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Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists


»http://www.thebulletin.org«

06.10.2020

"Trump’s COVID infection shows why it’s time to retire the nuclear football"

https://thebulletin.org/2020/10/trumps-covid-infection-shows-why-its-time-to-retire-the-nuclear-football/

Die Covid-19-Erkrankung Donald Trumps sollte nach Ansicht von Tom Z. Collina zum Anlass genommen werden, um das System des Atomkoffers zu überdenken, das den US-Präsidenten erlaubt, den Einsatz von Atomwaffen zu autorisieren. "President Trump is followed 24/7 by a military aide that carries the 'football,' the briefcase that holds all he would need to order the immediate launch of up to 1,000 nuclear weapons, more than enough megatonnage to blow the world back into the stone age. He does not need the approval of Congress or the secretary of defense. Shockingly, there are no checks and balances on this ultimate executive power. President Trump took the nuclear football with him to Walter Reed Medical Center, where he received treatment for COVID-19. According to Trump’s doctor, the president’s blood oxygen levels had dipped. And this, according to independent health experts, can impair decision-making ability. (…) To state the obvious, we should not entrust nuclear launch authority to someone who is not fully lucid. (…) The next president can rectify this situation by declaring that he would share the authority to start nuclear war with Congress. He could also state that the sole purpose of US nuclear weapons is to deter their use by others. Vice President Joe Biden has declared his support for such a 'sole purpose' policy, which is essentially the same as a commitment to not use nuclear weapons first. It is time to retire the nuclear football."

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20.03.2020

"How the coronavirus outbreak is like a nuclear attack: An interview with Jeffrey Lewis"

https://thebulletin.org/2020/03/how-the-coronavirus-outbreak-is-like-a-nuclear-attack-an-interview-with-j
effrey-lewis/?fbclid=IwAR3nN5KUJpiOOwxGcd_bbIxV9Lv18ua6xXilH575pjWSJokLrx8k1Efm54Y

Der Abrüstungsexperte Jeffrey Lewis beschreibt die Corona-Pandemie in diesem Interview als einen "Atomkrieg in Zeitlupe". Dabei bezieht er sich konkret auf das Problem der politischen Führung. "The biggest parallel is that what is about to happen will have been largely preventable, particularly in the United States (…). In the nuclear field, we do worry that decisions made under tight timelines will be worse decisions, and that’s probably true. But I don’t think any amount of time would allow Trump to make better decisions. It’s just the situation might be slightly more forgiving. But as we’re learning now, it’s not. It’s not more forgiving. (…) One thing about nuclear command and control, which the virus outbreak underscores, is that it is so hard to get good information in a crisis. The epidemic spiraled out of control so quickly in certain countries that even the best experts were rushing to figure out what was going on. To me the danger of a nuclear war is not that somebody’s going to get up one morning and say, 'Ah, fuck it,' and push the button. It’s that we’re deeply flawed as human beings, and we have imperfect information, and we’re always trying to make decisions under complexity. And I think you saw the same things here. There was enough uncertainty early on that people could argue about how contagious the virus is, or how deadly it is. That uncertainty hampered the response at a critical moment."

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04.10.2019

"The dark side of our drone future"

https://thebulletin.org/2019/10/the-dark-side-of-our-drone-future/

James Rogers entwirft ein Zukunftsszenario, in dem Drohnen in der Wirtschaft und der Logistik eine unverzichtbare Rolle spielen. Neben vielen Annehmlichkeiten werde diese "Drohnen-Revolution" auch neue Risiken und Herausforderungen mit sich bringen. "Some of the issues are self-evident and have already begun to cause problems as drone technologies expose unforeseen vulnerabilities within vital national infrastructure. (...) Uncertainty is a core part of the drone’s allure. The combination of ever-longer range and remote control allows for a distancing and a deniability when it comes to aggressive drone use. A drone can be above us, next to us, or, horrifyingly, outside our airplane window as we land at an international airport. It is unclear who is controlling any given drone, and there are currently few measures that can effectively trace, track, and disable the eclectic mix of drone systems that populate our skies. (...) As the drone future approaches, policy makers, industry leaders, security forces, and technology innovators must prioritize key questions: How will national governments secure emerging drone infrastructures as they grow exponentially over the next few years? How will data be kept secure? Can the hacking of drones and spread of disinformation be prevented? And, in the face of the most advanced drones, how will counter-drone systems react?"

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03.10.2019

"Scientists have a new technique for verifying a dismantled nuke"

https://thebulletin.org/2019/10/scientists-have-a-new-technique-for-verifying-a-dismantled-nuke/

Ein neues Verfahren zur Verifizierung der Demontage von Atomwaffen könnte John Krzyzaniak zufolge in der internationalen Rüstungskontrolle zu einem "Game Changer" werden. "Arms control cannot work without verification, and verification must walk a fine line between transparency and information security. Inspectors need to confirm that a country is complying with its commitments, but the host country needs to ensure that it is not giving up state secrets or knowledge that could be used to proliferate weapons. An ideal verification method that is both transparent and perfectly secure is called a 'zero-knowledge' protocol. To date, researchers have not come up with a practical zero-knowledge protocol for verifying the dismantlement of nuclear warheads. (...) The new technique, which Danagoulian and his colleague Ezra Engel describe in a scientific paper published in Nature Communication, comes very close to striking that perfect balance between transparency and information security. In an email to the Bulletin, Danagoulian wrote that 'while strictly speaking the measurement is not zero-knowledge, it is near-zero-knowledge [in that] it doesn’t reveal any practical information about the weapon.'"

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06.05.2019

"The Trump administration’s maximum pressure campaign: A prelude to war with Iran?"

https://thebulletin.org/2019/05/the-trump-administrations-maximum-pressure-campaign-a-prelude-to-war-with
-iran/

Auch Dina Esfandiary warnt, dass sich die diplomatische US-Strategie des "maximalen Drucks" auf den Iran schnell als "Vorspiel" eines Krieges herausstellen könnte. "It is unclear what the Trump administration aims to achieve with its 'maximum pressure' campaign. Ceasing the oil waivers only restricts Iran’s ability to purchase much needed humanitarian goods for a population that Secretary Pompeo repeatedly states the administration 'stands with.' The renewal of the waivers allowing work to continue on Iran’s nuclear facilities is wise, but the shortening of the timeframe will mean that the administration will merely have to revisit the issue in 90 days. The work contemplated under the Iran nuclear deal can’t possibly be completed within three months. What’s more, far from 'tightening restrictions on Iran’s program,' preventing it from shipping or selling excess nuclear material abroad seems designed to interfere with Iran’s efforts to implement its commitments under the JCPOA. Reframing a routine deployment of the USS Abraham Lincoln strike force to the region only serves to unnecessarily heighten tensions and foster the potential for miscalculation. The only reason to do any of this is to push Iran into a corner, paving the way toward military confrontation — something few want because it will achieve little."

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16.05.2018

"The Iran deal is a done deal"

https://thebulletin.org/iran-deal-done-deal11828

Aaron Arnold hält die europäischen Bemühungen um eine Rettung des Atomabkommens mit dem Iran aus fundamentalen wirtschaftlichen Gründen für aussichtslos. "In the end (...) this is an economic decision, not a political one, and it is unlikely that the EU’s bulwark is strong enough to restrain multinational corporations’ economic interests for the sake of keeping political commitments to Iran. Germany’s trade with Iran, for example, sits at approximately $3.8 billion — less than 2 percent its of trade with the United States. It would be economically unwise to put those business relationships in jeopardy. It is this reality that will force the EU and the UK to concede to US unilateral sanctions. A bitter pill to swallow, indeed, and one that forces the JCPOA to collapse."

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25.01.2017

"It is 30 seconds closer to midnight"

http://thebulletin.org/it-30-seconds-closer-midnight10431

Das Wissenschaftsmagazin "Bulletin of Atomic Scientists" hat seine sogenannte "Weltuntergangsuhr" um 30 Sekunden vorgestellt. Die Wissenschaftler erklären ihre Entscheidung vor allem mit dem Amtsantritt Donald Trumps. "The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Science and Security Board takes a broad and international view of existential threats to humanity, focusing on long-term trends. Because of that perspective, the statements of a single person — particularly one not yet in office — have not historically influenced the board's decision on the setting of the Doomsday Clock. But wavering public confidence in the democratic institutions required to deal with major world threats do affect the board’s decisions. And this year, events surrounding the US presidential campaign — including cyber offensives and deception campaigns apparently directed by the Russian government and aimed at disrupting the US election — have brought American democracy and Russian intentions into question and thereby made the world more dangerous than was the case a year ago."

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04.01.2017

"The real German submarine scandal"

http://thebulletin.org/real-german-submarine-scandal10358?platform=hootsuite

In Israel laufen gegenwärtig Ermittlungen zum Kauf deutscher U-Boote durch die israelische Regierung, ein Geschäft, bei dem möglicherweise nicht alles sauber abgelaufen ist. Victor Gilinsky hält die Lieferung der U-Boote für den tatsächlichen Skandal, da Deutschland und Israel gezielt Schlupflöcher im Atomwaffensperrvertrag ausgenutzt hätten. "(...) the existence of loopholes in the NPT does not diminish the obligation of the parties to act in accordance with the treaty’s fundamental objectives. The treaty preamble states that the members believe 'the proliferation of nuclear weapons would seriously enhance the danger of nuclear war.' The obligation to restrain nuclear weapons programs of non-NPT states does not end when those states obtain nuclear weapons. By providing Israel with strategic submarines, Germany has given that non-NPT member an essentially invulnerable capacity to strike anywhere in Europe, North Africa, or the Middle East with nuclear weapons. That surely is at odds with German (and American) insistence that the NPT is the 'cornerstone' of their proliferation policy."

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