ACA Issue Briefs provide rapid reaction to breaking arms control events and analyze key nuclear/chemical/biological/conventional arms issues. They are available for quotation by the media.
This week, the GOP-controlled House of Representatives will debate and vote on its annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which, among other things, would provide up to $250 million to build a missile defense site on the U.S. East Coast by 2018. This is a bad idea for a number of reasons, and would ultimately lead to a rushed, ineffective system wasting billions of taxpayer dollars.
Diplomats from the United States and over 100 other countries will meet in at the United Nations in New York this month for the "final" meeting to negotiate a legally-binding, global Arms Trade Treaty (ATT).
In his State of the Union Address, President Barack Obama reiterated that the United States will continue to seek to reduce the size of the still-bloated U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals. Obama said the United States would "engage Russia to seek further reductions in our nuclear arsenals."
According to a new report published today by the Center for Public Integrity, the Barack Obama administration has determined that the United States can further reduce its nuclear force while maintaining a strong deterrent against any threat. The report cites administration sources who say the reductions will not occur immediately nor would they be undertaken unilaterally, but they suggest the administration will seek to pursue deeper nuclear arms cuts in tandem with Russia.
As the 112th Congress enters its final days, one of its critical priorities should be approving implementing legislation for two treaties that help raise the barriers against nuclear terrorism.
On September 23, 1992, under the surface of the Nevada Test Site, the United States conducted its 1,030th--and last--nuclear weapon test explosion. At the time, there were serious questions about whether the United States could indefinitely extend the service lives of its nuclear warheads without regular nuclear testing.
After years of denying any need to respond to international concerns about suspected nuclear weaponization work, Iran finally engaged in discussions earlier this year with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on a plan to address its alleged weapons-related activities. After months of on-and-off talks, however, Iran has still refused to agree to the IAEA's proposal for a "structured approach" to that investigation.
If the Congress and the White House are serious about reducing the booming federal deficit, they must work together to scale back previous schemes for a new generation of strategic nuclear weapons delivery systems and unnecessary spending on a ground-based missile defense system that doesn't work for a threat that doesn't exist.
The ongoing conflict in Syria-like recent wars in Burma, Congo, Liberia, Sudan, and Sierra Leone-underscores the urgent need for common standards for international transfers of conventional weapons and ammunition, as well as legally-binding requirements for all states to review exports and imports--particularly for arms transfers that could lead to human rights abuses or violate international arms embargoes.
In the coming weeks, following a long bipartisan tradition, President Barack Obama is expected to take a step away from the nuclear brink by proposing further reductions in U.S. and Russian arsenals. This would be a welcome step toward making the United States safer while redirecting defense dollars to higher priority needs.