Authored by Daryl Kimball, Kathy Crandall Robinson, and Tony Fleming on July 30, 2021
For nearly a decade, the nuclear arms control and disarmament process has been at a standstill, spending on nuclear weapons has risen to obscene levels and competition between nuclear-armed states has been accelerating. As a result, the risk of nuclear war is increasing. In response, the Arms Control Association has been working to get the U.S. and other major powers to step back from the nuclear brink. We’re making some progress - even as we deal with an unexpected new challenge . At their June 16 summit, President Joe Biden and President Vladimir Putin agreed to build upon their decision to...
Authored by Daryl Kimball, Kathy Crandall Robinson, and Tony Fleming on June 1, 2021
This week’s summit meeting in Geneva is a pivotal opportunity for the leaders of the world’s two largest nuclear weapons possessors to reduce the growing risk of nuclear conflict and get back on track to reduce their bloated nuclear stockpiles. For months and weeks, we’ve been working hard to highlight and explain what can be done on strategic stability and arms control and to build political support for meaningful post-summit follow-through actions by President Biden and President Putin. Last week, our board chair Tom Countryman and I met with NSC staff at the White House and delivered a...
Authored by Daryl Kimball, Kathy Crandall Robinson, and Tony Fleming on April 1, 2021
Since the Arms Control Association was founded in 1971, we have taken on some consequential issues. Despite being a small organization, we have been able to punch above our weight class and make a difference by catalyzing action, informing better policy decisions, and holding decision-makers accountable to reduce the dangers posed by the world’s most dangerous weapons. Now, we are in a battle with the powerful "ICBM Lobby" over the size and the scope of the proposed $1.7 trillion U.S. nuclear weapons modernization program. Bill Hartung writes in an article in the forthcoming issue of Arms...
Authored by Daryl Kimball, Kathy Crandall Robinson, and Tony Fleming on March 1, 2021
The Arms Control Association team remains in the thick of the debate over how and why the United States and Iran should return to compliance with the historic 2015 nuclear deal. Since President Trump withdrew from the deal in 2018 and reimposed U.S. sanctions, Iran has retaliated by taking steps to ramp up its nuclear program and, in the process, has exceeded key limits set by the agreement. Both governments say they want to return to compliance, but they have not yet agreed as to how. With each passing day, the window of opportunity to avert a renewed nuclear crisis is narrowing. As I told...
Authored by Daryl Kimball, Kathy Crandall Robinson, and Tony Fleming on January 1, 2021
The 46th President of the United States, Joe Biden, already faces a daunting array of challenges left behind by his predecessor—including major decisions to reduce the threat of nuclear weapons and proliferation that require prompt action. Biden’s national and foreign policy team, along with the new Congress, have an opportunity and a responsibility to restore U.S. global leadership to reduce the threats posed by the world’s most dangerous weapons. Our new Arms Control Association report, Nuclear Challenges for the Biden Administration in the First 100 Days , written by our senior policy...
"Diversifying and Strengthening the Disarmament Movement,"
with Amb. Bonnie Jenkins (WCAPS), Cecili Thompson Williams, (Beyond the Bomb) Vincent Intondi (Montgomery College), and Daryl Kimball (ACA), moderated by Lilly Adams (ACA Board).
“The Impact of the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons” with Amb. Elaine Whyte Gómez, moderated by Zia Mian, Princeton University Program on Science and Global Security and Arms Control Association Board
Seventy-five years ago on July 16 1945, the nuclear age began with the world's first nuclear weapons test explosion in the New Mexico desert. In this annotated video essay from the Arms Control Association, we describe the events that transpired three weeks later with the atomic attacks on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
A more detailed review of the geopolitical, environmental, and humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons, the rise of a global disarmament movement, and the work of the hibakusha (survivors of the nuclear attacks) is available in our special July/August 2020 issue of Arms Control Today, available at ArmsControl.org/75years.
On July 16, 1945, in the New Mexico desert, the United States detonated the world’s first nuclear weapons test explosion.
Three weeks later, U.S. bombers carried out surprise atomic bomb attacks on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
At 8:15 in the morning on August 6, the uranium-based atomic bomb "Little Boy" was used on Hiroshima, home of approximately 320,000 people.
The blast packed a destructive force equivalent to about 15 kilotons of TNT.
In minutes, half of the city ... vanished.
The explosion produced a supersonic shock wave followed by extreme winds that remained above hurricane force over three kilometers from ground zero.
A secondary and equally devastating reverse wind followed, flattening and severely damaging homes and buildings several kilometers further away.
The intense heat of the Hiroshima bomb reached several million degrees Celsius and scorched flesh and other flammable materials over three kilometers away.
Flash burns from the primary heatwave caused most of the deaths at Hiroshima.
Three days later, U.S. leaders ordered “Fat Man,” a plutonium-based bomb with an explosive yield of 21 kilotons, dropped on Nagasaki, home to over 260,000 people.
The attack occurred two days earlier than planned, 10 hours after the Soviets entered the war against Japan, and as Japanese leaders were contemplating surrender.
Intense firestorms ravaged each city for hours after each attack. They leveled neighborhoods only partially damaged by the blast itself, killing more victims trapped under fallen debris.
Black rain laden with radioactive soot and dust contaminated areas far away from ground zero.
By the end of 1945, the blast, heat, and radiation of the nuclear attacks had killed an estimated 74,000 in Nagasaki and 140,000 in Hiroshima.
Many of those who survived the nuclear attacks would die from radiation-induced illnesses for years to come.
Historians now largely agree that the United States did not need to drop the bombs to avoid an invasion of Japan and bring an end to World War II.
Though aware of alternatives, President Harry Truman authorized use of the bombs in part to further the U.S. government’s postwar geostrategic aims.
Survivors of the nuclear attacks, known as hibakusha, and their descendants formed the nucleus of the Japanese and global nuclear disarmament movements.
The remaining hibakusha and organizations around the globe continue to work for a nuclear weapons-free world “so that succeeding generations of people will not see hell on earth ever again.”
Today, nine states still possess more than 13,000 nuclear weapons.
The risk of nuclear war is still with us.
To reduce this danger, we must freeze and reverse the arms race and, ultimately, eliminate nuclear weapons.
Atomic Heritage Foundation ･ Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
UN/Nagasaki International Cultural Hall ･ UN/Yosuke Yamahata
Galerie Bilderwelt/Getty Images ･ Joyce Naltchayan/AFP via Getty Images
Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images ･ Junko Kimura/Getty Images
Bettmann/Getty Images ･ Peter Parks/Getty Images
Seventy-five years ago, the nuclear age began with the world's first nuclear weapons test explosion in the New Mexico desert. In this annotated "silent film"-style video essay from the Arms Control Association, we learn about the events that transpired three weeks later with the atomic attacks on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Media Contacts: Kathy Crandall-Robinson, chief operations director, (202) 463-8270 ext. 101; Tony Fleming, director for communications, (202) 463-8270 ext. 110
(WASHINGTON, D.C.)—Since 2007, the Arms Control Association has nominated individuals and institutions that have, in the previous 12 months, advanced effective arms control, nonproliferation, and disarmament solutions and raised awareness of the threats posed by mass casualty weapons.
In a field that is often focused on threats and challenges, our Arms Control Person(s) of the Year contest aims to highlight the many positive initiatives that help improve international peace and security.
This year's nominees are listed below. All of the nominees have, in their own way, provided leadership to help reduce weapons-related security threats during the past year.
Reps. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) and Michael McCaul (R-Texas), and Sens. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Todd Young (R-Ind.) for introducing the "Richard G. Lugar and Ellen O. Tauscher Act to Maintain Limits on Russian Nuclear Forces" (H.R. 2529, S. 2394) bills expressing the Sense of Congress that the United States should seek to extend the New START so long as Russia remains in compliance. The House provision H.R. 2529, was adopted as part of the House version of the FY 2020 National Defense Authorization Act. In the Senate, Sens. Van Hollen and Young introduced an identical companion bill, S. 2394.
The Green Century Fund and Zevin Asset Management for excluding nuclear weapon producers from their investment portfolios. According to research by PAX, these are the only two U.S. institutions to have implemented and published a policy that comprehensively prevents financial involvement in nuclear weapon producing companies. Green Century excludes investments in companies involved in military weapons in their portfolios, which are valued at more than $600 million. Zevin was established for the exclusive purpose of managing socially responsible investment portfolios for individuals, families, and nonprofits. As of early 2019, it holds approximately US $500 million in assets under management.
Representatives Adam Smith (D-Wash.), Pete Visclosky (D-Ind.), and Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio) for writing legislation for fiscal year 2020 that sought to counter efforts by the Trump administration to expand the role of U.S. nuclear weapons and to prevent the unraveling of key arms control agreements. These leaders of the House defense authorizing and appropriations committees authored legislation that would have prohibited fielding of and denied funding for the low-yield submarine-launched ballistic missile warhead proposed in the Trump administration's 2018 Nuclear Posture Review, eliminated funding to develop land-based, intermediate-range missiles banned by the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, prohibited funding to withdraw from the 1992 Open Skies Treaty, expressed support for extending the life of the 2010 New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) for five years, and reduced funding to build a new fleet of intercontinental ballistic missiles and associated W87-1 warheads and expand production of plutonium pits.
The Arms Control Association is an independent, membership-based organization dedicated to providing authoritative information and practical policy solutions to address the threats posed by the world's most dangerous weapons.
Media Contact:Tony Fleming, director for communications, (202) 463-8270 ext 110
(Washington, D.C.)—A group of 4,000 anonymous Google employees opposing the company's work on a Pentagon project using artificial intelligence (AI), which could be used to improve drone targeting, was chosen as the 2018 Arms Control Persons of the Year for 2018.
More than 1,200 individuals from over 70 countries voted in this year’s iteration of the online contest.
Nine individuals and groups were nominated by the staff and board of the Arms Control Association for their leadership in advancing effective arms control, nonproliferation, and disarmament solutions or for raising awareness of the threats posed by mass casualty weapons during the course of 2018.
“Technological developments that remove or reduce direct human control over lethal weapon systems could change the nature of warfare and undermine global security. Not only do governments need to work harder to develop new rules to mitigate the risks, but researchers at private institutions and tech companies have a responsibility to step-in, when necessary, to ensure their projects are used responsibly,” said Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association.
“The initiative of this group of concerned Google employees helped to change company culture and policy for the better and is an example for others to follow,” he said.
Further details on the Google employees’ response to the company’s involvement in Project Maven were reported last year in a series of articles by Kate Conger published in Gizmodo.
Since 1972, Arms Control Today has provided
policymakers, journalists, and concerned citizens with the latest authoritative analyses on arms control proposals, negotiations, and agreements, and related national security news.
The runners-up in the vote for the 2018 Arms Control Persons of the Year were the founders and co-chairs of the International Gender Champions Disarmament Impact Group: 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. 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 second runner-up was South Korean president Moon Jae-in. He was nominated 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.