Yousaf Butt

Articles by Yousaf Butt

20 February 2013

Iran centrifuge magnet story technically questionable

Yousaf Butt

Last week, the Washington Post reported that "purchase orders obtained by nuclear researchers show an attempt by Iranian agents to buy 100,000 … ring-shaped magnets" and that such "highly specialized magnets used in centrifuge machines … [are] a sign that the country may be planning a major expansion of its nuclear program." As evidence, the Post's Jo

28 November 2012

DIY graphic design

Yousaf ButtFerenc Dalnoki-Veress

This week the Associated Press reported that unnamed officials "from a country critical of Iran's nuclear program" leaked an illustration to demonstrate that "Iranian scientists have run computer simulations for a nuclear weapon that would produce more than triple the explosive force of the World War II bomb that destroyed Hiroshima." The article stated that these officials provided the undated diagram "to bolster their arguments that Iran's nuclear program must be halted."

18 December 2011

How the reset was upset

Yousaf Butt

President Barack Obama's much celebrated "reset" with Russia was upset recently.  In late November, President Dmitry Medvedev announced the end of negotiations on missile defense cooperation, and threatened to withdraw from the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) if the United States remained committed to its missile defense program in Europe. Though it hasn't quite reached the

3 December 2010

Re-examining the conceptual basis of strategic missile defense

Yousaf Butt

Discussions of the technical flaws of strategic missile defense are nearly as old as the idea itself. Considerably less attention, however, has been paid to examining whether such a system -- even if technically feasible -- should be a desirable goal. The plan to move forward with a NATO-wide missile defense system demands we now take a closer look at whether the conceptual basis of strategic missile defense is sensible.

8 May 2010

The myth of missile defense as a deterrent

Yousaf Butt

The Obama administration's long-awaited Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) "establishes U.S. nuclear policy, strategy, capabilities and force posture for the next five to ten years." The review signals a fresh approach to nuclear doctrine; however, its reliance on missile defense as an element of nuclear deterrence is wrong. Such systems are useless, dangerous, and destabilizing, and ramping up reliance on missile defenses because of planned reductions to the U.S.

9 April 2010

Nuclear exchange: RRW for CTBT?

Yousaf Butt

Two weeks ago, on the very day that the breakthrough in the new START arms control negotiations was announced, Ohio Republican Rep. Michael Turner posted to his website three letters from the directors of the country's nuclear weapon laboratories expressing doubts in the viability of the programs that maintain U.S. warheads.

1 March 2010
The danger to orbiting satellites from space debris has been known for decades, yet accidents and intentional antisatellite weapon tests still pose serious threats. Better rules are needed to govern increasingly busy near-Earth
15 December 2008

Redefining deterrence: How the Obama administration should handle RRW

Yousaf Butt

Editor's note: The opinions expressed below are solely those of the author and not his employer.

Advice on how President-elect Barack Obama and his advisers should proceed with the country's nuclear policy, starting with the Reliable Replacement Warhead (RRW) Program:

2 December 2008

Redefining deterrence: Is RRW detrimental to U.S. security calculus?

Yousaf Butt

Editor's note: The opinions expressed below are solely those of the author and not his employer.

The Reliable Replacement Warhead (RRW) Program proposes to redesign the nuclear explosive package of U.S. nuclear warheads using advanced computer simulations and the experience gleaned from previous weapons tests. The advertised aim of RRW is to enhance warhead safety and security while improving confidence in the stockpile's long-term reliability--allegedly, without any new nuclear explosive tests.1

21 August 2008

Technical comments on the US satellite shootdown

Yousaf Butt

Editor's note: The opinions expressed below are solely those of the author and not his employer.