Wed. Apr 17th, 2024

Welcome back to Foreign Policy’s SitRep! In today’s update, Jack is holding down the fort while Robbie is still in India for the Raisina Dialogue and recently attended the Munich Security Conference. Here’s what you need to know today:

– Concerns in Washington over Russia’s potential development of a new nuclear space weapon.
– NATO inching closer to selecting its next leader.
– Congressional funding dispute hindering Pentagon’s arms production plans.

The issue of weaponizing space sparked after U.S. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Turner hinted at a “serious national security threat” related to Russia potentially deploying a nuclear weapon in space. While Russia hasn’t launched anything into orbit yet, U.S. spy agencies warn of their intentions. The idea of a space-based nuke has raised alarm due to its potential to disrupt crucial military and commercial satellite systems.

The U.S. heavily relies on satellite technology for communication, intelligence, and nuclear weapons security. A nuclear explosion in space could have disastrous effects, knocking out satellites and disrupting global communications systems for years. The U.S. is concerned about Russia’s space weapon ambitions and the fragile state of arms control talks between the two nations.

NATO leadership dynamics are shifting, with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte emerging as a frontrunner for the alliance’s next secretary-general. Despite challenges, Rutte is garnering support from key allies. Additionally, Western efforts to curb the flow of advanced technology to Russia have been largely unsuccessful, as Moscow finds ways to bypass sanctions.

At the same time, the U.S. Defense Department is facing obstacles due to Congress’s delay in passing a crucial national security funding bill. This impasse could impact the Pentagon’s plans to boost arms production, such as the construction of artillery projectile metal parts lines in Texas.

Stay tuned for more updates, including a visit by Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson to Hungary regarding Sweden’s NATO bid.

Don’t miss out on the latest developments shaping global security and diplomacy.

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