Aaron SteinA Hypersonic Arms Race

What is the status of China’s and the United States’ hypersonic weapons programs? What can open source tell us about China’s most recent rest? What happened at Kodiak Island? Are hypersonic weapons destabilizing? And why were Jeffrey and James searching for resorts in Mongolia?

Today, Jeffrey and Aaron speak with James Acton, a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment, about hypersonic weapons.

Jeffrey, Aaron, and James discussed a number of articles and tweets during the podcast:

James Acton, “Silver Bullet: Asking the Right Questions about Prompt Global Strike,” Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 2013.

James Acton, “The Arms Race Goes Hypersonic,” Foreign Policy, January 30, 2014.

James Acton, “Target?,” Foreign Policy, May 6, 2014.

Drew Herman, “Failed Rocket Launch in Kodiak Under Investigation,” August 26, 2014.

As always, you can subscribe to the (now better sounding) Arms Control Wonk Podcast on iTunes.


  1. RAJ47 (History)

    China is not resting for sure & it is working overtime in Inner Mangolia.
    See the latest satellite image of Bulonghu Hotspring Resort
    The boat dock is clearly visible.

  2. RAJ47 (History)

    The images look PSed.
    Check position of plume and clouds in second set.
    If it is moving at Mach20+ the clouds won’t shift.
    The plume should have been horizontal over Bulonghu and not vertical.
    If you are catching a Mach20+vehicle you would have complete screen with plume not portion of it especially in center of the pic.
    What is that orange fire/smoke?Chinese internet suggesting hydrazine.
    Hydrazine is in fact colorless.
    Of course, anyone reaching so close to hydrazine filled air would certainly suffer medical problems.