Here Are Four Things I Read over the Past Week

[Content Note: Nuclear proliferation; war.]

1. Russia Tests Nuclear-Capable Drone Sub:
Russia conducted a test of a revolutionary nuclear-capable drone submarine that poses a major strategic threat to U.S. ports and harbors.

U.S. intelligence agencies detected the test of the unmanned underwater vehicle, code-named Kanyon by the Pentagon, during its launch from a Sarov-class submarine on Nov. 27, said Pentagon officials familiar with reports of the test.

No details were available about the location or results of the test.

Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis declined to comment. "We closely monitor Russian underwater military developments, but we will not comment specifically about them," Davis said.
2. From Rick Perry, to Russia, with love:
In early October, as Americans obsessed about their presidential election, the Russian government made a surprise and otherwise unnoticed decision: It would unilaterally suspend a 16-year old agreement with the United States requiring Moscow to get rid of dozens of tons of weapons-grade plutonium -- used to make nuclear weapons.

This was the latest in a long string of nuclear arms control agreements that Moscow had decided to ditch, irritated with U.S. opposition over Ukraine and worse, sanctions that crippled the Russian economy. Under President Vladimir Putin, the Russian government has abrogated two other nuclear disarmament agreements, suspended outside inspections and just plain skipped the last nuclear security summit.
3. Swedish towns told to 'make preparations regarding the threat of war and conflict' with Russia:
Sweden's towns and villages have been ordered to make preparations for a possible military attack in the latest sign of the country's growing anxiety at its newly belligerent Russian neighbour.

The country's Civil Contingency Agency (MSB) last week sent a letter to local authorities across the country asking them to maintain operations centres in underground bunkers, ensure that a system of emergency sirens is in place, and to be open to cooperating on war exercises with the Swedish Armed Forces.

"In a state of war, civil defence for municipalities is no different from any of the other services they should provide," the letter read, instructing local governments to "ensure their ability to maintain their functions during disturbed situations, and at the most extreme, in a war scenario."
4. Russia to 'expand mobile nuclear missile patrols' near European borders in 2017:
Russia is planning to expand mobile missile patrols near its borders with Europe in 2017, a senior commander has announced.

Col Gen Sergei Karakaev, commander of Russia's strategic missile forces, said pontoon technology meant nuclear weapons could "overcome practically any water obstacle" to move to new areas, according to a translation by the BBC.

He claimed the missiles had a "global reach and enormous destructive power," adding: "In the current geopolitical situation, the Strategic Nuclear Forces are the guarantor of the security of the Russian Federation and its allies, as well as the independence of its foreign and domestic policy."

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