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"ACA's journal, Arms Control Today, remains the best in the market. Well focused. Solidly researched. Prudent."

– Hans Blix
Former IAEA Director-General
Daryl G. Kimball

Trump could announce a second summit with North Korean leader within days

News Source: 
The Washington Post
News Date: 
January 16, 2019 -05:00

Russia Warns U.S. Moves Threaten 2011 Nuclear Pact

News Source: 
Wall Street Journal
News Date: 
January 15, 2019 -05:00

US weighs new ways to detect and track enemy missiles

News Source: 
Associated Press
News Date: 
January 15, 2019 -05:00

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un spends his birthday in talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping

News Source: 
South China Morning Post
News Date: 
January 8, 2019 -05:00

Preventing a New Euro-Missile Race

Next month, it is very likely the Trump administration will take the next step toward fulfilling the president’s threat to “terminate” one of the most far-reaching and most successful nuclear arms reduction agreements: the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, which led to the verifiable elimination of 2,692 Soviet and U.S. missiles based in Europe.


January/February 2019
By Daryl G. Kimball, Executive Director

Next month, it is very likely the Trump administration will take the next step toward fulfilling the president’s threat to “terminate” one of the most far-reaching and most successful nuclear arms reduction agreements: the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, which led to the verifiable elimination of 2,692 Soviet and U.S. missiles based in Europe. The treaty helped bring an end to the Cold War and paved the way for agreements to slash bloated strategic nuclear arsenals and to withdraw thousands of tactical nuclear weapons from forward-deployed areas.

Russia's 9M729 missile reportedly has been tested using a mobile launcher system similar to that used by the 9K720 Iskander-M pictured here on September 18, 2017. Photo credit: Ministry of Defence of the Russian FederationOn Dec. 4, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared that Russia had fielded a ground-launched missile system, the 9M729, that exceeds the INF Treaty’s 500-kilometer range limit. He also announced that, in 60 days, the administration would “suspend” U.S. obligations under the treaty and formally announce its intention to withdraw in six months unless Russia returns to compliance. Suspension will allow the administration to try to accelerate the development of new missiles currently prohibited by the treaty.

Noncompliance with the treaty is unacceptable and merits a strong response. But Trump’s public declaration that he will terminate the treaty and pursue new U.S. nuclear capabilities will not bring Russia back into compliance with the INF Treaty. Worst of all, blowing up the INF Treaty with no substitute plan in place could open the door to a dangerous new era of unconstrained military competition with Russia.

Without the treaty, already severe tensions will grow as Washington considers deployment of new intermediate-range missiles in Europe and perhaps elsewhere and Russia considers increasing 9M729 deployments and other new systems.

These nuclear-capable weapons, if deployed again, would be able to strike targets deep inside Russia and in western Europe. Their short time-to-target capability increases the risk of miscalculation in a crisis. Any nuclear attack on Russia involving U.S. intermediate-range, nuclear-armed missiles based in Europe could provoke a massive Russian nuclear counterstrike on Europe and on the U.S. homeland.

In delivering the U.S. ultimatum on the treaty, Pompeo expressed “hope” that Russia will “change course” and return to compliance. Hope that Russia will suddenly admit fault and eliminate its 9M729 system is not a serious strategy, and it is not one on which NATO leaders can rely.

Instead, NATO members should insist that the United States and Russia redouble their sporadic INF Treaty discussions, agree to meet in a formal setting, and put forward proposals for how to resolve issues of mutual concern about the treaty.

Unfortunately, U.S. officials have refused thus far to take up Russia’s offer to discuss “any mutually beneficial proposals that take into account the interests and concerns of both parties.” That is a serious mistake. Failure by both sides to take diplomatic engagement more seriously since the 9M729 missile was first tested five years ago has bought us to this point.

Barring an unlikely 11th-hour diplomatic breakthrough, however, the INF Treaty’s days are numbered. Doing nothing is not a viable option.

With the treaty possibly disappearing later this year, it is not too soon to consider how to head off a dangerous and costly new missile race in Europe.

One option would be for NATO to declare, as a bloc, that none of them will field any INF Treaty-prohibited missiles or any equivalent new nuclear capabilities in Europe so long as Russia does not field treaty-prohibited systems that can reach NATO territory. This would require Russia to remove those 9M729 missiles that have been deployed in western Russia.

This would also mean forgoing Trump’s plans for a new ground-launched, INF Treaty-prohibited missile. Because the United States and its NATO allies can already deploy air- and sea-launched systems that can threaten key Russian targets, there is no need for such a system. Key allies, including Germany, have already declared their opposition to stationing new intermediate-range missiles in Europe.

In the absence of the INF Treaty, another possible approach would be to negotiate a new agreement that verifiably prohibits ground-launched, intermediate-range ballistic or cruise missiles armed with nuclear warheads. As a recent United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research study explains, the sophisticated verification procedures and technologies already in place under the 2010 New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) can be applied with almost no modification to verify the absence of nuclear warheads deployed on shorter-range missiles.

Such an approach would require additional declarations and inspections of any ground-launched INF Treaty-range systems. To be of lasting value, such a framework would require that Moscow and Washington agree to extend New START, which is now scheduled to expire in 2021.

The INF Treaty crisis is a global security problem. Without serious talks and new proposals from Washington and Moscow, other nations will need to step forward with creative and pragmatic solutions that create the conditions necessary to ensure that the world’s two largest nuclear actors meet their legal obligations to end the arms race and reduce nuclear threats.

Trump, once fiery on Twitter, warms to old-fashioned mash notes from Kim Jong Un

News Source: 
Washington Post
News Date: 
January 3, 2019 -05:00

Kim Jong Un’s New Years’ Address Seen As More Gambit Than Threat

News Source: 
Radio Free Asia
News Date: 
January 2, 2019 -05:00

2018 Arms Control Person(s) of the Year Nominees Announced

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Since 2007, the Arms Control Association's staff and board of directors has nominated individuals and institutions that have advanced effective arms control, nonproliferation, and disarmament solutions or raised awareness of the threats posed by mass casualty weapons.

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For Immediate Release: December 7, 2018

Media Contacts: Daryl Kimball, executive director, (202) 463-8270 ext 107; Shervin Taheran, research assistant, (202) 463-8270 ext 103.
 

(WASHINGTON, D.C.)—Since 2007, the Arms Control Association's staff and board of directors have nominated individuals and institutions that have advanced effective arms control, nonproliferation, and disarmament solutions or raised awareness of the threats posed by mass casualty weapons.

This year's nominees are listed below. Each nominee has, in their own way, provided leadership to help reduce weapons-related security threats during the past year.

Last year, more than 2,500 individuals from over 90 countries voted in the contest, the highest number of votes from the widest range of countries in the 10-year history of the contest. A full list of previous winners is available here.

Voting will take place on the Arms Control Association's website between December 7, 2018 and January 7, 2019. The results will be announced January 10, 2019.

The 2018 nominees are:
  • South Korean President Moon Jae-in for promoting improved Inter-Korean relations and a renewed dialogue between Washington and Pyongyang on denuclearization and peace that has led to a number of significant steps to decrease tensions, including a North Korean moratorium on long-range missile and nuclear testing, a halt to U.S.-South Korean military exercises, and steps to avoid military incidents along the demilitarized zone that divides North Korea and South Korea.
     
  • European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, for her persistent efforts on behalf of the EU to ensure the full implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which has verifiably blocked Iran’s pathways to nuclear weapons, and to preserve legitimate trade with Iran after the Trump administration violated the agreement and reimposed sanctions.
     
  • California State Assembly member Cecilia Aguiar-Curry for introducing the first statewide resolution on restricting presidential “first use” nuclear launch authority (AJR 30) to be approved by a State Assembly and Senate. Similar resolutions on the subject have been introduced in other state legislatures around the country this year, including in Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, and Vermont.
     
  • Representatives Adam Smith (D-Wash.), Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), John Garamendi (D-Calif.), and Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) and Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) for offering amendments during the fiscal year 2019 defense authorization and appropriations process to eliminate or condition funding to develop a low-yield warhead option for the U.S. submarine-launched ballistic missile as proposed in the Trump administration's Nuclear Posture Review. The lawmakers warned that the new warhead is unnecessary, could lead to unintended nuclear escalation, and could lower the threshold for nuclear use.
     
  • German Minister for Economic and Energy Affairs Peter Altmaier, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, and Chancellor Angela Merkel for Germany’s initiative to cut off any new arms sales to Saudi Arabia and rescind approval for existing sales in response to Saudi Arabia’s role in the murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Since 2012, Germany has substantially reduced arms exports in response to human rights concerns the Saudi Arabia’s role in the war in Yemen.
     
  • A group of 4,000 anonymous Google employees for writing a letter to Google’s leadership opposing “Project Maven” a Google-Pentagon project using artificial intelligence (AI) which could be used to improve drone targeting. Due to the employees’ actions, Google ended its work on Project Maven when the contract expired and announced it would focus on “socially beneficial” AI and avoid work that causes “overall harm.”
     
  • UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for launching a comprehensive, humanitarian-based United Nations Disarmament Agenda in May and for rolling-out an implementation plan in October. Guterres’ 87-page agenda encompasses 40 specific action items to take forward the disarmament of weapons of mass destruction, conventional weapons and emerging methods of warfare.
     
  • Permanent Representative of Ireland to the United Nations in Geneva Michael Gaffey, Permanent Representative of Namibia to the United Nations in Geneva Sabine Böhlke Möller, Director of the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research Renata Dwan, Permanent Representative of Canada to the United Nations in Geneva Rosemary McCarney, and Founder/Executive Director of [email protected] Caitlin Kraft-Buchman for creating and co-chairing the International Gender Champions Disarmament Impact Group. The impact group developed specific aims for expanding knowledge about the importance of gender issues and practical actions for bringing gendered perspectives into disarmament discussions. The group identified priority actions and for engagement in 2018-2019.
     
  • French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian for launching the “International Partnership Against Impunity for the Use of Chemical Weapons” initiative in January to “name and shame” individuals connected to chemical weapons attacks. The French also contributed to winning approval in June from Chemical Weapons Convention states parties to grant the Organization of the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons the authority to investigate and identify perpetrators of chemical weapons attacks.

Previous winners of the "Arms Control Person of the Year" include:  The disarmament delegations of Austria, Brazil, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, and South Africa, and Amb. Elayne Whyte Gómez of Costa Rica (2017)The government of Marshall Islands and its former Foreign Minister Tony de Brum (2016); Setsuko Thurlow and the Hibakusha of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, (2015); Austria's Director for Arms Control, Nonproliferation, and Disarmament Ambassador Alexander Kmentt (2014), Executive-Secretary of the CTBTO Lassina Zerbo (2013); Gen. James Cartwright (2012); reporter and activist Kathi Lynn Austin (2011), Kazakhstan's Deputy Foreign Minister Kairat Umarov and Thomas D'Agostino, U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration Administrator (2010); Senator Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) (2009), Norway's Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre and his ministry's Director-General for Security Policy and the High North Steffen Kongstad (2008), and U.S.Congressmen Peter Visclosky (D-Ind.) and David Hobson (R-Ohio) (2007).

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