BITS FROM ABROAD
Pentagon to boost missile defence spending by over $4 billion. The Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space reported recently that the US Defence Department is planning to ask Congress for $4.5 billion in extra missile defence funding over the next five years. Nearly $1 billion of that sum will be for a new homeland defence radar in Alaska. Although the request is expected to have bipartisan support in Congress, it may also raise questions about the billions of dollars spent over the last two years on a “kill vehicle” build by Raytheon which is used to hit enemy missiles and destroy the on impact.
Dutch fighter planes could go nuclear
The Dutch government wants the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) F-35 fighter aircraft to carry nuclear weapons. In a letter to the Lower House, defence minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert and foreign affairs minister Frans Timmermans said that the JSF may indeed have nuclear weapons on board.
Last year, a majority of the House supported a motion of the Socialist Party stating that the F-35 fighter jet should not perform nuclear duties.
According to the ministers, the Netherlands is member of NATO and it can be required to perform a nuclear task.
The government does not favor unilateral decisions because that would not fit the allied commitments and “undermine the credibility and the position of the Netherlands.”
More at: http://www.nltimes.nl/2014/01/14/jsf-go-nuclear/
Nuclear Deterrence Summit
A panel discussion on “Extended Deterrence and Assurance” took place in Arlington (USA) on 12th February. The participants were Paul Ingram (BASIC – British American Security Council), Shmuel Bar (Israel Institute of Technology) and Guy Roberts (former director of nuclear policy at NATO). For more details, see: http://www.basicint.org/news/events/2014/nuclear-deterrence-summit-extended-deterrence-and-assurance