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Stanley R. Resor, Former ACA Chairman of the Board, Dies at 94



ACA members, Board leaders, and staff--present and past--mourn the death of Stan Resor, on Tuesday the 17th at his home in Washington, D.C. He will be missed.

Stan was a man of integrity who contributed a great deal to his country and was a leader and a loyal friend for many of us, including those on the Board and staff of ACA, for many years. He joined the Board in 1983 and served as its chairman from 1992-2000.

The article below was original posted on April 20, 2012 at The New York Times

Stanley R. Resor, Vietnam War Army Chief, Dies at 94

Image Source: New York TimesStanley R. Resor, who as secretary of the Army from 1965 to 1971 oversaw the troop buildup in Vietnam, investigated the massacre of civilians by American soldiers at My Lai and laid the groundwork for the all-volunteer Army, died on Tuesday at his home in Washington. He was 94.

The cause was renal failure, his son Edmund said.

Mr. Resor (pronounced REE-zor) appointed the first female Army generals, supervised the development of helicopter-based warfare tactics and ended racial discrimination in off-base housing at German bases.

The number of Army troops in Vietnam increased from 961,000 in January 1966 to a peak of 1.5 million in 1968 under his aegis. Mr. Resor then supervised the Army’s training of South Vietnamese forces to take over the fighting, a process called Vietnamization.

Although known for his quiet, meticulous approach as a top lawyer in a prestigious New York law firm, Mr. Resor could speak his mind. When he resigned in May 1971 after serving six years under Presidents Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard M. Nixon, he said the Vietnam War could prove to be “unwise” if it resulted in a new American isolationism.

He went on to serve as an ambassador in charge of negotiating troop reductions in Europe from 1973 to 1978, and as the third-ranking official in the Defense Department from 1978 to 1979. He also became an outspoken advocate of nuclear arms cuts. As chairman of the Arms Control Association in 1997, he rounded up 50 arms control experts to write a letter to President Bill Clinton protesting the expansion of NATO as needlessly provocative to Russia.

As Army secretary, Mr. Resor introduced women into the service’s top ranks when he appointed Col. Elizabeth P. Hoisington and Col. Anna Mae Hays as generals in 1970. The next year, in answer to complaints that black soldiers in Germany were being discriminated against by landlords of off-base housing, he set up a housing referral office to combat the problem.

Mr. Resor also helped plan for replacing draftees during the Vietnam War with an all-volunteer Army, although he worried about whether that was fair and whether it would lead the United States into more wars. The all-volunteer force began in 1973.

After American troops killed between 347 and 504 unarmed civilians in Vietnam on March 16, 1968, in what came to be known as the My Lai massacre, Mr. Resor, a combat veteran of World War II, ordered an investigation. Gen. William Peers returned with 20,000 pages of testimony and recommendations that dozens of men be prosecuted.

Mr. Resor ended up not prosecuting top officers, including Gen. William C. Westmoreland, the Vietnam commander. But he demoted Maj. Gen. Samuel W. Koster, commander of the units involved in the killings.

He resisted the urging of some in the Nixon administration that Lt. William Calley, a platoon leader, not be tried. Of 26 originally charged in the massacre, Lieutenant Calley was the only person convicted, but after years of legal proceedings and protests that Lieutenant Calley had been made a scapegoat, Mr. Resor’s successor, Howard H. Callaway, pardoned him in 1974.

The divisiveness of the Vietnam War also led to a two-year program under Mr. Resor in which antiwar politicians and activists were spied upon. Army spokesmen at first denied that the program existed, but Mr. Resor later released a letter acknowledging it.

Mr. Resor was the son of Stanley Burnet Resor, who built the J. Walter Thompson Company into a giant of the advertising industry. He was given his father’s name when he was born in Manhattan on Dec. 5, 1917, but in his teens he changed his middle name to Rogers to escape his father’s large shadow. “One of the few vain things I ever saw my father do,” his own son said.

Mr. Resor went to the Groton School in Massachusetts and did both his undergraduate and law studies at Yale, where he became close friends with Cyrus R. Vance, who would become secretary of state. During World War II he served in the Army, fighting in the Battle of the Bulge and receiving the Bronze and Silver Stars and a Purple Heart.

He joined the law firm of what today is Debevoise & Plimpton. Although Mr. Resor was a moderate Republican, President Johnson, a Democrat, appointed him Army secretary. President Nixon, a Republican, reappointed him.

In 1978, President Jimmy Carter appointed Mr. Resor under secretary of defense for policy. He resigned in frustration less than a year later; news reports said he had been “frozen out” by bureaucrats protecting their turf.

In 1948, Mr. Resor married Jane Lawler Pillsbury, daughter of John Pillsbury, former chairman of the Pillsbury Flour Mill Company. She died in 1994.

Mr. Resor is survived by his wife, the former Louise Mead Walker; his sons, Stanley, Charles, John, Edmund, William, Thomas and James; 20 grandchildren; and 2 great-grandchildren.

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ACA delivers a lot on a modest budget, we make every individual donation count toward the bottom line: building support and action for a safer world. That is why the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation recognized the Arms Control Association as one of the most "creative and effective" nonprofit organizations in the world.

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Support ACA's Vital Work in 2012


December 9, 2011

Dear friend:

Over the past three years, the Arms Control Association and its allies have catalyzed significant momentum for nuclear disarmament.

But big challenges remain. There is more that we can and must do to prevent the use and spread of nuclear weapons and to achieve a world without nuclear weapons--for our generation and the generations to come.

That's why I'm asking you once again to help support ACA's vital work with a generous, tax-deductible, online contribution of $50, $100, $250, $500 or more.

Your support will enable ACA to inform and influence pivotal policy decisions in 2012 that could open the door to dramatic progress in the years ahead. These include:

  • Preventing a nuclear-armed Iran through diplomacy. ACA continues to assemble key experts and the facts to explain why pragmatic engagement--not simply sanctions and not military action--is the most effective way to take Tehran off the nuclear weapons path.
  • Pressing for deeper U.S.-Russian nuclear weapons cuts. We can't stop with New START. ACA will continue to make the case for reciprocal reductions below 1,000 warheads each and engaging other nuclear-armed states in the disarmament process.
  • Discarding Cold War-era nuclear targeting and alert postures. ACA is also lobbying President Obama to implement overdue changes to U.S. nuclear weapons doctrine that would reduce their role and number and would open the way for deeper reductions.
  • Bringing tactical nuclear weapons into the nuclear arms control process. ACA has encouraged a high-level dialogue and fresh thinking within NATO on how obsolete U.S. and Russian tactical nuclear weapons can finally be removed from Europe.
  • Trimming expensive and unnecessary nuclear weapons spending. In the context of Washington's deficit reduction debate, ACA has helped focus attention on the more than $45 billion in savings that can be achieved over 10 years by cutting back on costly and unnecessary new strategic nuclear-armed submarines, bombers, and missile systems.

And of course, ACA will also take advantage of other opportunities in 2012. We will continue to build support for the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty; promote creative strategies to halt fissile material production; renew efforts to contain North Korea's nuclear ambitions; track efforts to secure vulnerable nuclear material; and push for the negotiation of an effective conventional Arms Trade Treaty; and more.

Your tax-deductible contribution will give you and others access to the leading journal in the field, Arms Control Today, and help us continue to raise public awareness, inform the news media, hold policymakers accountable, dispel arms control myths, and promote effective policy solutions.

With ACA's hard-working professional staff, our network of experts, and our strong reputation among lawmakers and opinion leaders, ACA succeeds in making a positive difference.

That's why the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation recognized ACA earlier this year as one of the few "exceptional organizations that effectively address pressing national and international challenges and that have had an impact that is disproportionate to their small size."

But in order to maintain our high level of impact, we need your continuing support. Now.

ACA's budget is stretched to the limit.  Our low overhead costs allows us to put our resources into programs, not fundraising and administration. We make the most of each individual contribution.

Thank you for your past and continued support.


Daryl G. Kimball,
Executive Director

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In Memoriam: Jonathan B. Tucker, 1954-2011



Image Source: Washington PostJonathan B. Tucker (to the left), member of the Arms Control Association Board and leading biological and chemical weapons expert, died recently at his home in Washington, DC. He will be deeply missed. His departure leaves a tremendous vacuum in the field of biological and chemical weapons arms control.

For those who met or worked with him, Jonathan stood out as someone who was always willing to help, was thoughtful and never rash, and was possessed with a quiet determination to find answers to the deeper questions and come up with practical answers to international security challenges.

Jonathan joined the ACA Board of Directors in 2003 and provided thoughtful advice to the organization on many occasions. Readers of Arms Control Today will know him from his frequent contributions on biological and chemical weapons issues through the years. Most recently he helped with our interview of a senior U.S. official on the upcoming Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) Review Conference and his January/February article provides a cogent analysis of the challenges facing the BWC.

For ACA’s staff and fellow Board Members, as well as many others in the field, Jonathan was the “go to guy” on all things having to do with biosecurity, biological and chemical weapons, and more.

Jonathan not only knew his stuff, but he was a gifted analyst, speaker and writer. He had that rare ability to understand complex issues and still be able to translate them in a way that policymakers and the public could understand.

On one memorable occasion, Jonathan helped ACA explain the case for continuing inspections in Iraq rather than launching an invasion to halt Saddam Hussein’s suspected WMD programs. His analysis then, as on other occasions, was carefully formulated but clear and easily understood. At that October 7, 2002 briefing Jonathan astutely said:

“In conclusion, a realistic goal of the UN inspection regime is not to eliminate every last weapon, which is probably impossible, but to deny Iraq a militarily significant mass-destruction capability. I believe that goal is probably achievable if UNMOVIC is given full access to relevant facilities throughout Iraq, supplied with accurate and timely intelligence, and supported by a united Security Council.”

Jonathan was an expert’s expert. He held a biology degree from Yale and a Ph.D. from MIT in political science. His career included a number of government positions, including at the U.S. State Department, in the Office of Technology Assessment, and in the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency. He was a member of the U.S. delegation to the preparatory commission for the Chemical Weapons Convention and served as a biological weapons inspector for the United Nations in Iraq in 1995.

Jonathan later worked at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, the U.S. Institute for Peace, and in 2008 served on the professional staff of the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism. In 2011 he joined the Federation of American Scientists to lead their Biosecurity Education Project.

Jonathan was a prolific writer, producing many highly regarded books, including Scourge: The Once and Future Threat of Smallpox (Grove/Atlantic, 2001), Biosecurity: Limiting Terrorist Access to Deadly Pathogens (U.S. Institute of Peace, 2003), War of Nerves: Chemical Warfare from World War I to Al-Qaeda (Pantheon, 2006), and edited volumes including Germany in Transition: A Unified Nation's Search for Identity (Westview Press, 1999), and Toxic Terror: Assessing Terrorist Use of Chemical and Biological Weapons (MIT Press, 2000)

We will always remember Jonathan as an extremely dedicated, talented, and warm human being. We will miss his spirit and wise counsel. –DARYL G. KIMBALL and TOM Z. COLLINA

Arms Trade News

Collection of Arms Trade News, a bi-weekly compilation of news produced by ACA on behalf of the Arms Transfers Working Group.

2010 Foreign Military Sales and Human Rights Records

ACA’s Xiaodon Liang has cross-checked the list of 28 countries for which Congress was notified of foreign military sales in 2010 against the State Department’s own human rights reports. Reading these reports is, at times, more an art than science, but the overall picture is not pretty. More than a third (11) of the states failed to guarantee freedom of speech, association, and assembly, as well as a free press. Torture, arbitrary arrest, and discrimination remained a problem in many of these same states.

ATWG Experts

Arms Transfers Working Group

The Arms Transfers Working Group (ATWG) is an alliance of arms control, development, human rights and academic organizations and affiliated individuals. ATWG serves as an information clearinghouse, forum and point of contact for strengthening efforts to address the economic, humanitarian and security implications of legal, illicit, and illegal arms transfers. ATWG participants focus on a wide range of concerns related to small arms and light weapons, major conventional weapons systems, and relevant dual-use technologies.

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