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  • Issue Brief posted November 12, 2013 by Baker Spring Acquisition of the New “Space Fence” Will Improve Security

    The number of objects in orbit, including satellites and space debris, continues to increase, and these objects need to be tracked in order to reduce the risk of collisions. The number of participants who are operating systems in the space domain is also growing, which reduces the level of security in space. It is necessary to improve the monitoring capability of the Air…

  • Issue Brief posted September 19, 2013 by Baker Spring, Brett D. Schaefer Framework for Removing Syrian Chemical Weapons: Reasons for Skepticism

    The framework agreement for destroying Syria’s chemical weapons (CW) arsenal and its supporting infrastructure[1] is imprecise, unrealistic, and unlikely to be fulfilled. On the basis of the requirements of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), which Syria has now agreed to join, and historical experience in executing the CWC, even under ideal circumstances and assuming…

  • Issue Brief posted August 2, 2013 by Steven P. Bucci, Ph.D., Baker Spring, Michaela Dodge, James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. Pentagon Strategic Choices and Management Review: Early Warning Two Years Too Late

    The Department of Defense (DOD) released its Strategic Choices and Management Review (SCMR), which proposes options for implementing defense cuts required by the Budget Control Act (BCA) of 2011. Cuts, no matter how they are implemented, will dramatically reduce readiness and capabilities of the armed forces to the point U.S. national security will be in jeopardy. The…

  • Issue Brief posted July 15, 2013 by Baker Spring Protecting U.S. Territory Against Long-Range Missiles: Second Approach Needed

    The Department of Defense announced on July 5 that an intercept test earlier that day of the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (GMD) missile defense system, which protects U.S. territory against long-range missiles, failed to result in a successful intercept.[1] The GMD version that was tested is the system that is already in the field; thus, this was an operational test,…

  • Backgrounder posted July 12, 2013 by Baker Spring Disarm Now, Ask Questions Later: Obama’s Nuclear Weapons Policy

    On June 19, 2013, the Obama White House released a fact sheet on its updated nuclear weapons policy. The Nuclear Posture Review Implementation Study (NPRIS)[1] has been a long time in coming. Not surprisingly, the NPRIS contends that the United States can safely reduce the number of strategic nuclear weapons by up to one-third below the current levels. Further, the NPRIS…

  • Issue Brief posted May 23, 2013 by Baker Spring All Three Budget Options Would Damage National Security

    The Department of Defense (DOD) is now examining three revised budget options for presentation to the President. All three would impose significant damage. This is because even the highest of the three options would shrink the portion of the economy committed to defense, shrink force structure, reduce the number of people serving in the military, impose slower increases…

  • Backgrounder posted May 20, 2013 by Baker Spring Congress Must Stop Obama’s Downward Spiral of Missile Defense

    In response to recent bellicose statements by the government of North Korea, it was entirely appropriate that the Obama Administration announced steps, both immediate and for the years ahead, to bolster U.S. missile defense capabilities. The immediate steps included forward deploying missile defense–capable surface ships to the East Asia region, transferring a Terminal…

  • Issue Brief posted April 18, 2013 by Baker Spring, Brian Slattery Impact of Obama's Budget Proposal on Defense

    President Obama’s overall budget request for fiscal year (FY) 2014 and beyond is all but certain to result in the continued application of sequestration to the defense account, which will lead to defense spending levels that are too low to permit the military to protect U.S. vital national interests. They will necessarily result in a force that either is too small, lacks…

  • Issue Brief posted April 8, 2013 by Baker Spring, Jack Spencer Mixed Oxide Fuel Facility in South Carolina Needs Congress’s Support

    The Department of Energy (DOE) is constructing a facility at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina to produce mixed oxide (MOX) fuel, which consists of uranium oxide and plutonium oxide, for use in nuclear power reactors. This building project follows from a 2000 agreement with Russia to dispose of 34 metric tons of surplus weapons plutonium by each country. The DOE…

  • Issue Brief posted March 14, 2013 by Michaela Dodge, Baker Spring International Monitoring System as a Nuclear Test Verification Tool

    During the Senate’s consideration of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) in 1996, the Clinton Administration touted the International Monitoring System (IMS) as one of the important verification measures contained in the treaty. Proponents of the treaty argued that if the treaty was not ratified, the IMS would not be built. This has proven to be false: 314 facilities…

  • Backgrounder posted February 27, 2013 by Michaela Dodge, Baker Spring Keeping Nuclear Testing on the Table: A National Security Imperative

    Since 1992, the United States has not tested nuclear weapons or conducted any yield-producing nuclear weapons experiment. In a few short years, all nuclear weapons engineers and scientists with experience in nuclear testing and weapons design will have retired. These developments will have a profound impact on the nation’s ability to innovate, assure allies, and deter…

  • Issue Brief posted January 16, 2013 by Baker Spring, Michaela Dodge Hagel, Kerry, and Brennan Senate Confirmation Hearings: U.S. Strategic Forces

    In the coming weeks, the United States Senate will begin the confirmation process for three key Administration positions: Senator John Kerry (D–MA) for Secretary of State, former Senator Chuck Hagel (R–NE) for Secretary of Defense, and White House chief counterterrorism advisor John Brennan for director of the CIA. All three have been prominent backers of President…

  • Backgrounder posted January 4, 2013 by Michaela Dodge, Baker Spring Bait and Switch on Nuclear Modernization Must Stop

    The Obama Administration's Nuclear Weapons Policy President Obama formulated his vision for the U.S. nuclear posture during his 2009 speech in Prague: "So today, I state clearly and with conviction America's commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons"—by reducing the role of nuclear weapons in U.S. national security strategy. President…

  • Backgrounder posted November 30, 2012 by Rebeccah Heinrichs, Baker Spring Deterrence and Nuclear Targeting in the 21st Century

    News reports indicate the Obama Administration is seeking to further reduce the number of deployed warheads in the U.S. long-range nuclear force to between 300 and 1,100.[1] In contrast, this analysis concludes that the appropriate number of operationally deployed warheads should range between 2,700 and 3,000. The targeting policy recommended in this report responds to…

  • Issue Brief posted September 20, 2012 by Baker Spring, Michaela Dodge The Folly of the State Department’s Assessment of U.S. Arms Control Compliance

    The State Department recently released its 2012 report, Adherence to and Compliance with Arms Control, Nonproliferation, and Disarmament Agreements and Commitments, or Annual Compliance Report. It informs Congress and the public about how the United States and other countries are fulfilling their multilateral and bilateral treaty obligations regarding arms control and…