Today's D Brief: Nuclear-treaty violations; US-India tech pact; Protecting satellites; China’s corn-mill threat; and a bit more...
Russia’s in violation of the New START treaty, the State Department told Congress on Tuesday. Moscow is barring U.S. inspectors from nuclear weapons facilities and has also missed a deadline to convene the bilateral consultative commission, State said in a statement. Both actions violate the treaty, which is the only agreement currently binding the strategic arsenals of the world’s two largest nuclear powers.
The violations were telegraphed last year. Russian officials said in August that they would cease to allow U.S. inspections, and then in November canceled the upcoming commission meeting. Moscow said at the time that the U.S. “did not want to take into account Russia’s priorities, they wanted to discuss only the resumption of inspections,” as quoted by Russian state media. “The situation around Ukraine also had an impact.” (New York Times)
Two years ago this month, the U.S. and Russia renewed New START for five years, keeping in place its limits on long-range nuclear warheads, launchers, and delivery vehicles.
From Defense One
New Institute Will Study How the Defense Department Manages Itself // Patrick Tucker: To “compete on a global stage,” DOD must get a handle on its management practices, Deputy Defense Secretary says.
Want More Innovation? Get Out of Your Office and Talk to People // Peter A. Newell: Advice from a former leader of the U.S. Army’s Rapid Equipping Force.
To Protect Satellites, Secure Your Networks, Chief of Space Ops Says // Jennifer Hlad: Cyber attacks can undermine space-based capabilities, Gen. Chance Saltzman said.
Over-Classification Undermines Democracy, US Intelligence Director Says // Courtney Bublé: The investigations into handling of sensitive documents by former presidents and vice presidents have brought problems with the classification system back into the spotlight.
The Doomsday Clock is Ticking on Biosecurity // Asha M. George, Suzet McKinney, and David Relman: Countries around the world must cooperate and deepen their investments in global health and biosecurity strategies.
Welcome to this Wednesday edition of The D Brief, brought to you by Bradley Peniston with Jennifer Hlad. If you’re not already subscribed to this newsletter, you can do that here. On this day in 1942: U.S. Navy aircraft from the carriers Enterprise (CV-6) and Yorktown (CV-5) strike Japanese targets in the Marshall Islands, marking America’s first offensive operation in World War II.
The U.S. and India will cooperate on defense and emerging technologies, White House officials announced Tuesday. Under the new high-level initiative, dubbed iCET, the two countries will “promote joint production of defense equipment—including military jet engines, long-range artillery, and armored infantry vehicles,” the Washington Post reported.
The initiative also includes promises to work together on semiconductors, 5G and 6G wireless infrastructure, and in commercial spaceflight, including lunar exploration. “Officials did announce one concrete step,” the Post wrote: “GE Aerospace has applied for an export license for jet engine production and phased tech transfer in India, according to a senior administration official.”
The agreement comes as India and the United States work to push back on China, and as U.S. officials seek to wean India off Russian arms. More, here.
Some Abraham Accords parties will work together on cybersecurity, according to Rob Silvers, Department of Homeland Security undersecretary for strategy, policy, and plans. Silvers talked to the Washington Post from Israel, where he is meeting with officials from Bahrain, Israel, Morocco, and the United Arab Emirates to firm up plans for the cooperation.
What about spyware? The Post notes a “potential policy concern arising from the agreement: Bahrain, Morocco, and the UAE have all been accused of abusing spyware, and the UAE in particular has a history of using cyber for malign purposes.” Even the Israeli firm NSO Group has been sanctioned. A bit more, here.
- France and Australia are sending more 155mm artillery shells to Ukraine (Defense News).
- A trio of U.S. officials who oversee American aid to Ukraine met with Kyiv’s Volodymyr Zelenskyy last week. “The visit comes as lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have expressed the need to be vigilant on tracking American tax dollars going to Ukraine,” The Hill wrote.
- Australian troops have arrived in the UK to help train Ukrainian troops.
- No surprise, but NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg says China is taking lessons from the Ukraine war.
Phew: That tiny-but-dangerous radioactive capsule that fell off a truck in western Australia? They’ve recovered it.
Lastly today: China’s dangerous corn mill. Once welcomed as beneficial investment on the North Dakota plains, the pending construction of a giant corn-processing plant by a Chinese company has been declared a national-security threat by the U.S. Air Force, whose Grand Forks AFB is just 12 miles away from the site.
“The Department's view is unambiguous,” wrote Andrew Hunter, the service’s procurement chief, in a Jan. 27 letter responding to briefings by the state’s U.S. senators. “The proposed project presents a significant threat to national security with both near- and long-term risks of significant impacts to our operations in the area.” The NYT has more, here.