100 episodes

The nuclear weapons, arms control, disarmament and nonproliferation podcast. Companion to the popular Arms Control Wonk blog (www.armscontrolwonk.com). Hosted by Jeffrey Lewis & Aaron Stein.

Arms Control Wonk Jeffrey Lewis & Aaron Stein

    • News
    • 4.8 • 353 Ratings

The nuclear weapons, arms control, disarmament and nonproliferation podcast. Companion to the popular Arms Control Wonk blog (www.armscontrolwonk.com). Hosted by Jeffrey Lewis & Aaron Stein.

    I Sing of Arms and the Man

    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 Pluton?
    Tom explains his philosophical and classical background, and the inspiration for his article in War on the Rocks about giving U.S. weapons systems respectable names more befitting of their purpose. 
    Support us over at Patreon.com/acwpodcast!

    • 30 min
    Nuclear Silos in the Chinese Desert

    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 there are some decoys in the mix...
    Aaron and Jeffrey discuss how Decker found these silos out in the middle of the desert, whether each silo has its own missile or if this is a Shell Game with empty silos and decoys, and how this is going to impact arms control incentives in the very near future. 
     
    Further Reading:
    Jeffrey's op-ed in Foreign Policy: https://foreignpolicy.com/2021/06/30/china-nuclear-weapons-silos-arms-control/
    Catherine Dill's article on new test silos at Wuzhai: https://www.armscontrolwonk.com/archive/1205826/open-silos/
    Decker Eveleth and Scott LaFoy's article on possible silos at Sundian: https://www.armscontrolwonk.com/archive/1208828/possible-icbm-modernization-underway-at-sundian/
    Hans Kristensen's articles on DF-41 training silos at Jilantai, which constituted the foundational discovery of DF-41 silos in open source research: 
    https://fas.org/blogs/security/2019/09/china-silo-df41/
    https://fas.org/blogs/security/2021/02/plarf-jilantai-expansion/
     
    Support us over at Patreon.com/acwpodcast!

    • 34 min
    The Space Launch Simorgh-asbord

    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 enough to get the Pentagon to confirm that the first launch did, in fact, fail. We're still waiting to hear about that second one though...
    Jeffrey and Scott walk through Iran's textbook space launch preparations, how Jeffrey's team tracked the preparation and launch, and how one assesses that a rocket flight failed in absence of a big, obvious explosion.
     
    Support us over at Patreon.com/acwpodcast!
    Please note that any views expressed on the Arms Control Wonk Podcast are the views of individual hosts, and do not represent the views of hosts' respective employers.

    • 35 min
    The Relevance of the Nuclear Posture Review

    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 is more valuable? No Review at all? An Integrated Deterrence Review? The team walks through the pitfalls of the NPR, propose some modest alternatives, and outline a possible alternative mission for the Missile Defense Agency....
    Support us over at Patreon.com/acwpodcast!

    • 39 min
    Hyperbolic Hyper Hype

    Hyperbolic Hyper Hype

    The hype is real. Maybe it's 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 the D5 missile is so dang cool.
    Support us over at Patreon.com/acwpodcast!

    • 30 min
    Israeli Rocket Motor Test

    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 walk through the team's methodology, how they found the site, how they identified that it was a rocket motor, and how CNS's knowledgebase of missile industrial facilities assists in rapidly disproving disinformation. 
    https://www.armscontrolwonk.com/archive/1211676/israeli-rocket-motor-test/
    Support us over at Patreon.com/acwpodcast!

    • 17 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
353 Ratings

353 Ratings

moisttowelette123 ,

Nothing but positive things to say

Really enjoyed this show for the past few years. I not only find it entertaining but educational. As a layman, I enjoy their insight and experience… as well as their wit. Really enjoy the show!

857559 ,

As advertised!

Who knew that serious academic examinations of arms control issues could be entertaining? Yeah, it’s a bit wonky and appropriately named. A refreshing mix of irreverent humor and sinister foreboding.

The McEnroes ,

Delight v. Despair

I’m not sure where or how I stumbled onto this podcast, but truly thankful I did! I have no background knowledge in arms control etc. but I consistently enjoy the content and the way that the hosts find the delight in the despair. Give it a listen.

Also I dig the new logo!

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