Posts Tagged nuclear weapons

WaPo: Printed Guns Will Lead To Printed Nukes

From The Washington Post:

The ability to “print” or manufacture guns privately will allow individuals to bypass background checks, the primary way that guns are regulated today. And that challenge will expand exponentially as the technology advances, one day enabling individuals to print chemical, biological and nuclear weapons of mass destruction at home.

The threat of privately printed weapons will soon grow beyond the lethal handguns now in circulation. As we argue in research forthcoming in the October issue of the Journal of Policing, Intelligence and Counter Terrorism, considering expected advances in the technologies, terrorist groups will threaten nations with 3-D printed chemical, biological and nuclear weapons within a couple of decades.

 

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Allen West on Iran Deal

Former Congressman Allen West:

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Shoebat: ISIS Will Take Over Pakistan

From Walid Shoebat:

ISIS now has camped in Pakistan and all across Pakistan, the black standard of the Islamic State has been popping up all over from urban slums to Taliban strongholds, the ISIS logo and name have appeared in graffiti, posters and pamphlets and a cluster of militant commanders in Pakistan declared their allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the caliph of the Islamic State as ISIS presence there increases by the day. But the one trillion dollar question is will the world leaders secure Pakistan’s nuclear weapons from falling into the hands of ISIS? It doesn’t look like it and the prospects of ISIS gaining nuclear bombs are very likely as the news from Pakistan reveals.

 

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Israelis, Saudis and the Iranian Agreement

Israelis, Saudis and the Iranian Agreement is republished with permission of Stratfor.”

By George Friedman

A deal between Iran and the P-5+1 (the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany) was reached Saturday night. The Iranians agreed to certain limitations on their nuclear program while the P-5+1 agreed to remove certain economic sanctions. The next negotiation, scheduled for six months from now depending on both sides’ adherence to the current agreement, will seek a more permanent resolution. The key players in this were the United States and Iran. The mere fact that the U.S. secretary of state would meet openly with the Iranian foreign minister would have been difficult to imagine a few months ago, and unthinkable at the beginning of the Islamic republic.

The U.S. goal is to eliminate Iran’s nuclear weapons before they are built, without the United States having to take military action to eliminate them. While it is commonly assumed that the United States could eliminate the Iranian nuclear program at will with airstrikes, as with most military actions, doing so would be more difficult and riskier than it might appear at first glance. The United States in effect has now traded a risky and unpredictable air campaign for some controls over the Iranian nuclear program.  Read the rest of this entry »

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General in Charge of Nuclear Missiles Relieved

From Talking Points Memo:

Maj. Gen. Michael Carey is being removed from command of the 20th Air Force, which is responsible for three wings of intercontinental ballistic missiles — a total of 450 missiles at three bases across the country.

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U.S. and Iranian Realities

U.S. and Iranian Realities is republished with permission of Stratfor.”

By George Friedman

U.S. President Barack Obama called Iranian President Hassan Rouhani last week in the first such conversation in the 34 years since the establishment of the Islamic Republic. The phone call followed tweets and public statements on both sides indicating a willingness to talk. Though far from an accommodation between the two countries, there are reasons to take this opening seriously — not only because it is occurring at such a high level, but also because there is now a geopolitical logic to these moves. Many things could go wrong, and given that this is the Middle East, the odds of failure are high. But Iran is weak and the United States is avoiding conflict, and there are worse bases for a deal. Read the rest of this entry »

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Considering a Departure in North Korea’s Strategy

Considering a Departure in North Korea’s Strategy is republished with permission of Stratfor.”

By George Friedman
Founder and Chairman

On Jan. 29, I wrote a piece that described North Korea’s strategy as a combination of ferocious, weak and crazy. In the weeks since then, three events have exemplified each facet of that strategy. Pyongyang showed its ferocity Feb. 12, when it detonated a nuclear device underground. The country’s only significant ally, China, voted against Pyongyang in the U.N. Security Council on March 7, demonstrating North Korea’s weakness. Finally, Pyongyang announced it would suspend the armistice that ended the Korean War in 1953, implying that that war would resume and that U.S. cities would be turned into “seas of fire.” To me, that fulfills the crazy element.

My argument was that the three tenets — ferocity, weakness and insanity — form a coherent strategy. North Korea’s primary goal is regime preservation. Demonstrating ferocity — appearing to be close to being nuclear capable — makes other countries cautious. Weakness, such as being completely isolated from the world generally and from China particularly, prevents other countries from taking drastic action if they believe North Korea will soon fall. The pretense of insanity — threatening to attack the United States, for example — makes North Korea appear completely unpredictable, forcing everyone to be cautious. The three work together to limit the actions of other nations. Read the rest of this entry »

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New Sanctions For North Korea

From Sky News:

A resolution passed by the 15-member body added three new individuals and two entities to the UN sanctions blacklist.

It also tightened restrictions on the North’s financial dealings, including “bulk cash” transfers, linked to its weapons programmes.

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U.S.-Iranian Dialogue in Obama’s Second Term

U.S.-Iranian Dialogue in Obama’s Second Term is republished with permission of Stratfor.”

By Reva Bhalla
Vice President of Global Affairs

As U.S. President Barack Obama’s second-term foreign policy team begins to take shape, Iran remains unfinished business for the U.S. administration. The diplomatic malaise surrounding this issue over the past decade has taken its toll on Washington and Tehran. Even as the United States and Iran are putting out feelers for another round of negotiations, expectations for any breakthrough understandably remain low. Still, there has been enough movement over the past week to warrant a closer look at this long-standing diplomatic impasse.

At the Munich Security Conference held Feb. 1-3, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said the United States would be willing to hold direct talks with Iran under the right conditions. Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi responded positively to the offer but warned that Iran would not commit unless Washington shows a “fair and real” intention to resolve the issues dividing the two sides. Read the rest of this entry »

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Israeli President Pressuring U.S. to Strike Iran

From Business Insider:

Netanyahu said that Israel was simply not strong enough to force a halt to Iran’s nuclear enrichment program. In order to halt the program, Bibi said, the U.S. would have to strike, and they must do so this year.

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Ferocious, Weak and Crazy: The North Korean Strategy

Ferocious, Weak and Crazy: The North Korean Strategy is republished with permission of Stratfor.”

By George Friedman
Founder and Chairman

North Korea’s state-run media reported Sunday that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has ordered the country’s top security officials to take “substantial and high-profile important state measures,” which has been widely interpreted to mean that North Korea is planning its third nuclear test. Kim said the orders were retaliation for the U.S.-led push to tighten U.N. sanctions on Pyongyang following North Korea’s missile test in October. A few days before Kim’s statement emerged, the North Koreans said future tests would target the United States, which North Korea regards as its key adversary along with Washington’s tool, South Korea.

North Korea has been using the threat of tests and the tests themselves as weapons against its neighbors and the United States for years. On the surface, threatening to test weapons does not appear particularly sensible. If the test fails, you look weak. If it succeeds, you look dangerous without actually having a deliverable weapon. And the closer you come to having a weapon, the more likely someone is to attack you so you don’t succeed in actually getting one. Developing a weapon in absolute secret would seem to make more sense. When the weapon is ready, you display it, and you have something solid to threaten enemies with. Read the rest of this entry »

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War and Bluff: Iran, Israel and the United States

War and Bluff: Iran, Israel and the United States is republished with permission of Stratfor.”

By George Friedman

For the past several months, the Israelis have been threatening to attack Iranian nuclear sites as the United States has pursued a complex policy of avoiding complete opposition to such strikes while making clear it doesn’t feel such strikes are necessary. At the same time, the United States has carried out maneuvers meant to demonstrate its ability to prevent the Iranian counter to an attack — namely blocking the Strait of Hormuz. While these maneuvers were under way, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said no “redline” exists that once crossed by Iran would compel an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities. The Israeli government has long contended that Tehran eventually will reach the point where it will be too costly for outsiders to stop the Iranian nuclear program.

The Israeli and American positions are intimately connected, but the precise nature of the connection is less clear. Israel publicly casts itself as eager to strike Iran but restrained by the United States, though unable to guarantee it will respect American wishes if Israel sees an existential threat emanating from Iran. The United States publicly decries Iran as a threat to Israel and to other countries in the region, particularly Saudi Arabia, but expresses reservations about military action out of fears that Iran would respond to a strike by destabilizing the region and because it does not believe the Iranian nuclear program is as advanced as the Israelis say it is. Read the rest of this entry »

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Persian Incursion War Game

Defense Media Network reports on a war game that involves an Israeli attack on Iran.

In the summer of 2010, Clash of Arms published a wargame that I, along with Chris Carlson and Jeff Dougherty, had designed. A political-military simulation, Persian Incursion explored the consequences of an Israeli military campaign to stop Iran’s nuclear weapons development program.

 

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Iran and the Strait of Hormuz, Part 1: A Strategy of Deterrence

This report is republished with permission of STRATFOR

 

Editor’s Note: Though this article was originally published in October 2009, the ongoing debate over Iran’s capabilities and intentions gives lasting relevance to the analysis within. Media reports continue to focus on efforts to disrupt Tehran’s efforts to construct nuclear weapons, but the international community has a much greater strategic interest in ensuring the flow of oil through the Iranian-controlled Strait of Hormuz.

It has often been said that Iran’s “real nuclear option” is its ability to close — or at least try to close — the Strait of Hormuz, which facilitates the movement of 90 percent of the Persian Gulf’s oil exports (40 percent of the global seaborne oil trade) as well as all of the gulf’s liquefied natural gas exports. At a time when the world is crawling back from the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, this is a serious threat and warrants close examination.

Iran actually has a broad range of military options for lashing out at energy exports in the strait, and this is not a new development. Almost since the founding days of the Islamic republic, Iran has been exercising military force in the Persian Gulf, starting with attacks against Iraqi tankers (and Kuwaiti tankers carrying Iraqi oil) during the Iran-Iraq War in the 1980s. But in all this time, Iran has never exercised the full measure of its capability to close the Strait of Hormuz to maritime commerce — if indeed it has that capability. Although Iran has an array of options for limited strikes, our interests here are the dynamics of an all-out effort. Read the rest of this entry »

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U.N. Report On Iran

From The New York Times:

The report, buttressed by evidence not previously disclosed, concluded that Iran had been secretly engaged in behaviors that suggested that it was seeking to construct a nuclear weapon. The report also asserted that Iran might be researching ways to deliver a nuclear weapon by means of a missile warhead. It was the first time that the agency, an arm of the United Nations, had made such assertions.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran led the verbal assault on the report, saying it had been orchestrated by Iran’s enemies, principally the United States, which he said had dictated the report’s findings.

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