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"Though we have acheived progress, our work is not over. That is why I support the mission of the Arms Control Association. It is, quite simply, the most effective and important organization working in the field today." 

– Larry Weiler
Former U.S.-Russian arms control negotiator
August 7, 2018
Focus Archive

In each month's issue of Arms Control Today, executive director Daryl Kimball provides an editorial perspective on a critical arms control issue.

  • Even before his disastrous decision to invade Ukraine last year, Russian President Vladimir Putin had demonstrated a malign indifference toward basic norms of international behavior, an uneven record of compliance with cornerstone arms control agreements, and a penchant for bullying and using deadly force against opponents.

  • Since the end of the Cold War, every U.S. president has conducted an in-depth review of the nation's nuclear strategy.

  • Over the long, dangerous course of the nuclear age, the easing of tensions and resolution of crises between the nuclear-armed states have relied not only on good luck and self-restraint, but on effective, leader-to-leader dialogue.

  • Sixty years ago this month, the Soviet Union and the world teetered on the edge of nuclear Armageddon over Russian missile deployments in Cuba.

  • In addition to increasing human suffering and reminding the world of the risks of nuclear weapons, the Russian war on Ukraine halted U.S. and Russian arms control talks that are necessary to maintain verifiable caps on, perhaps even reduce, the world’s largest nuclear arsenals. But now there is an opportunity for renewing disarmament diplomacy.

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin’s threats of possible use of nuclear weapons against any state that might interfere with Russia’s large-scale invasion of Ukraine have reawakened the world to the dangers of nuclear war.

  • At this time of heightened nuclear danger, responsible NPT states must act with urgency to reinforce norms against nuclear weapons, push back against Russia’s nuclear bullying, and strengthen their commitment to reverse the arms race, avoid nuclear war, and eliminate nuclear weapons.

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin’s brutal war on Ukraine, along with his implied threats of nuclear weapons use against any who would interfere, has raised the specter of nuclear conflict.

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to launch a massive assault on independent, democratic, non-nuclear Ukraine has unleashed a war that has killed thousands, displaced millions, and raised the risk of nuclear conflict.

  • President Vladimir Putin has chosen the path of destruction instead of diplomacy.

  • On Jan. 3, the leaders of the five nuclear-armed members of the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) issued a rare joint statement on preventing nuclear war in which they affirmed, for the first time, the 1985 Reagan-Gorbachev maxim that “a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.”

  • Last month, the UN First Committee, responsible for international security, approved a compromise resolution that sets into motion a new open-ended working group to develop rules of the road for military activities in space.

  • Twenty-six years ago, at the 1995 review conference on the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), the future of the treaty was not asssured. But the states-parties committed to the “complete elimination of nuclear weapons” and endorsed specific disarmament actions that led to the indefinite extension of this treaty. But since at least 2010, the nuclear disarmament process has stalled, and the NPT regime is once again at a crossroads.

  • Most successful U.S. presidents have actively led efforts to advance arms control agreements and reduce the risk of nuclear war. 

  • For the first five decades of the nuclear age, nuclear weapons test explosions were the most visible symbol of the dangers of nuclear weapons and the omnipresent threat of nuclear war.

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