Podcast

A nuclear weapons, arms control, disarmament and nonproliferation podcast.
 

Hosted by Jeffrey Lewis & Aaron Stein.
Produced by Scott LaFoy.
 

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Most Recent Podcasts

 

I Sing of Arms and the Man

American weapons systems need better names. Tom Karako, Director of the Missile Defense Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, joins Jeffrey to talk about just what it is that inspires soldiers: Legendary, heroic, and historical names, not descriptive acronyms and jargon. What, are ALCM and JASSM not as sexy as Hades or …

 

Nuclear Silos in the Chinese Desert

Decker Eveleth and Jeffrey Lewis’s team at CNS have found 119 silos for ICBMs out in the deserts of China. That’s the largest expansion of PRC silos in history, by far, but it isn’t totally clear what is going on, and whether each of these Bouncy Castles of Death represents a new missile or if …

 

The Space Launch Simorgh-asbord

Jeffrey’s team is at it again.  This time, they (and Jonathan McDowell!) caught an unannounced (and failed) Iranian space launch attempt and have now caught what appears to be a second unannounced (and failed) Iranian space launch attempt.  The failed launch detection was covered by Zachary Cohen and Oren Liebermann at CNN, who were kind …

 

The Relevance of the Nuclear Posture Review

Is the Nuclear Posture Review something worth doing, or a massive waste of time and political capital? Jeffrey and Aaron vote “waste.” The NPR takes up a ton of time, leaves policy on autopilot during its duration, and burns a ton of bandwidth that could be used for actual reflection and policy change.  But what …

 

Hyperbolic Hyper Hype

The hype is real. Maybe its a branding thing, maybe people forget ballistic missiles are a thing, maybe nobody thinks “glider force” sounds cool. But whatever the reason, people keep calling hypersonic glide vehicles fast compared to existing missile systems. Jeffrey and Aaron discuss hypersonic weapons, what people keep getting wrong about them, and why …

 

Israeli Rocket Motor Test

On April 20, an Israeli twitter user posted a video of a large smoky cloud to his Twitter account with the comment “A mysterious explosion in northern Israel.” Jeffrey and his team tracked down the “mysterious explosion,” identifying it as a solid rocket motor test for an unknown missile or space system. Aaron and Jeffrey …

 

A Tale of Two Launches

North Korea has been active the past few weeks, launching a set of cruise missiles (probably just coastal defense systems) and a separate set of ballistic missiles (which look like stretched KN23 short-range ballistic missiles) a few days later. But these events were received very differently by the Biden administration and analysts. Jeffrey, Aaron, and …

 

Making the Easy Stuff Hard: Re-joining the JCPOA

Biden campaigned on rejoining the JCPOA, but some of that enthusiasm has dried up since he took office. Aaron and Jeffrey debate what’s going on, strategies for negotiating re-joining the JCPOA, and the fallacy of letting the perfect get in the way of the good as people begin to advocate for “waiting for a better …

 

New START and the Future of Arms Control

President Biden has extended New START for five more years. But what are we going to do with those years? How to we actually advance stability? Aaron and Jeffrey talk about the steps necessary to secure stable, effective arms control treaties, the history of arms control, and the importance of tacking missile defenses alongside offensive systems. Support …

 

Iran’s New Space Launcher: Zoljanah

Iran unveiled a new (mostly) solid-propellant space launcher, the Zoljanah! But it looks….different than the other space launchers. Besides having a new fuel type, the Zoljanah may not have many IRGC or military fingerprints on it, indicating that the Iranian solid-propellant programs are robust and expansive. Jeffrey and Aaron talk Iranian space programs, civilian vs. …

 

 

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