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

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former IAEA Director-General
Greg Thielmann

NATO’s Missile Defense Plan Must Adapt to the Real World

News Source: 
The Hill
News Date: 
July 7, 2016 -04:00

NATO’s Missile Defense Plan Must Adapt to the Real World

This op-ed originally appeared in The Hill. One of the biggest challenges for NATO at its July 8-9 summit will be to adopt measures that reassure allies in the face of Russian intimidation without provoking an escalation in already high tensions between Russia and the West. Given that missile defense has been a driver of tensions between Moscow and Washington since Ronald Reagan launched his Star Wars plan to render ballistic missiles “impotent and obsolete,” one of the best ways to achieve reassurance and avoid provocation would be to alter the existing timetable for deploying more capable...

U.S. Missile Defenses in Europe: Move the Ball, Not the Goal Posts

Within the last decade, the United States has made several important adjustments to its plans for deploying missile defenses in Europe. In light of the ongoing implementation of the Iran nuclear deal and an objective assessment of Iran’s missile program, it is high time to make another one—suspending the deployment of more advanced Aegis missile defense interceptors to Poland. Defending Europe Against Iran In September 2009, President Barack Obama announced a four-part “European Phased Adaptive Approach” (EPAA) to deploying U.S. missile defenses in Europe against the emerging ballistic...

North Korea’s Nuclear and Missile Tests Set the Stage for Party Congress

In the four months leading up to the North Korean Workers’ Party Congress convening on May 6, the country’s young dictator, Kim Jong Un, has ordered up a dazzling display of the country’s putative prowess in nuclear weaponry. The mixed results of nuclear and missile testing may succeed in impressing Kim’s domestic audience and alarming or inciting his neighbors to the south. But the testing also demonstrates that North Korea’s achievements fall far short of its claims and that political goals rather than technological imperatives are driving weapons development programs. All Eyes on the...

The P5+1 and Iran Nuclear Deal Alert, April 27

Kerry and Zarif Discuss Sanctions and Heavy Water U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in New York on April 22 to discuss implementation of last July’s nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action . The meeting was the second for Kerry and Zarif in a week, and took place amidst concerns from Iranian officials that the United States has not met its sanctions-relief obligations under the deal, despite Iran implementing required restrictions on its nuclear program. Valiollah Seif, head of Iran’s Central Bank, said at the...

Russia Relies on “Satan” to Keep New START Data Exchange Numbers Up

The eleventh U.S.-Russian biannual data exchange under the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) shows a mixed measure of progress toward keeping under the treaty’s February 2018 ceilings. Five of the six numbers are below or trending toward those ceilings. But Russia moved upward above the ceiling in operationally deployed warheads for the second consecutive time as the U.S. warhead count continued to fall. While disappointing in the signals it sends, the bump-up in Russia’s current warhead aggregate is neither militarily significant, nor necessarily indicative of an intent to...

The Iranian Ballistic Missile Launches That Didn't Happen

Iran’s binge of short- and medium-range ballistic missile launches on March 8 and 9 garnered considerable attention in the press and in American political circles. These provocative launches, which coincided with a visit to Israel by U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, were roundly condemned by U.S. politicians in both parties. It may be more revealing, however, to focus on two Iranian missile types that were not launched last week—launches that have been expected for years. These systems, the Simorgh space rocket and the Sejjil-2 medium-range ballistic missile (MRBM), represent aspects of missile...

How Should Washington Respond to Iran’s Ballistic Missile Tests?

Iran’s recent ballistic missile tests, while extremely unhelpful, should not come as a surprise. And although the missile tests violate UN Security Council Resolution 1929, they are not a violation of the soon-to-be-implemented nuclear deal between six world powers and Iran. There should be consequences for violations of Security Council resolutions. However, U.S. policymakers should put the risks posed by the missile tests in perspective and pursue effective actions that address the violation, but do not undermine progress toward reducing Iran’s nuclear potential. Despite the passage of UN...

Latest New START Data Shows Nuclear Posture—and Nuclear Posturing

Charting the data exchanged under the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) between Russia and the United States from February 2011 to September 2015 shows that Russia reversed course two years ago and began increasing the number of warheads deployed on long-range ballistic missiles. Russia has now exceeded the treaty limit of 1,550 deployed strategic warheads in each of the last three data exchanges, which occur twice per year. The treaty requires that the ceilings be met by February 2018. The U.S. trajectory for New START-accountable deployed strategic warheads, meanwhile,...

Latest New START Data Shows Nuclear Posture—and Nuclear Posturing

Charting the data exchanged under the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) between Russia and the United States from February 2011 to September 2015 shows that Russia reversed course two years ago and began increasing the number of warheads deployed on long-range ballistic missiles. Russia has now exceeded the treaty limit of 1,550 deployed strategic warheads in each of the last three data exchanges, which occur twice per year. The treaty requires that the ceilings be met by February 2018. The U.S. trajectory for New START-accountable deployed strategic warheads, meanwhile,...

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