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"The Arms Control Association’s work is an important resource to legislators and policymakers when contemplating a new policy direction or decision."

– General John Shalikashvili
former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Arms Control NOW

2020 Trump Budget Aims To Boost US Nuclear Capabilities

This op-ed originally appeared in IDN (Indepthnews) , April 5, 2019. Consistent with the recommendations of the 2018 Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) , the Trump administration’s fiscal year 2020 budget request would continue plans to expand U.S. nuclear weapon capabilities. The ultimate fate of the request, submitted to Congress March 11, 2019 remains uncertain as Democrats, particularly in the House, have signaled strong opposition to several controversial funding proposals. Their concerns include administration plans to develop two additional low-yield nuclear weapons and two conventionally...

Are We Approaching the End of the Arms Control Era?

Remarks by Greg Thielmann Grinnell College April 1, 2019 I’m glad to be back in Grinnell on the first day of classes after your spring break. I hope the “April Fool’s Day” moniker does not get attached to either the speaker or the audience. I wanted to start with a theme I encountered in a a book, titled The Internationalists , about the Kellogg-Briand “Peace Pact” – the 1928 treaty, signed in Paris, which outlawed war. I had learned long ago that this agreement was naïve and utterly feckless, spectacularly failing to prevent an even more cataclysmic world war than the one which spawned it...

“Proposed Small Arms Transfers: Big Implications for U.S. Foreign Policy”

Testimony by Jeff Abramson, Senior Fellow Arms Control Association The House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations “Proposed Small Arms Transfers: Big Implications for U.S. Foreign Policy” March 26, 2019 Good morning, Chair Bera and Ranking Member Zeldin. It is a privilege to testify before this Committee and discuss concerns about how the United States exports some of the weapons most used in violence around the world and proposed changes that I fear could lead to greater human suffering. 1 To sum up my forthcoming remarks in just a few lines: The weapons and...

Making Nuclear Weapons Menacing Again

This op-ed originally appeared in The Nation , Mar. 21, 2019. “There is no higher priority for national defense,” the Pentagon declared last year, than for the United States to “replace its strategic nuclear triad and sustain the warheads it carries.” In plain English, this means spending an estimated $1.7 trillion to rebuild every component of the US nuclear arsenal: the entire three-legged strategic “ triad ” of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs), and long-range bombers. Military officials claim the existing force has become obsolete...

U.S.-Russian Nuclear Arms Control Watch, March 20, 2019

U.S. Plans Flight Tests of INF-Treaty Range Missiles Defense Department officials told a group of reporters March 13 that the Pentagon is planning to test two types of conventional missiles currently prohibited by the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty by the end of this year. The announcement comes just over a month after the Trump administration announced Feb. 2 that it would withdraw from the treaty Aug. 2 unless Russia returns to compliance with the agreement. The first missile, a ground-launched cruise missile with a range of roughly 1,000 km (600 miles), will likely be...

Lawrence Weiler (1920-2019): Key Architect of the Global Disarmament and Nonproliferation Order

After a long and extraordinarily productive life and career that made our world a safer place, Lawrence D. Weiler, one of the early pioneers and architects who helped negotiate the first major nuclear arms control, risk reduction, and nonproliferation agreements, died last Sunday, Feb. 24 from complications of pneumonia. He was 98. Larry Weiler was in the right place at the right time to make a difference during difficult times. Weiler served as the ambassador and U.S. Coordinator for the UN General Assembly special session on disarmament and worked under six different presidents — from...

OPCW Confirms Chlorine Use. It’s Time to Assign Blame.

An international investigative body confirmed in a March 2019 report that a chemical weapon, likely chlorine, was used in an April 2018 attack in Douma, Syria, despite likely Russian and Syrian attempts to impede the investigations, and in blatant violation of international law. The March 2019 report is the most recent from the Fact Finding Mission (FFM) set up to investigate alleged chemical attacks in Syria by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)—the implementing arm of the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention. The FFM has investigated over 80 reported chemical...

Hanoi Summit Ends Abruptly: What's Next? | North Korean Denuclearization Digest, March 6, 2019

Hanoi Summit Ends Abruptly: What’s Next? The second summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump ended abruptly on day two without any interim agreement and without clarity about the next steps to advance denuclearization and peacebuilding on the Korean peninsula. Nonetheless, both leaders appear confident that negotiations will continue. U.S. and North Korean officials offered different explanations for why the two leaders were unable to make any announcements during the Feb. 27-28 Hanoi meetings, which originally included a scheduled signing ceremony. The...

The Disappointing, But Not Devastating, “No Deal” Result at the Hanoi Summit (UPDATED)

Not only did the summit in Hanoi between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un fail to produce meaningful results, but Trump and his team have clearly squandered the seven months since the Singapore summit to make progress on even modest steps toward that meeting's lofty goals. President Trump’s happy talk after the historic event in June last year about North Korea no longer being a nuclear threat is just that. In reality, even without nuclear and ballistic missile flight testing, North Korea’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs—and the security risks...

Controversy Over Nuclear Safety Board Scope and Size

Overlooked but significant controversies have been simmering about an independent government board in charge of overseeing safety standards and practices at the Department of Energy’s nuclear weapons complex, and the battle for independent oversight between the board and the agency. These issues are made all the more concerning against the backdrop of the Trump administration’s costly and expanding plans to recapitalize the U.S. nuclear weapons complex and increase the production of plutonium cores for nuclear weapons. In May 2018, the Energy Department issued Order 140.1 , which would change...

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