May 31, 2008

Video: Hans Blix: From a Cold War to a Cold Peace

Swedish diplomat Hans Blix, who headed the United Nations commission that searched Iraq for weapons of mass destruction, discusses disarmament. He shares his insight and expertise on instituting change via weapons control and explains the impact our current political climate has on world affairs. This program is sponsored by the Department of Scandinavian Studies, Center for Global Studies and the UW Alumni Association.

To view the podcast visit University of Washington Television or in itunes

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Pakistani Bomb Scientist Breaks Silence

Dr. A.Q. Khan Gives His First Interview to an American Journalist Since Being Placed Under House Arrest in 2004.

The Pakistani scientist blamed for running a rogue network that sold nuclear secrets to North Korea, Iran and Libya has recanted his confession, telling ABC News the Pakistani government and President Perez Musharraf forced him to be a "scapegoat" for the "national interest."

The story can be read here.

I would recommend that you read Shopping for Bombs: Nuclear Proliferation, Global Insecurity, and the Rise and Fall of the A.Q. Khan Network by Gordon Corera , to get a much more in depth analysis of what Dr. A.Q. Khan's role in the black market nuclear proliferation.

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May 25, 2008

Book Review: Five Days in August: How World War II Became a Nuclear War

Book CoverTypically, the controversy about the use of atomic bombs centers on whether it was the actual use that triggered the Japanese surrender, or could the war have been ended through other means.

In Five Days in August: How World War II Became a Nuclear War, author and Princeton University professor Michael Gordin explores the idea that the true nature of the atomic bomb was a surprise to both the Japanese and Americans.

The book is a short read, with just 209 pages (50 being notes). He tries to make the pint that the atomic bomb was viewed just as an ordinary weapon. Gordin’s argument is at the time of their use, many parties (military, scientific, and political) were not at all convinced that atomic weapons would work. He also insists that the atomic bomb only became "special" after the war.

However, there is ample evidence to contradict this hypothesis. On April 25, 1945, War Secretary Henry Stimson told President Truman, "Within four months, we shall in a probability have completed the most terrible weapon ever known in human history, one bomb which could destroy a whole city."

Efforts from the Met Lab scientists also serve as knowledge of the nature of the weapon, by their petition on its use. In fact, General Spaatz refused to use it without written orders.

I was hoping to learn something about the only nuclear conflict to date, but it was not to be.

As a note: The book cover shows a non-nuclear bomb and incorrectly states that the "Fat Man" was named after Sidney Greenstreet from the Maltese Falcon.

May 15, 2008

Contain and Engage: A New Strategy for Resolving the Nuclear Crisis with Iran

Joseph Cirincione and Andrew J. Grotto from the Center for American Progress, have prepared an interesting report on the Iranian nuclear issue.

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Briefing on Latest Developments in the Six-Party Talks

From the State Department


U.S.-Russia Agreement for Peaceful Nuclear Cooperation (123 Agreement)

Sorry for the delay, I was in Hawaii with my lovely wife celebrating our 15th wedding anniversary...

May 6th-
Russian and U.S. officials signed a key agreement on civilian nuclear power that could give Washington access to Russian technology and potentially hand Moscow lucrative deals on storing spent fuel.

( White House )
( State Department )

The Challenge of Nuclear Weapons

Found this resource collection on iTunes a few days ago.

Today, the world faces many complex challenges. Climate change, terrorism, and international pandemics crowd the headlines of the newspapers. For many, understanding the challenges facing the world is overwhelming. Perhaps no issue can seem more overwhelming than nuclear weapons. We can see the results of terrorism, environmental issues, and disease, yet for most of us nuclear weapons remain out of sight and out of mind. For many, the abstract theories and jargon that surround nuclear weapons combined with the nearly unimaginable consequences make thinking about the challenges of nuclear weapons difficult.

The Challenge of Nuclear Weapons gives students the tools they need to wrestle with the questions that surround the future of nuclear weapons.

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Reflections on Pokhran II

Over at Verification, there is a series of posts commemorating the tenth anniversary of India and Pakistan's test series. Well worth checking out.

Here is a link to our Special Report on the events.

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New Blogs

Just learned about two great new blogs.

"Nukes & Spooks" is written by McClatchy correspondents Jonathan S. Landay (national security and intelligence), Warren P. Strobel (foreign affairs and the State Department), and Nancy Youssef (Pentagon).
( )

Just another armscontrol blog...
( )

Add them to your feed reader...


ISIS: Box on the Euphrates report

ISIS have released an impressive and comprehensive report detailing the deception techniques used by the Syrians for the Box on the Euphrates.

A good discussion thread is over at armscontrolwonk


May 01, 2008

Sneak Peak

We've been working on adding some Google Map work to the site. Here is a sample of our efforts (

Feedback is welcomed!


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