Monthly Archives: July 2007

PKerr Is Out

After five years at ACA, I am leaving to take a position at the Congressional Research Service. I figure this is faster than sending out a mass email which will undoubtedly miss some key people. (This, by contrast, will reach the dozen or so people who actually read this blog.)

ACA is a great organization that, frankly, more people ought to pay attention to. I wish everyone there nothing but the best.

I start 20 August after a bit of a vacation. I will continue to blog here unless/until someone tells me that I can’t.

My email address is in the link under the “About” section.

Iraq Memories: O’Hanlon in 2003 @ ACA

“Several”: “others”: have been picking on Michael O’Hanlon and Ken Pollack for “their _NYT_ piece”: about Iraq.

Without commenting on the piece itself, I would point out O’Hanlon “spoke about Iraq”: at a “January 2003 ACA event.”: I remember being struck by the fact that he offered a bunch of good arguments for NOT invading Iraq, didn’t really answer them, and said he would support invasion anyway.


Sorry for those whose comments have been approved in a less-than-timely fashion. For some reason, they haven’t all been coming to my email as they should be.

I generally allow comments to go through, unless people are being really offensive or stupid. I have a pretty high threshold for the former; less so for the latter.

More on NNSA And Nuclear Forces

A colleague pointed out a passage that I had failed to notice in the NNSA document I “blogged about”: the other day.

I’m not sure that this was intended, but the passage reinforces the notion that US nuclear weapons are for a lot more than deterring or responding to nuclear atttacks on the United States.

According to the NNSA, “an operational” U.S. nuclear force of 1,700-2,200 strategic warheads

bq. will demonstrate to allies and adversaries alike that the United States has the necessary means, and the political will, *to respond decisively against aggression and the use of weapons of mass destruction.*

Note that the bold part not only includes chemical and biological weapons, but it also seems to draw a distinction between those weapons and “aggression” – presumably, the use of _conventional_ weapons.

Guess you _can_ say something meaningful in three pages…


Jeffrey has “more”: on the forthcoming follow-on to the NNSA paper.

Zarif’s Replacement Arrives

p{float: right; margin-left: 10px}. !/images/23.jpg!

“According to IRIB,”: Iran’s

bq. new permanent representative to the United Nations *Mohammad Khazaie* submitted his credentials to the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon Wednesday.

Previous post on Zarif’s new job “here.”:

IAEA North Korea Report

Andreas Persbo “blogged a little while back”: about a 3 July report from IAEA DG Mohammed ElBaradei about the procedures for monitoring the shutdown and freeze of North Korea’s nuclear facilities at Yongbyon.

The full report “is now available”: on ACA’s website. There’s also a “Note for Reporters”: about next steps for denuclearizing North Korea.

Take a look.

North Korean IRT

Andreas Persbo has a good “post”: about North Korea’s IRT-2000 type reactor.

Read it while I find more death metal videos…


Nuclear Diplomacy: A Tutorial

Let us review some of the Bush administration’s efforts at nuclear diplomacy:

* Iran: Don’t talk to Iran in 2003 when you have the chance. Wait until its uranium enrichment program is further along and _then_ try and get it to stop.

* North Korea: Don’t take North Korea up on its offer to negotiate about U.S. concerns over its enrichment program in October 2002. Get serious about negotiating _after_ the Norks test a weapon.

* Iraq: Ignore both the UNSC and UN inspectors. Find out Iraq has no WMD _after_ you invade.

* India: “Give away the store”: and wreck the NPT.

To be fair, I’ll add

* Libya: Get a chance to do something right and don’t eff it up.

Here’s some live Carcass from 1992:

NNSA Report on U.S. Nuclear Strategy

Wade just called my attention to today’s NNSA press release entitled “U.S. Nuclear Weapons Strategy Delivered to Congress”:

bq. U.S. Secretary of Energy Samuel W. Bodman joined the U.S. Secretaries of Defense and State in sending to Congress the Bush Administration’s nuclear weapons strategy. *This document not only describes the history of nuclear deterrence during the Cold War, but reinforces how deterrence applies to present and future security threats, and what a nuclear stockpile of the 21st century will need to look like in order to meet those threats.*

I will likely say more about it later, but you dont really need me to summarize the “document,”: as it contains *three* pages of text.

Hope no one pulled any all-nighters on this. Maybe NNSA just has great word economy.


Nothing really new there, as far as I can tell. The document _does_ promise that the NNSA will produce another “detailed report” that will “lay out the data and methodology used to determine our nuclear weapons force structure,outline knowledge points for measuring progress in transforming our nuclear stockpile, and *dispel a number of myths that have grown up around U.S. nuclear forces.”*

That last part should be hilarious.

I also love that the document names North Korea and Iran but does not name the “*established nuclear powers with aggressive nuclear force modernization programs*” that we’re supposed to worry about.

Why not name France, if that’s who you mean?

*Later Update:*

This post was updated “here.”: