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Arms Control Wonk
18 minutes | 3 days ago
Israeli Rocket Motor Test
On April 20, an Israeli twitter user posted a video of a large smoky cloud to his Twitter account with the comment “A mysterious explosion in northern Israel.” Jeffrey and his team tracked down the "mysterious explosion," identifying it as a solid rocket motor test for an unknown missile or space system. Aaron and Jeffrey walk through the team's methodology, how they found the site, how they identified that it was a rocket motor, and how CNS's knowledgebase of missile industrial facilities assists in rapidly disproving disinformation. https://www.armscontrolwonk.com/archive/1211676/israeli-rocket-motor-test/ Support us over at Patreon.com/acwpodcast!
43 minutes | a month ago
A Tale of Two Launches
North Korea has been active the past few weeks, launching a set of cruise missiles (probably just coastal defense systems) and a separate set of ballistic missiles (which look like stretched KN23 short-range ballistic missiles) a few days later. But these events were received very differently by the Biden administration and analysts. Jeffrey, Aaron, and Scott discuss why these events were received so differently, what the deal is with North Korea's newest short-range ballistic missile system, and what the Biden administration may be getting itself into with its denuclearization policy. Support us over at Patreon.com/acwpodcast! Please note that any views expressed on the Arms Control Wonk Podcast are the views of individual hosts, and do not represent the views of hosts' respective employers.
32 minutes | 2 months ago
Making the Easy Stuff Hard: Re-joining the JCPOA
Biden campaigned on rejoining the JCPOA, but some of that enthusiasm has dried up since he took office. Aaron and Jeffrey debate what's going on, strategies for negotiating re-joining the JCPOA, and the fallacy of letting the perfect get in the way of the good as people begin to advocate for "waiting for a better deal" again. Also, it is a good time to start listening to Season Two of The Deal, available at IranDealPodcast.com and Apple Podcasts. Support us over at Patreon.com/acwpodcast!
33 minutes | 2 months ago
New START and the Future of Arms Control
President Biden has extended New START for five more years. But what are we going to do with those years? How to we actually advance stability? Aaron and Jeffrey talk about the steps necessary to secure stable, effective arms control treaties, the history of arms control, and the importance of tacking missile defenses alongside offensive systems. Support us over at Patreon.com/acwpodcast!
30 minutes | 3 months ago
Iran's New Space Launcher: Zoljanah
Iran unveiled a new (mostly) solid-propellant space launcher, the Zoljanah! But it looks....different than the other space launchers. Besides having a new fuel type, the Zoljanah may not have many IRGC or military fingerprints on it, indicating that the Iranian solid-propellant programs are robust and expansive. Jeffrey and Aaron talk Iranian space programs, civilian vs. military control of research programs, and, of course, why a solid-propellant launcher makes a difference. Support us over at Patreon.com/acwpodcast!
40 minutes | 3 months ago
Unravelling the Israeli Ballistic Missile Program
Israel maintains a technologically advanced but understudied ballistic missile arsenal. Jeffrey and Aaron dive into the French, South African, and American influences on the arsenal, how to model the Jericho missile families, and the history of the Israeli ballistic missile program. Support us over at Patreon.com/acwpodcast!
43 minutes | 3 months ago
North Korea's Next Nukes
North Korea put on *another* parade, during the 8th Congress of the Workers' Party of Korea. Kim Jong Un dropped some fascinating details about what the DPRK has allegedly completed, and what they may be working on, including a possible nuclear submarine and intermediate-range cruise missile. Then, he paraded some new missile hardware, including a new solid-fuel SLBM and some new short range systems. And, to top it off, Jeffrey and Dave Schmerler found that the SLBM-test platform in Nampho harbor has been moved for a possible refurb, meaning SLBM tests may be possible in the near future. Jeffrey and Scott try to parse out what the North Koreans have built, what they showed us at the parade, and what is to come this year. For our episode on the gigantic new as-of-yet-unnamed ICBM (nicknamed the Hwasong-16 or the Hwasong-X), click here. For our episode on the October 2020 Military Parade in North Korea, click here. Support us over at Patreon.com/acwpodcast! Please note that any views expressed on the Arms Control Wonk Podcast are the views of individual hosts, and do not represent the views of hosts' respective employers.
53 minutes | 4 months ago
Fancy Ass SWERVE
On Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019, at 8:30 a.m. Pacific Time, the U.S. Air Force, in partnership with the Strategic Capabilities Office, conducted a flight test of a prototype conventionally-configured ground-launched ballistic missile from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. But just what the heck did the DOD actually test? Jeffrey and team turn their analytic methods towards figuring out exactly what this strange, Frankenmissile was, and the open-source research lessons that can be gleaned from academic papers and unclassified laboratory newsletters. And yes, we know it is actually Frankenstein's Missile, Frankenstein was actually the prime contractor. Support us over at Patreon.com/acwpodcast!
24 minutes | 4 months ago
The Donald and The Nuclear 7: Parting Shots
Nancy Pelosi has indicated that Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has assured her that there are safeguards against an "unstable president" accessing "the launch codes" and launching a nuclear strike. Jeffrey and Aaron discuss why that is wrong (and/or illegal), what the actual launch process is, and what the political strategy behind Nancy Pelosi's message may be. Previous Entries in The Donald and The Nuclear series on executive power and nuclear weapons: The Donald, The Nuclear, and No First Use 2 Donald 2 Nuclear The Donald and The Nuclear 3: Tokyo Drift The Donald and The Nuclear Goblet of Fire (And Fury) The Donald and The Nuclear V: The Senate Strikes Back The Donald and The Nuclear VI: Pushin' My Buttons Support us over at Patreon.com/acwpodcast!
48 minutes | 4 months ago
North Korea's Biggest ICBM Yet
Jeffrey and crew have been busy at work modelling the giant ICBM that the DPRK paraded in October 2020, as well as tracing out its possible industrial provenance. Aaron and Jeffrey talk through modelling methodologies, North Korean industrial espionage, and how to build robust public policies to account for uncertainty. For our episode on the October 2020 Military Parade in North Korea, click here. Support us over at Patreon.com/acwpodcast!
39 minutes | 4 months ago
New Year, New START, New Facilities in Iran
At the end of this awful year, Jeffrey and Aaron talk about the future of arms control, the future of analytics, and the future of the pod. 2021 will have a lot going on: New START expiration or extension, new facilities in Iran, figuring out what the heck the North Koreans are doing, what's going on with anti-satellite missiles, and more. Head over to the Arms Control Wonk slack channel to voice your opinion on what topics we should prioritize, because we have a lot of them and not everything's getting covered! Support us over at Patreon.com/acwpodcast!
32 minutes | 5 months ago
Jeffrey and Aaron share stories about the life of Dennis Gormley, renowned proliferation scholar and celebrated professor. Dennis's work on cruise missile proliferation, tacit knowledge, and industrial expertise was foundational to the field of proliferation studies, and he was a caring, dedicated educator. Dennis was a good friend and mentor, and is greatly missed.
42 minutes | 7 months ago
The 2020 North Korean Military Parade
On 10/10/2020, the 75th Anniversary of the Founding of the Worker's Party of Korea, the DPRK showed of a lot of missiles. Again. In addition to all the stuff they've been testing over the last two years, they introduced a new, oddly shaped solid-propellent missile, the Pukguksong-4, and what appears to be the largest TEL-based liquid propellant ICBM in history. Kim Jong Un gave the clearest declaration of DPRK nuclear policy to date. Jeffrey, Anne, and Scott sit down for Anne's last official episode and talk about what we saw, what that it means for North Korea's nuclear posture, and what the DPRK's nuclear policy and strategy actually is. Support us over at Patreon.com/acwpodcast!
45 minutes | 7 months ago
Saving the World with Datayo
Melissa Hanham, director of Datayo and Deputy Director of the Open Nuclear Network, joins Jeffrey and Scott to talk about Datayo, a project aimed at reducing nuclear risks and fostering a transparent, collaborative, and high-quality analytic information environment. Scott fawns over Datayo's video annotation capabilities for military hardware tracking, and Melissa talks about how much bandwidth Jeffrey's satellite imagery habits actually eat up. Everybody competes to correctly do the podcast's outro. Go check out Datayo! Support us over at Patreon.com/acwpodcast!
33 minutes | 7 months ago
Now that a few episodes have dropped, Anne and Jeffrey talk about Jeffrey's new project, The Deal. Jeffrey chronicles how researchers like Corey Hinderstein chased down data before satellite imagery was so easily available, Wendy Sherman's incredible memory for names, and just how many BBs Jeffrey has in his car. The Deal tells the story of the Iran nuclear deal: how it came together, how it fell apart, and what that means for the rest of us. Hosted by Dr. Jeffrey Lewis, director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. He tweets @armscontrolwonk. Learn more at http://IranDealPodcast.com and listen in at Apple Podcasts.
43 minutes | 7 months ago
At The Brink
How do we step back from the brink and reduce the very real threat that nuclear weapons continue to pose? Nuclear weapons continue to impact people's lives, even if they are sometimes treated as historical threats of a prior era. Jeffrey and Aaron sit down with Lisa Perry and Dr. William Perry, 19th Secretary of Defense, to discuss their work conducting interviews with and chronicling the personal stories of presidents, cabinet members, congressmen, nuclear physicists, atomic bomb survivors, military officials, and activists in their podcast, At the Brink, and through the William J. Perry Project. They've pulled together incredible personal stories and interviews with individuals involved in the negotiations of the Iran Deal, the exfiltration of bomb-grade uranium from Kazakhstan, and the implementation of the Nunn-Lugar program that reduce former Soviet nuclear stockpiles by over 4,000 devices. And, of course, a history of nuclear and missile crises with North Korea, featuring one Dr. Jeffrey Lewis. Links of Note: At The Brink, and its parent project, the William J. Perry Project,
29 minutes | 8 months ago
The Deal Episode 1: The Revelation
In 2002, Corey Hinderstein, a young research analyst, follows a hunch after a routine press conference in Washington, D.C. The results of her scavenger hunt sparked a diplomatic crisis that stretched more than a decade, lasted through two presidencies, and ended with a deal that, depending on whom you ask, either “makes our country, and the world, safer and more secure” or is “a horrible deal that should never, ever have been made.” The Deal tells the story of the Iran nuclear deal: how it came together, how it fell apart, and what that means for the rest of us. Hosted by Dr. Jeffrey Lewis, director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. He tweets @armscontrolwonk. Learn more at IranDealPodcast.com and listen in at Apple Podcasts.
2 minutes | 8 months ago
The Deal: Promo
The Deal: The story of the Iran nuclear deal; how it came together, how it fell apart, and what that means for the rest of us. Hosted by Dr. Jeffrey Lewis, director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. You can find The Deal on Apple Podcasts or your preferred podcast platform.
40 minutes | 9 months ago
Diamond Tempest in a Teapot
In 2018, the US and the UAE conducted a joint military exercise called Diamond Tempest. While looking through still images and videos from the exercise, Jeffrey and his colleagues at CNS thought it would make a great case study. Just how much can we learn using open source tools? They were able to piece together a detailed timeline of the exercise and figure out which bits of footage didn't belong. Support us over at Patreon.com/acwpodcast!
45 minutes | 9 months ago
Lessons Learned from the War in Yemen
The war in Yemen has seen the highest usage of ballistic missiles since the Iraq War, and the highest usage of ballistic missile defense assets in any conflict, offering a preview of any future conflicts with Iran. Aaron and Scott talk about a new CSIS report, The Missile War in Yemen, the utility and difficulties in producing accurate datasets on ballistic missile usage in Yemen, and the operational lessons learned by air and missile defense strategists during the ongoing conflict in Yemen. Scott unironically uses the phrase "theory of missile power." Links of Note: Ian Williams and Shaan Shaikh's Missile War in Yemen, CSIS: https://missilethreat.csis.org/report-the-missile-war-in-yemen/ Support us over at Patreon.com/acwpodcast!
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