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Ballistic Missile Defense in the Asia-Pacific Region: Cooperation and Opposition – CRS

The growing number and modernization of ballistic missiles in the Asia-Pacific region poses a security challenge for the United States and its allies and is thus a concern for many in Congress. The United States has made ballistic missile defense (BMD) a central component of protection for forward-deployed U.S. forces and extended deterrence for allied security. The configuration of sensors, command-and-control centers, and BMD assets in the region has slowly evolved with contributions from treaty allies, primarily Japan, Australia, and South Korea.

Observers believe that North Korea has an arsenal of hundreds of short-range ballistic missiles and likely dozens of medium-range Nodong missiles; the extended-range Nodongs are considered capable of reaching Japan and U.S. bases there. Longer-range North Korean missiles appear to be under development but remain unreliable, with only one successful test out of five in the past 15 years. The U.S. intelligence community has not yet concluded that North Korea can build nuclear warheads small enough to put on ballistic missiles, but there is significant debate among experts on this question.

Full Report: Ballistic Missile Defense in the Asia-Pacific Region: Cooperation and Opposition (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

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50 Facts About U.S. Nuclear Weapons Today

50 Facts About U.S. Nuclear Weapons Today
Source: Brookings Institution

Their number and role in U.S. security have been reduced, but nuclear weapons still provide important security benefits to the United States and its allies. While the prospects for moving to lower levels than those in New START now appear limited, the Arms Control and Non-Proliferation Initiative at Brookings put together an updated list of “50 Facts About U.S. Nuclear Weapons,” originally published in 1998.

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Nuclear Deterrence and Cyber: The Quest for Concept

Nuclear Deterrence and Cyber: The Quest for Concept Source: Air & Space Power Journal

Nuclear weapons in the twenty-first century will be tasked with military and policy support missions in a technology environment of digital preeminence. The relationship between nuclear and cyber realms for the purpose of deterrence and other missions requires concept definition and practical demonstration. This study considers the relationship between nuclear and cyber within the context of nuclear arms control, including New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) and post–New START options. The future of nuclear-cyber overlap will include challenges to the existing deterrence and nonproliferation regimes from nuclear weapons states in the Middle East and/or South and East Asia, as well as from improving conventional offensive and defensive weapons, including cyber war and antimissile defenses.

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