew vehicle, which is hurtling back from the depths of space is. A little bit more three, thousand, four, hundred degrees C can see there's a delta that massive Delta really in terms of thermal capability. So, another thought was the other with also plenty of both the space shuttle and the Orion crew vacant blunt bodies, essentially the spatial lesser but there's a lot of area over which to distribute that heat. The thing about a hypersonic cruise vehicle is you look talking about a very pointy little thing. So that really amplifies the massive engineering challenge of that and you're talking about not only prolonged exposure but you're talking about different types of exposure reinsure member, the the really these big heat fluxes that they have for reentry vehicles in candidate, but hundred and fifty thousand feet during that been initial plunge into the atmosphere. What we're dealing with with the cruise vic potentially is all sorts of prolonged exposure, not only from reentry, but also in the dense atmosphere lower down where you get a different type of frictional heating the the the amount of frictional heating for space reentry vehicles is actually quite small especially at that initial Ranchi Point. But if you're now dealing with some because there's no way for the ADA, batic temperature release, but once you get down into low temp depths of the atmosphere Pearl for prolonged periods. Where you've got another set of. Requirements to it. So anyway, I just wanted to point out that this is no easy task. So does that mean the timeline for that piece of the of the potential hypersonic program is is pushed far out into the future Are Engineers up to that task and are they close to solving those issues was so we don't know yet necessarily for for Arrow, for example, because haven't tested it yet in flight. So as soon as they actually start doing the testing which actually were supposed to start last year. And for Hawk, actually both were supposed to be tested in twenty nineteen but they they weren't and they won't tell us why but yeah I mean th that's what we're waiting for is to see whether or not these things actually work and those are the most advanced systems when you talk about Arrow and hawk, those are the most sophisticated most complex. and. Also, in the case, of Arrow, is in a regime that we've never actually had a successful flight test before you know common hypersonic glide. He's a little bit different and it's based on a design that actually dates back to late nineteen seventy S. They've had since two thousand eleven four tests three were successful. The one unsuccessful task had an issue that was unrelated to the actual glide body itself and So. It seems to be that much more mature system but also capable less sophisticated. Less, advanced. Less survivable. So but still it's still pretty good I. Mean I'm not. You know criticizing it but it it's. It's it's a notch below the kind of technology they're pursuing for Arrow for example. So. Once we get into the fight test, we'll find out whether or not They've they've done their sums correctly in the analysis and in the wind tunnel testing, but they seem very confident. Now. So so much progress seems to have been made quickly. I mean you're talking Where are we now relative to Russia and China I know guy you've written a couple years about how the US program had really fallen behind and there's been this tremendous investment trying to catch up are we getting making up that lost ground? Yeah. Well, I mean. I think certainly, in terms of testing, we're finally getting to the stage now where there's a tempo of activity. You know we've had a few hiccups and Stolz along the way with the with the You know the issue that we were just reporting on about the the bay fifty to mess up with the the the captive carry tests so I think from attest perspective, I would say, yes, there's lots of positive signs from an industrial perspective. Equally, you know you can see people are getting themselves organized. It's a footing across the spectrum what we'd really don't know yet as a the result in the flight testing actually has to start of the the life of flight testing and secondly, these more ambitious programs have to really step up We've done decades of research a behind the scenes. Now, it's time to really begin integrating lot of about technology together in a real flight demonstrator. This is the early signs Steve Story picks up this week with finally seeing that again at the stepping up to get that on the on the record. So I I say I'd say we're still got a long way to go with nowhere near really yet at matching I. Don't think some of the sitting on the taste of the pace of testing, but we're getting there Steve Well, and I would I would just add the absolutely that's all correct and I, just add that the bottom line is Russia hasn't deployed hypersonic lied vehicle were two. Years at least from from getting there actually almost two and a half years If everything goes correctly with with Arrow and then la, the long range hypersonic weapon would follow in Twenty twenty three and Irish cps in twenty, twenty five. So we're we're a bit behind them in that in that sense. But if you look at the industrialisation, that's really where I see the the US industry catching up in a very important way with these facilities in with this infrastructure in this capacity that they're building out now they are getting to. A point where they could mass produce these weapons I'm not sure I've seen the same sort of industrial capacity You know I don't know if they've got this but I'd be surprised if Russia and China were we're that far along with that. I think we will leave it there. Thanks for joining us for a really interesting discussion. On this week's check six. We'll be back again next week. Please give us a download on I tunes than if you like what you're hearing. Give us a positive review. Thanks very much and good day.

US Steve Steve Air Force hypersonic Air Force Nuclear Weapons Cent Raytheon hypersonic Arena Darpa China DOD Russia Boeing Lockheed Steve Trimble army Huntsville Aerojet Rocketdyne Air Force albuquerque Spirit aerosystems
Ep. 56: The High Risks of Low-Yield Nuclear Weapons

Got Science?

28:59 min | 1 year ago

Ep. 56: The High Risks of Low-Yield Nuclear Weapons

"Welcome to got science podcast. I'm your host, Colleen McDonald's, our podcast survey is closed, and I wanna thank those of you who sent me feedback. Lots of great ideas that will be reviewing in the coming months to see what we might be able to incorporate if you're sticker hasn't arrived. Don't worry. It's on the way today's episode came about because of conversation with a colleague of mine he mentioned in passing the nuclear weapon the administration just built my jaw dropped to the floor. And I knew you needed to get Dr Elizabeth land on the podcast to tell us how this is possible. And Katie love is back with this week in science history. So stick around after the interview for that. President Trump's fiscal year twenty twenty budget plan submitted to congress in March proposes an expansion of US nuclear weapons capabilities and that's a scary sentence to sail. Loud. It hasn't passed yet. Of course. And there's already a lot of controversy over cuts to vital programs like food aid at the union of concerned. Scientists we've also been looking at the funding increases in the president's proposed budget. Here's a doozy. For you, the budget requests seven hundred and fifty billion dollars. That's with a b for national defense and asks for funding increases in certain areas. The largest such increase in requested defense and energy spending is within the national nuclear security administration where the budget calls for the department to be given twelve point four billion dollars to finish developing new nuclear missile systems, including low-yield nuclear weapons, but wait, you might be thinking don't we have treaties and agreements that keeps the United States from adding to our nuclear arsenal. You might be thinking how can we afford to build new nuclear weapons if we can't afford to fund food aid for families. You also might be thinking low yield nuclear weapons don't sound as bad as say high yield nuclear weapons, and we need to spend money on defense. So what's the problem to help me understand why low yield nuclear? Your weapons are not a great line item on any budget. I checked with my colleague, Dr Lisbeth Groenlund, a brilliant physicist. Who's also co director of the global security program here at UCS, we talked about different types of atomic bombs in their launching devices the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and how the real life work of creating plutonium bears no resemblance to the Simpsons and how to laugh instead of cry over the absurdity of a lot of US nuclear policies Lisboa. Thanks for joining me on the podcast. I'm so happy to be here. So I recently learned from a colleague that the US has developed a nuclear weapon, a low yield, meaning less powerful. I assume yet nuclear weapon, so what's up with that? I I have so many questions about that. But let's start with the actual weapon. What is it? This weapon will go on a missile. That's launch from a submarine, and it will replace one of the large. Warheads that are on it. So it's explosive power is about six and a half so called kilotones, and that's the equivalent of Kelly tons of high explosive. So that's the relevant factor. The bombs that destroyed Russia and Nagasaki where about fifteen to twenty kilotonnes. So it's lower than those. It's definitely not very small. Why create a smaller one while the US has small ones we have had small ones for many many decades. And in fact, during the Cold War, the US in NATO believed that the Soviet Union had a much more powerful conventional army, and that they could invade western Europe, and that the US and NATO needed to have something to prevent that from happening, and they believed it was nuclear weapons and so at its peak the US had about seven thousand nuclear weapons in Europe of all stripes new. Clearer howitzers nuclear short range, missiles and bombs, and we no longer have that many. But we still have about one hundred fifty bombs in Europe that have low yield options. So it is really in the context of kind of nuclear warfighting scenario where Russia might do something with its conventional forces in the US and NATO feel that their only option is to respond with a small nuclear weapon while I had no idea the US was so ready to use nuclear weapons in a conventional war. Yes. And in fact, the US NATO have annual exercises where they exercise these nuclear options. So these are the US bombs are at airbases in several countries under US custody. But if they were to be used they would be delivered by NATO pilots using NATO aircraft. So. So in essence, the US kind of hand them over. So what's new about our strategy under President Trump, the new thing under the Trump administration is that they want the military to more closely integrate their conventional and nuclear exercises and preparations and the idea is that the NATO in US forces within be able to continue to fight if a nuclear weapon had been used. So we don't have. I know we've worked toward getting a no I use. I'm not sure what you call it a treaty policy policy policy and not has been unsuccessful. Yes. That has been unsuccessful over the years. The US has narrowed the countries it would use nuclear weapons against and the reasons back, you know, in the beginning, it was sort of anything goes, and we considered using nuclear weapons in a conflict. Well. In the Korean war and all kinds of scenarios, and then leading up to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, which is a treaty that most of the signatories don't have nuclear weapons, and they promise not to get them and five the signatories have nuclear weapons as the US Russia, China Britain, and France, and they promise to get rid of them, and it occurred to those five that maybe if they still had the option of using nuclear weapons against these countries that didn't have any it would be a disincentive for them to sign the treaty to say, I'm never going to get them because they might feel like having that option would prevent these five states from targeting them. And so leading up to that. And in particular in years after the US has made public statements that it will not use nuclear weapons against countries that are in the non-proliferation Tweety without nuclear. The weapons did we have to reduce what we have. No. So the treaty in a way, it's to codify the status quo, and there were promises in particular of moving towards disarmament and also providing access to nuclear technology for nuclear power nuclear reactors and things like that. So having grown up in the seventies. I mean, I recall being really scared that nuclear weapons destroying the planet was real thing. And the narrative I remember, and I'm I'm not sure how accurate this is. But I remember thinking that the idea was the Soviet Union would launch a bunch of nuclear weapons at our big cities and destroy many, many people civilians, and then once they did that we would send a bunch of nuclear bombs there to destroy them. And to me it felt very much like the end of the world as the no it. And with that being the way that we were thinking of it we figured we'll nobody's gonna shoot a weapon. I because it's going to be the destruction of the planet, but we'll call that theory, mad mutual assured destruction. But these smaller weapons that feels very troubling to me, what is the strategy. I mean, you talked about it a little bit of minutes ago. But it seems like we're making it much more likely that something will happen. Yes. It lowers the barrier to entry basically, and the argument, of course, you know, the US military is is not going to say, well, this is so it will be easier for us to begin. But rather that if we don't have these weapons it will be easier for Russia to begin because rush also as small ones, so in its arsenal already the US has bombs that have a variable yield. You can you can set it before you drop the bomb on the low end. End is zero point three kilotonnes, which is two percent of the weapons that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki so small on the scale of nuclear weapons, and then we have the option of one point five five and ten and so this new one is six and a half. And the argument the military makes is that. If we don't have that six point five that Russia will believe that it can use small nuclear weapons because we won't respond. So that we need there'll be a gap. There's a gap there. And so I'm not making this up. It really is as crazy sounds. You're describing the look on my face right now. Right, right. If I understand this correctly Russia might use a nuclear weapon of some size. Yes. And if we don't have a six point five somehow, they are good to believe. That there is a gap that they can quote, unquote, exploit. I mean is there arguments that are very hard to get. I mean, I, you know, what do you do have laugh, and that's not very effective. I mean, most weapons it takes years to develop and then you have to produce them. And but this one unfortunately was really quick deal. This raised another question and that is testing because they've built it, but they can't test it. How do you even know that it works, right? The US conducted over a thousand explosive tests until testing was banned all of those tests were to take a new design, and basically just prove that it worked beyond that trying to understand the reliability of these weapons would take so many tests that that was impulsive when you say prove that it worked. Did they actually blow them up? They sure did. Okay. Yeah. Initially in the atmosphere. Right. Then. Underground. Yes. Okay. But the part they blew up so our weapons most weapons in the world are called hydrogen weapons. The unlike the bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki they were atomic weapons. So they only involve vision, which in this case, you could basically break apart plutonium or uranium atoms. And that releases a lot of energy. But if you want to get a really really powerful weapon, you have to go beyond that and you start with this vision process, and then that in turn the energy released kicks off a fusion process, it fuses, hydrogen atoms, which is why they're called hydrogen bombs. Okay. So you've got a to park parts. That's right and people call it the first stage in the second stage. So as I said, the US currently has hydrogen warheads on the submarines it happens that they are being refurbished now. So. They're all being taken apart and put back together. You know, the factory floor is busy. And this is where a new design comes in. They can take them apart. And they don't have to put them back. Exactly. What that can't they're doing? Now. That's what that's what they're doing with this weapon and to make this less powerful six point five weapon. They are basically removing the second stitch in essence. Okay. So you need to do more testing of the weapon itself. It's very quick. And they are nearing the end of production. If they haven't already finished producing it is. So now, they have this explosive piece that has to go in a warhead has to go on the missile has to go on the Saab, which takes time and additional training. So it's not out to see yet. It is sitting in a warehouse. So Lisbeth, you're a physicist if you are. Are developing or refurbishing this bomb, would you be content without ever testing it that it was going to work and explode and do it. It's supposed to do. Yes. Because the the big ones have been tested, and the main thing that you were worried about if your weapon designer is the first day if you get that, right? It's guaranteed the second stage will operate. So it's really about the the first day and the first stage, they're not they haven't redesigned. They're just putting it back together with less or they've taken stage to off which is new for these new weapons. Yeah. So you know, there's another plan for a new nuclear weapon in Trump's nuclear pasta review, which would entail designing a new weapon it's off in the future if it ever happens. But this particular idea was you know at. Exactly the right or wrong time, depending on how you look at it. We'll be back in a moment with the second half of our interview. The got science podcast is brought to you by the union of concerned. Scientists more at got science podcast dot org. You can find us in all the usual places. I tune Stitcher. Soundcloud, PR ex and other places where you get your podcasts. If you'd like to see a visual representation of our nuclear forces in lentils to see just how pointless this new weapon is check us out on Twitter at got science UCS. And now, let's get back to our interview. Uranium or plutonium, which one are they the same? Why would you use one over the other? No, they're different elements like silver and gold, you you need less plutonium. It's a more sophisticated design which is why countries that are starting out often will use your radium, and so all of our weapons the first stage has a plutonium pit as what they call it spiritual with a opening in the middle. And that is what visions and then provides the energy for the second stage. What is it when you mind, you mind, plutonium, you don't mind plutonium plutonium does not exist? It is made by humans in nuclear reactors. So the first plutonium was produced during World War Two spot of the Manhattan project. And it is produced in all reactors. What are you use to make it you putting uranium, and then there are neutrons that are captured by the uranium and some of it turns into plutonium so you have to get the uranium. I you have to get the uranium where around the Oko if the radio more lot of places, and you can go Mynatt without any danger. Can you pick it up and others dust? You don't wanna breathe in then has Iranian. I mean, I think all mining has problems. But it's not it's not like on the Simpsons where glowing green touch it. It's going to, you know, not. I mean you have to take precaution, obviously. But it's not glowing green give us a sense of how many nuclear weapons we have right now. I I want a picture of what we have is is where they are. Are they ready to go right away? Or are they in storage somewhere? Right. So the US has about eighteen hundred weapons that are ready to go has four hundred on land based missiles each one is in a silo in the middle of the country. It has about a thousand missiles on submarines, and then it also has bombs and air launched cruise missiles, which is just what it sounds like a cruise missile launched by an airplane on top of that it has weapons in store. Reg- same kinds of weapons in storage. And those are people call them a strategic, which really just means. They're long range, and they would be intended for use in a war with Russia or China. In addition, the US has what are called tactical nuclear weapons, which are short range. It has about one hundred fifty bombs at a US air bases in Europe. And it has the same bombs in storage in the US. So altogether of four thousand Russia has a comparable number of strategic weapons. They have more. We believe they have more tactical weapons and all the US Soviet and US Russian agreements have only covered deployed strategic nothing in storage. And there's been no control about the shorter. Systems. So we've talked about this this new low yield weapon what else is on the table. So under the Obama administration. He laid out a plan for the next thirty years, and it entailed pretty much refurbishing or replacing every element of our nuclear forces with new ones, and that goes from the warheads to the missiles to the submarines and some of those things really do need replacing for example, submarines operate at great depths. The metal is under tremendous stress, and at some point it just can't do it anymore. And you need new sufferings other things are much less defensible. And another question is the assumption was that the US would have the same level of forces that thirty years from now, we would still have this many weapons and this mini submarines and missiles. And that's shocking actually that defense department is planning to maintain this level of weaponry into the future. And those you know, when we produce these new upgraded weapon systems, they then we'll have a life beyond that. So we are basically, you know, putting in place an arsenal that will last for many decades at the scale, and what would you like to see I would like to see the US reduce its arsenal. Ideally and in hand with Russia, but I don't think that's necessary under Obama the joint chiefs decided that the US could in fact, reduce its arsenal independent of what Russia did. But they wanted to do so with Russia and that did not come to pass. But there's no reason that US security requires it to have the same number of weapons that Russia does really all you need is to have. Have some weapons that Russia could not possibly destroy which the US could then retaliate with and that would be more than enough to prevent Russia. If it had such an inclination from attacking the US with nuclear weapons, so I did a little digging in the history books to learn about the start treaty. So that stands for strategic arms reduction treaty, and it was signed in nineteen Ninety-one and ultimately reduced nuclear weapons between the US and the Soviet Union by eighty percent it expired in two thousand nine then in twenty ten the US and Russia agreed to a replacement known as the new start treaty. So what's that? So the US and Russia signed a treaty new start which limits their numbers of deployed long range weapons, and it went into effect in twenty eleven and will expire in early. Early twenty twenty one and can be extended for another five years. So this is a treaty that Trump has been grumbling about it puts identical limits on these two countries. The military is very keen on not just this tree, but treaties because there's verification, and they get to know Russia's doing, and they find that very valuable, and, you know, send a former secretary of defense mad as among others. You know has really made the case for arms control agreements like that. So it reduced the arsenals by about a third relative to what they had been do. You know, are there a lot of or are there any women weapons developers? Yes. Actually, I was at a meeting that I helped organize couple years ago, and there were several weapons desires and one of them was relatively young woman, which you know, and she and the others do their work because they believe it will make the US more secure. Sure. And they should believe that it would be awful if they didn't. Right. I was just curious though, because I was thinking about women in science and yeah field, and yeah, just made me wonder if the lone woman out there. Well, interesting when I was in graduate school, the average graduate department had about five percent women among their graduate students. I went to Cornell because it had fifteen percent the number has crept up over the last many years. But it is, you know, it's a minority, and I think that, you know, the same host true for weapons designers. I mean, there are not that many the US has maybe a few dozen of the people who really are designing the weapon. There's lots of other stuff that is required for a nuclear weapon. There are thousands of components, but the nuclear part, they're probably a few dozen people who do that work. And I don't know for sure whether she was the only one, but there can't be many, and that's true more generally when you are in technical fields related to national security. It is I imagine you've probably found yourself as the only woman on the annals at conferences or at meanings. There are not very many people outside of the government who have a technical background who work on these issues of the say two dozen people who have permanent jobs in this field. There are two I'm one, and my colleague Laura, Greg was the other. So. Did I hear this? Right. You and Laura are the two non governmental physicists that women women that have jobs. That's fascinating. I had no idea. An I know both of you. Well, listen, thank you so much for coming over to to talk to me about nuclear weapons and these new low yield nuclear weapons, I'm not feeling super happy about them. But of but I'm glad that you gave me a little bit of perspective on it. Yeah. Well, I'm I'm so glad to have joined too. It's time for a short segment we call this week in science history with Katie love. This week in science history. We're going back to April twelfth nineteen fifty four as the American atomic energy commission the precursor to today's Nuclear Regulatory Commission began hearings to revoke j Robert Oppenheimer security clearance up in Heimer was theoretical physicist who acted as the director of Los Alamos laboratory during the Manhattan project under his leadership that World War Two research led to the trinity test. The first successful detonation of an atomic bomb on July sixteenth, nineteen forty five years later Oppenheimer claimed that the test brought to mind the words of the bag of odd Gita. Now, I am become death. The destroyer of worlds a month after the test. The United States dropped atomic bombs on her Russia and Nagasaki Japan killing more than one hundred fifty thousand people most of them civilians after the war. The atomic energy commission was created as a civilian agency in control of nuclear research and nuclear weapons issues Oppenheimer had a leadership role as the chair of its advisory committee, but seeing the results of his research so starkly play out on the world stage had Oppenheimer taking stances in opposition to other government players at the commission and beyond he lobbied for international arms control and opposed. The development of an even more powerful nuclear weapon, the hydrogen bomb by this point we'd entered the Cold War with the then Soviet Union, an Oppenheimer's views were controversial as anticommunist hysteria. Swept the country Oppenheimer was caught up in investigations. And after the nineteen fifty four hearings Oppenheimer ultimately lost his clearance and his place at the atomic energy commission. He also lost the larger battle as despite Oppenheimer's and others efforts. The hydrogen bomb did go forward, and we ultimately. Ended up in an arms race that at its height had a global stockpile of more than sixty thousand nuclear weapons while arms control efforts since then have helped reduce those numbers. The totals are still staggering today. There are around four thousand either weapons in the US nuclear arsenal alone. Most of them far more powerful than the bombs Oppenheimer developed and witnessed decades ago. And now the United States plans to spend more than a trillion dollars to maintain rebuild essentially all of its nuclear weapons experts fear that the plan which includes new designs and capabilities could fuel a new arms race and ultimately undercut US security, go to UCS USA dot org slash arsenal. To learn more. Well, that's it. For this episode of the got science podcast got sciences made possible by the hundred and thirty thousand members of UCS, and especially our partners for the earth. The twelve thousand supporters who make monthly contributions to stand up for science. Learn more at UCS USA dot org slash partners special. Thanks to Dr Elizabeth Bromont this week in science history by Katie love, editing and music by Brian Middleton, additional editing by Omari spears research and writing by Pamela worth our executive producer is rich Hayes and on your host calling McDonald come find us on Twitter at got science UCS. Thanks and CNN time.

United States Russia President Trump Soviet Union Nuclear Regulatory Commission Nagasaki physicist Europe Dr Lisbeth Groenlund Katie love Hiroshima Twitter Colleen McDonald j Robert Oppenheimer director
3 questions we should ask about nuclear weapons | Emma Belcher

TED Talks Daily

15:04 min | 1 year ago

3 questions we should ask about nuclear weapons | Emma Belcher

"This ted talk features nuclear expert Emma Belcher recorded live at Ted Ex mid-atlantic Twenty nineteen. There's another podcast you might enjoy. The tech revolution is changing every aspect of our lives on the exponential view. podcast a Zima. Czar an expert expert guests unpacked the opportunities risks and drivers of new technology. Don't Miss Conversations with former British prime minister. Tony Blair computer scientist Andrew doing economist Carlotta Perez among others exponential view with Zima czar is part of the. HP are presents podcast network from Harvard. Business Review Get exponential view. Wherever you get your podcasts are you looking to make a change to branch out from the norm to level up at your current company at the University of Maryland Robert? H Smith School of business are data driven curriculum. Drives Tomorrow's leaders here. MBA students learn to find interpret and leverage data then their challenge to transform that data into decisive leadership. They learn to be more than the data they learn to innovate shake things up and lead fearlessly Leslie details at Smith. NBA Dot Com. What if your email was organized by projects and not by date? Then it wouldn't be email email at all slack. Choose a better way to work get started at slack DOT COM So you know when you're doubled over in pain and you wondering is it your appendix or maybe eight. Something funny well when that happens to me a call my friends such as a doctor and I say should I rushed to the nearest emergency room in a panic or my okay. Relax and just wait it out. Yes I am. That's annoying friend. But in September twenty seventeen friends of mine was suddenly calling me for my professional opinion and no. I'm not a doctor. But they were asking me questions of life and death so what was going on in September twenty seventeen will North Korea was suddenly and scarily all over the News Kim Jong Hoon had tested missiles potentially capable of hitting major. US cities he's and president trump had responded with tweets of fire and fury and there was real concern that tensions would escalate to a potential war or even nuclear weapons use. So what my friends were calling and asking was. Should they panic were they Taylor. Relax that really. They were asking me a fundamental question. Am I safe while I was reassuring them that no. They didn't need to worry just yet. The irony of their question dawned on me what they hadn't really thought about is that we've all been living under a much larger cloud for decades potentially mushroom cloud without giving it much thought what now. It's not surprising that friends of mine and many others like them. Don't know much about nuclear weapons and think about them. After all the the end of the Cold War the United States and Russia tension abated. We started dismantling nuclear weapons and they started to become a relic of the past. Lost Generations. Didn't have to grow up with the specter of nuclear war hanging over their heads. There are other reasons. People don't like to think about nuclear weapons and it's scary overwhelming. I get it sometimes. I wish I could have chosen a cheerier field to study pets tech slow defamed more uplifting but in addition to that people have so many other things to think about in a busy lives and then much to think about something which they feel they have some semblance of control and they assume that other people smarter than me on this topic a working away way to keep us all safe and then there are other reasons. People don't talk about this. One is because we as nuclear experts us a whole a lot of convoluted jogging and Tim. -nology to talk about these issues. CVS ICBM JCP. It's it's really inaccessible for a lot of people and in reality it actually. Sometimes I think makes us numb. What really talking about here and what we are really talking about? Here is the fact that while we've made dramatic reductions in the number of nuclear weapons since the Cold War right now now there are almost fifteen thousand in the world today. Fifteen thousand united added states and Russia have over ninety percent of these nuclear weapons. If you're wondering these are the countries that have the wrist but they have far laugh. You're ranging in this sort of three hundred ish. Range and below adding to this situation is the fact that we have new technologies. Oh Jeez the presidentially brings new challenges and can you imagine one day countries like ours and others potentially seating eating decisions about a nuclear strike to a robot based on algorithms. What data they use to inform those algorithms? This is pretty terrifying so adding to this. Our terrorism potential cyber-attacks miscalculation misunderstanding standing the list of nuclear nightmares tends to grow longer by the day and there are a number of former officials as well as experts who worry the right now. We're in greater danger that we were in various points in the Cold War so this is scary. What can we do? We can take some control in the way we do. That is by starting to ask some fundamental questions about the status quo and we're happy with the way it is. We need to begin asking questions about ourselves and our elected officials. And I'd like to share with you today. The first one. It's how much clear risk of new willing to take tolerate right now. Nuclear Policy depends on deterrence theory developed in the nineteen fifties. The idea is that one country's nuclear weapons prevents another country from using MS so unique me on your queue and we both lose so in a way this stalemate no one uses their weapons and we're all safe. This theory has real questions. There are experts Spitz. Who Challenge this theory and one? That doesn't really work this way in practice. It certainly doesn't allow for mistakes sakes miscalculations now. I don't know about you but I feel pretty uncomfortable gambling. My Future Survival Yours. And Our Future Generations on a theory that is questionable and doesn't allow any rim from the stake makes them even more uncomfortable to be threatening the evaporation of millions of people on the other side of the earth. Surely we can do better for ourselves drawing on ingenuity to solve complex problems as we have in the past after after all this is a man made human-made I shouldn't say men because women were involved a human made problem. We have human even solutions. That should be possible so next question. Who Do you think should make nuclear decisions right now? In this democracy the United States one person gets to decide whether or not to launch a nuclear strike. They don't have to consult anybody. So that's the president he or she can decide. Within a very limited amount of time under great pressure potentially depending on the scenario maybe based on a miscalculation or misunderstanding ending they can decide the fate of millions of lives yours mine L. Communities and they can do this this and launch a nuclear strike potentially sitting in Motion Annihilation of the human race. Well this doesn't have to be a reality though. And in fact in a number of the countries that have nuclear weapons it's not including including countries that are not democracies. We created this system. We can change it and there's actually movement underway to do so so this leads me to my third question. What are your elected? Officials know about nuclear weapons and what types of decisions they likely to take on on your behalf. Well Congress has an a very important role to play. In oversight and interrogating use nuclear weapons policy. They can decide what to fund what not fun and they represent you unfortunately since the end of the Cold War we've seen a real decline in the level of understanding on Capitol Hill about these issues while we are starting to see some terrific new champions emerge. The reality is that the general enroll lack of awareness is highly concerning given that these people need to make critically important decisions to make matters worse the political partisanship that currently gripped Washington also affects this issue. This wasn't always the case. Though the end of the Cold War members members from both sides of the aisle had a really good understanding about the nuclear challenges we were facing and work together on cooperative programs. They recognized recognized that nuclear risk reduction was far too important to allow it to succumb to political partisanship. They created programs such as the Non Luga Cooperative Threat Reduction Program which sought to look down and eliminate vulnerable nuclear material in the former Soviet Union. So we me to return to this era bi-partisanship mutual problem solving with that based on understanding and awareness about the challenges. We face is and the real nuclear dangers. And that's where you come in. Public pressure is important. Leaders need a constituent base to act act so create constituent base by asking them. Some simple questions asked them. What do you know about nuclear weapons? Do you have a nuclear expert on your staff or if not do you know somebody you could refer to if you need to make an important decision. Start to to find out what they believe and with her lines with your own views and values asked him how would you choose to spend. US national treasure on an uniquely race or another national security priority such a cybersecurity or climate change ask them are are you willing to put aside partisanship to address this existential threat that affects my survival and your constituents survival now people will tell you nuclear policy as far too difficult to understand and complex the nuance for the general public. To understand. Let alone debate after all. This is national security. needs to be secrets. Don't let that put you off. We debate all sorts of issues that are critically important to our lives. Why should nuclear weapons beginning different? We debate healthcare education environment. scholley Congressional Oversight Civic Participation that has such hallmarks of US democracy. Surely they apply here after all. Oh these are cases of life and death that we're talking about and we weren't all a grave but whether or not we believe nuclear weapons. keep us safe life or that. Nuclear weapons reliability. I urge you to put aside partisan ideological issues and listen listen to each other so I'll tell you now what I didn't have the guts to tell my friends at the time. No you're not at safe. Not just because of North Korea but there is something you can do about it demand that your elected representatives representatives can give you answers to your questions and answers that you can live with and billions of others can live with two and if they can't stay on them until they can and if that doesn't work find others who are able to represent your views because by doing so we can begin to change the answer to the question. Am I safe life for more. Ted Talks to Ted DOT COM. What if your email that you see a projects entire history and not just the messages sent to you? Would've everyone else in your team could see as well then it wouldn't be email aagh move communication from inboxes two channels in slack. Instead of seeing a partial set of messages about a project everyone in slack sees exactly the same thing in moves work forward faster slack. Choose he's a better way to work. GET STARTED AND SLACK DOT com.

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Nuclear Navies in South Asia

Arms Control Wonk

41:03 min | 2 years ago

Nuclear Navies in South Asia

"Uh-huh. You're listening to a one. Gratien merit sign. A senior fellow electing. Center for the Middle East. On fellow American. Rings. On what strategy version? Is this your first? Before back in the guys all hype peg. North korea. Of the of the mushroom clouds face here. It's good to have some South Asia back. Jeffries at an undisclosed location on the east coast. So he's left his hermetically sealed containment level, you know, something we don't. I just tried to set it up. He's just he's I'm on the east coast. I have to do this Thursday. So you just go ahead with this. We could do that. I think he's out in these coast, and I will chat later this week. But there's there's some news, right? So launch deterrence patrol. Yeah. Big news out of South Asia today. India announced its first deter patrol of its maiden SBN the Ari hunt. And there are a lot of questions about what exactly they did. And they announced the conclusion of the deterrent patrol. And we have to assume that that means that they loaded the BM's the Cape fifteen which are seven hundred fifty kilometer. To stage. Ballistic missiles, I think the r hunt on Kirkman. I'm Ron twelve Cape. Fifteens? Right. Yeah. Is the load and the alternative is four longer Inchcape force. But this k- four is still in development. And so when they say deterrent patrol. I have to assume that you know, they loaded nuclear weapons on the albums, and this would be the first publicly admitted peacetime deployment of nuclear weapons in India's history that they've they've announced. So it's a big day for India. Well, yeah, I mean, it is a big day. The only alternative that's kind of playing around in my mind right now is that they might have been a little bit generous with the wording here on this was made. Yes, this was maybe validating see two and crew procedures before they load the big things that go boom on their submarine. Yeah. I entirely open that possibility they could be playing fast on loose with deterrent patrol. And normally that implies that it's a fully loaded fully armed system. But there would be it's possible. They've done see trials in the past the hunt. The last couple tests of the K fifteen believer in August. They did a three tests within two days. So wouldn't surprise me. If the Cape fifteen's were on board, but it would be a big step. If India actually loaded nuclear warheads on the SOB put they put it out to see. And then the other question, obviously is how long this patrol lasted that reports uncles had mentioned in August. So that would mean roughly a three month two to three month patrol potentially. Or was it just a a shorter? Test of the hunt in this particular case. So we don't know the answer several questions about what they did in. How long did it for the Indians are known for keeping a pretty good lid, especially lately on their nuclear activities in the RA haunt program gets special treatment, except with some notable exceptions like I think last time I was on arms control on Jeffrey. And I talked about the snafu with the propulsion chamber filling up with seawater which happened last year. But a. Yeah. So otherwise, otherwise, we don't really know how long this patrol was. But we have sort of an idea about the upper bound limit. I mean, I think two months sounds like reasonable to me, but it would be that would be a long time. I would think to have a relatively noisy SPF SBN out there, especially if they actually loaded nuclear weapons on it. And given that the hunt that had this major accident with the propulsion unit. I would be nothing is out of the Roma possibility when it comes to the Indians. But I would be very surprised if they're willing to raise such a long term patrol in give adversaries a chance also to, you know, get acoustic signatures on this thing for two months. My guess is actually I would think if I were them I would do it for much shorter period of time. You wouldn't want it out to sea for this long? I think on its maiden patrol. Let me jump in here. Just just just just for the listeners benefit that. Maybe you guys want back up a little bit about sort of the history of this submarine program in why this represent such a milestone, and you know, it's always the question of who it is that they're deterring, you know, 'cause been I think on your your sort of tweet storm day that we can linked to down to the show notes is is that the the range of the missile would suggest that it's it's not aimed towards China so much but more towards Pakistan. Yes. So the history of the submarine purple star with the. The history of the triad. I guess in India they have nuclear submarines have have been. I think in India's mind in general for since the nineteen seventies, but mostly nuclear attack submarines the idea of a nuclear arm submarine dates back to the draft nuclear doctrine, the nineteen ninety nine a year after India tested nuclear weapons, and it has always been part of India so called the hallowed nuclear doctrine, which is officially adopted in two thousand three after the nineteen ninety nine draft. And so India has long been committed the triad, but the submarine leg is obviously, you know, like most countries, the the slowest to develop given the difficulties of the reactor design, your S L BM's warheads that can be fitted. And India, it was always, you know, with the land-based airbase force the kind of stewardship in command control procedures that India preferred. Which included either dispersed in D mated weapons fully actually disassembled weapons. In some cases, initially in the program would be very difficult with an SPN over the last decade, we've seen India become as SPN program has developed in parallel seeing India become more comfortable, I think with a more with a higher state of readiness on its land based force. They're moving to cannibalize systems, which are sealed one has to. There's a decent probability that the warhead is made before the hermetic seal is placed on the longer range uglies, we know that they've put gravity bombs in the same. You know, co located those with aircraft all of that happened as yes SPN programs developed, so it's possible that command control for the SPN has enabled a higher stay writing as on on land. But it's taken a while to develop the hunt it which was a prototype with Russian assistance for the reactor, at least design assistance, but. You know, it had this accident. It was developing the S L VM's, which are kinda grafted off some of the land based missiles that indie hip been developing. But so this interest in the trial had been from the beginning. And now we're seeing I think it come to fruition and going to see has its own challenges. There's long been a discussion I've questioned, you know, from the beginning what the point of the triumph was because you could argue that from survivability perspective, given India's geography and the lack of counterforce capabilities from China, Pakistan. India's survivability is actually probably pretty good on land. You have. You have a variety of places to disperse the family of missiles, and the privies and command control is easier. And there's always this question about whether the strategic juice of the SBN is worth the organizational financial in command control squeeze that imposes on on the nuclear force, but India's always been committed to it. And you know, there's a there's a variety of hypotheses out there because you know, the major nuclear powers have it it does maybe impart survivability of you think. Yes. SPF survivable of their questions about whether of the hunt, for example in its successor the dominant. You know, had the signatures to really impart the kind of survivability that we normally socio with an SPN. And there's this question about the missiles like you said the range of the first prototype here. The missile the Cape of teens is seven hundred fifty kilometers, which means to have any impact on China. You have to sail the sing out over to basically the East China Sea in South China Sea. And you know, that's that makes the SPN extreme affordable seven hundred fifty kilometers is really Pakistan's specific there's really not much you can do against China with necessary end with just the K fifteen and eventually I think they want longer range missiles, but right now, they're stuck with SVN that basically gives them range only against Pakistani targets. So we can talk about you know, what I think is decoupling between India strategies between Pakistan and China, it's long profess credible. Minimum deterrence as long profess. No, I use which was reaffirmed all today from the official Docker in two thousand three, but there's a lot of flexibility this. Introduced about you know, what minimum means and what I use would entail. And so, you know, I think we're seeing kind of South Asia itself as subsystem moving in a in a very dangerous direction on kit will jump in there. I mean, so the decoupling thing I just you know, brings to mind that these are pretty small SPN's rights VIP and talked about the capacities. You have either twelve cave of teens or four K for us. I'll be M's and India's going to have to provide a does get to the point where it has four of these which is the invasion for size for the SPN force. It's going to have to make some tough choices in peacetime 'bout how it's going to load these up if it is actually going to execute a continuous out Sita terms model for and that's really a tough not to crack. I mean, you really have to have some pretty good planning that I don't think, you know, the United States and the Soviet Union. Russia don't really have to deal with that China doesn't have to deal with that kind of ah process in terms of being a payload. So that's an interesting challenge that the Indians have to deal with on the rationale for the hunt programming. I thought was interesting the Indian defence ministers. Public statement on Twitter, which was the first thing I saw about this. You know, she's gonna talk about hey, we completed our first deterrence patrol and this puts us in this club of countries that can do this thing. So it's very much like a prestige driven Brian piece of data right there. And also, I think, you know, there are a lot of kind of bureaucratic factors. The navy's been pulling for this for a long time, and those I think also have played kind of role in keeping this program sticky and making sure that it does move on even though you know, we we kind see developments in anti submarine warfare kind of making breakneck progress to which leaves the haunting a much worse place now than it. Maybe wasn't nineteen ninety nine when they you know, really starts double down on this. How many SPN's do they envision the Benchley having? I mean to get this right that there was a official discussion of four in the planning process. But today, somebody Yogesh Joshi is a scholar whose followed union summering program for. For a long time in his historian noted five to six in the planning process and. NSL B M with a range, and in our continental range of about six thousand kilometers eventually, but you know, with India, there's a lot of discussion about long term, future planning. I think four have been I don't have any kills have been laid. But I think they envisioned four's probably more likely, but then it gets to this question of, you know, your size your SPN or based on your envision deployment pattern. If you need a continuous turn patrol. Pour four probably do it. But you don't have a lot of wilgo wiggle room. They're five to six might get you, you know, confidence that you can put one on continuous deterrent patrol. But the alternative then is if you have you know, three or four SPN's you just run a bastion model. Instead the way Soviets said and keep them in port during peacetime in question mountain of crisis. But you know, that makes peacetime command control easier, but it makes crisis command and control very very very dicey. Yeah. I mean, that's a good point. 'cause you always have to sue at least one or two will be in drydock, or or at least in in the pens for maintenance. And so that you will you only have in the four one or two. That's right bailable right out the trolling. And then again, you have to factor in future projections on missile range to see who it is that they're actually are are targeting. That's interesting too about how long range missile acknowle, you'll fit four if I'm understanding correctly rather than twelve and saw this that'll on the on the air hunt. That's right. I think reports the can handle the saddle can handle or load eight K force cross the on camp war. So that's for the successor successor successor as I think is capable of eight K fours, and they don't envision it with the Cape the team, I believe that. That's right. Because you need you need different tubes. And saddles depending on what you're loading some. I guess is the hunt will only carry the K fifteen and. Then future. Submarines will try to carry the cake for which is the seabass version of the ugly. Three yen the range on that is roughly intermediate range a little down. For. Hundred. So what what targets could their hold in China at risk? I'm curious. This isn't exactly my area. If you'd appointed the bay of Bengal, you can hit Beijing the problem, then like, I think that's probably what they had in mind because you wouldn't want on your SPN venturing too far from coastal waters. If you have to turn patrol Brock's, you have some sanctuary in the bay have been Galler, maybe in the Indian Ocean. But it I think you'd have to deployed in the bay Bengal the reach Beijing. So in order to hit Beijing from waters further west, you may need a long range missile get any thoughts on how the you know that figures into their calculation on the range and developing long-range missile. So I think that's kind of where they're gonna go with that. Although I mean, not that concept just still again, I think the land base Aleutian makes much more sense with China got around so many more. And I mean, honestly as Pakistan's specific solution the SPN program. Does have a lot more people can be a lot more limited on the kinds of anti submarine warfare operations that I can pull off in place like the bay have been gall and off the southern tip of India Arabian Sea is another issue. But yeah, I mean, I think I think with the with the China angle, you really have a very strong case for focusing your development efforts on land based forces. Like the five which will see what's in Agri. Yeah. I agree with that. Yeah. Was why I mean, this may be the time to segue into there have been concurrence moves from Pakistan, maybe not on the ballistic missile trajectory, but on the cruise missile trajectory that suggest that they want an at sea deterrent patrol at deterrent as well. Yeah. That's right. So the Pakistanis in January twenty seventeen tested a variant of their bobber cruise missile which was developed as ground launch cruise missile with a range of front four hundred fifty kilometers the bobber three. It was their first submarine launched cruise missile with an explicit nuclear mission that they described sort of giving explicitly a second strike capability and augmenting their overall deterrence, and they tested this missile again this year in April. So when you hear about the Pakistanis going to see immediately start to wonder about things like command controls Pakistan's been one. Of the problem cases, where we've worried a lot about command control, and as Vince sort of alluded to India, the the difficulties of command control, it see really shouldn't be understated, especially with a country like Pakistan that doesn't have much experience with this in a naval context. And the other thing that really concerns me in the Pakistani context, and this is something that Chris Clarry, and I talked about at some length and paper for the Washington quarterly published last year can link to that in the show notes. But it. One of the issues is that the park is any navy specifically has been targeted repeatedly by non-state groups. So we had the PMS Zulfikar attack where armed gunmen al-qaeda gunmen tried to effectively commandeer a Pakistani navy frigate and the subsequent investigation showed that they were assisted by insiders and Steve Cole actually in his most recent book fan, you know, he he reports that there was apparently some kind of co mingled nuclear assets, which I'm not too sure about given what we know about Pakistani forces. But again, I mean, you know, we know that there are non groups in Pakistan looking to get their hands on this stuff. So that makes this they're sea-launched cruise missile program of particular concerns outlined the four structure, maybe talk about a bit more. So they have three French Augusta ninety diesel-electric submarines around two thousand tons about a sixth of the tonnage of the hunt. So not that much smaller. The hunt is of small SPN, and these are small electric subs- that will be fielding. Short range nuclear weapons. So these are the three submarines on the Pakistan that appears we'll probably end up using a bashing model. The interesting variable, though is Pakistan's plan receipt of around eight Chinese type thirty nine A as twenty diesel-electric submarines. So they will probably get those in the late twenty twenties or early twenty thirties and those could also support their new Slim's. So that will put a lot of Indian targets along the west coast on very easily range. But yeah, command control. I think is really the big thing to worry about in the Pakistani context before you guys jump in go in the back and forth here just explained the listeners because you guys both used at now what the bashing models. Sure VIP, and you wanna take that one. Yeah. So basically there are two ideal type deployment strategies for SPN's one is a continuous deterrent patrol, which is what the United States adopts where we basically have. You know, we. Twelve SPN's there or however, many, you know, but we have four so on continuous deterrent patrol. And there we have one always at sea. So. Yeah. Dea is even if you lost your entire landmass. You would have a survival. Second strike at sea on the assumption that it is mostly survivable against AS w which is a reasonable sunshine. I think for the Ohio class and eventually the US Columbia class summary, but there are challenges with continuous to turn patrol need to have enough submarines people do it because it's three to one ratio basically for every three SBN's you probably have one out on patrol. The command control has to be extremely robust we've all seen crimson tide as much as it is. You know, there's there's a lot of truth to the command control arrangements for how we managed SPN's because you have to decide whether you want your system to fail safe or fail lethal, but the credibility of your secure second strike at see kind of depends on it failing lethal, if you have a decapitation strike, and you know, your entire see two falls apart. But that means you have. You know, the ability to release nuclear weapons vested with people on the boat, and that can create command control challenges and the alternative is the bastion model, which you may wanna select because you wanna easier peacetime normal command control pressures rights of your worried about seating physical physical ability released nuclear weapons to people in the boat personal reliability whereabout political inclinations like the Soviet Union. Did you may choose to keep your primary SPN's either import a closer to your territorial waters rather than the deep blue sea, and these deterrent patrol boxes in order to ease. The command and control pressures the disadvantage to the end. You can do it with your summary. So you don't need three sub SPN's for everyone wanted on continuous deterrent patrol. The disadvantage is. In as a crisis mounts. You know, well one other advantage, by the way, Bashar model is you don't get your adversary. A lot of opportunity to get coup signatures on the ESPN because you're not patrolling. So the problem though, is in a crisis. We have to flush things out, and they can be very vulnerable. If you have if your adversaries knows where they are in the bathroom model. So in the Pakistani case, they basically have to ports and Indians have been running practicing India in practicing as w in how to run blockades against Karachi with our for basically entire existence. So if a crisis erupts, and the Augusta's are kept in port and flush them out. The Indian navy can just be sitting there waiting for them, and they become very very vulnerable. So are trade offs both models. And you know, it's more likely. I would imagine for a state that wants to cert- maximum control over its arsenal. Like India does to prefer bastion model. At least for the future. Although they talk about continuous term patrol. They don't have the summaries to do it. The pakistanis. I would think are more concerned about India's w and we'll probably take their chances in a crisis and for them the Slim's at sea give them an advantage. If they're worried about survivability lambaste force and Indian missile defenses against ballistic missiles, a sea-based cruise missile actually might have some strategic rationale provided. You think it's revival in a crisis, and you can park it off the coast of Mumbai, for example, and hold it risk major Indian targets that way that you know, in ways that your land-based force can't I think that's exactly the rationale driving. The Pakistanis the other issue in Pakistan's cases as far as their command control goes before we knew about the bobber three. We knew that. They had commissioned. A Violeta Ray at Karachi and Kidwai the former director of strategic force command head. Made public remarks about the fact that Pakistan, basically, have real sea-based ambitions and would not only pursue the platform itself. Submarine with the delivery vehicle on board, but also would pursue development of command control infrastructure. So let me see those Farai start growing up going up. And after that, really what we know right now is three diesel-electric subs and the L so in a crisis. I mean, the incentives for the Indians to really strike at that via left. The exact it's it's incredibly obvious for the Indians to take down move, which means that the Pakistanis will have to devolve some kind of youth authority to the personnel stationed on the submarines of to be useful in a crisis. And that's and that's really worth things like personal reliability, which is kind of a nightmare in the Pakistani navy case specifically start to come into play. Yeah. And I think in the Pakistanis have manipulated this, you know, incentive to fail deadly and fail lethal to their advantage. I think even with the Nassir batteries land. You know, I think the the line from the Pakistanis and we have centralized control. Centralized control until we don't and once we plus she things out, you know, all bets are off. And I can imagine them either. You know, they have an incentive to make the same kind of argument for the for the Augusta's and the seabass leg, but that the the incentives are actually kind of a line in this case, right? They may want to maintain centralized control up until they flush him out. But wants to question out. They can't be confident commanded control with survive the crisis. And so they would have to basically divall use soon as that thing flushed out, and that creates major risks. Royal Navy dozen listen for the Pakistani national radio broadcaster or something PTV. Yup. What is what the Galatian dynamics between these countries with cruise versus ballistic. You know, I find it. Interesting. Like, the two ways the navy's are differing in how they're approaching the sea leg of their of their triad, perhaps the bureaucratic pushes. If there are any. And maybe what you guys make of that, you know, the Pakistani with a slick, and then the the Indians with a BM, I've a quick answer that don't get you know, I can can fill in all the data missile defense. Just think the Pakistanis are terrified of the future missile defense capabilities that India has or may have and so cruise missiles may provide advantages to defeating missile defense and waste ballistic missiles down in Pakistan doesn't have yet, you know, the kinds of missile defenses that India's interest in acquiring the other piece of that. Is Indians just think the ballistic missiles more prestigious to and like for DR DO. He's ballistic missiles are kind of their identity, even though they've developed none of them. They're all graft off of the space programmes designs. The these two features. I think drive them it's over determine, you know, in in some ways Pakistan's go to slick which may be cheaper easier. And they don't have the prestige concerns that India does Android missile defenses. Whereas India has all these procedures organizational incentives, and as worried about the missile defenses in Pakistan's case, it probably is a combination of bureaucracy and working with what they have they're much better at miniaturization, generally. So that makes using torpedo to base systems much more appealing for them. Right. They know that they have these three French submarines to work with. And I think I think, you know, the actually received some pretty generous licensing and CMS details from the French when they bought these things in the early nineties and actually Erin, here's a. Here's a Turkey angle to all this the Turks rashly modifying these right now, which is a really interesting time to be doing this right after the Pakistani start testing, they're submarine launched cruise missile. I don't know. Exactly. What's going on with that? But it's something I'm gonna hopefully dig into a little bit more. But yeah, I think the second of the three on Augusta ninety Bs is is in Turkey right now, undergoing some kind of refurbishment on kind of tying things back to see to one of the things that Chris, and I got into in our paper, that's probably going to only find an audience on this podcast arms. Control long is really this bad podcasts. Great podcast something. I wanna talk about. This is the wanna talk about all the time. But nobody really seems to be interested, which is that there is in theory away, the Pakistanis could make things a little bit better. I and kind of ease people's nerves and debate their warheads at sea with the barber three. So the second test of the bobber three in April this year, the footage the Pakistanis released basically confirmed that this was a horizontally launch system via the torpedo. As we thought, but they gave us kind of video evidence of that from an underwater pontoon, they still have launched this thing from the actual submarine. But that opens up an interesting possibility where you can actually keep these warheads partially dissemble d- and debated on board the submarine and require somebody with technical expertise there to agree to made it and to launch it in a crisis. So that helps implement things like a three man rule in a crisis, and prevents the prevents the kind of nightmare scenario of these things just being ready to launch and out there at cedar crisis. But that's something that I think is a really kind of technical point. And the only other thing I'd say about this is that nobody's done this as far as we know I want to this is really interesting you look into the Pakistan because I looked at this with India when I was writing my my book many years ago. How would you manage command and control if you profess to have a mated peacetime stewardship procedure, and they're all these things, you know? About how you know. Like, oh, maybe India if the warheads are small enough, you can do it at sea. But I talked Gomer SBN officers in the US, and even, you know, Indian navy officers, and the notion that you would try to put a five hundred kilogram or thousand kilogram warhead, you know, and made it maybe it'd be unarmed. But it would wouldn't be it would be physically made it, but to physically made a warhead on an SAP n of that size is like a non-starter. Yeah. So it was almost like any any notion that you could maintain a D mated state or S L B M back. See force is out of the question. But I think this point about the Pakistanis interesting because the warhead a smaller it's a horizontal to you may be able to figure out ways to do it. Although I would lean against them trying to do that at sea because it doing combined space all of the safety in, you know, security issues. Associated with it. It would be easier just wash them out fully made it, but it is a possibility available to them with the slick that isn't available. I think to the Indians with Nestle BM. Join up. No, I was actually that's actually exactly right mean, I think we actually talked about your book in the in the process of kind of writing this out. It was sort of an interesting thing with the Pakistanis having these warheads these missiles being small enough right to pull this off. But yeah, I mean, it is an incredibly risky for them. Right. And always have things go wrong. And it it's not something that the Pakistanis would really be eager to publicize again as you say they have these incentives to make the they're always ready to fill deadly. So it's probably something we're never gonna get to learn about whenever night. It's only something that kind of comes to mind with these smaller. Yeah, it's exactly theoretically possible. And I feel like Chris Chris Clarry who is my former student now co author is a is a ghost fourth member of this podcast because he and I are just finishing an article which will be forthcoming in international security on India's potential interest in counterforce against Pakistan's nuclear arsenal. In the seabass component is. This turns on AS w but one thing that we noted about d- SPN program. The art hunt and the Cape of teen in particular is how much emphasis India put on accuracy of the K fifteen and you know, if you think it's your survivable second strike accuracy in your targeting. You know counter value targets like cities, accuracy, it doesn't really matter. And one question is whether if India is interested in potential counterforce targeting, which is a big. But I do think that people have been thinking about it. The very least we you know, we argued that the K fifteen may provide some targeting advantages and redundancy to land land-based force doesn't and in particular. I I was just I noted and maybe it was a little amused by how much they care about accuracy of an SM, which is something you normally don't associate with kind of backbone to your strategic deterrent, which is normally for countervalue targeting. So I thought that was that's been interesting over the years. Developers. So we wanted to do out here is her pivot to the end. I mean, what would you guys hit the big picture is here? I mean, clearly there's some sort of esscalation dynamics horizontal proliferation in terms of numbers and clearly a step forward on the Indian side. And also the Pakistani side, though, even though that they have not launches from separating the him from submarine yet. Just from as pontoons where is this going 'cause I was really interested to in the missile defense aspect of this conversation because this is a priority of the Indians, no matter where it is in stage, which development either internally or with external suppliers. You know, there clearly seems to be the dynamics in place here for more robust arms race that continues largely outside of any trolls for I guess the top line numbers on how many systems these two countries can deploy. I wanna take your first shot. Well, I think the the bottom line big picture here is that Indian Ocean, nuclear dynamics are starting to really, you know, they're they're growing much quicker than I think a lot of people have aknowledged both in the, you know, off the Indian peninsula on the bap all side, Andy Arabian, seaside, you basically have in the NFL BM's Indiana's BN's now conducting deterrence patrols as we saw with the Arianna nouncement and the Pakistanis pretty soon. I think by the mid twenty twenties will probably give us evidence that the barber three is now ready for the prime time. Probably once they get these refurbished about back from the Turks. The other variable now is to watch out for potential future. Chinese deployments into the Indian Ocean. Which the Indians have been worried about for a for quite some time now, so basically the Indian Ocean is is turning into a pretty big nuclear hot zone to watch. As far as the arms race dynamics. Go. I think what you think that. But I think I see a lot more of those arms race dynamics really playing out on land between the Indians of the park, sunny still. But I think certainly Pakistan's development of the of this sea-launched leg wasn't something that was really taken for granted, maybe in the mid two thousands. But really now seems to be something that they've really started to invest a lot of effort into. Yeah. Grew with that. I think what we're seeing is a match ration- of arms race that has existed in some form another for you know, since the nineteen eighties. And you know, now, we're entering basically the next cycle, which is things are clicking on the land based force for both Augustan, you know, in the early knots fielded the Nassir system which is a tactical nuclear weapon. Capability plus, you know, both are developing their strategic nuclear forces on land. And so moving to see his was kind of the natural culmination. I think from there, you know, again over determined for or organizational bureaucratic procedures Indian case. And I think there's a survivability logic in the Pakistani case. And so, you know, the the the question will be how these dynamics continue, and you know, the the arms race has really been driven. I think largely by my pocket. Stan so far it believed. It needed battlefield nuclear weapons turn Indian conventional attack than it was worried about survivability of strategic choice if India retaliated with nuclear weapons, so that kind of drove Pakistan to build up its forces, drove them to see and the question will be how India decides to respond, and I think a lot of this turns on, you know, whether India is interested in threatening the survivability of Pakistan's. Strategic nuclear forces. Because if they are then I think, you know, we're entering a new phase where India will have to maintain sustain numbers of systems and warheads to maintain somewhat a counterforce advantage and Pakistan will keep building up and moving them around and make targeting much more difficult. And so we could be entering if Pakistan, and it's enough that Pakistan might fear that that's the case. And until there's until unless there's an explicit Indian clarification about. Accepting the deposits secure second strike, Pakistan is always gonna fear Indian threats to the survivability of nuclear force. And so a lot of this on what India's interest is in terms of nuclear strategy, and you know, what kind of targeting of portfolio wants because along as Pakistan believes that India's interested in counterforce when you're going to have vertical arms race until or unless India decides to basically explicitly opt out of it and say, we have no interest in threatening the strategic your strategic nuclear assets. So I think that that's kind of where we are. Now, there are a lot of reasons why do you might be interested in this? But it does create very destabilizing dynamics on the arms race peacetime arms race dynamics. And then obviously anytime there's there are elements of counterforce targeting and any states strategy or believed to be then you start getting I strike instability problems, the need to go preemptively, go I in order devoid, losing and if your nuclear assets, and so, you know, they're both peacetime applications and crises implications. But I mean, I think we're squarely your Pakistan. He's, you know, well before the Indians started even obliquely talking about counterforce being afraid of any kind of hard because all the systems India has been acquiring talking about what you don't talk about. Accuracy so much of your only interested in countervalue retaliation. And then add the BrahMos, which is very very accurate very fast joint venture with the Russians at S four hundred and layered missile defenses. And it looks like. A sustained interest in damage-limitation and potentially counterforce. And so the Pakistanis pick and choose the capabilities seem to support that architecture over the last ten years, I think it was really picked up ten years and the move to see kind of the natural combination that match ration-, but it's just one piece of the larger arms race dynamic that I think is happening kind of under our nose in the western media. We've been talking about getting I've been talking about South Asia, you know, for for years, but it got nowhere near the attention to the North Korea. Got for obvious reasons. I think because North Korea and the US earner have an adversarial relationship it's easy to forget about South Asia. But I think we do so at our peril because I think that right now is probably the most active arms race in the global queer landscape. There's a positive to arms races is that we get to have lots of arms control podcasts about this. You always try we've caused growth industry, it's a growth industry, you know? And we always try and podcast on a happy note. And usually my happy this usually not very much be happy about at the end of podcast because usually it means that there's more nuclear weapons or more missiles. But that means we get to have more podcasts. So with that. I think that's a happy note. I also want to add before we wrap up plugging ARA or Trump JR. No, a lot of fun and Eric figure out what the Turks are doing. With those Augusta ninety bees definitely hit me up. I will I will actually gonna look into that. My guess is that they're in. This is doing a lot of Paul is just the whole maintenance than they're in. They're doing a lot of the electron IX, all let's not be coy. They wanna peak those slickened said that they can get a. Look at the twos. But you'll have Turks wandering around those things. I mean, it is interesting. I'm gonna have to look into that. You know, the Turkish Pakistani relationship is massing. Yeah. They actually very close close relations close ties in its it slides under the radar a lot, but they're closely allied in a long history going back there. So now, you wet my appetite now, I need to go actually figure out what the hell. The these two sides are doing. But with that thanks for joining me and Jeffrey is traveling on the east coast. But he'll be on the next podcast. If you want more arms control won't podcasts. Head on over to patriotdepot dot com slash AC w podcasts and for as little as three dollars a month. If you're a student or five dollars a month, if you are not you can get access to our slack channel. And as part of that, you could access to a second shorter pot called brilliant pebbles where we on a once a week basis, more or less. It's been a little busy recently. We talk about a story in the arms control Wong universe that. We're all talking about privately, but may or may not reach the point of a full thirty to forty minute podcast check that out indefinitely. Go check out patriot dot com slash podcast and with that everybody listening. Thanks, guys. That was fun. Thank you.

India Pakistan SPN China South Asia United States navy Augusta Pakistan Chris Chris Clarry Cape fifteen North korea Indian Ocean Indian navy Pakistani navy Middle East Soviet Union official Jeffrey
At The Brink

Arms Control Wonk

42:58 min | 2 months ago

At The Brink

"You are listening the arms control podcast podcast on arms, control, disarmament, and non-proliferation. I'm Jeffrey, Lewis, the founding publisher of the Arms Control Walked, log and a Professor Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. I. The director of research at the Foreign Policy Research Institute in Philadelphia. Aaron, we have guests we have virtual guests. We are all in the Zimmerman, your different background today actually you're not outside. I am I am actually at my in-laws House in upstate New York and this is my father-in-law's office which is filled with pictures of my wife's brother playing hockey. It certainly filled with lots of pictures as I can say. Well we are joined by Bill Perry and Lisa Perry Bill Perry, you must know he is most famous for serving as the one thousand, nine, hundred Secretary of defense under President Bill Clinton. He had a long career as a technology entrepreneur with public service in the Carter and Clinton administrations, and is now the Impresario of the William Perry Project at Stanford University, which is producing an incredible new podcast at the brink. Aaron. Are you listening to it? I mean, absolutely. It's one of those things I listened to as I walk around with the nine month. Old Everybody saw as I was carrying it around carrying around because my wife is still stuck on a call and we're and Gortat And it is hosted by his granddaughter Lisa Perry who is the digital communications manager at the periphery project and makes me feel bad about my own hosting abilities? It's great. Thank you. I'm glad you I'm glad you enjoyed it since I take a ton of inspiration from of the work that you do so. What I've I've been narrating another podcast project and I find I have to like. Not. Do. That after I listened to one of the episodes because the narration is so good, the podcast you're talking about is you're new podcast on the Iran deal is that right? Yes. But you already have a podcast episode on the Iran deal I do know. So you say that year afraid to listen to mind before doing yours an I must admit I'm very excited to listen to your. Series on the Iran deal I admit that I am afraid for the exact same reason which was no I'm GonNa, listen to this I'm getting frustrated. got. That story but I'm. Excited I'm I'm loving I really love the project Sapphire episode. I am not going to go anywhere near that Iran episode until all our stuff is the. So my first question. Is Actually for Secretary Perry which is, how did you find yourself? Roped into helping create a podcast as date back to. When I decided the nuclear weapons are terrible threat to the world that nuclear weapons were more of a danger to us to newark an asset to our security. And I said I need to do something about that. Quickly discovered how hard it is to do anything about that because most people just don't understand because they don't even think about nuclear weapons anywhere. They think the nuclear dangerous one away with the ending of the. Cold War. So. I said out about project, try to educate the public on this issue. Neilly naively said about not understanding just how difficult is going to be. And? In my naive thinking all right a book about it and explain it to people. So I wrote a book called my journey yet the nuclear break. Number of years ago and to my surprise astonishment. Check that the educate the public for not your fault by the way it's a wonderful book. Yeah. Not Well, not not very many people would part of the problem. So given that problem. I. The project to try to. country on other ways of getting of across guy. And we hit upon writing a book there was more accessible to the public that is called the button. Join with Tom Kalina. Much better at communicating with the lay person than I am anyway. So that book, I think had a better chance of getting the message even Dan. Even then I didn't think we were succeeding. Particularly, we're not succeeding with young. People. Choice said we need a podcast at the next thing to try. Got More people listen to podcasts particular more young people and then trying to point young people why don't get young people to point of view in this triassic ask Lisa if she would organize narrate the podcast Hoping. Hoping, against hope that that would work out. All right. And to my surprise it dead. It turned out that you know young she's actually very good at doing podcasts. So that was what got me into this and that's what that's why Lisa's here with us today she's the one, the power behind this podcast. He's the one that really made it happen he organized it NGO narrated. And edited it. Are you actually doing the editing as well because. That is that's a heavy lift. I do everything except for the technical audio editing. We do we have some a team, a small team that does that cuts it all together but all of the interviews, the writing the scripting, the narration, the recording. The re-edit, the editing, the reediting on an editorial level. Is actually myself and my father So we really are actually a three generation project here. And that sort of worked out somewhat accidentally. The father also works for the William J project, which is the foundation my grandfather put together after he wrote his book to try and educate the public and. As he was saying he he originally I he wrote the book and that was sort of the initial projects that he took on in this effort, and then it's sort of got out there and this was six years ago. I have my timeline, right. That he that the book came out and that sort of about the same time that the. that he created the foundation. And originally, he brought on my aunt Matt. Robin. To be his she was an editor by trade, and so she became the editor for the book and then sort of went on to become director for the project sort of organically and then from there, my father who is his whole career than as the professor the first big project that they wanted to undertake was to make an online course since. You should speak more on this granddad but. He had been teaching at Stanford for some time on these issues and wanted to take. Some of the things that he had been teaching at Stanford and make it publicly available and bringing it online so that everyone could learn these things that he's been teaching and so he brought my father on as someone who can just organized the chorus as someone who is a professor understands how to do these things and so that was sort of the original how things started out the first couple of things with these online courses And then I personally got involved also some organically in that my phone calls with my father as he started working on this project he'd always be telling me what they were doing what they had going on and how they were trying to reach people and I sort of became this unofficial advisers will you should you should try this should check out these youtube videos and see what they're doing or maybe this is another thing you can do these are just like regular familial phone calls and you're just like hearing what's going on you're like, no no, no no. No No. I'm hip to at the young people think and you're like no dad. In, yeah. Kind kind of I'm doing some great stuff. It was more of like a like a brainstorming session that went on for about a year and a half when the foundation for started where we. Would always end up getting in these conversations about the work that they were doing and I was like I think you should try these other things I really like this I think he should do more of that. And then Eventually. What actually ended up happening was when the book came out. Finally I, I'm a big user. Read it actually. And out always told make said, know when this book comes out I, really love for you to do an Ama which for those who are not familiar at stance or asked me basically an open forum questions session. And I thought that that would be really interesting and also a good way to sort of get some attention to the book and the Foundation. And and something that I just wanted to see him do in general. And then along with that. I. I was sort of prepping them to do this. I wanted it to really actually be effective and help them out with their mission and started getting involved in really. Working with what they had on their materials online and their website and started beefing these things out than eventually s Oh, you know. I think you really need someone near thing you need to bring someone on who's dedicated and focused on on how you're communicating your message online and and how you're reaching out because you're creating great contact contents and the information is really important but if You know the Internet big. If you're not knowing how to market if you're not knowing how to reach the people you're trying to reach it's GonNa, sit in the ether somewhere. And it was originally just going to be for a couple of months. Says I sort of revamp their website and got them establish some things and? Now. We are here four and a half years later. I am. Cast in and all these other things, right? I'm curious when when you were planning this podcast as it moved along. With. Such a long career government how you ultimately chose the stories that you did you know to focus on any out. Over the past four and a half years. I have gotten to witness my grandfather do lots of talks and got to really intimately familiar with his personal stories and the people that he's worked with. And we started from there. Really we were inspired with how seeing when he would stick with people how his personal stories or the things that resonated the most if people in fact, he tells his His false alarms story is one that he tells often. And it. Seeing how people resonate when you hear and feel the danger from someone's personal experience just seems to connect with people at a much deeper level than if you're just rattling off facts and figures and walkie statistics as much as that can connect with some people. Secretary Perry. Are you surprised at which stories connect with people? I mean I find this intergenerational thing. So fascinating because you have your life and your experience in your career. But you have children and grandchildren who are interested in what you do care about what you do when you know in know what they're talking about and to do you find that things land with them in ways that you don't expect or you're surprised that something strikes them more. You know it was a pretty much what you expect. The first thing that surprised me. was trying to get a point across to people. I can do it more effectively my Thomas Story than illustrative by giving them analysis problem storytelling. In my judgment turned up a very effective way of communicating with people. And then I picked those stories the most dramatic. And that are easy for people to understand. As our leader mentioned mice, so-called thoughts, lamb story. That's when I personally experienced a false alarm at three o'clock in the morning. and. That was highlighted. Picking up the phone at three o'clock in the general saying to me, my computer's showing two hundred ICBM's on the way in the Soviet. Union denied states. Now he quickly went on to say he was he thought he knew as a false alarm but that first phrase so dramatic to me. The thought of I told that to other people they would be. They find easy to relate to wires dramatic and easy to understand why false alarm might be a problem to the United States and might even lead us into an accidental nuclear war. So my basic conclusion. Talking, Oh many many people. Or is it storytelling a better way of getting points across in analysis? And that I picked for my own career, the most dramatic stories. You can tell them in the first person they're the most effective. Jump. In there with a follow on question building on something you brought up. which is you know you you mentioned your some of your early problem is when you wrote a book about translating these things for the layman you know and I, think that's a struggle. We a lot of us have actually is the taking these topics and I know Jeffrey and I've had it. You know non-proliferation can be very, very boring even if it's very exciting for us in the PODCAST, was a way to make it exciting and interesting. You know. What if when people talked about the podcast you know what is it that the layman you know just to use that term says, oh, wow like that one really jumped out at me and you made it real for me or that that was something that. Maybe surprised you and they took an interest in that that that that you thought wasn't interesting or things that you repackage and explain that. Had more residents. I'm waiting few. Dance. Reunion I to see if the answers are the same well I, I'm not getting the feedback yet already getting so. And virtually peace been quarantined at home hasn't got to see as many people except on the zoom calls but. Definitely. People have been really responding to the emotion I. Think is what we hear a lot is So the the first episode we start off with the story of the Hawaii false alarm. And that was with Cynthia lasser off who who experienced there, and she's recounting her story and. She gets very emotional at the end of telling that story. She's talking about how she thought that not only was it maybe the end of her life, but maybe the end of. She thought about her children living elsewhere and they didn't know whether. The attack was may be going to affect other people and and and you know coming to that moment. In your acceptance of this may not just be the end of my life but like the end of most human life as we know it and just the weight of that. and. Like know feeling in coming from someone who's telling it not just from a theoretical perspective from a from a real. This was my experience I had this moment that this was a real thought that had to grapple with and I think those are the sorts of things that that really connect with people One of my favorite been yet that we got to depict was The none. Mugare episode a going into the history of the lavar program, which is the program that my grandfather spearheaded to. Dismantle. Leftover nuclear weapons after the fall of the Soviet. Union. which to me is a really interesting story that I think it's just not Not really talked about when you learn about the history of the Soviet Union and things like Oh. Yes there's hundreds. Of Thousands of nuclear weapons that got leftover what happened to those? But Luger would who was. A part of the program talks about this moment when she was visited by these former. Ukrainian and Russian officials at her home in California and they're having dinner outside. and. She has a new baby with her and they're they're eating and they're talking and they're just sharing communing with one another and the the general ass. Oh can I can I hold your baby and she here she passed the her her newborn son to the general generals holding the baby and saying, isn't it strange that we're sitting here right now we used to target this place with nuclear weapons and right now I'm holding the next generation in my hands of what wouldn't have ever been possible if that actually happens you know if we had followed through with all of these things that we have been building up towards. then this beautiful future would never have happened and those are the sorts of things that I know I personally connect with the I I've been hearing from people in the different moments that they they get emotional wet, and then that's where it really kind of hits you in that core place of you know that. This is real and and and we can't ignore it I. think those are those are the powerful places. Yeah. I really loved the to start with the Hawaii also alarm You know in part because I think we. When it was publicized, we all imagined that this was something that happened on the civilian side. And that The military must have must have known there was no alarm and now stories are starting to filter out that military personnel who saw the alerts on their phones just assumed it was a real alert, and so there's this kind of at least for me. That's. Just an inspired way. To Start I. Wonder and this is really question for both of you. How do you do you pick the? You make these editorial decisions team. Lisa are you are you the dictator? What how? How how do you go about picking the story because I think they've been so well chosen. Thank you I'm glad that you've enjoyed them. It was mostly. A I organized the the ideas together. Then we I kind of brought it to the table and discuss them. and. Sort, of talked about what what we might tap into I would say that for this season and. We do have some some hopes to maybe do a second season And I have a bunch of ideas for that. But for this season, what we really wanted to do is we said, you know if we can only do one season, what are the stories and what are the subjects we think are most important to cover, and that was sort of our guiding light with the decisions we made and. Particularly, we really lead in on the connections that my grandfather has the people that he's worked with the experts that we've. Worked with with the project who we knew could speak to these issues really well, and the stories that we were already you know very familiar with. And so it definitely does lean heavy more into US government. Background things for that reason. But I. Don't think that it's any weaker for that. Is Stronger because we have is unique access to a lot of these behind the scenes things And then from there. Yeah. We really just sort of okay. What are the most compelling and interesting stories that we can find around those things? And, some of the episodes are little more story heavy in some of them are a little bit more policy heavy because there are certain things like the Iran deal episode. We soon, we really felt it was in critical to do an episode on the Iran deal because it is so important that one was maybe a little harder to find the story narrative there, and so then you're leaving things together and it becomes more of lots of vignettes. And just connecting people with the process than it is like one big story you you mentioned the project Sapphire episode that's I think so far. One of my favorites that we've gotten to do because it is such A. This fascinating you know strong narrative and actually as I was interviewing. Andy Weber for for the podcast he tells me at the end of the interviews that you know. We've actually been optioned for movie, but a story at the a movie producers have had reached out to him about making a movie about it. Obviously whether that ever happens is questionable, but it made total sense to me like Oh. Yes. I could certainly see a movie get made out of this story. They obviously would have to punch it up and throw in some romance and they're shy I think Andy's going to be replaced by George Clooney decided. You don't know that for sure Jeffrey well, I have to ask Secretary Perry what's been your favorite episode? To do. It I I. Think Lisa Maybe it's project SAF that project Sapphire episode but curious to hear what you what yours is. Products Sapphire. I like the false alarms think the anti questions about the various stories that I tell I think the false alarm story. Is the most gripping because several easy for people relate to it. Getting a phone call in the middle of the night. As as stories rematch. How that call was going to go into the president, he wakes gets waking up to. It gets awoken in the middle of the night. He has five minutes to decide. Now, that's a dramatic story, but it's a true story. We will get away from less to Mitch away the national security. Adviser. Calling the president before we knew it was a false alarm. And had he done that the president of had five minutes decide People can imagine getting a call in the middle of the night. They can imagine. The incongruity having to make a decision that momentous. Five minutes after being woken up. In the morning. No no opportunity context opportunity chocolate significant advisors we just have to design. And The fact that we have that system that policy. Is this crazy in the story illustrates just how crazy it is. So that's my favorite story. Will say you. You were also pretty excited when we brought you the first cut of the new guy episode I remember this. We'd. We'd finished it before we were our official launch date because we're doing several and he said, okay. So we're publishing at this week right? So No, we have. Launched dates in three weeks illegal. I think it's good. We should just put it out now. I know that feeling we have a couple of episodes in the can and we're just. you want them. They're like, you know you want them to go out in the world and you want you want that reaction sometimes you have to wait. So hard. So. Hard. So. What You you said you're thinking about a second season. What are what are our chances of that and you just want to keep those ideas to yourself or are there I guess the question I wanted to ask our stories you didn't get to tell. Yes their stories. So I'll give your listeners a little sneak preview in terms of So what what we have left coming for this season's where we have. Iran deal episode most recent, and then re up next we'll have North Korea in which yours truly will also be featured on And then we will have episode eight will be a story about Hiroshima and that will be quite a a unique intense episode we have to survivors who are speaking on that episode. and. That's going to be quite a deep dive there, and then our final episode will be sort of an activism disarmament episode of looking abroad overview of all the different things happening on what people are doing pushback so that's the nine episodes of season one. but. A second season what I would really love to do in the stories that we haven't been able to tell would really be a lot more stories that are a little bit of a step back from the higher levels of government and more on the smaller stories of the people who've been affected by these weapons and. Imposed upon by these weapons particularly, I would really love to tell the story of a marshall, islands and the down winters and the effects that nuclear testing has had on individuals. There's so many stories out there that are. Really important to talk about and even uranium mining and the impact on indigenous people in New Mexico and Colorado And that would really be a big priority for me. There's a number of other Just interesting kind of like smaller unique stories about negotiations around the world I'd love to dive into India Pakistan that was something that we just didn't quite have the bandwidth to do this season And Interestingly, a one episode that would really love to do we actually have contacts with John Her sees grandson and Truman's grandson and the grandson of one of the pilots of We have all contacted all of them and I would love to do a retrospective of like. The next generation who has had these direct connections with nuclear weapons through our family connections and just justice sort of sit down conversation of where we at with grappling with what our family. has had involved in these weapons and and you know how are we may be taking charge in trying to change the narrative and and take ownership of what the generations after us will have to deal with. A really interesting Leo solarge granddaughter now also has a podcast Yeah. Yeah. It's it's inspired by the fact that I think there's this sort of picture of him posing with a mushroom cloud which she saw and like her her grandfather's house and she never you should no idea what he did or. Kind of a revelation to her so I think Some of those intergenerational questions I find endlessly fascinating. Let me let me really put the pitch in for the impact of uranium mining on native American tribes I've colleague at Miss the Middlebury Institute and she's writing her thesis asking this question of of. How did how is it that we have? We have spent so much attention I think rightfully. So on on victims of nuclear testing. And for some reason, the impact of uranium mining on native American tribes has almost fallen off our radar. So I think those are those are some inspired ideas. Yeah. Yeah and then I think their stories that really deserve to be told so As we've leaned into the the stories that we did this season because the issues are important and the connections that we had break there. So we knew that we knew we could tell these stories. Well, we knew that they would be able to explain these sort of big concept issues that we connected to each story, which is sort of our goal is you know take take a big concept, nuclear issue and attach. It to a personal story to sort of explain or or exemplify why these things are important or why you should care about them But the these other stories are are so important critical to in they deserve that attention in it's just going to be a matter of you know as as it is with most things finding the funding for a second season and we're very hopeful for that and crossing our fingers. Another another story which has really been told. And it might not be available. We might not be able to find people who can tell. Mr Sawyer the testing them so-called wants to them. Is it the bomb. which the Soviets detonated desperate for the test ban took place. It was a fifty megatons. It was. We thousand times destructive power by the Hiroshima. Bomb. A, huge. Warm. The problem they had was finding a way of testing it. It was a huge bomb first phone had to take the biggest bomber and adapted. Modified. So they could put just airplane while I'm honored. So they've they've solved that problem in the next problem was. How could the pilot get far enough away from the from the bomb detonations to the by an airplane went destroyed. By Schwab. They dropped with the parachute. And then we're off I think about ten thousand feet. It had Jhansi maybe I. Don't know fifty miles or so away. Even. So The pressure wave in his air the airplane. Airplane Down Imagine get under control. Manager land badly damaged when you're so able land it, but it's just a way of illustrating the enormous power. These bombs. This case, you can't even find a way to test it without endangering people's lives. So. Hard to comprehend. Destructive power of a nuclear bomb, but if you take the extreme case. That's fifty megaton bomb. And related simple strive you could only find bothers is probably long dead. Talk to his grandson, for example, who would be nice to do. So we have some research to define if we can make a story out of that, that's. Been in the back of my mind wants tell telling. I think that's Fantastic, you know the Russia just within the last I think what two weeks? Released a forty minute high resolution film. That they made. which I I have not seen it have you oh yeah. I downloaded it and then I watched it on the plane as his mind from California to New York And it it is. It's incredible because it it details all of the things you just said the degree to which they had to have special railcar just to move it. And the manner in which they actually put the bomb underneath the aircraft which was hanging externally which when you see this aircraft flying with this enormous. Device hanging from it it looks I. Mean it is. It is the epitome of unsafe. I mean I think if you look at that, you immediately realize. that. This entire enterprise is deeply dubious. If you take something to the extreme and this case, the biggest bomb ever been designated. I think going to the extreme illustrates points important point. In this case no better way. Too much is destructive power nuclear weapons in to talk about the stories about. How this bomb difficulty finding way to test this bomb it was so destructive. Before we wrap up here I was hoping he'll Lisa. You can tell our listeners if they are not aware of where they can find this podcast. Where they can go find this podcast you I assume it's on every place that we can five buck guests but I wanna make sure that you plug it in case there's things I'm not thinking about indoor forget to tell them to smash that subscribe button that's bash the subscribe it. Subscribe baton give it a thumbs up in a like Yes. You can find it anywhere that you listen to your podcast. It's ongoing spotify and apple it's called at the brink. But you can also find it on our website at the brink dot Org and also go on our website. We've got a lot of great photos from a lot of the stories that we've recounted a lot of personal photos from my grandfather's collection. Photos from our interviewees At. The lots of resources for if you're interested in the subject and you WanNa learn more all of those links are there. The podcast released intended to be educational and a stone for those who aren't already engaged on these issues few like they're not knowledgeable enough to talk about them. This is sort of supposed to be your primer of like in. People to these issues, and in fact, I have often told people who are already in the wrong space as this is the podcast you share with all your friends when you're at the cocktail at the cocktail party and also what do you gun nuclear weapons? Okay. Well, what does that mean? It will listen to this podcast because it's hard to break down all of the different issues you listen to this podcast give you a sense of like what the issues are one of the big things out there and what we can actually do to impact change and lower the dangers of nuclear disaster. And I'm just GONNA go ahead and jump in and say also both books new book the Button with Tom Galina. But also my journey at the nuclear brink are definitely worth reading I mean I I've read my journey at the nuclear brink twice I my copy is marked up it's. It's incredible. My copy of the button sitting in California. Here. So it's it's waiting to be marked up but I. Think pretty much everything You've done Secretary Perry since you left office. Has has just been really incredible and I think it's a it's a testament to you. That you have been able to create this project. That has given us so much amazing. Content You know if only make me feel bad the your granddaughters better narrator than I am. Let me just add one other store which I haven't related before. which is when I was first off the job. I the deputy sector defense later, sector defense each case I turned the job down. For variety of personal reasons. What bought me around exception them in both cases non explaining to me. That the only he we could really get to look program implemented. And got these eight thousand nuclear weapons dismantled. That we wanted to dismantle. Valid. Take those jobs that was the final persuasive factor in my mind. Taking a job which I really did not want to take my wife did not want to take and as a result we did succeed. We did dismantle those eight thousand weapons get rid of all of the new ground, all the nuclear weapons. Those sort of floating around and causing Sonnen Belarus in Ukraine. And I thought when I left office. Identified term. I thought the nuclear. We're all well on a way to dismantling. The nuclear legacy of the Cold War. And I thought that was three or four years before I realized that was not going to happen that instead that four year period we're just sort of A. Very special period. were. Oliver. Energy the whole energy of the Defense Department Were directed dismantling nuclear weapons that was my primary. Mission was in the Defense Department dismantling nuclear weapon. Can you imagine a person making that prime? Minister, I can you imagine a person saying I would not become this after defense except for the possibility for doing that mission. But that is a true story with no embellishment is I've just related. Do yesterday Jeffrey. Public. I didn't achieve anything remotely close to something like that I. Think I made myself a sandwich and wrote an article. No one's going to read. I was woken up at three o'clock in the morning last night it took me about thirty seconds to realize that it was my daughter crying. So these stories. They're very well done because it makes you think about yourself and so it really is. It really is a testament to the work that you're doing. You know. The Hawaii episode in particular. The closest thing that we've gotten here in Philadelphia, it's like a tornado warning like blasted to your phone. And we don't really get tornadoes in Philadelphia but every once in a while you do in the last one that came I happened to be in Iraq of all places and I get woken up messages from my wife saying we have to go shelter in the basement and feeling helpless I can only imagine if the the alert was incoming missiles. So I I really do implore people to go read the podcast 'cause you humanize it and you bring it. Home in a way that that. It makes it very relatable and I think you know somebody who does a podcast geoff how long we've been doing this I can't remember I think it's been six years. Six Years Yeah you would think you would get better at some point. Well. The ultimate compliment is is. is putting putting it together because we know what it takes and we have a lot of screw ups. And those playing Meyer. Whether David Releases told you you. You're part captured an inspiration to us and amount of for us. When we started ours certainly use you set the standards for the way to do these kinds of podcast listening a lot up to allowed of the episodes when you're sort of putting together the initial plan and what else is people doing what what? What what state Dander doing ourselves to, and I can only hope that our podcast as Anywhere near the level of precision and knowledge and accuracy that that you bring. I think we're we're happy to be the obscure indie band to to to your rock stardom just remembered where shirt when. You're on TV otherwise, no one will know who we are. And you know I I. DO WANNA to. We take. If. If if there's ways that we can help the arms control, want community can help with that second season you know I dunno funding is always important. Do. Plug it now Just share it with as many people as you can get it out there. Maybe if you're feeling like. You want to just like play a repeat in the background we get a lot of plays and I can tell people. A lot of people listening to this? We really need a sexy. And any type of just getting the message out there getting people to know what it is that's that's what we're looking to The more people you tell about sharing with your on your social media That's that's the whole and I. I will say that I'm a endlessly grateful I know that I'm I'm very lucky not just to have You know the best granddad out there but just the opportunities that that what he has done in his life, which is all of these amazing things is allowed me to do this amazing thing and have the privilege of creating a podcast purely. Not for monetary gain, but purely for education, purely to get the message out there to reach people about something that is so incredibly important. Not a lot of people have the chance to create. A appear artistic creation like that, and and hopefully, people will resonate with it. I'm going to take us out here with her own plug Do the same thing for the controlling park for the trump podcast we we can listen to podcasts. And Jeffries, it's done a spinoff, Jeffries independent project which I know took a lot of a lot of work and I'm actually very excited to listen to it make sure to subscribe to that Jeffrey. Well, it's called. What's it called I forgot what? Aaron, it's called the deal. I. It'll be five part episode of five part narrative gas about the history of the Iran nuclear deal you confided I tuned to could for all of these things that I can specify and if you want to support the show because we need to support as well and over the Patriot dot com slash AC w podcast. if you make a donation three dollars student five dollars if you're a normal person, you can enjoy our slack channel where lots of fun things happen. So that Jeffrey I I I, I just want to thank our guests I, think you want to take us out well, now I just wanted to say thank you all for joining us. Thank you. Thank you. Very, confusing and then stimulating. And thank you for listening.

Lisa Perry Bill Perry Iran Jeffrey, Lewis Secretary California Stanford University Aaron Foundation president United States Philadelphia New York Andy Weber William Perry Project Foreign Policy Research Instit Zimmerman Neilly Monterey
Kim Jong Un's 2019 New Year's Day Speech

Arms Control Wonk

41:51 min | 2 years ago

Kim Jong Un's 2019 New Year's Day Speech

"Uh-huh. You are listening the arms control one podcast the leading hot cast on arms control, deliberation and disarmament. Jeffrey Lewis, I'm the founding publisher, the arms and scholar. It'll berry of international studies. Sign rector program deformed pulse. Research title for this is a this is a year of of of many changes you've new job. That's right. My side. My office is totally different. I thought I thought Corey shocked Swiss was congratulating you. But but but but crying as they lost out. You you've got a new employer. I do I do and Corey Perry. Very nice person. And didn't actually have to tweet that. But I think anyways, I do love Corey closer to home and still broader portfolio now, I all the Middle East not just focusing on Turkey with suppod casting antics. So after all of the Middle East in podcasting Knicks, this is going to be. I think this podcast. We're gonna talk about North Korea. It's it's New Year's day speech. It's the thing we're all supposed to discuss. But it says there's also some housekeeping you talk about so you've got a new job. I am going to spend the entirety of January in Middlebury Vermont teaching a class. That is a m. My wife went to school there. That's going to be an interesting experience. I think for you. So we're still deciding whether to bring the family, I've got the house rented, but I don't know if we want to take the kids out of school. We we really need to make a decision I 'cause I'm getting on a plane Saturday and the question is do we bring them for part of it skiing, apparently good. It's very, Yup. Very cold and not allowed to well. That just means I'll have more time for podcasts. Well, there you go go, and I think it's been a while, you know, so because for listeners I go to Turkey for the holidays, basically every year, and I don't take my computer for number of reasons. And so there's no podcasting in Turkey. So we've sort of an offer we have we're gonna make it up. We're going to have podcast. We've got a ton of stuff to do in the future. We've gotta do. Russia's often guard launch. I was leased that we GIO located the silo and got that beautiful planet image of the tracks in the snow. Yeah. That's on Twitter. I think we're gonna bring on front of the pod j Mack James. We want to do that. We're eventually going. You know, as I think everybody can see the day that we're recording. This Mike Pompeo has started talking about the coming rainy in space launch. Which is a thing that fob Hinz friend of the pod. But he noticed a couple of weeks ago that the Iranians look like they're probably going to a space launch maybe in early February. And we're just waiting for a nice clear picture. Unfortunately, it's been cloudy. It's somebody who just returned for the Middle East. It was a it was a little rough weather over there. We also by the way, we have some cool North Korea geo location stuff a two year, the more nerdy the normal. This is exceptionally nerdy. I don't think anyone else will care, but it was like a two year passion project for Dave Moore. And I and we finally finished it before he got on the plane, and he relocated DC about sake. Because he's now tweeting when I'm awake. So he is now liking my tweets when I'm tweeting early in the morning east coast time, so I knew he had moved. And I think at some point will have to have Melissa Hannam on because she has left to start detail, which is kind of start up. Why I don't really know high would describe it. I better let her describe it. But we basically it's a it's a skeleton crew here at the moment down at the center for nonproliferation studies, casually like checking on an Pellegrino to make sure she's like doesn't have a cold or hasn't been hit by a bus because. Decamping for months, and I'm decamping Vermont. Yeah. There's there's not gonna be anybody here. So. Yeah. Anyway, that's that's all the stuff. That's not even all the stuff. There's some middle. Other Middle Eastern research projects that we're expecting to drop relatively. Yeah. We gotta keep it, quiet. Even though I'm excited for it. It'll be a fun one. Yeah. So anyway, all that stuff is gonna is gonna come out, which is just my way of apologizing that we're going to do yet. Another North Korea podcast. Oh, you're probably all listeners tired. I'm tired listeners behind the curtain here. We we struggled for good thirty minutes. I would say to try and figure out something to talk about other than North Korea. But then we ultimately decided we still have to talk about North Korea, a whole bunch of great ideas. But they're all ideas that will be better next week. That's right. So that's why we gave you gave the listeners a little bit of a foreshadow is the right word for what's coming up next. Yeah. I think so just to. Just to apologize. Because really I think I'm tired of North Korea to heal and not tired of North Korea as a country. I am tired. Of being in the same deadlock. That we have been in since June, and that many of us predicted would occur from the get-go when this whole process started in March like I am tired of saying the same thing over and over again. I don't know. How do you feel Aaron? I mean is this just what like life dealing with like Middle Eastern. I are issues is like I mean a little bit. I mean, you just in the stasis. There's no real movement. The issues are the same. And the conundrums or at least fallacy in how the both sides are approaching this just don't seem to ever be reconciled. But I guess that's why they call it diplomacy. I guess, you know, for listeners every year, the leader of North Korea in this case, Kim Jong who in the last few years gives a speech on New Year's day, and that is the speech in which Kim Jong outlines the priorities for the coming year. And it's usually a very good indicator of what to expect. So in two thousand seventeen can made clear that they were going to do an ICBM test. And hey that happened and into eighteen can make clear that he was ready to talk and that there was going to be a newfound focus on the economy, and that they were gonna shift away from testing, which was very politically provocative to the mass production of these systems, which which they did. So we all kind of tuning in to see what two thousand nineteen holds. And it's worth talking about the speech in some detail because doing propaganda and Alice's is important. It's kind of big part of what we do. I know. Focus on the satellite images allot, but you know, reading with North Korean say is is as important. But you know, my main takeaway is it's not really anything different than what the North Koreans have been saying at lower and less authoritative levels since the fall. Yeah. I think the the. I mean, I is I read it. He seemed to be trying to strike a balance between. Continuing with some of the pledges. He made the two thousand eighteen propaganda speech. But also signaling some of his discontent about how the US has handled it side in these weird negotiations that are going on with the Trump administration. Right. And I think you know, the kind of. The important fact to keep in mind in interpreting what Kim Jong is saying is understanding where the North Koreans think the negotiations are at the moment, and that's hard to do because particularly people who are supportive of the president tend to misrepresent what happened at Singapore. And so then it becomes a kind of you know, I it becomes a partisan food fight. If you're trying to explain what the North Koreans thing happened because they think something very different happen. Right. Whereas Donald Trump. Continually says North Koreans agreed give up their nuclear weapons, which I don't think they did the North Korean certainly don't think they did. You know, what the North Koreans thought is that the Trump administration had decided to put the issue of disarmament aside and had instead accepted this formulation of denuclearization, which is like a process by which the United States removes its ability to threaten North Korea stops threats, but also. The United States would remove various forces in the north grains, never very specific about which forces. Those would be. But you know, the North Koreans thought the United States, basically agreed to take the pressure off understanding that as relations improved than North Korea's nuclear weapons would recede into the background. And the example that I came up with which actually got pinched by someone was that, you know, the North Koreans think that they struck a deal to basically be like Israel, if they stop talking about the nuclear weapons will stop complaining about them. You know, some of my friends actually VIP in Nang thinks India's a better example, and I think VIP in have both agreed to say Israel or India. Is rather rather than rather than belabor the like find you onces between which which which one is better elephant. But you know, so. The North Koreans say, and I think it's true feel like they didn't get follow through on the deal. They thought they had which is that like. Exercises will stop sanctions will come off relations will dramatically change, and they will get all of that in exchange for an end to provocative tests and a kind of series of gestures in which they close some facilities to make like good news stories. But never having actually fork over nuclear weapons. Yeah. I I wanted to talk about those gestures because the way at least that I interpreted the speech again was the Kim frame those gestures almost as concessions and that those gestures were then meant to elicit. I guess positive inducements from the US side. And that is where alternately he signalled his discontent is that in return for for dismantling the engine test sites. Or, you know, the offer the closed nuclear test site as well, he was expecting something more out of the United States, whereas the sanctions in particular remaining place. Yeah, this is the the paragraph that I think is getting wouldn't say wrongly interpreted, but people are sort of really seizing on. And I think it the context is very important. I'll use the translation that the North Koreans gave which is sort of fine. Funny. It's always funny. Yeah. I mean, it's important. It doesn't it doesn't. It doesn't matter in this context. I think is the answer accordingly. We declared at home and abroad that we would neither make intest nuclear weapons any longer nor using proliferate them, and we have taken various practical measures now. Much of that as James Acton. His pointed out comes from the April twentieth statement in which North Korea said it wouldn't use or spread nuclear weapons. We already knew that they wouldn't wouldn't test them. I actually that's in that same statement. But the kind of the would neither make and test like Megan should be you'll make test but make his new in some people were sort of wondering like is that a new pledge? And I think in context it's clear that it's it's not because the context of this is saying these are the things North Korea has already done. And those things have not been responded to. So, you know, my my view is make an tasked is is a reference to closing pongy re impossibly a reference to the offer to close young beyond. And use an and proliferate is is definitely from from that that statement that James identified, and we have taken various practical measures than very much emphasizes the three kinds of things that we're either done or put on the table, which is closing punky re sort of dismantling the engine test stand at so, hey, and then putting putting young beyond on the table. So like in context, it's not a great. It's not a great thing to hear because it's not him saying, this is what I will do its him saying, this is what we have already done, and you have not paid for these things yet, and he is slightly exaggerating. What they've done which as you should. It's exactly right. Because he's that's right. He's not supposed to like talk down his offer. And I think no I think people are taking the fact that he's exaggerating what he has done instead of being a kind of typical negotiating stance. They're sort of trying to see in that. Some possibility of a new pledge. But it's not it's it's like, look this is what we've put on the table. And if you were if you the United States were willing to respond to that bilateral relations will develop wonderfully at fast pace. But if you don't well, I think within this context, I mean before we get to that. 'cause I know what you what you wanted to take that before we get into the context, this this sort of art of the deal, if you will, you know, I think that's why they're shunning lower level discussions because they don't feel like they're. They're prepared to undertake them yet. Because they don't see at least from way, they understand you'll reciprocal measures from the United States. There were ward for the measures that Kim just sort of hinted at speak. Well, I think that's right. I mean, I think that the North Koreans. Well, I don't I don't I don't know if they think this or or this is just how they've decided to play it. But. Donald Trump is going to give them a different deal. Then is going to be offered at the working level. You know, whenever Pompeo shows up. He is like, okay, I need you to give a declaration or I need you to cough up some nuclear weapons, or you know, he wants to do like working level talks that will concrete -ly discuss North Korea's disarmament, which is what he has publicly promised will happen. You know, he wrote that article in foreign affairs in which he said they were going to get a deal with North Korea that was stronger than the JCP LA it's absurd, but yes and access to key North Korean military facilities. It's just obscene which. Yeah. And so you know, and famously when he was doing this to Kim Young can jolted got his phone and waved it in his face and said, you should call your president. So I think that the North Koreans of decided that meeting with and this is why they've refused to meet with poor Steve vegan who I know. People really respects. Vegan. But like, he's an idiot. If he thought the North Koreans we're going to like meet with him to give up their nuclear weapons. Seems like pump was trying to retroactively resurrect. What should have happened before the Trump can visit right? You know what I mean? Right. So he's sort of like trying to pretend it never happened and say, let's go back to working level. And then you can have the big meeting later. It's like what when you've already given the big meeting. Why would you give anything to to the lower levels? That's right. Just wait for Donald Trump to show up and give you whatever you wanted. And so, you know, and Kim goes back to that. Right. Because he says I'm ready to meet with US president again any time, and we'll make efforts to obtain without fail results, which can be welcomed by the international community, which again sounds really great and like nice and forward-looking. But it's I'm only going to meet with Trump. You know, Steve begin can like stand at the condemns e with his boombox playing Peter Gabriel hall watts but like our younger listeners may not know what that reference. Well, they should never millennials. They should. Yeah. Yeah. Google it. But I think that's where it comes to to to where you were hinting at before took us off the side. Chan is the Kim made clear in the speech. He was willing to again, meet with Trump and Trump has been clear that he is prepared to meet with him. Yeah. Although, you know, it is interesting Khantay hope come to help. No, oh, f- done this. I've messed this up because. Cantero is someone else that's part of the geo location thing. I just did. Oh, goodness. The defector from London. Just said he doesn't think Kim will do a second summit without sanctions relief. Take a young ho. Tae-young co all Koreans. Well, hung Tejo is in a later podcast. That's like it's a name. That's been on my on my mind a lot. That's for the listeners. He's foreshadowing the the wonky DPRK to your to your. Yeah. Yeah. Kante ho was a plant manager of an important defense facility in North Korea. But Tae-Young ho who was a diplomat who was posted to London who actually met in London at a at a track to who later defected. He doesn't think. Kim. We'll take a second summit. I'm not sure I agree with him. But he has sort of the mind that like having given Kim one summit he's gotten what he really wanted. And that like absent sanctions relief. He doesn't think Kim we'll give Trump what he wants. Although I'm again, I'm a little skeptical of that what does Trump want? Now. I mean, that's obviously, I mean is it really actually clear if the president and his staff or a line on the ultimate outcome of. No. I don't think they're at all. I mean, I think Trump. I mean, we talked about it in the lead up to Singapore. But you know, there's this passage in fire and fury, the much-maligned Michael Wolfe book that you know, I get it's a collection of anecdotes by like a bunch of cereal wires, and like none of it is true. But like the problem with the entire Trump team is none of it ever true. But I think one of the inciteful things is how excited Trump was about the visit to Saudi Arabia. Not because he had any particular affection for love of Saudi Arabia because he wanted to change the narrative from his troubles at home. And I think for Trump like this is a little bit like when Hillary Clinton greatly exaggerated, the process of democratisation in Burma, you know, the process that led to a horrible genocide. But it was like her one success. You know, it was like the one thing she did as secretary of state that she could point to that was like here's a big win. And I think this is for Trump. This is all he's got. And I, you know, I think he wants to have a meeting because it changes the narrative away from whatever. Newsweek, he's having in DC, you know, it looks on face like victory. I mean, the North Koreans aren't testing nuclear weapons and missiles, I mean, we we don't we don't think that that's a particular. Oh, what the right way to say? That is I don't want to denigrate. I like it that they're not testing them. But you know, like that was that was that was low hanging fruit given the given the situation. But whatever that's what he's got. So I think he wants to do another summit. So that he can have the pageantry associated with it. And I think he doesn't care. You know, he's I I will say this. He is he is a traditional pre World War, Two Taft style. 'isolation est Republican, and I think he wants all of those troops out of South Korea. And he does not give crap about defending, South Korea. And so I think for him if he could get like a nice photo opportunity and get US troops out of South Korea. I think he'd be very very happy. Oh that that actually than we were talking. We didn't we've missed that. Let me ask you about that you use the concern about funding for US troops in South Korea. Also pumped up over the Christmas holiday. Do you think it's linked to that? Sort of. Yeah. I mean, I think the Trump people have been saying they wanted the South Koreans to pay more. I mean, well, I should say this. I think this very dangerous moment for the relationship because. Why tend to think that moon Jae in is far more pragmatic and centrist political figure then a lot of the American commentary paint Cem as like, I don't think he's just like a straight hard lefty. A pretty big part of his base is very anti-american. You know, and he swallowed that Thad deployment. Which is why I think he's more centrist than people give him credit for. But like. There's a pretty big portion of moon Jae in's base that would love to see the United States leave. And so whatever he's willing to do in a kind of centrist way, he ain't paying more. You know what I'm saying? Like, he's not going to pay more than Parker, and he paid like that's just not like, no, right? And I do think that the Trump administration was pretty tough on them and wanted them to pay more and they had ten rounds negotiations and it went nowhere. And the last reporting is is the US said, well, why don't we roll over the SMS the special measures agreement for another year and the South Koreans were like, well, you know, one, aren't you? You know? Scott. I got your intro. So, you know, I do think that. That's that's a real danger and honestly place that I wanted to like spend most of the time talking about the Kim speech that we haven't gotten there yet is I think Kim is really adroitly exploiting this because if you look at the speech, the portions about South Korea are very positive, you know, all the progress that's been made. Again, I think they exaggerate the progress that's been made. But like, whatever it's a new year speech. It's you know, you you don't tell it like it is you tell it like you'd like it to be. But you know, underneath that veneer of positivity, and and, you know, moon Jae in said, he thought it was very positive speech. There are these subtle appeals to nationalism. And they are implying that. The critics. Of the reapproach -ment between South Korea and North Korea. Are not good Koreans. You know? So there's a point at which and again, the translations little weird. But there's a point at which he suggests that all Koreans should be conscious of the fact that it's Koreans were the masters of peace on the peninsula. Right. And that and you know, suggest that it's outside forces that are the ones that are responsible for the tense situation on the peninsula. And so, you know, that's really saying that people who are in that you've seen this in North Korean propaganda. All through the fall like the people who are critics of moon Jae in in South Korea, North Korea's paint them as toadies of the Americans and the Japanese and to what causes me to be uncomfortable about the current moment. And and the nature of this speech is when he says look at all I've done this year. Right. I promise not to make and use not I promise not to make test the weapons I promise not to use and spread them. I don't think that is so much him saying like. Hey, this is a good deal. Take it. I think he is talking to other audiences including a lot of South Koreans, and he sang when this all collapses. It's not my fault. Look at what I put on the table and look at who made the decision to walk away from it. Right. So I think he I think Kim is positioning Trump to be the guy holding the bag and be the person who is responsible for the collapse of those negotiations. And I think that it's, you know, a very effective way of painting the fundamental villain in terms of tension on the peninsula as not being North Korea. But being the American presence that that you know, he is going to assert is is what is maintaining the sense of hostility. So you know, that you know, we like what does Trump want? Like, I I think, you know, Kim maneuvering Trump into position where it looks like it's American forces that are the problem. And I think he may be hoping that you know. Trump will do what he has done in Syria, which is just take them home. Which is one reason? I don't expect the North Koreans to go. Immediately back like missile testing nuclear testing. 'cause like just sit back and watch this collapse. Man, like you'll have to do anything like sit there in your weird suit on your weird chair. And just just enjoy this show like somebody somebody somebody get fatty thing popcorn. I mean. I've also wondered to our side. How as the sillier season begins with the the star of the primaries. Like, oh my God. Like shoot me in the head. How when Trump comes under fire for this. You know, what his reaction will be because it's obvious that that he will be criticized for foreign policy does he become defensive and try to Hassett along the big pageantry does he make a unilateral concession thinking that a spectacle and show or does he get aggressive in the way that we've been turned about on this podcast before try, and I don't know you say that the North Koreans aren't holding up there into the end of the deal, and we need to get tougher while I'm certain that that is what Bolton wants right bolt wants us to collapse and then revert to. Hostility. I think palm peyot does not want this to collapse because I think Pompeo knows if this whole thing collapses Trump's not going to be like, I was an idiot. He's going to say, well, this was all Pompeo's idea. Right. I mean pump AO has ridden. This tiger to you know, to being the dumbest secretary of state in the history of the Republic, which is really saying something. Stroke. Yeah. Well, he's just not qualified. But you know, he's a like, he's an incredible toady. You know, like nobody could lick Trump's boots quite as glean as my palm in it. It has paid off. He is the secretary of state. You know, his went like him or not his portrait is gonna hang right there. You know? It's like it doesn't matter. Doesn't matter. How how how dumb and incompetent Tillerson and palm bay. Oh, they're you know, they're gonna be right there with, you know, George Marshall. Wait. What's George Marshall? I got a double check this. Because I know he was very briefly secretary of defense. I think he was also. Yeah, he was he was secretary of state for two years after during Truman. Like, it's. Is what it is man. So I don't know. I mean, we're just I mean, this is going to be the one of the stories of twenty nineteen with the other Trump, Mike well pull out troops. I mean, like, it's not a not I think that's not zero chance. I mean, there is no cost sharing agreement at the moment. Which I don't fully understand how that works. My understanding is there is a reserve fund. So there are some funds that can be drawn down. But lie. At some point. There was an Email sent out to employee's sieve-like civilian employees sang like you're gonna get furloughed if there's no deal so like. I mean, it's not unlike the current status in the United States has as it's not like the current status in the United States. When the government will reopen. I'm worried this could be a while. Yeah. Of course. Yeah. But so like, I don't know. So I see this as a high c Kim is sort of very artfully arranging the situation, you know, it's not like you saying, I'm it's not like he's holding out an olive branch. He is pointing to the olive branches that are on the table and have been on the table, and he has restating his position, which is like this is enough to earn sanctions relief. And if you don't do that and this whole process collapses, it's not because. I didn't make an effort. It's because you the foreigner showed up on the peninsula, and you are the one who's trying to maintain this. You know? Constant sense of tension. And I think there are a lot of south greens are going to buy that. I think they're wrong. I think they're gonna buy that. And there's every chance that, you know, Trump's response to that is to blame someone else. Whether it's Pompeii or maybe moon, Bolton hopes it'll be all about Kim. But you know, I think it's the equally likely troops. Come out. This is gloomy man. I mean, I guess we gotta go there. Right. I mean, there's just no it's gotten very very silly in Washington. And it's very very unclear about what it is that he'll do. I mean, the rail seem to have ultimately come off. I think that was the other story during our break has Twitter meltdown even worse than normal the rails. Just come up. Yeah. They have. A lot of it depends on what Kim does because the place heat doesn't end because he ends with some nice talk again. But toward the end. He does make threat, right? Right. Right after he says, he's ready to meet with Trump. He says, but if the United States does not keep the promise it made in the eyes of the world and out of miscalculation of our people's patience it attempts to unilaterally enforce something upon us and persists in. Imposing sanctions and pressure against our Republic. We may be compelled to find new way for defending the sovereignty of the country and supreme interests of the state and for achieving peace and stability of the Korean peninsula. What's that new way? No idea. No idea it sort of reminiscent when they put out that cryptic message that they tested a new weapon, and we all sort of freaked out a little bit on on Twitter about thirty seconds before. We we kinda realized what it was. Yeah. I mean, I think though that that's a pretty good sign of that's a pretty good. It's a really good comparison here because. Over the fall. Generally speaking, the North Koreans have taken a pretty cool attitude toward the whole thing. You know, they haven't like done anything. Nutty propagandists been pretty muted. But there were these increasingly difficult statements made at lower levels, you know, attributed to officials in the foreign ministry, and one was a think tank person, and you know, their official, but there there are made at a lower level. So they don't have Kim Jong UN's words, but they all said, basically the same thing. And I think Kim showing up at that weapon stats was very similar, which is Tim reminding us that you know, they could start highlighting these things again they could resume testing. And they didn't they didn't they make a big deal isn't actually show the weapon they didn't identify the weapon did a really good jobs. Make it hard for us to figure out what the hell he was still not sure where he was don't know what it was. You know, it's it's like this phrase. Anew way, it's vague enough that it's not obviously a threat, but you if you're sentient you should see. Right. That the possibility of things going back to the way they were is there. And I think that's what he was aiming for. We call it all passively. I've I like Neo passively. It's really interesting though, as I've used that I've really discovered how few people even remember that literature. Lightly. Yeah. It's like the boombox. Yeah. Like. People you know, passively was coined or picked because it was the opposite of transparent. And so the idea was it's not that you didn't know that Israel in India had nuclear weapons like India did a test seventy four we know they had nuclear weapons it's that they chose to be paid. About the size composition nature of the program. Right. And so it's really weird. Like every time I say that, you know, this is like Neo pass ity with North Korea people like well that's not possible because we already know they have nuclear weapons, and it's like that's not what obesity meant right opacity is about it was a political decision on top of that involves a US. Yeah. It's about allowing and the India case in the Israel as as you. Yes, they're very different, right? I mean, Israel was very much oriented toward the United States in India's is different kettle of fish. But in both cases, though. The fundamental idea was. You know, we have this capability. You're not supposed to be confused about that. But if we never ever ever talk about it, if we never ever ever mentioned it, then we're not rubbing your nose in it. And you can pretend it doesn't exist. Like. Right. Which I mean, it sounds silly. But it's true. You know, like if you go back and look at how the gyp Sion's approached Israeli the insist on Israel's disarmament as part of Camp, David. Right. No. And what what pissed the off in. That period. Was the possibility of the US might sell Lance missiles, Israel, like like from the addiction perspective, I shouldn't speak for a a whole country. But you know, I mean that generational policymakers are dead. So they can't really object. But they they seem to react when they were forced to take a position publicly. Right. I mean, the problem with the land sale to Israel was it was in the paper. And if it's in the paper, then they got like throw a screaming fit about it. And the point of opacity was the nuclear weapons aren't in the paper. You're not testing them. You're not showing them off you not threatening them. And you basically allow everybody to pretend they don't exist. That is exactly what North Korea is doing right. I mean, Kim Jong is like I start making ICBM's like, okay. Well, I could see all the vehicles at Santa Dong. How do I know you're not making as well blow up as stand? Okay. The tests has nothing to do with making ICBM's, but I get it. You're gonna like stop testing them. So they stay out of the paper. And the only time you're going to appear in the paper is when you're blowing something up you're giving it away. And so you're going to create this positive thing that moon Jae in can spin and that Trump can spin and they're satisfied with that. Like that is passively. Yeah. I mean, I think as we wrap up here. The question is if we were being serious on the US side is passage coming that we could live with especially at the South Korean government's prepared to live with. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. I think that's alternately where people misunderstand your point when you worry about the dangers of diplomacy. It's not the talks. It's the danger of self delusion. I think that's right because Kim ain't given these weapons up. And so if your goal is to minimize the damage that the arsenal has or that the arsenal does to the stability of the international system. You know, like Israel has nuclear weapons in Egypt never built them, and you know, Syria, really only made one effort much much later, you know. So like, I wouldn't say that the Isreaeli program had no cost to regional security and proliferation it did. But it didn't have as big of a cost as we all feared. You know, and says at the time if you go back and look the literature. Yes. Right. So, you know, like, I don't think Japan will build a weapon, and and I think that we could imagine a situation where the moon administration, you know, doesn't. Gets far enough with North Korea that if there ever replaced by conservatives that that South Korea doesn't build a weapon like while. It's a pretty good deal. You know, and it's interesting like, I get criticized by. Certain quarters of the non-proliferation community for saying that as though living with passively would be like a death knell to the proliferation regime yet, you know, what I was hard for her. Yeah. The six nuclear tests, those were pretty harmful. What else I was armful is e BMC dads. That was pretty harmful. You know, like, you know, what else is harmful these sixty five nuclear weapons worth of fissile material. That's harmful like admitting that those things are there. And then trying to mitigate the damage. I don't actually think is harmful. I think it is helpful and some people are disappointed that we can't do more. But like they're the people who are perpetually disappointed with everytime proliferation agreement because it's not a humiliating rebuke for people who want the bomb. So we struggled to come up with a topic. When we started this day. Now, we've spent forty minutes on on Doug owns New Year's Eve. Not long winded. Erin, guess we did have a lot to talk about about this about this topic. As we sit here and talk, I actually thought this would be a short podcast a relatively Long Island. And I think it's the the way if you're correct it would be logical for Kareem for for Kim to do that to try and set himself up as the good guy in this question is quite fascinating. Something to watch out for is as we move forward in this particularly as the president. I will we'll get distracted by other things in the domestic environment around here. And then how he sort of balances domestic troubles the reelection campaign and efforts to try to portray himself as a great statesman. I it may be a topsy turvy twain nineteen even more topsy turvy than I mean. Everything's relative in the Trump era, even more topsy turvy than has been for the past two years. Dude, much, more concise. But yeah. All right. Well, this was fun. Do you want to remind listeners of the joys of becoming a patriot patriots? What's the what's the what's the lingo here? I call patriotic. So as we indicated at the top of the show, we have a very very busy twenty nineteen coming up, we are gearing up for whole bunch episodes. And if you would like to talk more about those episodes in a private slack channel. You can join if you had on over to patriot dot com slash AC w podcast. And if you have dot EDU address in a student, it's three dollars a month to get in the slack for everybody else. It's five dollars. And we are sporadically ruling out a second smaller podcast about ten minutes in length far less winded. Usually just one person talking about a non-proliferation disarmament or arms control of that. We are talking about privately and think is cool to talk about for podcast, brilliant, pebbles and his four our subscribers only. So with that Jeffrey from my new office. Yeah. It's been great talking to you and good luck in Vermont. I guess the next time we check in you'll be really freezing your ass off. We'll see. Yeah. I want pictures of cocktails on the snow. No, more Wales. Yeah. I can drink again. I'm very excited.

North Korea Donald Trump Kim United States Trump South Korea Kim Jong president Israel Mike Pompeo Middle Eastern Trump administration Twitter Jeffrey Lewis Mack James
Deproliferation in the Debates

Arms Control Wonk

25:16 min | 1 year ago

Deproliferation in the Debates

"That was the most sad segue for myself. I've ever created right. You are listening the the arms control want podcast be leading podcast on arms control disarmament and onto it version of geoffrey lewis founding publisher of the arms control clogged n._a. Scholar at the middlebury institute of international studies on the director of the middle east program before policy research institute very muggy philadelphia and i'm an pellegrino a._b._c. associated project manager at middlebury institute international studies aaron. Are you actually insane enough to have watched that debate last night all two hours twenty two minutes and let me tell you. I have a cocktail throughout throughout the entire thing. Oh wow i was. I've talked to club sodas any particular reason and i just didn't feel like a beer last night and it was you know like i was watching it on my iphone putting my son in the bath and then after for that getting ready for bed and then by the time i got downstairs at like nine fifteen. They still had an hour to go little. Did i know and just felt like clubs out of time t the and i thought you were going to jump right in there with your story of the farmers market and your tacos. Yes i went to the farmer's market and bought <music> seven bunches of basil to make pesto and had tacos at the new local taco place that were delicious. I was at a fundraiser for for the foundation seeking to modernize the museum facilities at <hes> the <hes> <hes> the very old catholic church in carmel father sarah's church which is like a couple of yeah. I'm not much of a churchgoer and i think as zyppah on twitter this way to go to church for me so we had catering and and and we had some <hes> shied ride wine it was quite lovely all right so we definitely a better night's in aaron and you know what aaron we can sit here and read in what they said without having to wade through all of that two hours and twenty four minutes you said yeah i gotta tell you like c._n._n. Service set it up like gate like a reality television show so we had the stars. We had the national anthem the only thing we were missing some sort of fighter jet flyover in what you're missing what you we're missing was a rose ceremony because the bachelorette finale was going on at the same time that's phenomenal but the nuclear came up or like the new nuc- nuclear can't even pronounce it the way you're not supposed to pronounce that came up during the debate so i think we need to talk nuclear nucle- nuc- nuclear yes l. on with you. I have trouble financing trying to videotape nuclear earlier yeah that one so it came up elizabeth warren and <hes> steve bullock governor what's his name. He's from dan tanna. The montana governor who i have to say. I didn't know he was when he came onto the stage <hes> i there was some googling <hes> what's he pulling at as my a twitter feed was lighting up about the lack of foreign policy we got foreign policy and for the podcast we got. We got nuclear paul. How did had governor bullock fair in tuesday's democratic primary debate <hes> oh it's just a poll that i can take remind i'm looking. I'm i'm looking at a morning consult poll here. He does not appear to be in the top ten. I'm having to join this. Someone someone made the prediction that it is likely that he will not be on the debate stage next time round yet morning. Consult has him polling zero prince oh well he had he had such. He had a moment last night but he totally poor until he botched it. Yeah and you know i sort of i i make it a habit not to be snarky on twitter during these things but he used the word deeper elaborations to the non-proliferation but then he said he would encourage proliferation so okay so what he said he was like. We need to get back to nuclear proliferation a deep reparation reducing it so i okay you can you can say what you're going to say. She'll and i make fun of that. And then i reference the donald trump start me up and said the new start on twitter but jeffrey actually made a very good point and slightly shaved me a little bit all catching hell for on twitter at the moment punished is is that we sort of make fun of people when they botched terms with and then we stopped listening to the substance of what it is that they're saying just because they don't use the language woods that we've all adopted and that shouldn't be a barrier to entry if the idea that he's talking about is more or less light whether it's a fair assessment of your arguments yeah i i have become a bit of a pain in the butt about <hes> gate keeping keeping because when i was starting my career i noticed people gate kept a lot. You know if they don't like the substance of your argument they pick whatever you say in order to distract the debate in order to derail the discussion so that you know you never really get it to the substance of your your remarks and you know like the famous example which i know i've told on the podcast i talked about using nuclear weapons and then someone said determines employ because as we use nuclear weapons every day and it was like this total left turn <hes> if the person who did actually quite like so i you know i don't think that i think that we as a community because this is such a specialized field and because the information is very difficult it is important for us to be precise and so we ended up valuing that and actually think a lot of the gate keeping is not necessarily intentional. It's just assist you know you've put in the effort in the time to learn to say nuclear right <hes> and and there there is a value to precision and so i i don't want you know i'm not a jack of been right when when it comes to these issues but at the same time politicians routinely massacre technical terms and so like he's an idiot probably and he is probably not qualified to be president and on and on and on but i i just i don't know i have been increasingly concerned that one of the reason that we lose these debates is because the gate keeping function is so effective at keeping <hes> different voices out. I think it's right a and i think one of the candidates who we should maybe focus more on his elizabeth warren because if you probably look that morning console polls he's probably a little higher than <hes> than then governor bullock and she has some thoughts about <hes> about <hes>. No i know i use yeah so while we can also still talk about bullock because they kind of sparred back and forth and i think that well we wish idiot disagreeing with her right but you know there he he he's a bit more eloquent and doesn't botch it as much when he when he makes says points but yeah so warren came out strongly for a u._s. No-first-use policy as she said the united states is not going to use nuclear your weapons preemptively and we and we need to say that to the entire world it reduces the likelihood that someone miscalculates someone misunderstands but then dan bullock said that in the in he would want is that he said <hes> he wouldn't take that off the table but that we should be negotiating <hes> a negotiating down so there aren't nuclear weapons but drawing those lines in the sand at this point i wouldn't do that's. That's appropriately marketable. He also used trigger certainly in my term or anyone else to pulling that trigger uh i do. I do loath bad metaphors that jumped out in my head last night and i i guess i get kieft us like it's not a trigger but perhaps maybe we talk about. No no i use and what is that that that warren was implying whether or not we think it's a good idea you know i actually think the substance substance of those remarks is quite clever because when we are talking about declaratory policy this question of what we say about the situations in which we would use nuclear weapons of i actually think one of the more interesting and and presumably not partisan considerations is is a do you want other countries to be confused about our policy right. There's an argument for ambiguity i. I don't don't much like it but i actually think her point about. Miscalculation to me is the important one. Which is i find it very hard to believe the united states would ever initiate the use of of nuclear weapons against russia and i'm pretty sure it's not in our interest for them to be confused about that fact. Oh yes i mean isn't it. The served served the the the underpinnings of deterrence is both credibility and in that credibility derives from the idea that you shouldn't nobody should be confused that you would use nuclear weapons but the you wouldn't be the wants to initiate the first use of nuclear weapon yeah i you know i'm pretty sure tom shelling was not a great lover of i use so i i shouldn't invoke him but he made this kind of related argument on deterrence which i do think is really important and he would not appreciate the way that i'm applying it but <hes> you know people tend the focus on his work on you know deterrence being the ability to inflict pain. If if a state doesn't comply but there is a separate piece of that which is you have to be able to credibly signal that you would refrain from doing that if the country complies right yeah and i i worry that the russians have some crazy ideas about when we would use nuclear weapons i mean i know we have crazy ideas about when they would use nuclear weapons and i think into that confusion gene is <hes> is where where danger finds a way they just gotta look to trump's twitter. Somebody should write a novel about a bad tweet starting a nuclear war. It's a good idea right. Maybe you know north korea focused s- it's something like <hes> kim jong un's not gonna be around much longer. Yeah you know and and a retrospective looking at you know what happened happened and you know pistol. Things went wrong. Yeah it's gonna idea. I think we should say is that you know i believe warren and is also the co sponsor of a bill in the senate that would make it declaratory policy that the us <hes> to establish no first use policy on on behalf the united states so this is something that she's been kicking around for a while until she obviously feels like deeply enough about it is to to to put it in legislation but also to bring it up again on on the debates page amongst the tend people buying for thirty seconds of airtime on c._n._n. Yeah back in january. <hes> morin and adam smith introduced the bicameral no-first-use act i don't i don't know what the status of that is now but i don't. I doubt it's gone very far and i don't know what you i always worry. Worry a little bit when congress gets involved in the use of nuclear weapons or at least sort of that decision making platform particularly our secretary of state is and all that smart and so like the five one hundred and thirty fifth secretary of state is only moderately smarter than steve bullock for it is something that is that i it goes back to like the shelling thing that you just mentioned you know the way that you've extrapolated strap elated based upon what based upon his his his ideas about deterrence is the ability to not inflict pain if you're complying and therefore to credibly early signal <hes> is i would never like the idea and i know that this this has been hot because of concerns about trump's mental capacities for or congress interject itself into this decision making maybe that makes me sort of rain linger but it always freaks me out a little bit so i'm not sure how you would move about declaratory no first use policy outside of just an executive saying it actually meaning it to begin to put policies down through the bureaucracy rather than through the legislature yeah. I don't think that congress as just as a constitutional matter i mean i know that they think that their power to declare war gives gives them this ability but i mean i don't know i'm always i've always been of the executive power view that once congress gives the president military forces this the commander-in-chief power kicks in and it's very hard to imagine a court saying you know congress gets to ban tell the president as commander in chief the manner in which the forces that he or she has been given can be used so i i i appreciate what they're i'm doing. I'm delighted to have this discussion about scenarios in which the united states should consider use of nuclear weapons. I'm happy to talk about the giant cheeto colored lunatic who who can do this like. I'm very pleased that we're having this discussion. I'm i'm not sure we well you know scott. Sagan and i have a different idea but i'm glad for the debate. Tell us your idea. That was the most sad segue for for myself. I've ever created right jeffrey. I really wanna know your idea at least light me <hes> well. I think yeah i i want to know your idea too. I'm i'm curious. Well okay so there are actually two proposals one idea but scott won a when i did with more halpern and the late arnold kanter each of which is kind kind of an alternative or or parallel to no-first-use and we talked about them in turn but you know with scott and i think i did a brilliant pebbles on this from hiroshima chama. There's this enormous kind of discussion of declaratory policy. What do you say about the situations in which you would use nuclear weapons and then there's a a second set of conversations about like does that actually reflect the planning you would do for using nuclear weapons and we focused on that second question in our thought is that you know as a matter of policy the u._s. probably should never use a nuclear weapon if a conventional weapon with do just as well so like in any scenario because of you know the types types of weapons that we have yeah so yeah i mean i like it tactically because it it defers it as a military question so you can't claim you can't do what bullock did to elizabeth warren in the sense that you can't say well. Which city would you be willing to give up right which is like yeah dumb argument gimmick but did he did that right. I'm not confusing him with liz cheney. They all these all these people people from up there <hes> you because you're not you're not saying you wouldn't use nuclear weapons if you didn't need to but you're actually actually trying to set the bar for need to to be reasonably high and i actually happen to think that there are no targets gets in that set like like or maybe they're only a few but i'm actually really worried about a. I'm not worried about the u._s. Conducting a first strike i am worried about being some ambiguity that causes miscalculations and i i worry that the way that we plan to use nuclear your weapons which some documents seems to be about psychological effect that makes that problem worse. I guess so going along with the ambiguity <hes> yesterday csi s released their new on the radar website as taking a look at it and it's all about emerging technologies and how it reduces how previously we would have we had two sets of technologies for conventional and nuclear you know weapons use detection and the now those are kind of like with all these new technologies that is becoming blurred and that really increases <music> this ambiguity that we actually like really don't want to talk about assets they what do they talk the pants off me <hes> patient for monterey institute by the way oak middlebury institute at monterey. Excuse me what was monterey institute. When you gave the presentation less drew they talk about a._i. <hes> advances in cyberattacks small sat constellations installations and then unmanned underwater vehicles and unmanned aerial vehicles <hes> so it's it's a nice website right now. I get what we want to learn more so i mean just sort of end that conversation about that first proposal i mean one of the things that's gotten are worried about is that because there art great targets for nuclear weapons <hes> and scott's been running this ethics of war <hes> project for a couple of years with the american academy of arts and sciences <hes> we're sort of seeing this kind of creep into the justification for nuclear weapons not being their military value or the target that they could destroy but being the <music> psychological effect that they might have and and at least to me that is really worrisome one because it's probably illegal right. It's certainly unethical and it's it's probably illegal to use a weapon simply because it terrorizes people but on a related note if your real goal is to inflict terror error rather than accomplish a military objective <hes> i think the chances for miscalculation on the other side go way up right because as you're not really is. It's it's it's easier to think about military objectives. If if you think that the other side is just interested in terrorizing you <hes> then the scenarios in which nuclear weapons could be used are pretty vast so i i wouldn't i wouldn't nip that in the bud and say we should only use nuclear weapons when in against targets were conventional ones won't do. I have a second thing. I want to say late on smith okay. I'll be quick <hes> it's crazy crazy that we talk about the scenario which we would use nuclear weapons. You know i used to do a lot of work with china's nuclear policy and particularly the no first use policy back and they have an unequivocal no first use policy and it's a nightmare in a declaratory sense because you can always come up with crazy scenario in which you look like an idiot for not using nuclear your weapons right yeah and that's a little bit like if you know detroit is gonna get hit then you like. Why are you going to let that happen if you could stop it with nuclear weapons. Which is the classic nick terrorist ticking time bomb scenario which everybody uses which is like intellectually but like whatever it's very effective in a public setting up. I don't think we should talk about the scenarios for which we would use nuclear weapons. I think we could talk about the scenarios for which we possess nuclear weapons which is to say you know we would observe that all the decisions we do make. We never actually write that silly. We use them every day. All the decisions we do make our about acquisition and planning and i think we we should say that we only acquire capabilities and we only plan to use them basically everything we do is only for the purpose of responding to a nuclear strike and if somebody the asks you about like a crazy hypothetical scenario i think you say we don't talk about the scenarios and we certainly don't engage in a responsible speculation about hypothetical scenarios and so i i would i would talk about why we have them being deterrence only for for for only responding to nuclear strikes i would never ever ever ever talk about the scenarios in which we would actually use them because i think like there be dragons in that in that way would solve your i i. I hate to use this word but that would solve your credibility issue within the deterrence with y y within deterrence as well as getting around to that no i you could do tackle two issues with one policy position or wanted to see declaratory policy. Yeah you're talking about why you have them in what you expect and what their postured to do and then when somebody comes up with the like well what if you know you're like what will like would've aliens come like i don't <music>. I'm not talking about because that's that's you know we don't speculate right and i think that would be that would be a way to convey the reassuring aspect without getting caught in the semantic games which you know frankly do dog. The chinese chinese have a very good very clear policy and it's so clear that like people constantly play word games with them to try to prove that it's not right and i've just watched like chinese speakers struggle with this and i you know i think like oh. It'd be much cheesier. If you just said like this is why we have them and then like say like it's terrible to talk about using nuclear weapons. I'm not going to engage in that kind of talk. Maybe you should join the bulla the campaign. I moved to montana i am i am i am pleased pleased to report that i am volunteering on no campaigns and it's wonderful i did that. I did that for obama eight years ago. No boy that's what ten years ago and i so clad to not be never again. I mean never say never but god. I hope not well. I have a happy note to end on. We get to do it all over again tonight. Yeah yeah 'cause there. How many candidates are there now. I think only one is dropped out. Only twenty made the stage but i think there's a few who didn't make the decidedly low bar to get onto this stage l. man. It's a cluster up there. I mean it's a low bar when you could be polling zero percent and and still get invited and have a major moment in the debate admittedly one that you cover yourself with shane but yeah it's democracy in action everybody actually is you know once upon a time the primary reprocess was not so open it was controlled by the parties and you you may say that's undemocratic and i say donald trump would never have been the republican nominee tangent but it's it's true they're bending over backwards in this in this sort of opening gambit of debates so that we don't have like a repeat repeat of like the russia email dump i e the party was trying to push bernie out. Do you know what i mean yeah yeah. No i know i know chew mean but like well. You know there's a i mean steve bullock. There's a middle ground. Maybe the pendulum has swung a little too far people as polling zero percent. How many pissed off otis it's. It's like four white dudes in montana okay. We're off the rails. Okay okay. We're okay. Thanks guys for sweetness in before your staff meeting and thanks everybody listening <hes> if you like what you're listening to <hes> number two patriotic dot com slash a._c. W podcast and if you're a student for three dollars there's a month you can join our slack channel. If you're a regular person that's five dollars where we have extra content up there for anybody. Who's interested mostly. Not what about <hes> and it's always good stuff.

elizabeth warren twitter steve bullock donald trump united states montana governor bullock scott middlebury institute adam smith president middlebury institute of intern geoffrey lewis sarah congress aaron founding publisher russia
Visualizations and Verification

Arms Control Wonk

34:22 min | 9 months ago

Visualizations and Verification

"In the arms control talks podcast arms control disarmament and non liberation. I'm Jeffrey Lewis. The founding publisher the Arms Control and professor the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey Inside Director with the Foreign Policy Research Institute and I met Pellegrino a research associate at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at all right Erin and know what I say no I fail. One thing I'd say is the more the Merrier and we have a guest will have Palmer from the atomic weapons establishment in the United Kingdom. I James Jeffrey. Hello Hello Scott. Thank you very much for having me. We've invited James. Onto talk to us. Not about the bits that W does although of their data visualization because we just had this big conference here in Monterey where we brought all of these various tech companies down to talk about the ways in which we could take their software and make cool non-proliferation use cases and in some strange way. Almost all of this was inspired by meeting James in Vienna at the CTBT OWES SNP conference Where he showed us A cool program called Geo visionary. Isn't that right? That's right so welcome James. It's good to have you and your plummy British accent class. The Pot of immediately just by saying a few words. It makes my t taste better if quite the role reversal. This morning. Jeffrey's drinking tea and James is drinking coffee while it's good not to live up to stereotype sometimes James. It was so great to see you again in Monterey for the conference and What you showed off I think was really awesome and it was something that actually Jeffrey and I saw in Vienna so for our listeners who either don't remember When we gushed about your presentation way back when can you give a little synopsis? About what exactly you have done with. Three D visualization Yes of course so the presentation. The Essen t was work that was inspired after the event the North Korean test site where they invited journalists in. And we have for the first time had Photography and video from the ground and the North Koreans showed a posters to the journalists which was obviously captioned the imagery that contained map which showed where they said. The tests occurred and where things like the tunnel? Entrances the audits for the test site where they were located by the way made us super jealous because we had made exactly the same map But ours did not render nearly as nicely as yours. Thank you so Basically I was already working with the judiciary software which she mentioned. There's a bit like a sandbox for three. He did three dimensional data in particular geospatial. Baiter all three D cad models so I can throw in a data and rendered in three D and I can fly around it in Three D. and I can put a display it with a projector with with depth perception with flashing the old glasses that you get to be like in the cinema all the way through to putting virtual reality immersive system on and wandering around the location so during the Monterey Workshop and got the opportunity to have a quick hike up Mount mantrap whilst wearing virtuality system which is pretty cool But the reason for creating all of this was at the question. Well James if you can gio locate the map and give the the coordinates for the indicated tests to also is Muslim moment treat group then they could calculate the relative positions of the tests from seismic signals and we compare the two and so the presentation was the summary of that work in some side work. That came out of that so when I was able to Trudge mountaintop in the VR. Headset I have to say that that was one of the most. The trickiest experiences ever And then also when I was in the B. Flame buckets of the large engine to stand at so. Hey I actually virtually fell off and into the flame buckets and I will say that it actually felt like I was falling. I was able to climb out quite easily but I you know we have tried really hard to kind of enhance our virtual reality capabilities. So we created the Sean John Missile Factories Museum which is always a hit. But the visualizations that. I stepped in to in terms of what you created. I think were incredibly powerful and I actually felt like I was there and I think that that is it showed me what is possible in terms of what we see. Ns like kind of hope to do with our kind of three D visualizations. Because I felt like I could actually be there and that then allows me to do better analysis of a site. I have actually go to these sites in North Korea or sites that we wanNA look at Iran. I physically can't be there and so how do I enhance my analytical capabilities from my office and I think that what you have done really displays what's possible. Thank you very much for that and thank you for basically saying everything I might have been able to save relation to why this is a good idea and why. What's a useful to? But that's no bad thing. Because I think. Part of the power of the visualization techniques that are available to people other than just film studios and governments. These days allows that sort of message to be conveyed through experience. Rather than someone telling you. This is what you should think about the thing that you're about to experience for the listeners. I mean one of the issues that we have been running into is that we have these enormous data sets so we have to rein models. We have three D models of facilities that we've built. We have really high resolution satellite images. We have ground truth images and it seems like You have all this information but you really need a sandbox where you can bring all your data to play. And it's really not a trivial thing that sandbox to be able to serve up and present all that data in an integrated way you know so when we did our first model of the North Korean nuclear test site we had wanted a high resolution satellite photograph and accurate terrain map accurate tunnels and we wanted to be able to walk through the tunnels and I remember being told by a research assistant. Like you can't have all those if you want the accurate terrain map and you want the The satellite image. That's GonNa take up so much computing power that I am never going to be able to build a to scale tunnel so imagine me sitting in Vienna and actually seeing this thing. Which is the thing that I was told. I couldn't have I was told I can't have things I actually want to know. How giddy you work because I can imagine you just getting really really excited and sort of squirming around in your seat way into court James after his presentation is that how it wetter Jimmy. Before the presentation it was exactly. That's so james and I actually presented. Well it was the same groupings so i James was the last up and I was. I went right before him. So I presented on my new. Is Emily research And then I had already seen obviously the schedule so I knew to watch his presentation closely But then when we were watching the presentation and it was like a like. We tried to do this. We went about it in a completely different way and here. Is this tool that. We are now salivating over because this makes everything that was not possible for us possible so we cornered him immediately after the presentations and what we talked for like an hour and a half at the conference and then we took him out for. Beers? Although it was it was Giddy it was gleaned mixed with fury because because having been told it wasn't possible then it see him stand up there and say like Oh no. It's totally possible. It was like yes. I got an inkling of your enthusiasm for it. Especially fortunately I had the Laptop with me and we were able to look at the the model of the test side live afterwards and fly around it live with the laptop and again the there. Are there other tools out there? You know the fact. I use Jew. Visionary isn't Fisher levels but but I think Ju- visionary and Cesium are both really excellent sandboxes. Yes and there's there's a few out there because I investigated a few before I settled on visionary but I had a very similar experience to you when I first saw and being demonstrated because the the sales person was running it pretty much just as you saw me running it during the copy breaks in Vietnam of running from laptop onto a screen and just showing the program. Doing its thing at that point. I saw it and I thought that could do the job. I need a tool to do because at the time I was doing work. In support of the Comprehensive Test-ban Treaty Organization in relation to their onsite inspections and for all of the same reasons bringing lots of data together looking at it where the was collected. Yes thing yeah let me just jump right there because I know that at least we we were talking yesterday at the chance to talk to you for a few minutes as we are preparing for this podcast and you brought a lot of your verification skills using these types of models to a CTO Exercise in Jordan. If I'm remembering correct we can just go into detail a little bit about that. How you you're all the verification stuff associated with it okay. Yeah so the load that the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization has the treaty comes into force has remits do onsite inspections if certain things occur not going to the detail of those but in two thousand fourteen. They carried out a very large exercise to test as many of their capabilities to do the things needed for an onsite inspection as possible which involves several hundred people the Movement now. I one hundred tons of equipment to a location in Jordan and they had to search for evidence that did or did not indicate that the fictional country of mitigate meridia had or had not infringe the treaty. Name these fictional countries by the way MERIDIA. Fine but I think I co- edge here. We know so then again. Similar to the North Korean eye test site others there's lots of data collected moment tree magma toiletry and ground penetrating ground resistance tomography. That's collected butts. The inspectors need to obviously collect analyze but also understand and interpret. And I was there for a week as one of the UK's official observers. And I got to see this happening live and I could see that the data was there. But because you often had to look at the dates in printed out pieces of paper or empower points different techniques or different data sets that were collected from the same physical location can be seen in the location where they were collected and I thought it would be more useful to be able to see all of those data sets at the same place because then you can draw out the connections. You know the thing that really struck me about The reaction you got And I should let you tell the story but I think even for someone who participates in the inspection When you're there and you're kind of immersed in it but you're kind of locked to the ground by vehicles or your ability to walk. You don't necessarily see things in the same comprehensive way that you would if you had a model Particularly if you could walk through that model before you went to the place absolutely so and I think this is one of the great utility for being able to do this. Sort of three D regionalization if it can be done live and on site inspection and from a hardware and technical perspective. There's no reason it couldn't because I myself as part of the as my roles and observer I went to the sites and more around the disused quarry that was actually where according to the exercise. The surface ground zero for the the infringing. Detonation occurred and as I walked round on the hills of the top of the quarry and then at the bottom of the quarry. I thought I had a good understanding of the the corey layout and it wasn't until I sober single aerial photograph of the quarry that I suddenly realized I'd missed an aunt about a third of the floor area of the quarry simply because of the view angles when I was up high down low the to basically formed a blind spot of this whole plateau in the quarry which obviously became clear when I saw an aerial photograph but then afterwards when I was able to stitch all of the area photography together and recreate the train and then rapid resolution imagery onto it and then put all of that into g visionary and fly around for Real for real the digital world as you say it would have been a fantastic tool for inspectors premission or even the inspectors who never actually got to leave the base camp because of their roles to be able to sit literacy. What the this random location in this inspection area looked like both in structure and in an appearance. This is the thing we run into all the time with visualizations which is people see them and they associate them with being pretty which they are but they don't often see that there is a kind of value that is intellectual so we we have this with Three d images all the time like people will think there are parlor trick which they kind of are because they are cool but you see the photograph differently after you've seen it in three and I think whether you're doing that with a stereoscopic or whether you're doing that with a computer generated model my ability to look at a satellite picture of site is completely different. Once my brain is adding the terrain once my brain knows what the structures look like. And so I I just think these kinds of digitalization acions whether whether you're using gio visionary or whether using Caesium are incredibly important to doing the work we all do better. I completely agree It's still is a pretty good segue into my curiosity about what the reaction was James that you experienced to your visualizations because it strikes me as something that is because it is new it can be either embraced or it can be kind of written off as we don't actually need this So curious about the traction that you had so in general when people experience it the the most negative response I've had from demoing systems has pretty much being when using the virtual reality system and that simply because people say I don't like using those things because they make me feel queasy which is perfectly reasonable because there's lots of reasons why people feel queasy when using bows and some of that has got better now with the computer technology so the imagery is much smoother but things more complicated than that the reasons behind why people get motion sick in general but certainly generally. It's very positive. Part of the challenge is working out. How to integrate a capability? No matter where it comes from into Ceo Pre existing workflows for how people that work there was also some discussion around. They might already have capability in one area producing with because there are various ways. You can build these interactive three D. Worlds the program. I uses an off the shelf package. And you do everything from within the package. Lots of people produce things using games engine technology where they produce set programs the can then be distributed and the different tools different jobs. You know what I really loved in your presentation was that you three D. printed the quarry. Yeah yes so. That's one of the from my perspective. One of the great things about having ax working visualization. Today you have access to an amazing variety of data sets that you can bring together and if you have the right tools you can bring them together in the same place. I'm from my perspective. The two gold standards for being able to present information is either virtual reality that has limitations generally in that. It's an individual person. Has that experience. The other go spot started from my perspective is a projected image. That's has active three D Stereo. So you put the glasses on. And then your your project a screen tons into a window and that can be amazing. So I've seen that with the British Geological Survey who were the partly responsible for the creation of visionary who worked with the UK company could retaliate to produce it. They have a whole wall. That's back project. It's a four K. Resolution the they have they can turn on this active stereo and the whole when they turn when when it works. They turn the on. The will just drops away. And you're looking through a window a not so might for showing multiple people. That's fantastic with with the ability to bring things to life as you're talking about the three d rendering and the ability of project them and make walls fall away at least visually the you can physically or at least experience things that are modeled. I'm curious you know you apply this diversification with exercise with a CD BDO. But this could be so many other applications. Both for people. Jeffrey and who do this stuff more full-time in the open source world but also for governments as we see into as they they work through. Grappa WITH YOU. Verifications of potential future arms control treaties. Or something along those lines you know. I'm wondering what you think about that. You know how we could think about using the stuff for you know. This is not controlling podcast for for arms control or or or for making things more transparent and what we spoke about a moment has been sort of looking at things that are remote sites inaccessible sites remote site and accessible in terms of the CTO inspection When I was at San s they were kind of to host me for a seminar and one of the case studies presented at the seminar was an activity that we had here in the UK letter. Press which brought everything to a much local level with hands on your very much to the coal face so it was a a nuclear weapons disarmament verification simulation and it was carried out by school the courtroom actual nuclear verification partnership which fortunately has been drawn to the quad which is formed of the UK the USA Norway Sweden. So that's quite a novelty because you've to nuclear weapons states to non-nuclear-weapon states were here on this verification activity and the objective was to carry out Nuclear Weapons Verification Simulation in a representative nuclear weapons facility using non proliferative but representative treaty items. So probably this. First Instance of its kind and it was designed to enable nuclear nuclear weapons states to work together in an arms control scenario so we could look at Developing techniques procedures methods that can be used to then informed future nuclear weapons treaty verification regimes. That could also couldn't vote on states and so the simulation itself formed part of wider scenario which to nuclear weapon states have agreed to a significant reduction in their respective leagues their weapon stockpiles and invited to neighboring non-nuclear-weapon states to be part of the inspectorate task of the technical verification of the state decorations. So the really cool thing about it was. That's the simulation took place Huntington back in two thousand seventeen where it used genuine former nuclear weapons storage bunkers in simulation and ballistic casings of retard nuclear weapons systems to enhance the realism of the so as much rhythm could possibly be brought into the simulation and it was a simulation on an excise because your exercise capability. But this was all about the work that you need to do to even create the capability so activities down to as part of that tax and sales will applied various techniques. We used ceiling mechanisms accounting tracking things. That was the movement of weapons from a storage facility to a dismantlement facility which was then to be verified as part of this wider treaty. And it was looking at exactly. How do you go about doing matt when this by the way is so much more responsible than what we do with this stuff because we just post selfies of our selves with the bombs that we create virtually yeah? It's I always struggle with how kind of catchy and fun. It is on twitter. And then I have to think about like okay so I'm pretending to tinker with North Korea's thermonuclear device. Is that how I should best be spending time with this software and the answer is what I expect. I expect to see a missile on your Christmas card. And Oh my Nash. I can make that happen absolutely jobs. Eight erupted you. That's okay so going back getting back until pick the So this activity happens and obviously we have people coming from all over the world to be planned. The the execution of it people were playing the part so in that I played a member of the hope the host team and again to to make it Productive and activity possible both the the non nuclear-weapon and nuclear weapon country representatives were on the host team as well as on the inspection team and there was an amazing amount of learning that occurred during my activity and afterwards again. I thought well it takes time for people to come literally to come to the same location to just look at the location and it would have been useful for Sunny. The at the most basic level the people playing the parts of the hosts to have been familiar with the location before we went to play the parts as hosts and a number of had. Never been there before. So of course is the host. You like well you know. Take the inspectors from these offices to bunker twelve and you then have to flick through your piece of paper and find the map and tried workout. Oh how exactly do I walk from here to bunker? Twelve where if it were real then of course you know exactly where bunker twelve was and I thought well if I recreate as much as possible. The physical location and some of the objects that we used in the letter press simulation. What Cook Things can we do? You know at the very least weaken. I've do site familiarization for future activities. It could be used for planning and one of the things. It's also turned out to be amazingly useful for his briefings. Because as Annan Jeffrey of both been lucky enough to see that because I had that model running when I was at the workshop you can let people explore in other on the screen or in virtual reality the location for five minutes and they know more about the layout than if they had spent two hours flicking through maps photographs videos and power points. That's what I was getting at when I asked you about the level of familiarity you felt with Jordan because I thought you at one point had said that someone who is involved someone else who was involved with the inspection had that same reaction that that the model was significantly better than the preparation and having been there that hit just really helped organize intellectually all of the different bits of data. Am I miss remembering that? No no you're you're you're correct but it has. It has been true on both and models are built so that particular statement came out of me generating material the stills in the in particularly the animations are used for a talk. I gave with all the other CD wants technology conference in two thousand seventeen where I used the model that I built for the area to give to fake briefings to demonstrate. This is what you could do with the tool and I'm going to show you by doing not by telling and so the first one was to show. Well what could you tell people the inspectors before they went into country using only information that was available before they started the inspection and it started off looking at the look at the data that was available which was low resolution terrain data with some High resolution satellite imagery from like low-earth orbit and above and their classic view. You'd see the printed out map but then flying down and over the surface and in that ten seconds you learn more about the appearance and the topography of fat area than poring over a map with Tom Tools for hours. And in that case you immediately saw that you know what it's a very rugged landscape so the logistics people would be instantly thinking it's going to take a long time simply to to drive around this area and stopped factoring into their planning. And that's with a twenty seconds worth of footage. You know what I really want to make a model of for verification purposes. I would love to throw. All of our data about nearby. Is Emily into programs like A. It was a serious answer. I was thinking you were GonNa Model like like your neighborhood and all the places where your dog pooped with little. I was thinking about drinking like modeling like my local bar so I know which way to turn after one too many like. Y'All I'm disappointed in you you know about me is that. I have this affinity for the site up on. Nevada's Elia Andrew. It would be amazing and by the way much better than the bet we have in which you'd have to be paid a million dollars to live there for a year under the right circumstances and very nice mansion with a panoramic view across the street maybe noble nope no okay but in all seriousness. That is a site that strikes me as a place where it's true because it's between right. It is massive there. There are things that have gone up there. In recent in the last decade that have caused The United States. A lot of heartburn. And so I think that allowing people to walk down the massive valley and to see kind of the scale of the place Would BE ONE. I I WOULD. I would just like totally eke out but I think it would be quite a virtual small gauge rail Disneyland. Well so in the great thing about the the Vr headset is that you can literally dislike. Click and fly to appoint so but like Disney trade. Her sites right we have the The landslide from the explosion that occurred in tunnel be one at a a dead. Soviet nuclear weapon. Years Hands sticking out of the rubble. I would start a I'm nothing surprises me from you anymore. Jeffrey so I just kind of like it. Didn't even it didn't even register to me. I think we are coming to the end on time because we're at thirty nine minutes one one quick observation then is to cater to your inner child. Jeffrey and Disney Railways would be effectively. I have kind of done that within the software because you can load in. Gps tracks with software and you can then associated model to that track and Click and the three D. MODEL. Whatever it is will then follow the GPS track in real time or accelerated time and you can also look the camera in the software to GPS track. So yes you could have your google. You could literally see the view from your your Disney small track train as it trundles around a a three-dimensional GPS TRACK. But you could create to go wherever you wish sold to say. He got another project. You can do here James. That was fun. I I didn't get to see the person I have three glasses at my house for for listeners. You actually did share your presentation. So we were walking around the North Korean tests. I during this And we all were doing and I even though I think you guys you you and Jeffrey had seen it before So thanks for coming on and Jeffrey Thanks for obviously for for joining us or at least early in the conversation and thanks everybody for listening if you enjoyed the show over to Patriot. Dot Com slash. Ac W podcast whereas for as little as three dollars a month you were a student or five dollars a month. If you are not you can join our slack. Channel and There's more very cool Open source stuff in there so with that. Thank you everybody for listening. Thank you thank you very much having been a pleasure.

James Jeffrey Annan Jeffrey United Kingdom Monterey Vienna Jeffrey Lewis North Korea Movement Arms Control CTO Geo Foreign Policy Research Instit Palmer Middlebury Institute of Intern Sean John Missile Factories Mu founding publisher Disney
Is Nuclear War Back?

FUTURE STATE

46:49 min | 2 years ago

Is Nuclear War Back?

"Welcome to future state. I'm your host dick Clark. This is a podcast about our future, our future as a nation as a democracy as a people. In this period before the November elections will be talking to the real experts about some of the issues voters should be thinking about should be talking about before we vote. And one of those issues is nuclear war. People like me who grew up in the last century, had to worry about civil defense drills duck and cover hiding under our school desks fallout shelters in the basement because there was a real risk of nuclear war of nuclear attack on the United States. Then with numerous nuclear arms control agreements between the United States and Soviet Union, and then that the fall of the Soviet Union, a threat of nuclear wars seemed to go away, but there are still countries with nuclear weapons today. There are nine by my count, and there are probably at least twenty thousand nuclear weapons around the world. And now both Russia and the United States have announced new large-scale plans to build more and more modern nuclear weapons. The Trump administration has redefined win. It would be okay to use nuclear weapons, and it's new definition seems to make it easier to begin the use of nuclear weapons with all of that in mind or asking is nuclear war back. And should that be one of our top concerns? As we think about the issues in this election with us to answer that question, our two guys with PHD's from MIT where they both studied nuclear war and strategy and arms control since then they've been writing researching and working in this field. Fred, Kaplan is a columnist now for slate, and he's the author of the definitive book on the history of nuclear strategy, the wizards of. Of Armageddon. He's also the author of many other books. Most recently, dark territory, the history of cyber war. David shorts is a former State Department official who worked on nuclear arms control. He's the author of a book on nuclear missile defense co authored by secretary of defense, ash Carter and most recently, he's the author of a book on the nuclear bomb designer and Rica. Fermi that book is entitled the last man who knew everything, and it's a great biography. Gentlemen, welcome to future state and used to be when I was growing up. Politicians talked a lot about nuclear war now. I think if you talk about nuclear war and as a politician, people look at you a little funny, and yet this year with had the leader of North Korea, talking about nuking American cities complete with videos with even had the the head of Russia come out with the videos in little strange, press conference. Speech videos, nuking American cities and talking about his his great new nuclear weapons. The that he's building at great cost is, is nuclear war back. This is something we should be talking about, well, it how people are talking about it more now precisely because of the developments that you mentioned. But you know, it has been about thirty years since anybody's been thinking much less worrying about this subject and for reasonable motives. You know, the Cold War is over. Nobody's doing duck and cover drills anymore. But one thing that that people have not realized is that there's this subterranean reality that estate exactly the same. These weapons still exist. There are still people in strategic commanded Oman. Yes, yes. People in strategic commanded Omaha and counterparts in Russia, and China and elsewhere who continue to drill to play war games to target these weapons on particular facilities to do annual reports, quarterly exercises. It is still going on. To be fair though. Fred, the numbers are vastly reduced. There were there were sixty thousand warheads facing each other sixteen thousand thirty thousand h. side in the nineteen sixties and seventies, and now it's down to less than five thousand nine each side. Now, that's enough to destroy both countries several times over anyone, greed, nuclear winter. That may be one of the reasons why over the last couple of decades, the public's fear of nuclear war has has been reduced. And it may be because not only the the fall of communism the end of the Cold War, but at arms control agreements served as a almost a psychological foundation for security and saying, I think we all put it in the in the we check the box. That issue is handled. We put it away. And now Trump says, fire and fury, and you know an our hair stands up on end. Well, it's not yet trope. Kim Il Kim Jong-Il lots of them and, and this, this bizarre speech press conference that Putin had earlier in the year where he showed videos, cartoon videos of new nuclear weapons, including nuclear powered robot submarine with a huge nuclear warhead that would that he was launched from Murmansk or something, and it would arrive in New York harbor, a nuclear reactor powered cruise missile. That can go all the way around the world and come back attach and attack us from behind it. And it didn't. He didn't wanna those warheads target Florida. I. In the video. Couple things need to be mentioned here. I, there are two things that one can do about this. In reaction, and we've kind of done a bit of both one is to say, screw you. We have enough to destroy you whatever you do. So we have deterrence. I don't care what cockamamie schemes you have up your. Is that the sentence to laugh out. Why with your piddly little economy spending money on if you wanna waste your money, we've got these missiles here. Let me give you a little unclassified briefing. This is what we can do it to you. If you mess around even the little bit. The other thing you can do say, well, you know if the Russians actually believed that they can do this, there's a scenario coming out of the Pentagon that Russia might think they can explode a small nuclear weapon in Europe, and that will make us back off and they'll they'll win people depending on the some do. People are wrote the the nuclear posture review seem. But they're, they're line is well, look at may be crazy. But if the Russians believe it, then we have to respond to it according to Russell's crazy, we have to be crazy to the, which I, you know, I mean, I am. I am more with with with the first side on this and there's another response that is available and we seem to be taking as well, which is to spend the huge amount of money getting our nuclear Arsenal. I have to say this. I've say this in terms of money, what the Trump administration is doing with nuclear weapons is no different from what Obama I know. But you know how much money it is. It's billions and billions of dollars. It's over a trillion dollars over thirty years thirty years to modern us, the plan that they actually have. Dave is over thirty years to spend one point, four trillion dollars. Not really. We'll be we'll we have a stronger deterrent by the end of that. Well, it's it's and that merely is to quote unquote, modernize all three legs of the triad. The land-based ICBM's submarines. The president knows what the triad is. The free. Did he thinks that nuclear is is a now now, but but war planners tend to sort of fetish is the triad because whenever you talk, let let's let's define the char triad is is is land based missile sea-based missiles and aircraft. Okay. Sam bombers submarines. And I see BM's in in Wyoming. Right. And you know, we, we, you know, the, the nuclear planners tend to fetish is this triad because they see all the the complementary strengths and weaknesses and say, well, you can't get rid of one because my God, it has a very particular kind of strength that the other two legs don't have. You can call back bomber so we must get rid of bombers. You know, you can you, you. ICBM's can be launched at the last possible second. So you can't get rid of ICBM's submarine-launched ballistic missiles are invulnerable to preemptive strike, so you can't get rid of them and the Zoe. And so we say so. But the fact is that the triad developed in a rather happenstance sort of way wasn't thought, oh, well, we need to try to build it. They will. People didn't sit down. Originally, the ICBM's was going to be army. So basically you had ICBM's army bombers air force and the navy game. Now, eventually there I took over the ICBM's to, but yeah, there's an this. This fits into a pattern of you. If you look at the defense budget all told going back to the mid sixties except for a couple of years, just a few years ago, army navy, air force, divided almost exactly the third. The right amount turns out to be precise and optimal. Well, the reason is this because in nineteen forty, seven when the founders of the defense department created the roles and missions of each service, they happened to come upon the precise share of assets that would be necessary for the next sixty seventy years. Or is it just a the Pentagon is like any other bureaucracy, a bureaucracy with interests that must be satisfied. Falls apart. This happened, this happened because when Robert McNamara was secretary of defense under Kennedy, he got into each services budget and started asking, why do you really need this? Why do you really need this? You don't need this and killing systems when Melvin Laird repaced him under under Nixon Laird said, okay, I'm gonna cut your budgets by ten percent, but you can do whatever you want with them and they love him and and we've never been able to change it. But if we were to question the, the triumph, the holy trinity of the Tryon, it's a hundred billion dollar program that they have in mind just to replace the ICBM right. Dave, we need ICBM's. My view is at that goes, I, I mean, I don't know what Fred or you think. I think ICBM's go, I, they're to me. They're favors admitting, get rid of them, get rid of them. Yeah, I would. I, I happen to think submarine launched ballistic missiles are probably the least vulnerable and the most stable and knowing that they're out there. An aggressor is probably not going to want to mess with us. Here's the situation with the land-based ICBM's they are at once. Their warheads are the most powerful and the most accurate. Therefore they are most capable of destroying the other side's deeply buried ICBM's and a first strike at the same time. They are for that same reason, the most vulnerable to the other side's strike. So what you have, this is what the arms control people used to call crisis instability that in a crisis because of this mute this hair trip. Egger situation, one side or the other the first night filling incentive Kamange first before the other side launches. I so for that reason, one neat trick of strategic jujitsu that some people have advocated is just take away the ICBM's right now how many ICBM's do we have four hundred? All of them single were head four hundred out of a force of twenty five hundred strategic nuclear weapons. Overall, the Russians by the way, help a lot more in their ICBM's so we don't need ICBM. We don't as they have ICBM. No. Well, that's that's the other reason we must make. That's the second reason which is I think nonsense which is we must maintain the perception of strategic equivalents, whatever they do they otherwise our allies will go ape shit. Our allies will will go in a panic that we're not keeping up with the Russians and therefore our. Promise to respond to an attack by on them by using our own nuclear weapons becomes less credible it. Can you imagine the candidates saying, I want to save one hundred billion dollars, which they the candidate would say I would spend on education or health healthcare. Even the money's not fungible really because the congress doesn't do that. Appropriate money for defense, and if that money gets caught, it doesn't move it right. Can you imagine the candidates saying, I want to spend money on education or something, and I'm gonna cut one hundred billion dollars that candidate would be visceral as being soft on defense absolute, not protecting our country, not supporting our troops. You know, I was long now, I don't know, and here's why. I mean it certainly that used to be the case and I don't want to overstate the degree to which one can get up in front of the American people and with with chalk and a blackboard and lay out a an elaborate lecture on nuclear strategy. However, there's one at managed to nuclear weapons being out of sight out of mind for the last few decades and that is the cliches about them have also disappeared. What if someone who, let's say is a marine or army veteran, marines and army, people tend not. To be have any Kevin steak with nuclear weapons because their services didn't have any. Okay. What have they got up and said, okay, look, I'm hard ask. I thought Iraq. I would ever, but are you kidding me? We have this many nuclear weapons. They can blow up the world zillion times over. Do we really need these weapons? Just standing there. Poise new, yes, you need somebody who has military credentials who says, folks we can do everything we need to do without these factories or an absolute danger. And would you would you just get rid of them without getting anything back from the from the Russians all be nice to to get something back means always nice. But I, I mean, I I wouldn't make that the cynic wa known of of getting rid of them. I think spending this kind of money on on on on weapons that we don't need this just insanity. Is there some minimum number of nuclear weapons? You say how many we have now, strategic and clean, five hundred thousand. A lot of those are in purely operationally like the had to go to war tomorrow about Twenty-three hundred, something like that. That seems like a lot. Yeah. Does you given the probably you could destroy the planet with a couple of hundred and also because most of the threats that we face now come from much smaller nuclear countries. Right? And they have a handful, right. So why not instead of just saying, well, let's get rid of the ICBM's while we just knocked the number of our nuclear weapons down to some relatively low number, like half of what it is. Well, realistic. I mean strategically objectively. I think you're right. We can say, okay. How many weapons do we need to really convince look at north Korea, North Korea has maybe twelve or twenty nuclear weapons may of heard. Fifth. In fact, let's say they have of fissile material of heard fifty two to build that many weapons. It's unclear whether they have any actual weapons on them, but they might. They might let let's but they are terrifying us with just that number in the nineteen sixties Russia's. One of them landed. One of them landed in New York. That would be a very exactly exactly so Russia in the mid sixties. Russia was about to launch an attack across the u. Lou river onto China, China about a dozen nuclear weapons, and they thought Mountie tongue was crazy. And so they said, let's not risk. It France for years said, we're going to build a couple dozen nuclear weapons. Pull out a NATO. We think that'll be enough to protect us. Then what do you know it? Does Israel listener, huge numbers. Well, that's that's more than enough to blow up the whole Middle East. But but yeah, that's the point. It's all about deterrents. The deterrent really weren't juice. You create deterrence. Deterrence is primarily a psychological writing, and you can do this in part with an objective array of weapons, but you can also do it through assurances and diplomacy. And in fact, you need both. And what we have now is an an overkill level of nuclear weapons and a president who is alienating all of our allies. I, if you're the prime minister of Japan or something, and secretary of defense Mattis came to you and said, don't worry guys. We've got your back. They say, well, you might have our back. But I, your president says otherwise, and he might. I mean, this isn't just an academic could go build their own nuclear arsenal to protect themselves. He said that Trump's and by the way. Wouldn't need more than a dozen to do it. So why do we need twenty five hundred to protect Japan. In some other country mentioned the one of you mentioned the the recent Pentagon nuclear review that in part is, is the parallel to the decision to make all these new weapons. It's the policy that goes with it, and it seemed to me that now that's the policy document that you look at and say, why do we have nuclear weapons? When would we use them? Under what circumstances seems to me the circumstances under which we would use them got a little bit more inclusive or do you use the metaphor, the threshold was low cyber cyber attack. I mean, I think was explicit. They said, in the case of a massive debilitating cyberattack we could use nuclear weapons. I, I'm flabbergasted by, well, you know, the Obama nuclear prostate review toss said that a biological attack might precipitate nuclear response. Posture reviews. It started with Clinton and then Bush did his if you if you read them all the difference, there's quite a lot of continuity in these documents. They're pretty much written by the same people. But there are a couple of new twists in in the one that Trump came out with. One does talk about the need to integrate nuclear and non-nuclear planning in other words to make nuclear weapons harder. Regular war plant. Now, even that isn't so new, it was in Bush's nuclear posture review as well. It was in speeches that Robert McNamara, gay for a little while during the Kennedy administration. It has in fact always been a part of the real nuclear war plans devised in the joint chiefs of staff and strategic air command and does a lot of that Fred was back in the day, we'll because I didn't understand the concept of nuclear winter. Right. Well, that's that's absolutely true, but it was in Bush Obama. Got rid of it. Interestingly, Obama took out those passages added them back yet, but I want to go back to this issue of of of cyber attack. You know, in if this country were brought to its knees with a real real major cyber attack. If for example, the electric grid went completely down in this country and then tremendous there would be tremendous pressure. On the part of the Americans, something to do something serious and very, let's just play this. In fairness, that is the kind of scenario below definitely had in mind when they Dan Coats. The head of national intelligence said earlier this year that the lights are blinking red. The Russians are in our power grid, preparing for a cyberattack. Let's imagine the cyberattack did take place in that most of the power grid went down. And yeah, we would all be very mad at whoever did that, and people would die as a result of that, and it would wouldn't be just instantaneous. It would take it would take weeks months. It could take months. It could take months with shouted of the economy. A lot of people would die, but people, you know, in the in the hundreds. Actress ity, but is the appropriate response to that to what nuke Moscow? Is that what they're talking about that just seems inappropriate as response. I don't know what they're talking about in terms of a target. I think I think in this is where you get into tricky risks with nuclear stuff. I been looking at some declassified documents lately. 'cause I'm writing another book about nuclear war at one point in a in a conversation about nukes during the Kennedy administration, Dean Rusk. The secretary of state refers to nuclear war is this goddamn poker game, the idea of people issuing bluffs, and sometimes maybe your bluff will be called a lot of what is said about what we might do in nuclear weapons is designed to be a deterrent no plant enough doubts in the opponents has been credible. Yes, cleared vote. Credible to save. You did something with to my power grid with a cyber weapon. I'm gonna blow up the world and therefore the the argument goes, you have to have actual nuclear war plans to make it cry. I know. And so, but then you're going, you're starting to go down the rabbit hole because once the plans become ill, you have the land, the weapons you might actually might actually do it now, what's stopping you? I just think it's crazy down poker I would. I would rather be spending money on defenses and Dave you. You spent a good period of time worrying about anti ballistic missile defenses that was longtime ago with new technologies are new technologies, any better, get your conclusion. Several years ago was none of the shed work. Well, you know, I think the same problems that the Star Wars program in the eighties continued to double the technol-. The technicians who are trying to build these things today. I mean, we've got, we've got defensive missiles. On you play defensive missiles, but they don't really work reliably. Well, I mean, we can probably shoot one incoming missile down. We might be able to shoot five incoming. There has never been a test against as many as two. That's correct. Man and many of these tests. Many of the one on one tests continue to fail now and we know they're coming now, it. Now, am I, you know, there are some people who are in principle against the idea of defensive measures because they think that if both countries lay themselves naked to their aggressors, that deterrence is reinforced. I'm not of that of that mind rather have rather have defenses if they're possible. But you know, I think a lot of money trying, we spent a huge amount of money, and it turns out to be much harder than putting a man on the moon, much harder than any of the other technological face that we've accomplished doesn't move. And there are no. But ten thousand miles an hour, but against very small nuclear threats, you know, against North Korea or against it, you know if Iran decides to pull out of the the, the five part five-party agreement, then you know it might make sense to look at this more seriously and spend a little bit more money on it. My we wouldn't. We wouldn't be able to do anything against the Soviet, a Russian attack. We're spending, we're spending rainy an attack. Spending ten billion dollars a year now, but here's the problem. We set up something Reagan, we set up something called the Missile Defense Agency. Now, on the one end, you might think, oh, that's good. Get somebody really digging deep on this, but in fact, no, it's off on its own agency. Everything else that the army navy and air force does ignores what the missile defense age. If it were a serious subject, friends, grading. Giving services have no priority place. No priority on throw them ten billion dollars in. Let's forget about it now. So you Dave you, you mentioned the Iran, we haven't talked about Iran. If Iran does build a nuclear weapon, which I suspected will. Thanks in large part to the United States, pushing them into it. You could imagine a scenario or Israel Iran start throwing rockets at at each other. What's the world's reaction when nuclear weapons go off in a small country in not here, we don't get dragged into it that way. But let's imagine a nuclear weapon goes off in in Israel in Iran in Pakistan or India. This the world ends stand up and say, when we say all the film and the and the coverage of disaster, this the world stand up and say, let's ban these things. Well, I can tell you one thing, even those kinds of small exchanges would have significant effect on our climate means. There's been recent studies that show that the whole idea of nuclear winter was was not only valid in the in the in the eighties, but it af-. It's affected even by, you know, the exchange of a small number of nuclear weapons on each side. So we would feel those affects here in the United States. Love the studies. I've read, save. You have numbers as low as forty or fifty, nuclear weapons going off and on targets that would kick up a lot of dust that you could get a nuclear winter for a year or two. See, we're not going to get to that point in a Middle East nuclear exchange of can the countries targeted would be obliterated with that few. They're so small. But here here is an interesting, you know? Well, no, but the number wetter but the number of weapons getting used being Israel would would launch all of them or yeah. Well, that's down one hundred hundred is a lot about two hundred. Yeah. Indian Pakistan, but this is this is not an infeasible scenario. I listen. I looked into this once and and when during the Bush two administration Cheney had pretty much all. But given Israel, the green light to go ahead and attack Iran's nuclear facilities, not with nuclear weapons, but to destroy their their reactors. The final decision had been made. Robert Gates had become secretary of defense. He insisted on a principles level assemblage of the national Security Council with Bush present to hash out the issues and to take a boat. They voted against it. He also went and talked with his counterparts in Israel and said, you know, we bore gamed this thing and, and you know, you might have a pretty good first few days, but then when the straight of Hormuz get shut down and when Hezbollah starts attacking. You're going to be. You might have some second thoughts. And I do believe that Robert Gates possibly single handedly prevented this from happening. But it's also true apparently that the Israeli national security cabinet got together and talked about this, and they were almost all against the idea of a preemptive strike except for being it is worth noting that all of the military and security apparatus of Israel are against it are against it are also in favor of the Iran nuclear deal. They might have some problems with this aspect or that aspect, but on balance, they are in favor of it. And it's only Netanyahu who over the summers said that he was the one who persuaded Trump to pull out. He was pretty much alone, but the political apparatus opposed it for for variety of of an experience. If Iran goes ahead and bills nuclear weapon, the Saudis have said. Openly and publicly that they will, too. Yep. Yep. But I think you know, I don't know if Iran, it's, it's an interesting question. If Iran starts to build a nuclear weapon, the first steps will be detected very quickly because they really did abide by the deal. They dismantled the ship, though the. All of their uranium they, you know, we started bringing back. We would see it and then there would be if Trump is still president, there'd be great incentive for Israel to go after it. It'll be much easier attacker be less to attack. And I think Trump would give the green light terrible, terrible idea. But if which, let's face it might deter Iran from actually hill or in may get them to go deeply underground in Hyde every classmate. I mean, I think they're their strategy at the moment while they actually have. Complicated internal politics. But what the moderate faction would like to do is just keep the other powers that signed the agreement on board try to isolate the United States and continue as plans, you know, Iran has. I mean, I think the agreement is a good agreement. I, I see very little flaws in it, but what is in fact, the case is that Iran has the ability to go from from where they are now to a nuclear capability and relatively short period of time. They are very, very advanced in terms of their nuclear technology, their nuclear engineers all went to MIT. I mean, in fact to negotiators at the of the on the agreement, the US and the Iranian negotiator were classmates at MIT, and I think the same is true of the Chinese originally all should we limit that all three of us were classmates. MIT bears a great building, but but the fact is that that Iraq could go very quickly if it feels it needs to. So this is one of the reasons why I think they're abiding by, because you know, at the end of the day, these agree, no, no international agreement stands. If it's not in the interests of the parties involved in Iran understands that, you know it is in their interest to do this now in exchange for lifting of sanctions on the part of if they get that hit and and in the United States is doing secondary sanctions on European countries and and so absolutely it's going to be very difficult for some European countries companies to do business with Iran, and it will be very difficult for Iran to maintain the postured it has now which is a body by the agreement internally. Just internally the policy getting nothing for it. Yeah. Yeah. And so we do face the prospect, and, and even if Israel did strike and take out for syllables, they could build new facilities and they could build them underground them in ways. Really them in ways to carry and security. People understand. It's almost as if you know, I don't know whether it's it's literally true, but if a country decides it wants to develop a nuclear weapon badly enough, it will do so. And there's almost nothing that that other countries can do about. Well, the North Koreans did it at a time when their economy was was terrible. When people were starving and the new yet they built quite an arsenal and they built an arsenal probably in places where he could never get too. So the I mean, the the answer to the question of nuclear proliferation is not. How do you prevent countries from getting the bomb? It's how do you give countries the incentive, not not want them? Yeah. Well, there are nine countries that have them now, and I remember back in the nineteen sixties when people said it would be forty or fifty by now. So we've kind of done a good job of stopping countries. But in the last few years, suddenly we've gotta ran and suddenly we have North Korea and they're both country. Where you could imagine them using them under certain circumstances. Here's the the big motivating factor. You know, I mean, Trump thinks that he can somehow get Kim Jong UN to get rid of his nuclear weapons. I dunno in exchange for Sheldon Adelson coming in building a complex of hotel casinos on the short. Most of which is not going to have the if you're Kim Jong UN. And by the way he's not an idiot. Sometimes act like a crazy man. Nydia shrewd Russia. But let's say the most rational person on earth where the head of North Korea and the regime where what it is you're looking around, you say, okay, I look at Saddam Hussein. He got rid of his nuclear weapons. He's dead hung. Look, I look at at, you know, look at Qaddafi. He got rid of his nuclear weapons. He's dead. I look at Iran which got rid of its nuclear weapons is abiding by it. An international agency has said ten times, it's a binding by it, and yet Trump is still pulling out of the deal though forget you, should I forget Ukraine. So let's remember that there was an actual Soviet Union broke up and Ukraine became a country. There are a lot of nuclear weapons sitting inside signed an agreement between Ukraine, the United States and Russia and said, if you boys give up their nuclear weapons, we'll guarantee your security or borders, guarantee your board or go into your. How did that work out? One of those countries, the guaranteed the borders invaded and change their borders on the other one, did nothing about it. Yeah. So you're you're, you're Kim Jong UN or your anybody thinking about going? The lesson from recent history is when it comes to this sort of thing is. Get your nukes. I absolutely you start getting into negotiate. You think that Trump would would have met or any president would have met with leader North Korea. If they didn't have nuclear weapons you went to was shot. Of course, this is the the lesson is that nuclear weapons work. Give you a chips. It gives you the poker game to the poker game of the guys again. So they worked for smokin. They were, yeah. They work for small countries as he worked for worked for Israel, but what does that mean work? Let let's take a closer look at that, but they deter people tur-. He's also give you chips at a power table. So let's talk about Libya's an example. So Libya was building nuclear weapons didn't actually get there, but it was well on the way they signed an agreement with the US. The US came in and physically took all of that material fridge now in Oakland country. Right? And then fast forward a couple of years and the US. Is bombing Libya, and Moammar Gaddafi is dragged out on the street and killed in a brutal way. What if he hadn't given up a nuclear weapons? Well, what did he had the nuclear weapons developed when that little revolution in this country took place with the United States of bombed liquor or another question closer, I don't think so. In the early eighties, Israel bombed and destroyed the Iraq's nuclear reactor at authentic if Iraq had continued with its development and no, no, no, no, not would we have invaded when they invaded Kuwait, but we have done any good. We have done anything about it would we have been able to amass thirty countries including every Arab country to come along with us on this nonsense? I don't think so. And everybody who is thinking about building a nuke, knows this, right? So it would does two things it deters and it provides cover for Russian vengeful aggression. Aggression is the criticism of the Iran agreement line here is the agreements, fine. Okay, you know, good. But it gives them permission because it doesn't speak to what else they do and gives them permission to be aggressive in the region, and they are very aggressive. In the region. Now, my response is it's an, it's a nuclear arms control agreement. They can't do task did ask too much of these agreements agreements by the very nature are limited and difficult to to negotiate and difficult to implement this. It was like people who said the Russians have to get rid of communism before we sign the start. Treaty is salt treaty there, but but you know the the real answer to that question though, is well look, what would you rather have an aggressive Iran with nuclear weapons or an aggressive Iran without nuclear weapons Netanyahu's fear, I think really it has nothing to do with their handful, a nuclear weapons. It's the fact that the removal of sanctions would allow Iran to strengthen and self economically through the region. And I think that if he had said that openly, you could have a serious debate about it. I mean, I, it is true that you know if Iran becomes whether they're, you know, there's two sides of that debate too. Have you opened up Iran to the world economy? Maybe they'll the were go away the the people, long term. It's a long Soviet Union model. But in the meantime, you know, wouldn't you rather that they be ten fifteen years away from a nuclear weapons instead of six months? Yeah. So when Americans think about nuclear weapons, whether the thinking about current Korea Orion Israel, all this. They had never really thought since the nineteen sixties or seventies about the nuclear weapon going off in this country. And now we see North Korea's little videos about that happening. We see Putin's little videos about that happening. What do you think would be the political economic. Effect of a small nuclear attack on the United States. Look, we saw the effect of nine eleven on the United States and that kill that killed. A lot of people you'll never three, three thousand people and destroyed a few square blocks of of lower Manhattan and a side of the Pentagon. But you know the the, the contrast between that and our reaction to that and the co- and and what would happen if we actually were struck with a nuclear weapon is is night and day. I mean, I think Americans can't really imagine what it would be like. They think it would be like just a bigger version of nine eleven, you know what they need to do is go back and watch this. This, this, this melodrama of the nineteen eighties called the day after which was which was broadcast on Netflix. Yeah, I think you can. I think you can and you know, this is a nuclear bomb. And that wasn't a lot of nuclear weapons that was just a small, relatively small and the changes the world country falls apart. Pulling one, you know that that and economically TV movie actually had an effect on Reagan. It was one of one of two or three factors that got him to soften his approach in the second term. Second. I think though again, a lot would depend on who is president, but I find it unimaginable that presidents that we've seen would would I think there will be tremendous pressure to do so for any president, he would have to lob a proportional response. Nuclear weapons. You can trace the trajectory of water fits the boat, whether if it's about it, if it's a boat that comes into the harbor. Now I've played that war game a few times. That's a big issue with cyber, of course, because that really we're, we're much better as you know, dick tracing cyber attacks and we can. We can trae cyber nuclear, but the boat in the harbor thing. Well, I think you know, we have more than in geometric patterns. I, I think, let's say that you could find the source and I might not know right away and and my take weeks might take weeks and in the war games I've played where this happens, all the American major American cities empty out, people think, oh, do they go? Will people go out into the countryside, but what are they? They they all with aunt, Helen? Yeah, they'll they fill up the motels in, you know, one hundred miles outside of Chicago because the city's self evacuate. Right? Because no one can assure them. It won't happen to Chicago. It's very interesting in the early discussions of civil defense, evacuation and so forth. This was seen this was explicitly seen the self as an aide to America's first strike capability. I mean, this was seen by US people, Herman Kahn book saying, okay, we're going to have to threaten nuclear war against Germany, Soviets because of Berlin. And therefore every few years we're going to have to have drills where we evacuate the cities. Have you read the documents at the time I it's viewed. Yeah, partly to protect against a Soviet attack, but also as a way to prevent a retaliatory Soviet attack from having much damage. Well, one always been going off in New York harbor of Boston Harbor wherever you wanna put it with. 'cause in in my estimate every major metropolitan area to stop working the economy crash, I think you're right. So what what you in these word games that you. Played what and we should point out that in these games, the president never really plays the president know although. Usually. The secretary of state. Grandma. It's often the secretary of state or the nationals, but what happens what, what, what does the president in these games do? Well, it depends on on the scenario, but usually. Listen, are you just met. Isolate a single attack on an American phili-. They forced the intelligence community to say, who did it even if they're not one hundred percent? Sure. And then they retaliate and it and it goes from there. Well, you know, if if it's a country that did it, they launched nuclear attacks on one when nuclear weapon on Peter Saint Petersburg or are or a bunch of shit. Well, depends on who's playing president. Oh, that's what I mean and see that that's the other there. There is a war game in the Obama administration where Russians launch a very small nuclear attack with small low yield weapons in Europe in the in the context of nuclear weapon in the context. In the context of NATO, Russia attack and there was a debate do we need to strike back with nuclear weapons? Can we use conventional weapons? And I can see Obama asking when Obama wasn't in dunavant I could say yes, yes. And, and by the end ended, we do use nuclear weapons. What what's the target? Where are we gonna end this at? And nobody could really come up with a reasonable target and. The people in the defense department at this game, vigorously add argued in favor of using nuclear weapons because this is what the nuclear umbrella is about. Most people don't realize it's Braun, this most people don't realize that. One rationale for nuclear weapons isn't just to. Provide some means for retaliation against it attack on the United States, but also an attack on allies. That comes a big big deal, and we still have nuclear weapons in your by the way the scenario and all those things is that we're the ones who use nuclear stores. So the argument with the Pentagon is what we have to use nuclear weapons otherwise are sure Ince's of the nuclear umbrellas it's going. Nobody will believe is in matter if. Matter if. Joe's up on some smart bombs against the division into in wrecks that occupation of the reoccupation of the Czech Republic that that that won't do. You know so much of this as a residue of the Cold War that we haven't cleaned up. We have nuclear weapons all over your. We have nuclear weapons in Turkey for that's kind of why the name of God. We need nuclear weapons in Turkey. Because they hit Soviet Russian targets, faster, found they were. So that was that was the only reason we had them there. Yeah, we'll they're still there and Turkey is going through some interesting times. Yeah. Well, these are these are interesting times for us, and I thank you guys for talking about this. We once called this thinking about the unthinkable. I think most Americans still think it's kind of on thinkable, but we've given them a lot to think about. Yeah, thank you. Thank you. Thanks for listening today. If you enjoy today's discussion, please take a minute to write us on the apple podcasts site or wherever you get your downloads for upcoming schedule and additional information go to our website at future state podcast dot com. Listen next time when we will be talking about a different kind of war cyber war. See you next time on future state. Future state is produced by cadence. Thirteenth, Ethan, Appleby executive producer, Tyler pedagogy, assistant producer.

United States president Iran Bush Obama North Korea Israel Pentagon ICBM Russia Trump secretary Dave Soviet Union Russia Fred
The Atomic Scar

Stuff To Blow Your Mind

1:06:25 hr | 2 months ago

The Atomic Scar

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Welcome to blow your mind a production of iheartradio. Hey welcome to stuff to blow your mind. My name is Robert Lane. And I'm Joe Cormack and today we're going to be talking about nuclear weapons testing. This is something that has come up on the show a good bit before obviously, we've had to talk many times about the the very real. Danger potential civilization, level threat, and the real human costs of nuclear weapons and nuclear weapons testing. But to I wanted to focus on a couple of interesting in lesser known environmental effects of nuclear weapons testing specifically something that I came across as it pertains to industrial metals, and then we're GONNA get into some other scientific territory as we go on but quite apart from any just straightforward chemical effects on the atmosphere I think it is pretty fair to say that the the the human departure into the nuclear weapons testing era and nineteen forty-five was really sort of a shift to moment for for humankind is a species. Yeah and I and I. Feel like there. There are very few. Things. That have been said they're they're very few audio sample certainly that summit up quite as well or or as haunting as those given by j Robert Oppenheimer in nineteen, sixty, five on the television documentary the decision to drop the bomb broadcast. As an NBC white paper I imagine most of you heard this before I heard it's a sampled and used in music get. It it shows up in Comic Books Literature in it the American theoretical physicist and father of the atomic bomb. He sometimes referred shares the following regarding the first successful detonation of an atomic bomb at the Trinity Test in New Mexico on July sixteenth nineteen forty five. He he said quote we knew the world would not be the same a few people laughed a few people cried most people were silent I remembered the line from the Hindu scripture the bag evolved Gita. Vishnu is trying to persuade the prince that he should do his duty and to impress him takes on his multi armed form and says, now I am become death the destroyer of worlds I suppose we. All thought that one way or another. It's a difficult thing to imagine working on that kind of researching away feeling that it is your duty year your necessity to aid the allied cause in World War Two but at the same time knowing that you are working on something, the would unleash an age of terror in human history. Yeah. I mean absolutely a a weapon that would as of this recording has only been used twice in war which on one hand you can. You can say thankfully has only been used twice in war but at the same hand, you can say tragically has been used twice in war We'll. We'll get into the. Just. The destructive capabilities of of the bomb as we proceed here, and of course, we've covered it on the show before to varying degrees but I wanna come back to the quote that that Oppenheimer is his deploying here. So I if if you're not familiar with it, basically these are these are the figures are in this you've got Vishnu one of the principal deities of Hinduism the the blackout guitar or the Gita is sometimes just shorten to is part of the Hindu epic. The Mahabharata Ten cleats book six in that in the prints in question is the hero. Arjun. part of the Pun Daba family that wages war against Karavas. That the the big struggle that's that's key to the mall BHARATA. At the beginning of the GITA, which Oppenheimer is is quoting here, Arjuna rides, his chariot onto the field of forthcoming battle between these two families but he suddenly overcome by doubt in depression as he notes there, they're on the other side within the ranks of the enemy. He's he recognizes friends, relatives, teachers, and and therefore has this this just immense. So wait descend upon him. This is a quote from it. This is as translated by Edwin, Arnold in eighteen, eighty five, and as as always the case with translated works of Literature and poetry You know the the English is going to be approximate, and certainly with Hinduism, there are many cases where particular ideas and phrases don't really have a parallel word in English. Anyway, it goes as follows quote. Dust. If we slay kinsfolk infringe for love of earthly power of what an evil faulted were better I, deem it if my kinsman strike to face them weaponless in bear my breasts to shafted spear than answer blow with blow. So speaking in the face of those two hosts Argentina on his chariot seat and let fall bow and arrows sick at heart. So the prospect of the forthcoming bloodshed is just too much for him. But what does he do? He turns to his chariot here. For Council and Luckily his chariot here is the blue skinned. Krishna. The avatar of the mighty Vishnu and he gives him his council. In fact, he gives him his council for eighteen chapters. That's what the GITA is. Is basically him providing all of this philosophical spiritual advice on what it is to have to make these sorts of decisions engage in war and duty, and so forth. This is kind of like something like the book of Job in the form we have it now which you have a small framing narrative that mainly contains a didactic discourse on on theological matters, right Now. If you want a really good breakdown of this episode in the Mahabharata of the GITA and especially as it relates to Openheimer in his life, there's a wonderful paper that you can find out in full on the on the Internet from James A g. professor of History University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, he did this was a Nice write-up he did for the American Philosophical Society in two thousand and he goes into greater depth. Krishna's council as follows. He's he says, Look era soldier. Arjuna. You have to fight fighting is your duty. So you need to do it He also says Look Krishna, you know this this God who I also I am is going to be the one to determine who lives and who dies it's not your place to mourn or rejoice over. Human loss in this case, you try to remain unattached from the outcome, and then also faith in Krishna is going to be what saves your soul Arjuna, and this is the most important part of the whole scenario but as Argenta begins to metaphorically see the light. or I suppose behold the true nature of the reality he's faced with. He asks if he can see Krishna's godlike form and this site ultimately seals Arjun his commitment to do his duty and this occurs in chapter eleven verse thirty two where. Where the now cosmetically embodied Vishnu speaks to Arjuna and it what he exactly says of two. English. Speaking ears is going to depend on the translation but for instance, the rider translation has him say death my and my present task destruction. There's a translation by Arnold that says thou. As time who kills time, who brings all to doom? The slayer time ancient of days come hither to consume, and there's another one I came across that That was pretty good. I am mighty time the source of destruction that comes forth to annihilate the world's, and I've always loved this one by a j a b Van Bitten. Quote I am time grow old to destroy the world embarked on the course of world annihiliation. Time grown always find that kind of the something kind of perplexing about the phrasing that seems to be fitting of this. All powerful being that is you know that has taken on his true form to you. Yeah. It is something that comes in the fullness of time. Yeah. Yeah. It's interesting. The way the the personification as time a further serves that purpose of the kind of De personalization of of one's role in history you know there is a kind of like a fate or world path that is executed through the passing of time and it what you are is someone who plays a role within it not the shaper of it. Absolutely. again, it is even in translation as it's it's this really perplexing beautiful passage a now I should stress that Oppenheimer was not religiously. Hindu. But he was interested in Hindu scripture and clearly he found an association here between his role in the creation of the bomb and the idea of duty performed regardless of potential outcome. Now, he certainly is bending the text here. In in the GITA Vishnu Slash Krishna is saying look I'm the prime mover here I'm the one who destroys you just do your duty. Oppenheimer seems to be implying the opposite that there perhaps is no all powerful force that bears the burden of our deeds that the burden is instead on the shoulders of those involved in the creation of such a weapon you know when he saying. Now. I am become death and that we all felt that way one way way or another I mean I mean he is. He is. He seems he's confronting the personal responsibility that seems to be there in the creation of such a weapon. But so does seem that there's this this double terror in Oppenheimer's mind like what if we fail but also what if we succeed? Yeah. Yeah. The that that's something that Hegira gets into you know this this idea that there's an immense fear of failure you know what have we don't develop the bomb we've been tasked with. And what will that mean for us but then? Yeah Wow. How much mass human death will be brought into the world even on the short-term. If, this is successful without even getting into the way that it will change the landscape of not only warfare and potential warfare in global security, but just human civilization itself. Yeah. There's so many ways you can track the impact of the invention of nuclear weapons. Clearly, one of them is a sort of like world psychological impact. You know there's there's bomb consciousness in the world now that that that sort of will always be there unless nuclear weapons are entirely eliminated, but even even then they would. Probably. Still be the knowledge that they could be built again this this reminds me of one of grant Morrison's creations for the the doom patrol comic book, The idea of the candle maker, this embodiment of all of our apprehension surrounding nuclear annihilation that takes on this kind of God like really almost kind of terrifying. Vishnu like appearance. In the human psyche. Is this the guy who's made of wax it is and we'll have we'll have more to say about him in a forthcoming October episode of stuff to pull your mind. Oh, that's right. It's almost October it is. But to to come back to the part of Openheimer's quote that is not part of on the of the GITA. We knew the world would not be the same. And that that is true. It wasn't. It isn't and you're probably aware of most of the reasons why the and today's episode we're going to look at some of the particular ways that it was changed. Particularly regarding. You know a few environmental scenarios as well as the nature of steel. Getting into these lesser known environmental effects I I want to start with the fact that might seem extremely odd which I was reading about in an article published in the Journal of Physics in two thousand seven by a health physicist named Timothy? P. Lynch and articles called a historically significant shield for in Vivo measurements, and the fact goes like this in Richland Washington there is a research facility called the in Vivo Radio, Bio Assay and Research Facility, and within this facility, there is a special room that is surrounded on all sides by thick plates of steel. That was once part of a World War Two era battleship called the US. INDIANA. This was a battleship that served in the war. It was launched in nineteen, forty one it was in a number of battles. It served extensively in the Pacific theater during the war, and then after it was decommissioned, they took steel out of the ship to build this room. Why would anybody do that? Yeah it it. If you don't know the answer, it sounds a bit mysterious right at all. It sounds like the kind of thing grant Morrison would make up where you're having to engage in some sort of magical. Ritual involving steal from old ships. Totally sounds like something magical the kind of magical or symbolic thinking of like you know I'm GonNa Melt Down The statue of the golden calf for the false idol or Kanye whatever and turn it into something holy GonNa make a thrown out of all the swords of those who WanNa oppose my rule exactly yes it is the Iron Throne A. so this is the the iron throne of rooms. Now, the room is again and in Vivo, radio bio asset detector in Lynch tells us in the paper that quote the detection system is used to monitor workers for intakes of vision and activation products. So this means. That, it's used to check workers people to see if they have ingested tiny radioactive particles known as radionuclides, radionuclides consists of atoms that can decay into different isotopes and emit radiation as they do so and if you take them into your body, say by swallowing them or breathing the men, they can do this inside your body and provide internal radiation sources, which you do not want. They can pose a serious health risk If enough of them accumulate in the body, a large dose could cause acute radiation syndrome prolonged exposure to even smaller doses over time could be a risk for damaging DNA and causing cancer. This is to use one example while you don't want to consume that would come from a radioactively contaminated area. You know somewhere around a nuclear meltdown, why would you not want to say you know roll around in the dirt near sure noble or drink the water there it's because the the environment is contaminated with radionuclides. These little particles that you don't want anywhere near your body you do not want them going inside you. So people who get tested regularly in this room would include department of Energy Workers. But Lynch also mentions that the room has been used to test a helicopter pilot and some other workers from your noble as well as children from I guess who lived nearby. So this has been in use for a long time and it's used to measure the radiation coming from living people. So somebody walks into the detector room they get scanned for radionuclides across the length of the body by accounting system that Lynch describes as comprised of five coaxial Germanium detectors and because the level of radiation encouraging. radionuclides is usually very faint outside the body. You need an extremely sensitive detector, and here you hit another problem, which is interference from background levels of radiation coming from the rest of the world. So you've got cosmic sources, atmospheric sources, terrestrial sources. So in order to scan the body properly, you need a room with extremely tight radiation shielding, and this is where the steel comes in. So the counting chamber here is surrounded by a thin layer of lead and then cadmium and copper. This is. What's known together as graded Z shield and then outside that, you have thirty solid centimeters of steel. That's all prewar battleship steel and this keeps the background radiation within the chamber within low minimum detectable activities but the question remains. Okay. So you need thirty centimeters of steel but why couldn't you just build your radiation shield out of any old steel like if regular steel is good enough for your car and your appliances and your skyscrapers, why would you have to harvest the flesh of a decommissioned? In order to build this thick radiation shield. Yeah. Again, it's it's easy to sort of leap to magical conclusion. It's kind of like well, we live in. We live in a sinful world. We have to build our sacred vessel out of wood from the Garden of Eden you know you know the the atomic age is so scarred our world that we have to. We have to find artifacts from before that time. Yes it certainly does feel like that. But no, there is actually a very good physical scientific reason for this maybe we should take a break and then get back into it when we come back. Hey Miles, it's Jack How's it going man good man you know just taking in that new car smell as much as I can. Open my lungs a bit cooped. I'm feeling cooped up man I gotta get gotTa get out of the House and you don't see that's probably not cooped up. You need to get see you vida crossover utility vehicle up. So truth be told at the beginning of this I was driving around in a Mazda C x nine, twenty, twenty they were like miles we love what you're doing. Please try this car out at. Let us know what you think I'm driving in this thing it is the handling I gotta say is so smooth already fans of your driving period they. Out there on the roads and they were like we gotta get this guy behind the wheel a new not it can do anything it intuitively response to me as a driver. So like you know how you oversteer like if you're like going down straight away, maybe you you start doing these adjustments with the steering wheel, it's actively trying to make sure you're being as. Efficient as possible with your steering wheel. The exterior design that is so sleek yet aggressive pull up they say, oh my gosh this man is probably one percent and they go. You know what? No, he's probably sensible and that's why I believe this car really was bill for me why? Yes. I'm a black needs person who like styling who likes efficiency who likes minimal Minimal flexing if you like to say but still enjoys a bit of elegance. They truly design it like there's an art to have design it. It's not just a science. No cars is an art and it's for people like me I like to drive. No I'm not someone out here who needs to be doing three hundred miles an hour, but I liked the handling of a good vehicle and I love a great bow sound system which sees can come equipped with. So if you want more information on the Mazda C lineup including the First Ever See X. Thirty go to Mazda USA, DOT, com, slash iheart. And don't forget to explore their strongest finance options. This episode is brought to you by IBM Today. Every answer matters more than ever before because whether it's about health deliveries or finance, something's just can't wait. That's why IBM's helping businesses manage millions of calls, texts and chats with Watson assistant it's conversational way I designed to help your customers, find the answers they need faster no matter the industry let's put smart to work with IBM DOT com. Slash. Watson. Assistant to learn more. or I we're back. So, we've been talking about the idea of or radiation shielding around a very sensitive radiation detector room and the shielding was made out of steel that was harvested from decommissioned World War Two battleship called the USS Indiana. So the question is, why would you need to get steal from a source like that? Why couldn't you just use regular steel? Well. So let's look at how you make steel. Steel is, of course, a of iron and carbon and sometimes other additives to create alloys, special properties, and crucially for our purposes, the process for making steel involves the. Incorporation of atmospheric gases I was reading about this in an article for chemistry world by Kit Chapman. I was also a podcast episode of there's talking about how there are two major industrial processes for making steel in the modern world. One is known as the BESSEMER process, and this involves melting the iron in a furnace and then removing impurities by blowing air through the molten metal. The other is known as the B. O. S. process and this is similar, but it uses pure oxygen instead of air, but that oxygen is still extracted from the atmosphere. And so the problem is that either way the gas you're blowing through the molten iron to make your steel comes from the atmosphere from the air and ever since nuclear weapon tests began in nineteen forty five that has not exactly been regular air. It is bomb air. Yeah. The the gasoline truth of it is you know find ourselves saying Oh we need a US air in this is like, oh, the the air, the air we breathe that's where we set off a whole lot of nuclear weapons. and and therefore changed it Air Is not good enough for our steel special steel at least just for breathing and our our food and our our children, and so forth. Now, we'll get a bit more into the history of the nuclear testing era and a second here. But in short, there is a period of time in the middle of the twentieth century when lots of nuclear weapons tests were conducted around the world and these tests seated the atmosphere with radioactive contamination. Now, the levels today are much lower than they were saying in the mid nineteen. Sixties when these tests have been going on for a decade and a half but even today, the air still contains some radioactive isotopes such as cobalt sixty and others That is leftover from the hundreds of nuclear detonations that characterize the postwar period. Now, this had many effects of course, the most important of which are probably like the health effects on humans and the effects on wildlife. But another one of the effects is that for a long time, you couldn't make steel via normal processes without being potentially contaminated with radioactive particles. So many radioactive particles that it would be unsafe for regular use but enough that it would be unsuitable if you were trying to make a sensitive instruments. So if you needed to make a geiger counter or shielding for a sensitive radio by Osha. So what would you do? Well, it probably wasn't impossible to make steel without environmental contaminants from nuclear tests, but it would have been expensive and difficult and another option presented itself, which is harvesting steel made before the Trinity Test in Nineteen forty-five and this precious material became known in the industry as low background steel, low background because of its low background radiation, and what would be a great source of huge quantities of pre bomb steel. Old. Naval vessels So to come back to the Timothy Lynch article about the Radio Bio Asa facility in Richland the US Indiana was again the battleship that was sourced was the source here it was decommissioned on September eleventh nineteen, forty seven, and then sold for scrap. It was taken off the navy list in on June first nineteen, sixty two. And as the ship was dismantled, some parts were kept for ceremonial purposes like the main mast and a forty millimeter gun were put on display on the campus of Indiana University Bloomington and I know some of its anchors were put on display at various museums and memorials, compasses, wheels, and all that went to places where where you can honor the fallen ships. This really drives home. This metaphor of the ship is a fallen beasts like the warship thing wants dead. You know certain parts are kept for like you said, ceremonial purposes or display purposes, magical purposes, and yet other things are harvested for the raw meat or bone of the creature right and the raw meat or bone would be the steel here. The SMA up the bulk of the ship was put to low background uses in Indiana va hospital got sixty five tons of low background steel from the Indiana and that was used for their own their own background radiation counting facilities but then Lynch writes in addition to the VA hospital. Facility several large sections of the hull weighing a total of two hundred ten tonnes were also fabricated into a room. These applications were probably never imagined by the original designers of the Indiana. These sections of the hull are still being used for the original purpose as a shield, but instead of protecting against artillery shells and torpedoes the new purpose is to shield radiation detectors from the background radiations originating from cosmic atmospheric manmade in terrestrial sources. So what was once armor again, emissions is now armor of the entire universe in its radioactive contents. The room was first constructed at the University of Utah Medical Center in Salt Lake City, where it was used for many years radiobiology research, and then it was finally moved to the Richland facility in nineteen, eighty eight and the Indiana was not the only battleship that became a source of low background steel. So after the armistice in nineteen eighteen at the conclusion of world, War One, the German high. Seas Fleet was ordered to report to an allied base known as the scope of flow where the naval vessels were supposed to be handed over to the British Royal Navy. But the German officers did not like that they had a different idea and they decided sort of as a kind of last middle finger to the British they scuttled their ships in the harbor they sank their own ships on purpose. So that the British couldn't have them. So now they're all those shipwrecks there in the scope of flow is well known for its world. War One era shipwrecks and has been exploited extensively as a source of low background steel, and though it's not known for sure I've read rumors unconfirmed rumors that some early spacecraft may have used low background steel from the scope of flow or other wrecks in radiation detectors. Interesting now I mentioned this earlier, but it's worth pointing out again, the atmosphere is much less radioactive today than it was at the height of nuclear testing in in the middle of the century For example, cobalt sixty has a half life of about five point three years and there has been a lot less nuclear testing since the partial nuclear-test-ban treaty in nineteen sixty three certainly a lot less. Atmospheric testing. So the atmosphere should be reduced to near prewar levels of background contamination within a reasonable amount of time, but but it took decades. So Robert when reading about this I came across a comic strip I thought you might like it's one of the K. C. CD comics and in it, they build a time machine, but it turns out the time machine requires lead from sunken Roman warships. And this is, of course, hard to come by. So they determine they have enough lead for one trip into the past and and in this way through time travel Greek fire is born. It's kind of like the you know if you could you only had one wish from a genie what do you do you wish for more wishes? Yeah. More wishes. Yeah. I I. Love this Little Comic Strip. I I had not seen it before you shared it with me, but it it. It's especially nice because I just started watching some nineties episodes of the outer limits, and this is the kind of sort of outer limits. Easy sort of plot maybe skewed a little bit for comedic purposes, but you know it's the the kind of twist. You you expect in time travel fiction I like it. Yeah. So if I wasn't totally clear and you didn't get the they, they travel back in time and use their future weapons on Roman warships, and of course that. The legend of Greek Fire Yeah they take like a helicopter with the flame thrower back in time and th- and set to light the Roman ships. Now I guess we've made several references to this nuclear testing age in the middle of the twentieth century. Of course, this began in the nineteen forties. The first one was again, the Trinity Test by the United States in July, Nineteen forty-five the Soviet Union I perform nuclear. Weapons tests in nineteen, forty, nine tests took place all all over the place they were in the upper atmosphere underground in the ocean and several other key The the majority of tests were by the United States and the Soviet Union but several other countries eventually got involved and there were a lot of bomb tests in the end he S. so you're probably wondering just how many so I looked at looked around for a good Good total on this I find that the estimates vary a little bit. I mean not a lot but according to Daryl Kimball Executive Director of the arms. Control, association, which is a great source for. Information. This is what they had to say in a July two thousand twenty report quote since the first nuclear test explosion on July sixteenth nineteen, forty, five at least eight nations have detonated two thousand and fifty six nuclear test explosions at dozens of test sites including lot nor in China they tolls of the Pacific Nevada? Algeria. Where France conducted its first nuclear device Western Australia where the UK exploded nuclear weapons. The South. ATLANTIC CIMA patents in Kazakhstan across Russia and elsewhere. So that's over two thousand nuclear test explosions in total, and if you're looking specifically at atmospheric tests alone, which are often considered like the worst kind in in terms of proliferating contaminants into the atmosphere. Of course, those would be there were definitely more than five hundred atmospheric tests. Yeah. When you when you start breaking down the numbers, the US conducted most of these with let's see some two, hundred, fifteen atmospheric tests and eight hundred and fifteen underground tests. The USSR slash Russia. Ranked second with two hundred and nine hundred atmospheric tests and four hundred, ninety, six underground test in the remaining ranking goes like this. You Got France than the UK and China tied. UK in China with total of forty, five tests each then you have North Korea, India and Pakistan. The United. States is, of course, responsible for the only wartime detonation of nuclear weapons as in utilized as weapons against another people to bombs deployed against the Japanese cities of Russia and Nagasaki killing between one, hundred, twenty, nine, thousand, and two, hundred, twenty, six, thousand people mostly civilians needless to. Say those were both atmospheric detonations. Yeah and of course, with each of these tests, there is going to be more radioactive contamination entering the atmosphere. Now in nineteen, sixty, three, the partial nuclear test ban treaty managed to ban tests in the atmosphere and underwater. So basically, it banned all except underground tests, it did not really stop nuclear proliferation, but it did massively decrease the dispersal of. radionuclides into the atmosphere. Now, there's been another perhaps unexpected interesting environmental side effect of the nuclear testing age, which is how it has affected atmospheric levels of carbon fourteen, and the way that this has turned into an unexpected number of scientific tools that can be used to study the natural world. So in Nature Carbon Fourteen is radioactive isotope of carbon that is generated in Earth's atmosphere. Every minute of every day the Earth is, of course, bombarded by cosmic rays and cosmic rays or charged particles. Usually, Proton's atomic nuclei which are emitted from high energy sources including the sun also places far away usually traveling near the speed of light and win. One of these high energy particles enters the atmosphere. It's sometimes strikes atoms to generate free neutrons and a free neutron then combines they regular atom of nitrogen fourteen to produce an atom of carbon fourteen and this carbon fourteen then pairs up with oxygen to create carbon fourteen. Co Two. So there's a lot of carbon fourteen in the atmosphere is just produced a steady rate naturally as the cosmic rays coming in and this carbon fourteen co two gets into everything that ingests atmospheric carbon. So plants suck in co two with a predictable amount of carbon fourteen and the used that carbon to make their bodies, and then the trees and the and the corner all made out of carbon content that is retrieved from the air and has a certain amount of carbon fourteen in it. So if you do in. Molecular analysis of plant. You will have a certain proportion of carbon fourteen in there because the atmosphere does about one out of every trillion carbon atoms is a carbon fourteen atom. But of course, it doesn't stop it plants because we also exist in carbon fourteen generating atmosphere. You know all the chemistry on earth is sort of interconnected. So we eat those plants and we eat animals that eat those plants. So our bodies also have a predictable amount of carbon fourteen content, and as I said earlier, Carbon Fourteen is radioactive, which is. Another way of saying it's unstable. It has a known half-life. So we know that it decays into other isotopes at a regular predictable rate. So if you die and you stop breathing and stop eating the amount of carbon fourteen in your body will steadily decrease over the years and what scientists figured out in the twentieth century was that you could use the amount of carbon fourteen in a formerly living object or an object formerly incorporating a known percentage of atmospheric carbon to see approximately how long it's been since that organism stopped. Carbon from the environment in other words, win it died and this has been amazingly useful to the historical sciences. This this is created the era of carbon fourteen dating It's been enormously useful to archaeologists all kinds of other scientists to analyze and date organisms in substances from the past. But nuclear testing beginning in the nineteen forties especially since the nineteen fifties has introduced new wrinkles into this is introduced new layers of radiocarbon science both some complications to the existing radiocarbon science and new tools that scientists have predicted I that they would have and so next I just wanted to talk a bit about a really really excellent article in the Atlantic by by Carl Zimmer. Can we say friend? Of the show crawl Zimmer, he's at former guest of the show, Carl? Zimmer Let's see what we ha-. We laid out specific rules for this in the past right. If you're on the show once you're a a a former gastro previous guests of the show. Okay. I think you have to be on two times to be a friend of the show or is it three times? I can't remember how that status? We break the rules all the time Carl's one of my favorite science writers He. He wrote an excellent book called. She has her mother's laugh that we talked about on the show and this article is just fantastic but it's called nuclear tests marked life on earth with radioactive spike, and this article of course is worth reading on its own but I wanted to talk about a few things that Karl gets into here about some of the environmental effects of of nuclear testing specifically relating to carbon fourteen. So Carl Carl's Zimmer in. Addition to having been a wonderful and just cheerful guest of the show is just all the wonderful writer as always I to read just a little bit from this article here to set the stage quote carbon fourteen produced by hydrogen bombs spread over the entire world. It worked itself into the atmosphere, the oceans, and practically every living thing as it spread, it exposed secrets. It can reveal when we were born attracts hidden changes to our hearts and brains. It lights up the cryptic channels that joined the entire biosphere into a single network of chemical. Flux. This man made of carbon fourteen has been such a revelation that scientists refer to it. As quote, the bomb spike only now is the bomb spike close to disappearing. But as it vanishes, scientists have found a new use for it to track global warming the next self-inflicted threat to our survival. The part of the that sticks with me the most is where he talks about how looking at carbon fourteen in the way it penetrates the whole biosphere. Really. It's one of those. You know like the brain lights up with the sudden realization that. to use a sort of stone or cliche everything's connected but it re it really is like literally in a scientific way is there is a single sort of chemical flux that that takes place all throughout this planet. Yeah. I I keep coming back to this this basic this this this sort of you know arguably hippie notion this everything's connected. We're all one world when people etc which I know is something that everyone is hurt. So many times that even if you believe in it wholeheartedly, it can it can sound a little LIMP. Ears. And yet like I mean, that is the reality, the drive through and all of the science, and it stands in such harsh contrast to the way Certain individuals in like the pillow political in the military sphere view the nuclear weapons the idea that like you know certainly, we can say a head of state using a nuclear weapon against a city within their own nation. That would be that would be ridiculous that would be monstrous but it's But then People will say, Oh but do you use it against a an another nation and other people that's less monstrous but no no, it's all interconnected in a in a in a scientifically verifiable way I mean it's it's one atmosphere. At the very base level without getting into some of the other. Issues we're going to explore and just the basic ethical framework of the choice. Yeah I mean it makes me think of that commonly cited thing about astronauts very often you know seeing the earth from space and then suddenly feeling more of a kinship with all of humankind and not feeling nearly as much the the not feeling the reality of national borders and things like that nearly as much anymore It's funny how easily those illusions can be dissolved by A. Visual impression or a single realization about say how chemistry were. That you're suddenly like Oh wait a minute. You know there's just sort of earth life and we we really need to make this work and not create problems that aren't necessary to begin with. Yeah. Those those lines on those maps, they really do nothing against A. Radioactive particles and certainly concepts such as nuclear fallout or. or climate change. So going into Carl Zimmer's article I. It's worth reading the article in full. It's really fantastic. He begins by telling the story of the Castle Bravo test in nineteen, fifty four, which is. both all inspiring and horrifying and heartbreaking But later on when he's getting into the scientific history of carbon fourteen, he talks about the Chicago Physicist Willard Libby who is a Nobel prize winning say physicist I think he would be called a physical chemist He was somebody who studied radioactive elements and and one was one of the major developers of carbon fourteen dating. One of the really interesting things that Libya does is that Libyan's up comparing measurements of methane from say living current sources say methane coming off of a sewage plant. So this is going to be sewage from things that are currently alive verses methane coming off of fossil fuels. Like all that has been there for millions of years and what he showed was that say the methane coming off of the excreta produced by living humans is something close to about the atmospheric level. Meanwhile, what's coming the methane coming off of fossil fuels coming off of say oil that's been there for millions of years has essentially no carbon fourteen in it right? Because it's been there for so long that all of the radioactive isotopes of carbon have decayed. So it's just got regular carbon in it. There was some of the really interesting experiments too. But one of the things I wanted to focus on was a Carl's profiling of the New Zealand physicist Ethel Rafter. So Rafter was picking up on Libya's research and he was interested in radiocarbon dating in its early days. He used it to test the bones of extinct breads and ancient volcanic eruptions but he also tried to help refine the technique itself by performing measurements of the radiocarbon in the atmosphere, and he would do this spy setting out a tray of lie on top of a on a hilltop and the lie would capture co two from the air, and then he would measure the atmospheric levels of carbon fourteen or at the ratio. Of course, whenever we're talking about levels of carbon fourteen, we're talking about the ratio of carbon fourteen to regular carbon and. So, rafter would have been doing his research in the nineteen fifties and what he expected was that levels of radiocarbon in the atmosphere would sort of bounce up and down there just be sort of a natural fluctuation around a baseline but instead, he found an extremely steady trend. The level of carbon fourteen was just continually going up and what was the reason? Well, it was the nineteen fifties. So quote from the article, the Castle Bravo test, and the ones that followed had to be the source they were turning the atmosphere upside down instead of cosmic rays falling from space they were sending neutrons up to the sky creating a huge new supply of radiocarbon. Teen. Fifty seven rafter published his results in the journal Science. The implications were immediately clear and astonishing man made carbon fourteen was spreading across the planet from test sites in the Pacific in the Arctic, it was even passing from the air into the oceans and trees, and when they checked, they found increasing levels of radiocarbon in everything in Tree rings in Texas in snails in Holland in the lungs of recently deceased people from new. York even in the blood of living people just extras carbon fourteen in everything and as bomb radiocarbon. So the bomb radiocarbon would be would be up in the upper atmosphere and as it settles back down to. Earth. It becomes a sort of tracer molecule that can be used as a scientific tool. So Carl quotes from from somebody named Steve, Bo, pray who's an oceanographer at Stony Brook University, and he he's quoted in the article saying that carbon fourteen is inextricably linked to our understanding of how water moves and so I thought this was so interesting. So in the nineteen seventies, oceanographers found that there was bomb radiocarbon that was distributed throughout the top one thousand meters of the Oceans Water column. If you go down two thousand meters, you're GonNa find you know atmospheric radiocarbon, the elevated levels that you'd get from a bomb, but then if you go down below that. Not. So much anymore, and this became a really important piece of evidence in estimating the earn establishing that the ocean like the atmosphere had layers and that water was primarily circulated within rather than between these layers. Carl writes quote the warm relatively fresh water on the surface of the ocean glides over the cold salty depths. These surface currents becomes saltier as they evaporate and eventually at a few crucial spots on the planet these. Streams get so dense that they fall to the bottom of the ocean the bomb radiocarbon from. Castle. Bravo didn't start plunging down into the depths of the north. Atlantic until the nineteen eighties when John Clark this character from the Castle Bravo test was two decades into retirement. It's still down there where it will be carried along the seafloor by bottom hugging ocean currents for hundreds of years before it rises to the light of. Day. and he points out also that lots of ocean life bears the seal of the bomb spike. Again, this is from atmospheric tests it. So this is not even underwater tests. This is atmospheric tests coming down into the ocean bomb radiocarbon falls into the ocean it infiltrates everything from algae to the rings of calcium carbonate within coral rothe. And then it forms this kind of slime. So quote, the living things in the upper reaches of the ocean release organic carbon falls gently to the seafloor, a jumble of proto plasma, Goo Dolphin droppings, starfish eggs, and all manner of d'etre that scientists marine snow in recent decades that marine snow has become more radioactive and the article. He also profiles a researcher named Mary Gaylord who works at the National Ocean Sciences, Accelerator Mass Spectrometry Facility, which is known as no Sam's for short, and that's the woods hole, which is where hooper comes from Jaws Oh. And she measures radiocarbon and everything from Bat Guano to fish is there's a lot about fish is in this article, which is more interesting than you'd think because surprisingly the study of radiocarbon fish eye lenses can tell us a lot like the course of fish I lenses have the same levels of carbon fourteen as fish did when they were still eggs. So it's really good age indicator and this knowledge was used by Danish researchers. In Two thousand sixteen to create an aging metric for these cold bottom dwelling animals, Greenland sharks, which you might have read about them because they grow. So old this helped confirm the discovery that these animals could live to be almost four hundred years old. So a lot of these are pre- bomb sharks and actually this also applies to humans. people born in the early nineteen sixties have more radiocarbon in the lenses in their eyes than. People born before the nuclear testing age and people born in the years since then have less and less as time passes since the since the partial test ban treaty bomb radiocarbon can also be used to date human teeth but there is a very sobering fact that's discussed at the end of Zimmer's article, which is that the proportion of carbon fourteen currently in the atmosphere is actually a bit lower than would be predicted by the known. Nuclear tests in the no rate of decay and absorption by the Earth sees. So what makes the difference like why is there less carbon fourteen than we think there should be and it turns out there's an answer to that. The answer is fossil fuels. Remember how I mentioned earlier that the methane coming off of oil had basically no carbon fourteen in it because the oil is so old, all of the carbon fourteen has already decayed. It's gone. So as we release carbon from these ancient carbon sources into the atmosphere reporting a much higher percentage than normal of regular carbon up there, which actually dilutes what carbon fourteen there is Carl Carl's number points out that in nineteen, fifty four, which was the year of the Castle Bravo test humans emitted six billion tons of carbon dioxide that year quote in two, thousand, eighteen humans omitted about thirty, seven, billion tonnes which is more than six times more As Willard Libby I discovered this fossil fuel has no radiocarbon left by burning it. We are lowering the level of radiocarbon in the atmosphere like a bartender watering down the top shelf liquor, which is so strange. So the the remaining signature of humanity's first great sort of civilization level threat technology is being diluted by the ever increasing mark of our other one by the second one. Well, all right. I guess we need to take a quick break. We'll be right back with more. When's the last time you got rewarded for brushing your teeth with quips new smart electric toothbrush habits can earn you great perks like free products, gift cards in more. Yeah. I have to say I'm really excited about the quips smart brush that's coming out for both adults and kids and I can say that as an adult who sometimes when I'm brushing my teeth, I get a little distracted. Find myself wandering out to say check email or do something else while I'm brushing lose track about. How long? I've been brushing where I've been brushing and likewise, I'm also trying to teach a child to engage in responsible tooth brushing. Not, always by by giving the best example is I'm wandering around the House with the thing. So this this technology actually can really help. You can track win how you brush, get tips and coaching to improve your habits, earn points for daily brushing and bonus points for completing challenges. Yeah and quip is sending us a couple to try out for ourselves. I'm very excited to receive my I really am I keep checking the mail there a toothbrush and they're? Just a bunch of bills tech tomorrow start getting rewards for brushing your teeth today and go to get quip dot com slash mind blown right now to get your first refill free that's your first refill free at get quip dot com slash mind blown spelled G. E. T. Q., U. I. P., dot com slash mind blown quip better oral health made simple and rewarding. Everybody US bank is committed to helping everyone not just their customers understand finances a little better. Their financial I q site has insights tools to teach you about managing your money to help you reach financial goals protect your accounts from online fraud by your own home or plan for retirement just type in your question learn something new whatever your financial pursuit visit us bank dot com slash insights to get started. US Bank is an equal housing lender member FDIC. So I have another example of specific resulting scientific discovery from a nuclear test that I ran across and it concerns the the a test known as starfish prime. So, this was a one point, four, megaton thermonuclear device launched two hundred and fifty miles or four hundred kilometers into the sky near. Johnston a tall. So it is the largest outerspace nuclear detonation ever committed. It occurred around eleven PM local time This would be In, that region and the thermonuclear sphere burn like a new son in the night sky and if you look up starfish prime online, you can you can see photos that were taken from Honolulu Hawaii at the time and it does look like like a sun in the sky while. Afterwards and our could be seen as well for thousands of kilometers. It it also resulted in in this. Kind of comes down to one of the key findings it resulted in an electromagnetic pulse or an emp something that had been suspected by scientists. But this was really the the proof in the pudding it ended up disrupting the flow of electricity for hundreds of kilometers around it. With its may most of its disruptions felt. In Hawaii itself, it also damaged six satellites, which ultimately failed in other failures might be linked to starfish prime as well. So this was this was ended up being an effect that was far stronger than anticipated. Now now, that's all interesting but obviously, a test like this expands is going to expand on our understanding of the weapon technology being tested. But the side effect here is that the CD one nine tracers released by the detonation allowed scientists to work out some of the seasonal mixing rate of polar and tropical air masses. So again comes down to the fluid dynamics of of in our earlier example. The Ocean and here with atmospheric movement. This also touches on something that comes up with the Castle Bravo test and a number of other tests the castle. Bravo being hydrogen bomb that turned out to be a much bigger explosive yield than was predicted, and this is not just a scientific curiosity and this is something that that had tragic consequences for real people like the people of the wrong up atole who were pretty nearby where the Castle Bravo test was conducted were were affected horribly with by like fallout from the test just because it was so much bigger than the scientists thought it was going be. Yeah, you you see this trend with a number of the earlier tests where the the they don't get quite what they were expecting or you know it's larger or doesn't go exactly the way it was planned and indeed in many cases it means sued people were were were sick and people's health suffered because of these test environments where were tainted by the radiation or still tainted. In some case, the cases people have been dislocated and have not yet been able to return You know we believe we're calling this episode the atomic scar. But a scar we tend to think of is something that is visible but as fully healed and the thing about the. Test is is that it's not so much a scar, but it is like. A thick scab and if we are to to pick at it again. We may bleed in fact we may we may bleed. for the duration of our lives sort of situation. So So yeah. These the kind of comes back to what we said earlier about you know about the the world in which we conduct these tests you know we might think, oh, we're not setting this off in the house we're sending off in the backyard. But ultimately, you know the the wilds of Nevada or some islands off the coast of Australia these are. These are part of the world we live in and it's part of the atmosphere that we all breathe part of the ocean that we all depend on an even underground tests are not without some environmental consequences. I mean. Not Nearly as much as say a atmosphere occur underwater tests but underground test to can can produce leakages. Yeah. Now on the underwater tests, I was reading a little bit more about these. and. These were banned by the partial nuclear test ban treaty in nineteen, sixty three but the US, the UK and the USSR managed to conduct a total of nine before that that that Bam came into place and these included shallow detonations to see how the the the weapon would impact ships as well as deep detonations to see how they might be used against submarines or how they would impact submarines. The deepest was the nineteen fifty five Wigwam test at a the two, thousand feet six, hundred, ten meters. Now author by the name of Sarah Alaska wrote a really good article about the about the US tests for Alice obscure pointing out that the water is what really made the tests more problematic because instead of spreading radioactive particles through wider atmospheric region, it instead released a an immediate radioactive water cloud. So the ships used in these tests were highly radiated and impossible to clean. So they were just towed out to the deepen and scuttled. Now Alaska writes that quote the Atomic Energy Commission would not sign off on it until it was clear that no one in the United States or Mexico was at risk, and at the test area was relatively free of marine life But but the test certainly killed fish and other organisms. I read an account, a UK veteran who was, of course, working with some of those UK a test claims that men were sent out in boats to collect dead irradiated fish after after the test was conducted in this particular test would have been the nineteen fifty two hurricane test in the Montebello Islands as this was the only, U. K. underwater. A nuclear test that was conducted and of course, in a lot of these like tests in the Pacific islands and stuff even when the. Explosion was carried out in the atmosphere was still extremely damaging to marine life like, yeah. There's a part in a car Alzheimer's article that we were talking about earlier where he he talks about the Castle Bravo test in fifty four quote with seconds the fireball had lofted ten million tons of pulverized coral reef coated in radioactive material. Yeah. Absolutely I mean these these atmospheric tests were also devastating to these areas. One area that frequently comes up is is Bikini Atoll. This is where the first underwater test was was was conducted Baker, but also you had many. Other atmospheric test. The took place there as well and what's interesting here is that there have been some studies in over the past decade or so that have have really looked at how the local environment has has bounced back and in indeed, it does show that nature can be very resistant to even this kind of you know intense damage the they say that corals have recolonize bomb craters other life forms are doing well even if there are some curious mutations like sharks missing their second Dorsal Fin, that sort of thing, the the general. Belief is that at least with with Bikini that the worst affected fish died off decades ago and today's fish populations are only exposed to low radiation levels as they frequently swim in and out a plus. These are also areas that have been left alone by humans they've more so than other marine areas. Now one should also note that the occupants of the area around Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands were displaced by the test, some one hundred and sixty seven people I believe and they've never been able to return their dislocation was supposed to be temporary. But but then on top of that children in the Marshall Islands work observe to experience thyroid problems long after nuclear test ended. Now. We've been talking about nuclear testing and and of course beyond that, we think we can. We can hardly talk about nuclear testing without. At least briefly discussing the prospect of nuclear war itself because that is ultimately what the testing is all about. Now, you can make the argument that alternately it's about preventing. That sort of warfare from taking place by making sure you have Terrifying number of of of nuclear weapons in your armament or the reverse is true that you are developing these weapons which may potentially be used. Any nuclear weapon is a potential Holocaust. Within the the warhead. Right I. Mean I guess the advocates of the the pro nuclear armament theory would say, well, what we did is that we did these tests so that we wouldn't have to have actual wars and the tests discourage say the United States and the Soviet. Union. From actually ever initiating a real. Shooting. War With each other the of course, the plenty of proxy conflicts and all that. I mean in a way you can only you know you can never know how sure to be about counterfactual like that people are. Well, things would have been worse if we hadn't had the nuclear threat looming over us to discourage us from going to war I. Guess it's hard to know whether that's true or not but I guess it's also it's just hard to calculate costs and benefits when you're thinking about when the potential cost is like a civilization ending worldwide calamity. Yeah and and that indeed you know to come back to the the idea of the world changing forever. I. Mean that is one of the frequently touched upon aspects of the whole scenario is that it is humanity's ability to truly destroy itself in ultimately within a very short period of time. Now, I know that this kind of brings us to a kind of a dark corner for the end of the podcast and I I know a lot of you don't like considering such possibilities I don't like considering such possibilities either. If you are are troubled by such possibilities I would urge you to consider following A group like the Arms Control Association at Arms Control, Dot Org, or need any number of other anti nuclear weapon or nuclear weapon control or disarm groups, and if you're in a position to use your vote to favor candidates, political candidates who take nuclear testing nuclear war seriously and are committed to certainly not testing the even not even raising the question of their deployment or questioning why they shouldn't be used, and that sort of thing then you said you should do so. Yeah, I mean, the Cold War may be over, but there are still lots and lots of nuclear weapons out there and and fantasizing about nuclear escalation is not a joke. It's not it's not something to play around with absolutely especially since I think we've touched on some of this on the show before like the the the barriers between our our our current world and one of nuclear warfare those those barriers are not as thick as as sometimes we might think they are. The safeguards in place are are not that robust. We need to do everything we can to to. To lessen the possibility. That such a thing could come to pass either in a large-scale certainly but even at a quote unquote small-scale. All right on that note, we're going close it out. In, the meantime we would, of course, love to hear from you owe your thoughts about nuclear testing and nuclear weaponry, etc, or just sort of the overall impact on all of this on our our world and our culture. The mini way world. Would not be the same in the meantime. If you want to check out other episodes of our show, you can do so by finding US wherever you get your podcast and wherever that happens to be, we just asked the rate review and subscribe. Thanks as always excellent audio producer Seth Nicholas Johnson if you would like to get in touch with us with feedback on this episode or any other to suggested topic for the future. Hello, you can email us at contact at stuff to blow your mind dot com. Stuff to blow your mind is production of iheartradio for more podcast iheartradio with the iheartradio APP, apple podcasts or wherever you listen to your favorite shows. Was the. Craft. Today's episode is sponsored by the new Mazda C X thirty. You Know Robert this past December when I was out in California for the Mazda thing. So I, I got a chance to try out the X. Thirty on a road trip from palm desert to San Diego and I was riding along with someone all you listeners might know miles grave from cousin podcasts the daily Zeitgeist. Uh so miles and I. Each took a turn driving through the mountains along the way and we both got. To experience the terrain, the awesome occasionally Olympus Mons like desert landscape those mountains in southern California, really something else as beautiful country but we got to do it as both driver and passenger since we traded off in about halfway through, and we also got a great feel for the features that make the Mazda C X thirty really stand out in its class. You can check out the new theory yourself at Mazda USA, dot com slash Iheart, or see it in person at your local Mazda dealership. This episode is brought to you by the Mazda C v Lineup they intuitively respond to the driver. It's like it's an extension of the drivers will it really is phenomenal and the designs are incredible. They look like they're moving even when they're standing. Still Mazda truly is a line of vehicles that are made for people who love to drive for more information on the Mazda C UV lineup including the first ever see thirty go to Mazda USA dot com slash iheart, and don't forget to explore their strongest finance options.

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The U.S. And Russia Are Stocking Up On Missiles And Nukes For A Different Kind Of War

NPR's World Story of the Day

03:54 min | 1 year ago

The U.S. And Russia Are Stocking Up On Missiles And Nukes For A Different Kind Of War

"The US has begun production of a new nuclear weapon supporters of the weapons they it's needed to counter Russia, but critics worry it's taking America back to a time when nuclear weapons were more likely to be used NPR's, Jeff Brumfield has more. It wasn't that long ago with the military had plans to use nuclear weapons all over the place July nineteen sixty two these troops were the first hour army's history to engage in tactical exercise supported by live nuclear firepower. That's our KYW footage from the Nevada. Desert. Hundreds of troops rehearsed to the tech. But before they went in they fired a tiny nuclear weapon at a simulated enemy position it detonated perfectly releasing its lethal radiation back, then that was how some thought nuclear war would look nukes small enough to knock out just a couple of city blocks used together with conventional weapons like tanks and troops. Of course, that's not what happened radiation and other factors may nuclear weapons of bad fit for the battlefield, and as the US's conventional strength through battlefield nuclear weapons became less important and the end of the Cold War, the United States said well that was kind of stupid. Why did we have all the? Stuff. Let's get rid of it. Matthew crane is at the Atlantic Council. He also worked on nuclear strategy in the Pentagon, the US dismantled nearly all of its battlefield nuclear weapons. But Russia took a different path. It has kept thousands of battlefield nukes in storage. So today Russia has nuclear landmines nuclear torpedoes, nuclear depth charges nuclear artillery, nuclear short range missiles, and the Trump administration believes Russia would be tempted to use some of these weapons in conflict. If that happened chronic says, the US wouldn't be able to responding kind though only nukes it has left are big weapons designed to fight an apocalyptic nuclear war. So the administration has begun converting an existing larger warhead into a new smaller low-yield weapon. More like the old battlefield nukes. What the low yield nuclear weapons do say, no actually we have a range of options. If you use a low you'll nuke. Earlier weapon we can respond with one two or three of our own. I mean, well, it's insane. That's Jeffrey Lewis a scholar at the Middlebury institute of international studies, who's not a fan of battlefield nukes. The Trump administration's new warheads sits on the same missile that now carries a much more powerful nuclear weapon. So if the US did use it for some reason, all the Russians are going to see is that a missile that only carries nuclear warheads is heading toward Russia and Russian policy as Flannery. Putin has said many times is not to wait for it to land. In other words, Russia could unleash an attack on the US just to be safe or go ole occur is with the International Crisis Group. She says just the existence of smaller US weapons could cost the Russians to take battlefield nukes out of storage. They think wow, we need to deter that. No way are conventional weapons deter that. We have to emphasize the nuclear capability, she says that could end. Up countering the vastly superior conventional forces of the US, they're throwing away advantage. The Trump administration says several of these new smaller weapons will be ready to enter service later this year, but the administration's long-term plans for more battlefield nukes. Face a bigger obstacle. Newly elected Democrats have vowed to block them. Jeff Brumfield NPR news, Washington. This message comes from NPR sponsor. Comcast business. Business has always been driven by innovators. That's why Comcast business is helping you with technology that provides better experiences. Comcast business beyond fast.

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The IAEA's questions for Iran

Arms Control Wonk

48:02 min | 8 months ago

The IAEA's questions for Iran

"They should he borough charity. You are listening arms control long podcast on arms control disarmament and non-proliferation Time Geoffrey Lewis the founding publisher of the Arms Control. Wonka walk and they professor at Middlebury Institute of International Studies Have Monterey Directly Program for Policy Research. I'm employees hungry now. Independent analysts in Monterey California this weekend ooh I think. A lot of things slightly Three loaves of sour dough I attempted sour dough. Donuts that were disgusting and tonight is Sour dough pizza dough. So we'll see how that turns out very tasty to ask me what I'm becky. No Banana bread of it. We have a lot of banana bread in our house. That's what we do with with old Nana's as Rodman has and we made the healthy issuers and so we do use coconut oil rather than butter. That's disgusting. We're not here to talk about errands. Repellent taste in banana bread. We we we are. We are back with our our lousy zoom recording technology to about Iran. Because some it's gone down with Iran and the Iran nuclear deal. I thought we talked about that. A little bit talk first about the background onto. Yeah I for listeners. Who CAN'T SEE I? I'm taking advantage of the zoom virtual background option. And I have a behind me cascade of Iranian centrifuges. What's the breakout time on this? Well I'm I'm I'm actually recording this from in my toilet to try to get away from the sounds of my children's so I'm I'm thinking realistically we could get six or eight Enzo about four or five years that the US we name it the USS Tension Tinny for both the he's Alad quality and the normal function of this particular space. So that's why you have the background so you don't have to look at my toilet. You actually sound pretty good you do. I had no idea if you tell okay. Well that's enough about that's enough about a wonderful sour dough pizza. You're disgusting Coconut Oil Banana Bread and my toilet. We are here to talk about Iran. 'cause some stuff happened three things. I think we're GonNA talk about today. We're GONNA talk about tax the first use of insects Which is kind of an interesting thing. We're GONNA talk about the efforts to access re sites in Iran Raelians Seem super excited about allowing access to an answering questions about a third and we're going to talk about the most recent I e report which has some information. That's been brewing for a while. It's not that all of its new so we can talk about three things stay. We're GONNA TALK ABOUT INSECTS. We're GONNA talk about covert sites and we're gonNA talk about Some under appreciated aspects of JCP away that are eroding so you you all WanNa talk about insects. I sure so I guess so. We tried to record this episode last week when this was first happening but Last week on the on March thirty first German Foreign Office tweeted out that France Germany and the United Kingdom Had successfully concluded its first transaction via insects to facilitate the export of medical goods from Europe to Iran Insects was set up back in twenty nineteen on January. The mechanisms were set up on January. Thirty first two thousand nineteen but this was the first time that they had been used so insects for those listeners. Who Don't know is kind of is. It's a European vehicle to get around Us financial sanctions and by allowing European exporters to receive payments for sales to Iran from funds. That are already within Europe And vice versa so that no money is actually changing hands which then prevents them from getting on the wrong side of the United States financial. It's kind of a big deal right. Because they set up this mechanism in January two thousand nineteen to coordinate trade and yet there had actually been any trade that was on purpose of a significant amount of pressure from the trump administration not to use his vehicle because of honestly is that they were going to deal with these transactions says sanctions violations. May and they tried to just limit it to sue. Currently they are limiting it to just medical supplies medicine. What have you but the Iranians really would like to expand this to other goods. They deem necessary right. I mean I actually think the real value I mean. I think they were quite politically clever to pick an export of medicine at this time. Right because it's very hard Politically to make the case that you shouldn't be Maybe you shouldn't be facilitating kind of trade and and I think for listeners. The European Council on Foreign Relations Has This beautiful explainer Lincoln. The show notes. I'm just going to read it because I think it really explains how insects which is the European counterpart right. It's the instrument in support of trade exchanges and Iran and the Iranian counterpart S. T. F. I the Special Trade Finance Institute how they coordinate trade without any money crossing borders. Because that's what would trigger the financial sanctions right. So the example they get and again. This is from this article So these these are not my words. These are the the the quake clever words two other people. A European export or with an order for medicine from Iranian importer provides insects with the relevant documentation on the transaction. This include evidence that the importer has practiced reasonable due diligence. In relation to the Iranian Byron and user crucially for European companies. Insects will not provide the requisite due diligence service right so the European export her with medicine. goes to tax with documentation. And then once it's approved. The Sale Index Will Register. It on a ledger of trade. Insects will examine. It's ledger to identify. An instance in which a European importer has registered a purchase of pistachios from an Iranian. Exxporter in stacks will approve. Payment FROM THE EUROPEAN IMPORTER OF STASH GOES TO THE EUROPEAN EXPORT OF MEDICINE. Meaning that the payment can be made from one. European Bank to another without using funds that originated in Iran Night so to complete the process of the trade intermediation the reigning counterpart to insects will coordinate a similar payment from the Iranian importer of medicine to the Iranian exporter of pistachios. These funds will remain within Iran. It's quite clever. Although one has to wonder how how much trade arrangement like this could ultimately support? Well I feel like it's I don't think it can handle all a large volume at this point in time. But I think that for these essentials especially when in a time when Iran is having a really rough time with the bad thing that we try not to mention on the pie the bad thing I did. I know but it's important. It is important to to make it known that this that the first the first transfer of goods is necessary because they're having a really rough time with the bad thing. We can't avoid it completely but it is. It is politically clever. Don't you think I think it's politically clever? But I think it's also politically revealing took so long for them to process the first payment processing in the first panel was built around the export of pulling that would be in command -tarian goods rather than something in facilitation or something that the US financial The US Treasury would be looking at far more closely in terms of monitoring secondary sanctions placed upon the potential position of sanctions placed upon European countries. If they were to do If they were to engage in trade with the Iranians in ways that the JCP lay was supposed to facilitate. Would you say that? That's the way? Yeah I mean I the way I look at. It is the purpose of this is to try to deliver to the Iranians some of the benefits of the agreement in order to keep the Iranians at least nominally in the deal. You know they're at the point now where they're not abiding by many of the provisions just as the US has an abiding by many of the provisions but things have not broken down completely. I I think it's a clever way to start things but given that it has been an entire year is just not clear to me that this instrument as clever as it is is going to really ultimately be a difference maker although I I I hope I am wrong. Yeah and I think it's worth noting BA first. Transaction being around medicines given what ends with a backdrop. What is was a clever way to do this? I will question the viability of this as a large scale mechanism to give Iran. Even some of what it wanted under the JCP la and even in the very very Clever and very clear to follow Explanation that you read from the easiest piece. That's still kind of complicated than just a bank. Transfer right yeah. Yeah and so. I think Iran is making the requisite sort of counter moves to register their displeasure. Yeah so for example. There's not enough trade to get us the answers and access we want to the three covert sites which is the second big fake we want to talk about. The other major development has been that their IRA has raised questions about three undeclared sites in Iran. And while the IRA has been super careful about not naming the sites We have a pretty good gas right now. It looks like this involves one site that the I a visited but that they have questions about and to sites that the I eight year would like to and would like to visit but that the Iranians are not eager to give access to. Yeah it's I I think it's worth just rece- just reading. What what what. What the director-general Grocery Grossi set in full because it kind of circumspect but nevertheless very clear if you know where the group to the lights I'm just GonNa read it quote. The agency has identified a number of questions related to possible undeclared nuclear material nuclear related activities at three locations that have not been declared by Iran. The agency sought access to two of the locations. Iran has not provided access to these locations as not engaged in substantive discussions to clarify the agencies of questions and then there was the big warning right. Which in with Reuters? He said. I sincerely hope that Iran will listen to us and listen to the voice of the international community and assess that it's in their interest to cooperate with us. We will be walking towards a crisis if not so we have some. There's some thoughts about what those three sites are likely to be and they stem from the Atomic Archive Which was the documents that Israel purloined from a warehouse in subur- suburban Tehran so the three covert sites that the I. E. A? Would like to visit or would like questions answered about Are are likely a site called Turku Zabad which is the location of the warehouse of Tehran. Where the Atomic Archive was discovered. The Shaheed Bergeres Project which is a site located near Parchin that is alleged to be quote a production scale facility for manufacturing uranium metal components for nuclear weapons and the third is an unnamed site near day where Israel has alleged that Iran has conducted experiments to develop nuclear weapons including Yields estimation experiments. And we'll talk about it. But Fob Aeon Has Jill located that site. Yeah I think we should talk about her cusack. The warehouse site I because it does look like that. That's the one that the I eight years has been to and it's a little unclear in the Iowa reports because they didn't use its name but one of the reports mentioned that they had done environmental sampling at a site that revealed natural uranium particles of an of anthropogenic origin. And the report. Didn't say that was to Kusabhadra Abbott. Your typical anonymous diplomats. That's right raiders. Diplomats always western clue slid shink sets country. It's shock it's hard to imagine which which which western diplomats was a kind of so the important thing there is that this is the site where the atomic archive was created. Which is railly's late. Which the Israelis rated Always got a little frustrated because you know some of the people who are constantly demanding the IRA Do this inspection or do that inspection demanded that the IRA go visit the site and then when the visited the site they said it was too little too late not getting enough super annoying but a big ups to friend of the POD Mark Fitzpatrick who in advance of the visit sad. If radioactive material had been stored at the warehousing question it would have less left traces that lasts for years and are very difficult to erase and Lo and behold it left traces and the Iranians couldn't erase them. This is my favorite part because Iran always gets caught with his hand in the cookie jar. And it's always the I e a sample swipes the IRA has never been good enough to to to be an enforcement agency returned to at least be able to inspect these Places get it always seems to catch the Iranians with their hands in the cookie jar. It's it's incredible. I mean this is the Iranian. You know we were treated to the just endless in torrent of about how the Iranians were self-inspecting. I wasn't gonNA find anything. Parching and Pink Tarps Gloat Lo and behold they both got natural uranium at the site but then more importantly and very cleverly they didn't just swipe for uranium. They swiped for the explosive that the Iranians claimed had been stored there and that wasn't present and it was like. Yeah you guys are so by omission. I you know I mean good for the Iowa forgetting in. They're not surprising. It was the archive for the nuclear weapons program that we all believe existed up until two thousand three. Not sure what we learned other than that like. The archive is really probably an archive. Which you know didn't out when we should we should also mention so the the to the next two sites are came. Those revelations came we think out of the archive but are sites. That are part of the former program not things that we are currently worried about. Yeah I mean it's part of this endless and utterly pointless argument we have where we say. Iran was building a nuclear weapon. That's why it is very important. Strike this nuclear deal and then people say you can't strike a deal with them. They were building a nuclear weapon. It's like yes Rumsfeld nuclear weapon. That's why you have to enhance inspections. You can't trust them because they were building a nuclear weapon like yes. I know. That's why I need a but you can't trust them that yes I know. That's why it's yeah. It's you know it will get to this. We'll come to this later. Between the problems. We have talking about Iran. Because they're the three of US doubt that Iran was was headed very active. It'd be a much better podcast. Gareth Porter on you. Don't pretend exactly for ten was building nuclear weapons. We all know this. So that's the hardest part about this about me For me is following. Along with this because the imploding of the JCP La makes it easier for around to build a nuclear weapon at a time when we know that they had previously built a nuclear weapon. Where where it would be better to verify in robust detail that they're not building weapons. Yeah I mean. It's IT'S INCREDIBLE. People are like you know the problem with this deal is at the provision sunset. So we have to pull out of the deal now in Suns at all the provisions. It's like you know it's like the person who goes to the restaurant like the food is terrible and the portions are so small. It doesn't make sense what we do think or at least we are inferring. That two of the other sites that Grossi was talking about were sites that were in the right. I think so if only because regardless of whatever we think about the political theatrics of what the Israeli government under Benyamin. Netanyahu is doing these. These appear to be sites that are identified in the archive and Raphael. Grassi is a sincere and competent. International official and he is going to ask to see these sites right. It is not possible for me to imagine that Rafael Grossi wouldn't be interested in seeing the sights and so they have to be on the list as we talk. Let's talk about the first one Shaheed. Borusia Day Zhizn Shahida Boroujerdi Luzerne this. We're establishing that. The Arabic speaker is less likely to mispronounce the Persian word the Turkish speaker. Which if you speak Persian and you speak Arabic you know that. That is still not good enough. They are just. They are still difference. It's better than my redneck pronunciation. Should he borough charity best? Actually good. We're GONNA go without. I mean you got a little Charlie Wilson going on there. I'll never forget. My childhood accident comes out. I'll never forget learning that young young island in South Korea which is young young doe which I can't I can't get that people just called it in the military why Pedo why Pedo so just sp. Right so SB is a site that and I'm quoting here. A senior Israeli analysts assessed that this site was involved in making uranium metal components for nuclear weapons. It was published by Isis. It was it was provided to them. I mean you know to their credit. They footnoted right. It was a briefing net that David Albright got in Tel Aviv from Israeli intelligence officials foot Are Important why he could have pretended. He founded himself which he didn't do that. We've been unethical so I can give them about not liking their politics and then also give them credit for footnoting things it turns out. It's harder for some people to footnote things and others heart for some harder for some people to footnote things on others. Okay it's there it's on it's on the Parchin site right or two military bases Arjuna's or it's huge We know this. It's very large and it's the site where they had the The Test Chamber where the famous self-inspection took place where the EA found uranium particles actually where the Iranians who self inspect and found the uranium particles. I E L. Right and I think from from what does it matter perspective. It is important to note that the documentation shows that construction occurred between April. Two thousand two and may two thousand three. So that's before. Iran halted a word. I know love but before moulting or paused or suspended its nuclear weapons program which is typically given as sometime in the fall of two thousand three although the bureaucratic mechanism by which Iran halted the program. It probably took a little longer for it to play out so this is a. This is a free two thousand three. This facility is probably I mean I think the is pretty good that it's part of the pre two thousand three weapons program so the the evidence. Let's talk about evidence because I think one of the biggest parts is that it documents indicate that it is associated with project three point one four which had been previously identified by as part of the covert nuclear weapons programme involved in Uranium metallurgy. Yeah you know one of the really interesting things that comes out is so they have the documents associated with this right so they've got a contract that says it's for this project one ten which is a nuclear weapons program and then there's what I think is one document with to slide saying that the beneficiary as this project three point one four there is one I e document mentions project three point one four and it makes it clear it's part of the covert nuclear weapons program and I have seen secondary sources say it was linked marina metallurgy. But I have never been able to find that in an I. E. Eight documentum. You know one of the CO author on the report is Ali Hainan. Who's the former Director for safeguards? So I suspect that this is confirmation that that that's what they thought it was for. Okay so we'll just put a little asterik about that just a note. Oh I think it's real. It's just I I actually I happen to find. I found one book about Iran's nuclear program that mentioned that's what the thought project three point one four is four and I kinda made a note to myself like. Oh this person must have done some good interviews right so it's not that I don't believe it. It's just that like we'd seen them referenced. Project three point one four his best. I can tell one document where they didn't say what it was for But nomenclature wise that makes sense and I should say also. There's also a table of purposes of the rooms while they don't say uranium it makes it clear it's for processing battles so I think that's good enough. I mean I see why. Israeli analysts concluded was to make uranium components nuclear weapons by. That's a pretty good too. Yeah so you know it. Actually if I was going to make a broader observation about this I guess I would say that it goes to the kind of the challenge of the I eight. Yay at a place like Parchin right. Which is you gotTa know where to look. I mean there's a famous story in far as I think as far as news or maybe mayor about Ali Hainan in another. Iea official trying to select a spot To inspect parching and then picking out this bunker and the Iranians laugh at them because they say it's a toilet right which I'm not actually sure. That story is true just because the Iranian said it even worse toilet. Yeah but like even if it were true like this is a really big sprawling site with lots and lots and lots of buildings and unless you have really good information about what's happening in a particular building You know it's it's it's actually not that easy right to know exactly where you should go and and so. I'm not surprised that they would put a facility like this at Parchin and Not Super surprised that they would would be able to hide its existence. Maybe not remembering this correctly and I don't care if you leave it in if I get it wrong. But it was after they went and looked at it was around two thousand five or two thousand six where there were more documents sort of made available today adults to say that it allowed the refine their search to go looking for that specific billion S. Chambre am I remembering that correctly? Well that's how I remember it but it's possible we're both Miss Remembering it. But yeah they did do a visit to Parchin which which was not conclusive because it doesn't seem like they went to the right building. Which again like not not meant as a criticism of of the War of Ali Hainan at the time. Like it just. It's hard right. It's frankly if you're doing your job you're you shouldn't limit yourself to just the places that you're sure of right. I mean eagled testing the dependent. Variable yeah you you gotTa You. GotTa you know. I'm sympathetic to that so I You know it's not surprising. Iranians were able to do this. I didn't mean that is a criticism. I meant to say that it was a reaffirmation that it is hard especially at a big place like Where you could get a whiff that says Parchin as the site of some nefarious activity up but not know exactly where that is. Yeah well I mean it's like getting a whiff that there's some nefarious activity University of Maryland. College Park went to school and I was like. Yeah well I know there is a buildings you want me to go in for. I mean people all the time who went to Maryland when I went right at. It's like there's like I don't know how many thousands of students and it's like I didn't know like I should we talk about the third side. Kaz Aaron. You you you have you feelings about this place. I just called the dump at a desk buildings. The desert right so this is day. This is one of the most interesting things to me. The Israelis shows what information from the atomic archive to distribute and so they gave sb to to Albright and company but they held back this place until one of the multiple Israeli elections. That's been held in the past year. Maybe the second one. I can't remember. Oh and they said and you know in their defense. They said they decided not to burn it until the Iranian started tearing down Once okay reunions knew that it was compromised and they could go ahead and release it now. I'll leave it up to you as to whether it needs to be released in a campaign style briefing but the prime minister but you know it's a really interesting. It's a really interesting location. Because the Israelis do not say were what the purpose of the site is and didn't really provide much documentation associated with it. But you you an fob went and found the site and try by by that by that I mean by that you mean fobbing went and spa on the site and was like. Hey Jeffrey I found the site out of this look and I went on a safari and found the site and from working with bobby and is he just find. I don't know how well the Israelis did they gave the town and they put up a picture so they showed us how that picture and they gave the town as low hanging fruit bulldoze through it like a boss. Yeah so what did you. What did you see? What did you see because I it's a get to sit with you and look at this stuff anymore? You have to dump. It's hard to know how dumpy it is though because there weren't a lot of great satellite images of it remember it. Looks like it was part of the pre two thousand three nuclear weapons program right and so you know if you look at Google Earth for example. The newest picture is like may two thousand thirteen and that you know by then looked like it was in pretty bad shape. We also used to have Tara server but you know poor out Tara Server. It's now dead so Keira survey it's got got got to buy that straight from our MAC SAR got which I guess. We'RE GONNA probably end up doing You you know it. It really didn't look very active until the archive was rated and and the bulldozers showed man love is unseen treatment. Y'All which is now what cows our park a lovely park these days. It's a lovely bark. That's the one place where the particles for listeners. The one spot the Iranians have ever seem to successfully Demolish raise and then seal up. So that there's no finding anything was Lavasani on Shan which was probably a site for testing centrifuges Which the Iranians not only bulldoze but they ground scraped. God knows what happened to the dirt and they turned into a park and they've redone the park multiple times since and it's had basketball courts and other other things put down their pictures up online. It looks like a very peaceful and beautiful place to contemplate universal bereavement. They ever let us say. Maybe we'll record life podcast from that that you'd be freaking awesome. You know one of the funny things about this site which I don't really get I mean first of all. The rains didn't scrape the warehouse which they could've Yeah. It was weird. And they didn't and they didn't scrape this thing knocked down the building but they they left like a bunch of trees and things and so it didn't look like it was the kind of ground scraping that. I would expect to have seen if they were going to do a proper a proper cleanse so I don't know what they're up to but but they didn't let me. Yeah I mean it's a suspicious site for sure I mean I like whatever you think about. The motives of the people leaking this information. I think the archive is real and much of the information appears to be verifiable. This is a weird looking facility. It's a location that looks like a security facility. You know it's it's not. A far am a fact that after the archive was stolen. The you know suddenly got bulldozed. You wouldn't bulldoze a site like this site like this. It's in the middle of nowhere. If you abandoned it you would just let it fall down right. So that's the one that I the most enigmatic because like the SBA we know we've because we have the briefings a pretty good idea what it was four in. It's not surprising that a facility like that existed. This one is still kind of interesting to me. We Are we done with the three sites we. It's not really for US okay. We're it's sort of confirmation of things. We already assumed happen right. But it's right. It's the circular argument of Omega. Iran had a nuclear weapons program before two thousand and three. Yes we know. That's exactly why you need to agree to enhance the inspections. But you can't do that because Iran nuclear weapons program before two thousand three yes. I know that's why you have to. Yeah but the Iranians hadn't been sitting around and saying. Oh just just just keep smashing me over the head with sanctions. They've been gradually increasing pressure particularly on the Europeans but also the United States by undoing early violating provisions within the JCP La Serbs sequentially in response to American actions. And I think those I think we all agree. Are they more worrying part than these? These old buildings presumably older buildings. And the much-vaunted breakout count Calculate Yeah we've talked in numerous podcasts recently about the steps that Iran is taking away from the JCP in attempts to pressure the United States to come back to the table. But I think beyond those steps there were a couple other things in some recent statements that got you nervous Jeffrey. Yeah because you know a lot of the things. Iranians have done are ultimately reversible. You know they can't they said like oh well we're GONNA accumulate. Lsu Now at a faster pace rather than ship it out like well okay but if we come back to the deal and you patch things back then you just pack up and ship it out again right so so. A lot of that stuff is reversible. There have been two things happening. That are not getting any attention that are causing a more anxiety because they go to the question of. How effective are we going to be at detecting a covert program? Because as I've said a million times I do not believe that the Iranians are going to say. Hi We're done. We're building a bomb. We're using Natanz you have X. number of weeks to bomb this facility or we will have the material that just does not seem like their mo right whenever they get a point where they are done with the deal internally. They're not gonNA tell us they're just going to start sticking centrifuges under a mountain somewhere so it's so important to make sure that we can see all of the steps leading up to that and there are two things in recent reports that really bother me one is that Iran has started manufacturing. Centrifuge rotors bellows with carbon fiber. That is not subject to agency monitoring right so this is like really down in the weeds. But one of the cool things about the. Jcp is it placed monitoring on the workshops that actually make the centrifuges those the best part of Jesus Christ and one of the one of the things that made that ineffective mechanism was that generally speaking when when this whole thing started carbon-fiber was being imported by Iran. And they were supposed to import it through a procurement channel. The I could look at it and then it would go sit under surveillance and there was a provision. That's it you know. They could make their own material to if they wanted but if they did that then the I would have to be able to inspect them material and they would have to go. Sit under surveillance and you know like that was not a perfect deal but now Iran has basically started. They've left the manufacturing process under safeguards or containment and surveillance. I guess is the phrase I should use. They've left it under containment and surveillance but they've begun bringing in material that is outside of this process and some people say well that's because they're importing it from the black market. Which would be worrisome. Right because it means they have an access to a supply that we don't know about But equally worries because I I you know me with my experience with North Korea. I think we might be underestimating countries domestic abilities. We know they have talked about. They have shown us. Plants for producing carbon. Fiber is a big question about whether it's strong enough for Roeder's regardless whether it's one or the other they now have a source of carbon fibre. That's outside of monitoring that they are turning into centrifuge centrifuges in front of the I eight Yay. It has to really cause you to worry whether there's another facility someplace That could be turning carbon-fiber into centrifuges that are never going to be seen by the I eight years so that that's causing me a lot of anxiety and then the second thing is under the JCP the only place that Iran could you mechanical testing of centrifuges. They could either do it at Natanz or they do it at the Tehran Nuclear Center. And that's the only place to do mechanical testing. And I am if it was involved in Richmond at all needed to be at Natanz. There is now this one reference to a new location for mechanical testing of centrifuges. Which just you know just as a practical matter. It raises the safeguards burden for the Guy. Right and and at least to me services. A warning like it's nice that they told the about this one. But it's a reminder that that if there are centrifuges that are potentially being manufactured outside of this structure God knows where they're getting tested so I I just you know this isn't like Oh my God. There's a hole in the deal because there is still a lot more surveillance on their central workshops than there was before the deal but now the Iranians are starting to chip away at the stuff. I really care about and just has me a little nervous. It was back to. I mean I think all of this you wrap it up by saying these. Things would be solvable in. A climate of political goodwill other as if Iran is either importing carbon fiber manufacturing or manufacturing robust enough carbon fiber itself. There's there are ways to Italy. Call loophole there are ways to basically make Jc Pielach if Iran was seeing benefits JCP Without any benefits the JC pillay For the sanctions talk to the sanctions that we lead the podcast managing these manageable differences. Become much harder you know and so these provisions that I know I see the thing I cared most about When I first read the Jay seculow whenever that whatever that was Time is lost. Meeting was the centrifuge monitoring and the and the more complete monitoring full-frontal the fuel site. And it's it's that stuff that I worry about. It's not the breakout time. It could care less up at and and in the absence of political will you know you're seeing manifest inability not to do inspections or not site visits and then now with the carbon fiber stuff you just talked about an added layer of complexity would be the inability right now to put boots on the ground to actually go check these things out given the bad thing. Yeah and I mean the way I always looked at it it was the JCP was ultimately political agreement. Right it it was going to. It was going to live or die based on the web at the benefits that Iran was receiving were sufficient for the people who wanted a less Isolated Iran to triumph over the people. Who wanted to bomb right and so we always knew that. That was what this was a bow and the real question was. Could we give ourselves confidence that the Iranians were keeping their end of the bargain and we also knew that over time Iranian capabilities? We're GONNA grow and grow and grow right and that's why there's a whole bunch of stuff in the agreement that sunsets wasn't like we were getting an agreement where the Iranians were like abandoning science and technology in order to receive a handout from the US government. It was. Can you put in place. A structure that get that delivers benefits to people in Iran were willing to forego a bomb and as you are giving them the benefits. Can you give yourself confidence that they're doing that? And you always knew over time that their capabilities. We're going to grow in the kind of confidence that you're going to have is going to have to change and it was going to have to of all from really intensive and intrusive inspection to You know this kind of much broader approach and so like we knew that Iran was going to get better centrifuges eventually and the JCP away just accepted that. That was going to happen but we tried to put day off as long as we could so that you could actually build this political compromise and make durable in the interim what this development suggests to me is that obviously we are not building that political compromise. If anything we're talking about this trump administration is talking about how corona virus might help with regime change. So there's none of that goodwill right and and in the interim we're watching aranesp progress right the Iranians progressing and so like if they now suddenly have this access to a big supply of carbon fibre. And they're building new sites that are you know at least initially under monitoring but you know just maybe there could be some. That are right. Our confidence is dropping before we have put in place that the real durable political consensus which to me feels exactly like how things went wrong with North Korea and we know how that story ended. Which by the way as I said from the beginning if you like a nuclear arm North Korea you're GonNa love walking away from the Iran deal. That doesn't sound like a happy note. Jeffrey. I even mentioned the bad thing everyday. Read it really talk about the bad thing. It was the bad thing in the context of perhaps potential. Other bet so a lot of bad things around you but you're sitting on your toilet. No I'm sitting in a room. Filled with Iranian centrifuges. Tinkling noise. You hear is the B- Yeah that's that's right S. K. Doing its thing it. It's a happy to take us away before we go off the rails as usual. I don't have one that dead yet. We're all good everybody's healthy actually. I will tell you what I will tell you something. I don't know if this counts is uplifting but it was. It was important. Centering I ran into. I ran into an important friend of James Martin Center Nonproliferation Studies and enormous booster of the Middlebury Institute. I was taking my kids for a walk. Garlanded Park which is a big kind of nature area here in in Carmel Valley and he was exercising and we we exercised appropriate social distancing when we ran into another but we stopped in from six feet away had a brief conversation. And I. You know I've expressed my anxiety about my all the things going on in the world at the moment and as an older person he said. You know you're you're young. You're healthy families healthy. You know you get up each day and you focus on on on that fact And you know yeah you don't worry about the rest of the stuff you know and I I yeah I think it was good advice from someone who's successful and and you know fairly old now so we pot away it'll be it'll be alright I hope everybody is enjoying the podcasts. But preferably from their home or from a from six feet away from many a human outside the family We benefit obviously from your help in helping these guests on so we encourage you to hand over the patron dot com slash. Hew podcast where you can get set help For three dollars a month of your student. Five dollars a month if you are not a student where you get. Access to wear. Slacks channel in our side channel does very cool things including contributing to the Washington Post finding for the first time that the Iranians of the subject of this podcast shot down a Ukrainian civilian airliner. And some other stuff. I'm forgetting different. You remember what else that we are at this moment. Developing and open source resource to detect missile launches trial because with very technical in nature. It's GonNa work but it's awesome. It's it's service. Is this what we are? Seeing a collaborative spirit of a lot of cool people engage in the trading of cool information of because we all joy doing what we do at patron dot com slash podcast without an but Sanyo Jeff senior secretaries I've got about.

Iran United States JCP Jeffrey I JCP Parchin North Korea Atomic Archive Europe Rafael Grossi Iowa David Albright German Foreign Office European Council on Foreign Re Monterey California Rodman official Geoffrey Lewis
A Future for Arms Control?

Arms Control Wonk

32:12 min | 2 years ago

A Future for Arms Control?

"You are listening to the arms control Wong poject the eating podcast on central disarmament and on liberation. I'm Jeffrey Lewis, a scholar at the Middlebury institute of international studies at modera- Stein. A senior fellow at the Olympic councils were fee query center for the Middle East recently returned from the once caliphate Andalucia. You are in Spain? I was. That's where I've been for the past two and a half weeks. And then we could really figure out our schedules because I give classroom you slice enough eyeballs. I was drinking a lot of wine and eating a lot of pork, which if you know me is is my special place and I was very, very happy. Olives were really good too. I have always wanted to go to Spain. Ida friend just decide to like. Cough to Spain for like three years. He like kind of like had this like, okay, little life at it was a guy that I'm just gonna like ball it up and throw it in the trash, and just like move to Spain. And you know, like kind of cobbled together a living and I don't know that he's ever been happier than that every every time I go to Europe. I mean, the one time I tried to stay in Europe was when I went to this idyllic little village in Tuscany halt bond iovine Yanni, which nobody's ever heard of. But like a British friend of mine's mother decided to buy a land there and built a house very under the Tuscan sunny type process for her. And I went there and we stayed at this little bed and breakfast, and it's the only time I asked the bed-and-breakfast person if she would just keep me on as a handy person. She said, no. I tried pork and wine there too. Well, sadly we, we don't get this sit here today and discuss all those wonderful things we have about nuclear weapons. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah, we, we do and and really a total misunderstanding or incoherence from this current interational the US government about what to do about those weapons. As we look down the future of arms control. Yes. So for listeners, what we're thinking about this Cussing today is the situation with the new start treaty because we know the subject sort of came up at Helsinki at least in the most general way. And we know that there is discussion about extending the you start treating for five years. This point really the only functioning arms control agreement. You know they're making. At least the only functioning bilateral arms control agreement for controlling strategic arms. There's going to be meeting in October to discuss extending it. It seems like the topic did come up at Helsinki although no one knows what the hell happened in Helsinki and in order to figure out what the hell happened at Helsinki the the Senate actually doing its job. I mean, I, I mean, that is a compliment like thank you. Got the undersecretary for t- Andrea Thompson and the under secretary of defense for policy. David Trachtenberg over to Capitol Hill and ask them some questions. They really get any answers. But I think we've got enough for a podcast. Yeah, I think that's the place to store because for for for fans of the show in our regulars we talked about these star lot, and I'd say the way that we both describe it as the treaty that was agreed to in a hurry with the expectation that even though it would last for at least ten to fifteen years. It would be interim in quotes and really a threshold to more robust. I think discussions about even deeper cuts. I think that's what the Obama administration was going for, but then we got the Trump administration. Yeah, I actually think this is not really about trashing the piece of treaty, but but but it it's important in putting it in some context. You know where when the Obama administration took office, the start treaty was set to expire and the existing arms control agreement that that existed. It's terrible way to say that, but the Moscow treated, the Bush administration had negotiated relied on the start treaty verification. And so the Obama administration actually had to rush in its first year Juna Goshi eight and arms control agreement with the Russians to replace start basically to preserve as much of the. Verification mechanisms as possible. And as a consequence of that, the way that we looked at this debate was really kind of screwy because you know what Republicans had called for before the election when they thought they might win was a modest agreement. One that basically kept as much of the verification as possible and made really pretty trivial reductions in ofensive forces. And yes. And then of course it was a democrat, negotiating this agreement. And you know, like I mean, suddenly Republicans decided that they were like against it, you know? So eventually they did get the Republican votes, they needed, but it was. It was this weird thing that happened where the treaty got negotiate. It was negotiated and rush, and you know, the aims of the treaty were very. He lo and the resulting treaty was not very good, but like that wasn't really the problem like it wasn't that this was an amazing agreement. It was that this was an agreement that would hold us over. You know, it would preserve as much of the verification measures as possible and didn't really entail big reduction. So it should not have been controversial. It was supposed to be easy. It turned out to be the last arms control treaty. I think that we're ever going to get ratified, you know, and it it just it, you know, it is what it is. And so now as we've lived with it, we've started to see its flaws and by the way it's I mean, I was expressing frustration about this. You know the flaws that the treaty opponents pointed out were invented imaginary and the actual flaws of the agreement like no one got around to. Yeah, those flaws have come out, serving this broader discussion about the end of arms control what you've had before, but I think is, is worth worth, bring. Up again, because what you're saying here is you've second multiple times has this may be the last treaty on arms control we ever get or at least one that can survive pummeling in hyper partisan Senate. Yeah, it's very frustrating. If you go back and you read the. Opponents, you know, in in a functioning political system, you would have had the treaty in its opponents would have understood it, but instead of posing it for partisan reasons, they would have had kind of well developed theory about what was wrong with it, but like that didn't happen, right. What you had was just basically pretty shallow partisan criticism that was easily dismissed, you know, and and the treaty passed muster. But then there was no debate about the deeper underlying problems that the treaty wasn't able to deal with and how you would go about eventually fixing those. And by the way, I, you know, it's that's still true like the stupid framing from, you know, whatever. I guess it's almost ten years ago now. I guess it's eight, right? Yeah, we're getting pretty close why they're having these hearings. You know was that it was a gift to the Russians which is just. Absurd. You know, there's a, there's a new from the summer. You know, there's a new op Ed opposing I shouldn't say new, but there's not bad from this summer. Opposing the extension of new start will don't give Russia the gift of extending new start. It's like, you know, the treaty opponents. They're not doing their half, right. They're not. They're just sort of reflexively opposing it without really grappling with the challenges in the relationship that exist and and and like how we put into place arms control arrangement. It's which super frustrating to me because like Russia is on this like. You know, building spree of building all these crazy systems and there is like no serious, no serious discussion of using arms control to deal with like the intercontinental, the the nuclear powered intercontinental range cruise missile. You know, the doomsday torpedo all the crazy. The Russians are building. We're just kinda like shrugging our shoulders when you know like that's why arms control was supposed to exist to be clear, a lot of the criticisms that were out there about it and why in this partisan way that this was being called a gift to the Russians was that there was this assumption that the Russians were poor when no longer in the business of fielding systems. In fact, they were in the business of decommissioning systems on their own because they couldn't afford them. And therefore, why would the United States self limit? Because we're rich and they're poor in alternately, that has proved to be the main problem. I think we would. Both say of new start is that we have this this, this artificially high number on declared strategic delivery vehicles. Yeah, I'd say two things. I mean, one is that the the the force levels are too high, which both allows for the Russians to Merv the crap out of a bunch of systems, but also allowed them to violate the IMF treaty because all of their, I mean, everybody knows that this is like my hobby horse, nobody Washington cares. But I care one of the Russian ICBM's is actually an SS twenty clone and it is an I n f, it's an NF system and they're able to do it. The Russians are able to do it legally by counting it as nice under starting because the start numbers are so high. There's no penalty to them for doing that. But then I think the other thing is it just doesn't. It didn't account for like, oh, bunch of crazy long-range systems that we're now seeing developed. And I think like the nuclear powered cruise missile, which you know, I think it's having some problems and so it's not a system that's likely to be deployed anytime soon. I, oh, probably won't be effective anytime soon. Like that's the that the new star treat is best. I can tell really has no way of dealing with a system or capturing system like that. So it's like missing systems and numbers that are too high. Yeah. No, actually want to like get to that in a second, but I think it's important to them bring this back to the hearing because what the hearing demonstrated again, the Senate was doing its job. They were trying to get answers about what was discussed Helsinki because apparently I think from the Russian side, one of the bullet points in the bilateral Trump meeting was a future arms control. Was that this administration, at least from their public testimony doesn't seem to have settled on whether or not they should renew start. They should renew new stock. And I think that is ultimately even the we have some problem with the treaty. I don't think we should let it expire either because again, it's one of those things where where the purpose of arms control to use political ways to bind countries, even if the agreements aren't perfect is being lost amidst this hyper for almost running around the chicken with your heads cut off idea that you have to counter the Russians each way with aggression rather than I, I would call it smart diplomacy. Yeah. Well, I mean, I mean, there are a couple of things and you know, this is just gets my general frustration with Washington, right? Kasai like everybody is enthralled. This stupid escalate to de-escalate idea. So it's like people are super worked up about Russia's nuclear forces, but they're like worked up about an imaginary doctrine that doesn't exist while you know like the Russian doctrine that does exist, which is awful, you know, is developing the science fiction systems that are designed to defeat missile defenses. You know, and, and which will. I mean the phrase that John Steinbrenner used to use that James Acton. His picked up, which I think is is really the right phrase. They deepen that sense of entanglement where you have all these complex systems and you don't really understand how they interact. And so you have this system that is, you know, just arguably not stable, and so you know, like my complaint. Complain about the new start treaties is not that it's, you know, it's not the complaint of the opponent, which is that it's too much. It's that it's too little. You know, it was watered down too much to get the votes of the opponents, which I, I guess you have to do, but you know, it's not a, it's not a failure as a treaty because treaties bad. It's it's a failure as a treaty because opponents made it impossible to negotiate a good one. Yeah, yes. And the now the political space, and our debate is even limiting something as simple as renewing it for five years to give space to have serious discussions and thoughts about what the future of arms control should look like and how we would want to both sort of imposed top-down bilateral stability on what is highly tense relationship with the Russians in to where we would like to spend money on our own nuclear forces. Because that's the thing that always gets me is we're not well postured to play the Russian game because we want to spend money elsewhere. And so if you don't capture these systems that they're building and they don't have any top down restraints on where they're allocating money for new nuclear delivery vehicles, and they're either operating Grey's own within the treaty or outside the treaty entirely. We want to spend that same amount of dollars on conventional forces missile defenses, something along those lines and not on sort of new nuclear systems of that make sense by nuclear systems for these crazy wacky things like a like, a nuclear power cruise missiles. The stealth drone torpedo that just wanders around the oceans deliver radio-activity in ports. Why me now I hate to like a broken record by. Actually, you know what? I don't mind sounding like. But I think this comes down to missile defense yet. You know, the United States has been unwilling to negotiate the Bush administration withdrew from the treaty, which I think was the impetus for all these crazy Russian programs are set, and and then the United States has been unwilling to discuss limitations on missile defenses. And I just think, you know, it's not that complicated of problem. If you were the Russians, the entire bilateral arms control endeavor is worthless to you. If it doesn't constrain missile defenses, if it doesn't defenses than you don't want any of it. And I, I get the sense that you know, because of our own political problems, we've never been able to understand that like, you can't refuse to count half the systems. The whole premise of arms control was one of acceptance of mutual vulnerability and. If you aren't willing to discuss missile defense because you can, you can eventually build your way out of that Bulger ability. You incentivize the other side in this case, being the Russians. To explore ways to build their way out of the problem which is to ensure that the American side is vulnerable to their attack. Now they may be paranoid about that. They may be entirely worst case scenario wing, you know, for their own internal defense reasons. But there is an underlying logic that pushes his forward. And if you're unwilling as we move forward in this arms control process to grapple with that basic reality and not bring in missile defense, you're probably not going to get very far and you're going to be self limiting. Some of the really frustrating because I actually remember there was a an article written by someone I like, so I'll not allow only sub tweet it looking at the anniversary of the withdrawal from the ABM treaty. And you know the conversation was sort of like, well, you know, all the good stuff that the proponents of withdrawing hap- suggested would happen in terms of getting better defenses. Those didn't come true, but neither did the direst predictions of the people who said, withdrawing would undermine the arms control regime. And it was like, you know, I think it was like on the ten year anniversary or something. And so it was, you know, the implication was ten years was long enough to see the impacts of these things, and it really wasn't until this year that we, I really started to see how fundamental you know, the reorientation of strategic systems really has been. So it's. Just like we, I think we ended up dismissing the idea. You know, like people used to say the treaty was cornerstone of strategic stability and the Bush administration withdrew. We waited ten years and really all the was guys in fallen. So that must not have been true at, it's like, no, that was true. It's just the Bill hasn't come to yet. And like now now it's here. Yes. So let's talk about that Bill coming do. 'cause I think it's again, it's it's linked to the congressional testimony about the the inability to articulate a coherent future oriented agenda for arms control. The concurrent problems with arms control van that you mentioned the ABM. We have the Russian violation of the IMF, and then we have the press conference. You know, where Putin unveiled all these systems and you guys over at at your shop have been tracking the nuclear power cruise missile in had some cool work over on the NPR National Public Radio. Yeah, we'll. I mean, the thing that I wanna talk about a kind of want to end with the the open source stuff because I'm pretty an pretty excited about that. And that's like that's gonna like that's going to be my happy ending. That'll cheer us up, but you know, it does seem like in Helsinki there was some kind of discussion about the future of new start. I, I actually kind of think that you know in the same way that only Donald Trump is dumb enough to give Kim Jong gonna summit Don only Donald Trump may be dumb enough in popular enough among Republicans to like cut a deal on missile defense, you know? And I don't understand like like of all the things that like of all the ways in which Putin and make Trump do things like, why did he make him do this? Not least because I just wanna hear Republicans defend cutting silt and says. But you know, my my sense, what I understand is that while while Trump is open to extending new start, he wants to find some non Obama way of doing it. It's really about like the Iran deal. Donald Trump wants out of new start in the same for the same reason that you know he watched those two hookers you on the bed. It's about undoing Obama's legacy. He doesn't. He's actually happy to have an arms control agreement, but it has to be his arms control agreement and it has to be better again, if we end up in a place where he's willing to discuss missile defenses. You know, I mean. What bothers me is is it just doesn't seem like there's a coherent process that's overseeing this. I mean, there's something to be. Trying to be. Process, you send your to mean essentially middle management, you know, within the government bureaucracy in charge of arms control, your relatively senior people, and they're totally ill-equipped answer because I don't think the administration has figured out what it wants to do other than the fact that the the most important person in the country President Trump. Is willing to make deal, but he hasn't grappled with. All that with take what would necessarily have to be included released what the Russian demands would be. Well, you know, I just, I mean, I, it goes back to my fundamental concern that you know, you don't have. One of the two parties doesn't have a serious discussion about arms control, right? They have an ideological opposition. And so then when those people are in positions of governance, they just they aren't. I don't think they're really equipped and you know, like that's kind of nasty partisan comment. But you know, like the kind of flip side of that is true to like, it's not like I think the democratic negotiators on on new stunts fire. So you know, like I just, I just don't think that, you know, I just I'm not sure that the expertise, whereas the Russians I take it very seriously and there's continuity. And there are people who who do this over time and like they know what they're doing. I don't. I don't get the sense that that that we're quite as well equipped. Yeah, that that certainly seems to be the case within congress, and there was a lot of turnover from historical memory on that. You know, the congressional role in in in the approvals process for for arms control agreements, and even within the top levels of his of the executive because it's just something that it atrophied I would say this is one of your things that you say all the time is like during the peace dividend years right after the the Cold War is that that wasn't capitalized on Kosice sump Shen that things would always be good and therefore you can take that count on the road for more robust arms control because you could not foresee a return to an adversarial relationship. Let's talk about the good thing that good thing is the Russians trying to pick the cruise missile airframe off the bottom of the ocean. The good news is that like. They're struggling a little bit, and that's never good news which is suggest, never bad news. It's bad news that they're struggling, but it's, it's also struggling. I love it. It's it's good beds, throw money at this system like the whole thing. So absurd. It's like just waste money. I, I'm all for that. Why think they're still going to waste money? So for for listeners. And actually a lot of this stuff other people are doing in the open source. So we finally sites and then like they don't stay. They don't stay secret for long which is kind of a battle for us, like what we wanna like announce when we see people on Twitter, also finding the same sites, but Russia has this nuclear powered cruise missile under development, and we were able to geo locate the test site at Nevada's Emily. There's also by the way, a sister facility at Kapustin Yar where we think they don't do the nuclear part of the testing. But this summer we saw the Russians pack up. They took everything down. And we saw crate show up boats, take the crates away. And then we heard that the US intelligence community thought that the Russians were doing a recovery effort because of the types of ships that were involved. And indeed we used maritime tracking services to go watch. And you know the reports where they were three ships and you know, we found three ships, and one of them was a nuclear fuel carrier, which seems like the kind of thing that you use to bring back the the, the radioactive airframe. So you know, I mean, it was kind of interesting thing. I think some people say that, oh, the Russians are just packing up for the winner, which is not true because the four tests of the system were done over the winter. They were done between November and February. And so while it like novas Emily sucks to be at in the winner. I'm guessing that the Russians like doing it in the winner because it's harder for us to monitor that to say it's like the cloud cover, right well of clouds, not much light. For optical systems. So we actually worked with Airbus to put a synthetic aperture radar over that thing so that we could actually see through the clouds with no light, but sadly for us, but we call it was them packing up shop so they maybe they're moving it someplace else where where we have to find it all over again, maybe they're taking a break to go back to boost in Yar and and try to trouble shoot some of the problems. It's unclear, but you know the US intelligence community said that, you know all four of the tests were failures. The one that went, the furthest went into the drink. We were able to figure out the trajectory was going on, and we'd we'd read how far it went and like, yes, indeed, that would have been in the mouth of the straight. So I don't think that's a system that's ready for primetime which is kinda cool. Like watching them, like try to develop one of these systems. Yeah. I mean, that's a good way to frame it. It's like the open source tools allow to track progress. In ways that we used to have to read about leaks in the leaks, probably weren't always as forthcoming as we would have wanted them Danny well. And you know, one of the things I really like to do, and one of one of the reasons we have a firewall between us and the intelligence community is when NBC gets a story like that. And it's like, well, there are three ships involved like we can then go ahead on the open source side and look at the ASA tracking data and look at the satellite images. And confirm that like, yeah, that ships there. I mean, one of my favorite comparisons is we have a satellite image of one of the boats and then an AS ping and the AS ping is in the exact location of the boat. Eighteen minutes later. Oh, that's cool. Yes, you get this picture and then a few minutes later, the AIDS Ping's and it's like, yes, that's the boat. And I did an overlay and there's it's slightly misaligned, but like you can see that it's it's the boat in the same place in your the boats out there alone in the water. You know, it's the only boat there and it's a s paying, which I thought those pretty cool. So that was fun. You know? And it's nice to because grace Lou and an an Pellegrino you know, our our future, David, Melissa right are like rising stars did a ton of work on it and and did a bunch of the interviews for NPR. So I think it's kind of like where we're watching a whole new crew come along, which I'm excited about. That's cool. I mean, it's nice to cultivate new people to do really cool, interesting work particularly because we need more experts on this field. But when I think if I to to close this thing, I'll too. It's something that we've talked about before, but I think bears repeating is. It seems counter intuitive to self limit on the US as a means to place restraint on the Russians that are strategically advantageous. But I feel like it's it needs to be said, because as we grapple with what future of arms control should look like, it should be lower numbers. I mean, that's the both from humanitarian perspective and from a strategic perspective and the definition of strategic systems should no longer be based on the discussions. We had the nineteen eighties DOD mean, oh yeah. I mean, I, you know, I think. You know, I mean, we've had this conversation before, but when the US withdrew from the treaty and the Russians complained about it, the natural US impulse was to say like, we'll just build more missiles like you. This is no threat to you. You could just build more missiles, which is. So foolish. Because of course, the Russians wouldn't just build more missiles, like it bothered them more than that. They then undertook all these crazy systems. Right? And so the whole point is to get numbers down and to prevent all the lunatic ideas so that you've got a, you know what you really want to do is move to a situation where the two countries have mutually reinforcing minimum deterrence. You know that that that, that it is neither parties interest under any situation to initiate the use of nuclear weapons. And that requires eliminating all these crazy systems and bringing the numbers down. And at least to me the core piece of the only way that you can bring the numbers down and get rid of all the other crazy systems is to not have strategic defenses. Creating the requirement to overwhelm our or Pat shitty way of saying, right, if you if you have strategic defense as the other side has an incentive to overwhelm and then what you off on this path of high numbers and crazy types. That's right. And so this is this is a Russian position on at least it was on new start, at least future new start was linking offense and defense that has to be something has to be grappled with. Because as you just said, you know, without without a hard cap on missile defense, you incentivize the side to build more missiles. I mean, we talk about in the context of the Middle East, my bread butter all the time. You know, you put in more patriot put more Thad will built more missiles. You know, this is just the Russians build much nicer missiles than they read. Oldest there? Well, I mean, yeah. Well, stay tuned on that. We're, we're sitting on some rain developments that's. Yeah, that's kind of interesting. Yeah, that's a tease you know with that, you know, I think we're done here. Men. I'm done. All right, ITO in for. So if you are fan of the show, you probably already give to our patriot page, which is a patriot dot com slash AC w podcast where we are rolling out and have for the past. Mostly three weeks been doing shorter bite sized podcasts called brilliant pebbles, where we talk about relevant arms control and non-proliferation issues that catch our attention, but maybe don't merit a full thirty minute podcasts. On this latest episode. We talk about the latest, Ron missile tests and how it seems to be built around this idea that you have to beat theater or. You have to beat American is will defenses. So for those that don't give just hop on over the patriot dot com slash she'd be podcast and it's five dollars a month to get into our slack channel where we talk about a whole bunch of cool arms control things off your student. It's three dollars and you get access to our second podcast, brilliant, pebbles, Aaron. Yes, thanks for joining me to be back. And thank you for listening.

US Helsinki President Trump Russia Senate Spain Middle East Europe Obama Obama administration IMF Jeffrey Lewis NPR Yanni David Trachtenberg Wong
Nuclear Deals and Dealing with Nukes

FUTURE STATE

40:23 min | 2 years ago

Nuclear Deals and Dealing with Nukes

"Welcome to future state. I'm your host dick Clark. This is a podcast about our future, our future as a nation as a democracy as a people. In this period before the November elections will be talking to the real experts about some of the issues voters should be thinking about should be talking about before we've ocht. And one of those issues is nuclear weapons and nuclear weapons agreements and the threat to the United States of nuclear weapons in the hands of hostile nations and rogue states. Today we talk about dealing with nukes and nuclear deals. Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the international agreement that limited Iran's nuclear weapons development. And he is tried in the Goshi eight, a new nuclear weapons deal with North Korea after meeting for few hours with the North Korean dictator. In Singapore Trump declared that there is no longer a nuclear weapon threat to the United States from North Korea with us to talk about all of this is a diplomat who is talked with North Korea and the ran about nuclear weapons, not for a few hours, but for years today on future state, the former under secretary of state ambassador windy Sherman. She is the author of the new book not for the faint at heart. A book about the real world of high stakes diplomacy. So you've got this new book about negotiating and the going with the Iranians and then dealing with all sorts of international issues and has called not for the faint of heart. Why that title. That title because a both to negotiate as well as deal with national security and foreign policy issues is not for the faint of heart. It takes a lot of courage. It tapers girds personal courage. It takes persistence. It takes discipline in energy. A team stamina end as we've seen going from administration to administration, you may think that you've succeeded in one administration only have taken apart by the next and so you can't lose all hope you have to persist in your trunk. Do would you think are good deeds and the people in your own country attack you own? Indeed, personal, very, I think anyone who does a public service public policy should expect that they're going to get heavy criticism about something at some time, and you have to develop a, you have to listen to it and take on board what's true and accurate, but also have. Pretty thick skin and Daloa. Good. You and not let it get to you. And quite frankly, in Iran negotiation, I got criticized called all kinds of things by people. I have great respect for. So it was very tough, and I was very much taken to task by a Ron to the point that there were people on the streets of Ron sang, death, Wendy Sherman no easy things. Tenures go, you thought would happen? No, not not hard lines what you thought going to school and not something to joke about. It was serious and certainly unnerved. My family did a little better. So when you talk to young people who are thinking about going in, do public service in general detail them this, what I tell them about public services that there is nothing that I've ever done in my life. It is any more challenging. Anymore satisfying anymore. Extrordinary you have to bring everything. You've got to work every single day relondo longer every long, long day as you well know, dick, you think they're only twenty four hours in the day. It turns out there many more it appears. And so although I think there are many ways to give back to our country in the private sector in non-governmental organizations, there's nothing like working on behalf of your country, but still service detail, young people, the downsides to the personal attacks about the sure I think most young people know the hours are long periods low. The pay is low lower than you might get in the private sector for sure that they're often a lot of challenges that there's some days. You don't agree with what the president or the secretary of state want you to do do do it. Anyway, because they are the president is the only one who's been elected. And if you get to the point where you really can't share the values or the intention of the president of the United States, as many have done, certainly in this administration, you need to find another place to work through the. Let's let's talk about the Orion agreement and it's been criticized. We'll get into that in a minute, but I think people have to remember where we were before you started this before the United States reached out secretly through monies, and what was the what was the condition of US or any in relations around the nuclear issue? What could have happened because it didn't have to go this way. Go the gone, a different quite a different way. Iran in the United States have a long and fought and difficult relationship. Most Americans, if they think about it at all, they think about nineteen seventy nine. When the Iranian revolution it happened, the Shah was overthrown fifty. Two Americans were taken hostage for more than a year, and it created a situation where American simply did not trust Iran at all. But when most Americans don't know is that in nineteen fifty three, the United States, our intelligence community working with British intelligence overthrew the duly elected prime minister most day of Iran because we were worried he was going to nationalize the oil feel most Americans don't know that, but most renews do absolutely. They not only know that we overthrew their duly elected and democratically elected prime minister, but in the Iran Iraq war, which. Went on for twelve years and included Iraq using chemical weapons against the Iranians. We sided with Iraq. We gave a rocking tillage insz in indeed, we did many things that were helpful to Iraq and harmful to Iran. So there is no trust between the United States in Iran, I would say that was true all through the negotiation today. I think during the negotiation there was respect for each other's position, but trust will be very longtime in coming. If ever. So when you begin the process, the appeared to be building a nuclear weapon. Yes. Well, they hadn't made a decision to go for the nuclear weapon by they had made a decision to put elements in place that would give them that upper -tunities. Should they decide to take it on there were building ballistic missiles. They were building ballistic missiles. They don't have a long range ballistic missile that's capable of carrying a nuclear weapon to the best of our knowledge, but they certainly had learned how to enrich uranium. And had gone from the very small percentages of Richmond up to twenty percent in Richmond, and that progression is the toughest then getting to ninety, which will make it weapons grade so that you can use it in a nuclear weapon is much easier than getting to the first twenty percent quarterback goes faster that it gets faster. So they had really achieved that. And they were in the process of building a plutonium reactor so that they could have weapons grade plutonium as another pathway to fissile material for nuclear weapon, and our intelligence community most intelligence communities around the world assessed that Iran could break out meaning get enough fissile material for nuclear weapon in his little as two months. And there was a law to talk in the United States laws on Israel, but either Israel should bomb them or or we should absolutely remember during the. I Bohm campaign. We held her yogic meetings to track what was going on because we thought that might happen during the campaign. Yes, there is great concern throughout the Obama administration that Israel wanted to take military action and you know, on one hand, I certainly can well understand why that feels pretty satisfying to a lot of people you destroy their facilities, but the truth is even those who wanted to take military action understood that Iran would could not. You can't bomb away knowledge. They knew how to do what they knew how to do, and they would be able to recreate those facilities within two or three years, and they would likely do it underground and in secret, and that would make everything more difficult. So we'd have to go back every two or three years and try to find a way to bomb away the facilities once again, which liver of work. So you do this, reach out to them, you begin secret talks, but then a decision is made that these are not going. To be US, Iranian talks the gonna be multilateral and not just with our friends sitting around the table, but also Russian China. Actually, the multilateral cited is began before America, even got invested in it in the early two, thousands, the Europeans. That's why became a Great Britain, France, and Germany. Germany, not being permanent member of the Security Council began negotiations with Iran to try to deal with this issue of their potential for nuclear weapons, and it didn't get very far. And so the United Nations Security council puts him sanctions in place a, we started to get involved on the margins of it. And ultimately the UN Security Council decided that there should be a negotiation of all the permanent members of this treaty council that's known as the p five plus one, which is Germany a coordinated by the High Representative of the European. In union and that was put in a UN Security Council resolution and that set this multilateral negotiation on its path. And that when I became the under secretary in twenty eleven Bill burns had been my predecessor in. He had gone to those p five plus one meetings. They hadn't gotten very far they were getting more intensely underway. So as the political director of our country, which is what the under secretary for political fares is I got engaged in those negotiations and so in twenty eleven to twenty thirteen. Before there was a change in president in Iran, we ran around the world getting to know each other very well, but not accomplishing very much. So you have this negotiation with the allies on the one hand with the Russians in Chinese, on the other hand, and then the run an even before you have that negotiation with the LSU have negotiations inside the US. Government. So this is really multi-layered chess. Yes. I think people don't understand that when you do these things. I say this only half jokingly. I negotiated inside the administration. I negotiated with Capitol Hill. I negotiated with think tanks, NGOs who had particular views about how this should be done. I negotiated with each member of the p five plus one. I negotiated with Europeans group negotiated with Russia and China negotiated with Israel with all of the Gulf countries with other countries around the world who had interest in this. And then yes, occasionally negotiate with Ron the, meanwhile, the Iranians easier time of it, but they're still negotiating among themselves among themselves. Iran has real politics. I call them the hardliners in the hard hardliners because even though we remove model, there are no moderates in in any real terms that we speak of Ronnie is better than Medina Jadid. Was, but he is a conservative cleric. You have any visibility into their internal process. We had some visibility through all kinds of means. And you know, when you spend that much time with any country, you get to know them and understand a little bit of what they have to face internally and what they're doing. The Murther limits are and where their limits are, and they had limits end, they would always say to us our modulus, which is their version of our congress. Certainly not as some similarities wishing was very difficult or we could say back while, you know, we have our own politics, so we each have challenges. So eventually after years of this five ring, ten ring circus you get the. It gets almost everything you set out to get. Can you just remind us whether the key accomplishments of the tech you back one step you had started to go down this road? Dick. President Obama showed enormous courage as secretary Clinton in opening up the secret channel that you mention that Bill burns deputy secretary of state, and really the diplomats diplomat along with Jake Sullivan and very tiny team began secret negotiations to try to see if they couldn't get an interim agreement that would create the time and space to a full-fledged agreement and bring it into the multilateral space. And that began under Medina shot. And Ronnie was shocked to find out that such negotiation had been going on under the auspices of the Sultanov Oman. And that agreement which I joined in on towards the end of the development of it because I was going to bring it into the multilateral space, came into the multilateral space with some brackets and was a difficult moment because people understand text in the agreement that wasn't agree. Exactly. And you know, my partners when I let them know this was going on were not exactly shocked because the United States America is the United States of America, but they weren't too pleased either. It was difficult. Ultimate. 'cause you would be golden the gauche without. Exactly exactly. And the president made a very important decision which is that ambassador burns could say to them that the president would consider not agree to, but consider a very small limited enrichment program. If Iran would agree to very vigorous and intrusive. Inspection, monitoring and verification, and that statement opened the door to this negotiation. And quite frankly, our European allies were had been there for some time, and I had constantly said, no. So to get to your question, when we got this agreement, we extended the breakout time from two months to at least a year in the way that we reduce the number of centrifuges by ninety seven percent from about twenty thousand down to about five thousand. We reduced the twenty thousand nearly twenty thousand centrifuges spinning. We took it down to five thousand and only I are ones which are the least syndicate over ones. We reduce the stockpile to three hundred kilograms at any one time from from what you do. I don't remember off the top. My zipper said it's over. Ninety percents, ninety percent. They go. They got rid of lift the country left the country. I think probably ninety seven percent and you can't get enough fissile material out of that much enriched uranium and they could only enrich it to three point six, seven percent wanted or Notre ninety would not certainly not twenty and certainly not to nine so you can't get enough for a nuclear weapon out of that stockpile and out at that level of enrichment. This is the thing I think most people miss, they hit enriched a lot of nuclear material, huge amounts and they got rid of it. Yes, they shipped it out of the countries will take them years to get back to their once they start again, if they start again, yes, major. I obviously quite agree a. We also. Happened before, not in that way. No. And the Iraq a are not to be confused with the country, the Iraq reactor which they were building for plutonium for weapons grade plutonium. We got an agreement that they would take the laundry, which is the cylinder in the middle of it out and pour concrete into that so that they could not use it. And we offered a working with all of our partners. The Chinese actually taking some lead in this with the United States to build a lightwater reactor. That would be proliferation proof with safe again today Google the bomb on the like Sackler actor exactly huge service of accomplishments. And you said the agreement was that we would trade their ability to have small research reactor for very intrusive inspection s and the inspections are extrordinary. The International Atomic Energy agency has used technology at has not. Used elsewhere. They have is on everything that goes on, including for twenty five years uranium accountancy. And that means whatever they start with is watch throughout the process so that you know that nothing has been siphoned off onto a covert supply chain. But actually what comes out at the other end is a quivalent to what went in on the beginning. A couple of decades working on arms control and star to the nuclear talks. The European nuclear talks chemical weapons dogs. The biological weapons stocks. And always verification was the hard bit always and certainly with North Korea. That's always been the point where we could never get to come back, but Virk as the hard bit because you you're allowing foreigners or potential enemies into your country to wander around, inspecting your sensitive facilities, and you're able to get from Iran of all places better of verification than we ever got from the Soviet Union. Absolutely. And one provision that we got, which people really don't understand. There's been a lot of talk that the International Energy Agency can't get into military sites, and that's a problem. And the additional protocol which exists for the i. e. AOL over the world only allows you to negotiate with the country, and ultimately you have to agree to what the country will do in this case. However, there is a process. That can't take any longer than twenty eight days the end of which if the a group of countries that negotiated, this believes that there is sufficient evidence to get into a site Iran must give access during those twenty days. You're watching that sidewalk that Hong bad of course. Now, I think of as a as a geek about verification in other, I'd very many of us, but compliments to you and complimented team into the team to the team. And I would say on the verification measures secretary Ernie Monis Jim, Tim, be two people have been around this world for a very long time. The both earning agrarian line. MIT professor as well. A secretary veggie, Jim. TIMMY, the son of elmo's grease of all arms control, ending the last thirty years at the State Department. And yet critics of the agreement say, why didn't you get them to agree to stop subversion and terrorism? And you got to admit they're doing subversion the narrator and terrible things. Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria Palestine would completely agree. So here's why. First of all, Ron wouldn't agree to discuss those items in this negotiation of, but even if they had imagine what they might have said to us was, okay, we won't give. We won't have Hezballah said rockets across to Israel, but then we want more centrifuges or we want more. I are five's not just I are once a more sophisticated centrifuge. We would be negotiating against ourselves and we had all agreed in the international community that the most important thing was to make sure that Iran could not obtain a nuclear weapon because as bad as their activities are in the region we can do with them, we can deal with them. And if it had a nuclear weapon, they would be able to project such deterrent power, trenches change the whole game. And the other thing I would say is that we were very clear with Iran throughout this negotiation that all the sanctions. That apply to their nefarious activities in the Middle East as well as human rights, weapons sales round the world, although sanctions we're going to stay on the only sanctions that would come off for those specific on for the nuclear indeed, indeed. And so, no, you got this grim, which I think is a major accomplishment. The Trump administration has ripped it up. Walked away without any obvious game plan for what comes next. They renting's trying to keep it in playing all the other signatories at trying to keep it in play. Doesn't look to me like that last very long, very hard to do a by November beginning of November. The oil embargo will be back in place the US the US oil embargo US secondary sanctions will be in place. So that's, that's key. So explain explain the people because I don't think there's a lot of understanding about the. So what that means is if a company does business with the central Bank of Iran will say a German company, right? They can't do business with American banks. And quite frankly, all of the big companies have already left Iran, other totals the run knows Siemens. So too tall is the big French oil, bright, and they were gonna develop a whole field there. And because the American said, if you do that, you can't clear your money through the American Bank ever right? On any deal anywhere the American market marked them obviously than the Iranian market, then they'll be true for almost everybody except the Chinese. Yes. Now what Europe has been trying to do and I don't know whether they'll be able to do it. I think it's very big challenge is to help small and medium enterprise through European financing of some sort to keep the investments going. And Iran understands that if they pull out of the deal in some measure, then President Trump wins. And so they know the stakes are very high for them. But at the end of the day, they have their own internal politics and it just may not be sustained in Lewer factions in the run that didn't like this deal. No, the Islamic revolutionary guard corps very influential Fuller's extremely and the quits force, which is part of it. Never wanted this deal. They had control of the black market when all of the sanctions were in place, and they thought that was just terrific. They made millions Ronnie's been trying to pull things back into the regular economy with some difficulty. So the i. r. will be very happy if it all falls apart. It may and it may already. Will you see some discussion about restarting starting some of the nuclear research program? Yes, indeed. And I think you know, a Ron is saying some of these things to get everybody's attention. I think the administration somehow believes they can show they stand on the side of the Iranian people and get the Iranian people to create regime change a, quite frankly, if we thought we would be able to wait around until there was a difference kind of governance structure in Iran, we would have done that, but it was nowhere in sight those remarkable regime because we always used to be taught in revolution class, the crane Birthler, whoever it was the wrote, the book on revolutions that there's a period in the revolution called thermidor, which is usually ten years out after the revolution starts wherever these kind of cools off becomes normal becomes moderate. That just hasn't. Happened there? Well, I think what has happened is it's very interesting that in spite of all of this difficulty Iran is a more modern country in some ways, a certainly their economy, they have a very literate population. They have not just a consumer class, but a middle class, they trade around the world in spite of all of the sanctions that have been on all these years. So they have, even though they have internal problems to be sure that you get to go there. I have never been there. I couldn't go there once I was a an official and when I was in fischel in the Clint ministration I was too high to go as well. I was posted at one point when I was a private citizen, but my mother passed away and I had to cancel the trip and I hope someday I can go. I can't go right now. It'd be, I think not appropriate and too risky Americans. Unfortunately. Certainly dual American Iranians face possibly being detained in Evan prison, and that's not something I'd like them nine resume. So you get the picture? Perfect. I think arms control agreement and Trump ribs it up. And then remarkably, he tries to do it again, but with Correa the huge difference there because the Koreans have nuclear. Indeed, the getting changes in North Korea are much much more difficult quite difficult, more difficult regime, more difficult, political military situation. And they have here estimates of forty to sixty nuclear weapons. Those mother how many they have a lot and they, they have missiles, including long-range missiles and claimed missiles that could strike the United States and our allies. Yes. Why is in your mind hard? Imagine what's trumps mind, but why do you one you think he believes he can get in the Grumman there that's better than what you got. Whether on. What comes to mind is hubris you? I think he thinks that he's able to do things that no one else can do. He certainly tells us that all of the time he's even offered now to sit down with the president of Iran and get a really good negotiation going will. What will. Will that will do in Singapore Kareem indeed. And I don't know why he thinks he can pull this off with North Korea. It is much more difficult of North Koreans are brilliant, dragging their feet. They have what they want. They Kim Jong UN got international recognition, legitimization South Korea has a dialogue with them now and South Korea wants dialogue, not war. The Chinese certainly don't want war. So everyone is very happy with where things are, except, of course, the United States of America. I think Japan's not too happy either. You did make it to North Korea? I have made it to North Korea twice actually where we without look well, I'm sure it's changed even more now, but Pyongyang the capital city. So to speak is quite beautiful in some ways because there were the comes to mind when I know, but they have built up. Parks and monuments. They've made it sort of Potemkin city. There are whole apartment buildings filled with no one. Lots of cranes that probably haven't moved in ten years. They have monuments everywhere. At the time I went to Kim Jong Il Kim Jong UN's father and Kim. Oh, sung the founder of quote, unquote modern North Korea after the Korean war, and I'm sure they're more monuments now. So it's a very strange place to be. There's never enough electricity. There's never enough hot water. If you look at a satellite map of North Korea, you see some lights round Pyongyang and virtually no light at night anywhere else near the hill enough money of talent to build nuclear weapons. Yes, with some help from others, including the Russians including Pakistan, as we know much of what has happened around the world around nuclear weapons. Was fueled by Pakistan and their movement to get nuclear weapons and spread them everywhere. All the while we were paying the Pakistan is indeed mister, et Yukon may be a hero in Pakistan, but for the safety and security of the world emit much much worse that we talked about verification with a run. Can you imagine the verification difficulty with earth grew? Yes. I think we won't know that North Korea's serious unlooked till they declare what they have. And even that declaration will probably not be everything. They've got North Korea's a very mountainous region. They undoubtedly have a lot of things hidden in those mountains. There musters building tunnels masters at so we may never know. But we don't even have a baseline declaration that they're willing to give to anyone. So they could go in and say, no, with sixty nuclear weapons. We have twenty the and Joe they are and you can have them, we'll get rid of them. And meanwhile, they're, they're moving weapons and decays and we don't even though where the caves are. Indeed, and they have a lot of mobile launchers. So it's not even as if you can just look at the test sites that are fixed for missiles and figure, you know what's going on, you don't. So remarkably more difficult what happens when Trump wakes up, and he realizes he's been had by the North Koreans, and he realizes that everybody else knows it too. Well, there may be some of that already in the sense that there certainly have been reports that he's not very happy about how things are going, but I think he is invested so much in the narrative that things are going well. It will take a while and you know, he's gone from saying, I'm gonna get this done in a day to, I'm gonna get this done in a year or resorted Binda or it's already been done to. This is a process and it will take whatever time it takes. So I think in his view, it's gonna be a long time before he would confront. The fact it's gone nowhere. So he might just declare victory because they're not doing any more tests. Yes. And quite end to be fair, not testing is a good thing, but they already have what they need to have. And so no one should take much comfort in the fact that they're not testing Bill. There were those of us who said, you'd never get an agreement with North Korea to be nuclear rods, and therefore what you should hope for is no new testing and just lived with the fact that they have what they have. And all Trump people. Now that was a terrible outcome. That's the outcome they got so far. I don't see it changing. I think you're gonna find it very tough to do. And you know a lot of a lot of his reputation, secretary Pompey's reputation is riding on this. I think he understands how serious this is, how engaged he will have to be. But one of the things that I hope you understand is to do these very complex negotiations. You need a really good team that has technical experts on it. Lawyers, glor- people who understand the culture, people who are linguists on the Iran team Allen air an American and the Farsi spokesperson for the State Department all day. His job when we were negotiating was to read Ronnie in press and tell me what was being said in the Iranian press and what was being. For shattered in the Ronnie impressing explain cultural references for me and for the team it, it takes a lot of people to do this. And even though we had a core team for the Iran negotiated negotiation of about fifteen, we had a secretary of state who put a staggering amount of time into this credible Junqueira, right. This would not have happened without John Kerry. This wouldn't have happened without earning Monis. This would not have happened with Brock without Brock Obama President Obama knew every detail of this agreement. So if we had videoconferences secure videoconference middle of the night, he knew the questions to ask. You know what his right and left margins were, this tastes and the new. The technical details reactors were absolutely. And we had literally hundreds of people in the United States government who were involved in this. And we also prepared the theater where we're our military forces of the president commissioned a weapon that could penetrate underground. In Iran to say to the Iranians, we can get your facilities. So there's a lot of work that goes into this and I don't see that happening for North Korea, but it needs to. So we talked about one of those experts. All of those people you never see the face of Jim Tim be who has worked in the State Department. I think for thirty, he's actually worked in the state. He's retired now. He worked for forty five forty five years on arms control. I had the pleasure of working with him when I was in the system secretary, you were under secretary of state, and you have all these experts in the department in the intelligence bureau and various bureaus. And a lot of them have left in in frustration. And it bothers me the. To see the State Department that I loved and Morton damaged in that way. The bothers me for the country because I don't think he can recreate overnight that capability. Well, now he did some of them leave in frustration, but many of them were pushed out because senior foreign service officers weren't given onward assignment. They were told they could go to the foia office and help pull documents fruit of information, right freedom of information act, but not do anything for real, and some of them were actually told to just pack up their things and be gone with two days notice. So you'll the career office even they were career officers? It was. It was quite extraordinary, and I also know from those were teaching folks in schools of foreign service that young people aren't as enthusiastic about joining the foreign service. And so we've lost John the jets how we've lost a lot of the senior talent, and we're not getting the new recruits and. That will have a multiple year impact on our capabilities. Now, I think secretary pump peyot has said he is committed to changing some of that shingle. I haven't seen a lot of it yet, but I hope that is the case and they've nominated David Hale to become the under secretary for political fares. He is a very season, very professional, very capable, senior foreign service officer, and that was a good sign. So under secretary of state for political, I sounds like you work with Republicans is nothing to do with it was actually the only under secretary of state for the longest time. It's the policy person? Yes. It's also the person who's extensively supervises all the regional assistant secretaries and of the assistant secretary for international affairs. So bays, everything went through everything. And even though I did the Iran negotiation, which I'm very grateful for that. That privilege and for that opportunity, other worry about it. I went to in the four years. I was under secretary, went to fifty four different countries. Many of the multiple times. It's a great job. It's a challenging job. And if people out there are thinking about what kind of career do I have this too will pass. Yes, I, I want to salute you for bringing this up dick and one urge everybody who's listening to please, please, please consider a career in far in not only the foreign service, but in civil service and in government service at the local level at the state level at the federal level, particularly if you aren't in a senior position, I say, come now because you're going to be able to good do good things and make contributions at the senior levels. As you say this too shall pass, and they'll be tremendous opportunity so get now, but it's not for the faint of heart. It is not for the faint of heart combo slur when Sherman former under secretary of state. Thank you so much. Thank you. Okay. Thanks for listening today. If you enjoy today's discussion, please take a minute to write us on the apple podcasts site or wherever you get your downloads for upcoming schedule and additional information go to our website at future state podcast dot com. Next time we'll be talking with the original Madam, secretary, former secretary of State, Madeleine, Albright, and specifically about her concern about the resurgence of fascism around the world next time. Do we have to worry about the rise of fascism future state is produced by cadence. Thirteen. Ethan will be executive producer, Tyler pedagogue, assistant producer. Michael Sheehan and common sauce did. I mean, it's breaking news breaking into breaking news. So I think we need a break from political talk, although we'll come back to it. We need a change of pace and entertainment intermission like seventh inning stretch ballgame, and I'll be hosting it. 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