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“It will take all of us working together – government officials, and diplomats, academic experts, and scientists, activists, and organizers – to come up with new and innovative approaches to strengthen transparency and predictability, reduce risk, and forge the next generation of arms control agreements.”
– Wendy Sherman
U.S. Deputy Secretary of State
June 2, 2022
Arms Control NOW

New START to Expire in Two Years as Russia Refuses Talks

With less than two years to go before the expiration of the last remaining treaty limiting the world's two largest arsenals, Russian leaders continue to reject U.S. offers to discuss a new nuclear arms control framework. In late December, Russia sent a diplomatic paper rejecting the United States’ proposal to resume arms control talks, according to U.S. officials , and Russia's foreign minister announced Jan. 18 that Russia was interested in talks on a new arms control framework to supersede the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START), which expires Feb. 5, 2026. In a speech Jan. 17,...

IAEA Head Calls for Diplomacy with Iran as Nuclear Activities Advance

The P4+1 and Iran Nuclear Deal Alert The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reiterated concerns about Iran’s advancing nuclear program and called for diplomacy with Tehran. During the Jan. 15-19 World Economic Forum in Davos, IAEA Director-General Rafael Mariano Grossi said Iran is “restricting cooperation in a very unprecedented way” and is punishing the agency for actions taken by the United States and European countries. He said it is “unacceptable” for the IAEA to be held “hostage” to Iran’s “political disputes with others.” Grossi emphasized that diplomacy is necessary...

Nuclear Arms Control Remains at Risk

In early 2021, ACA successfully encouraged the White House to work quickly on a deal with the Kremlin to extend the last remaining treaty limiting U.S. and Russian strategic nuclear weapons for another five years. In 2023, we encouraged the White House to outline a practical strategy for advancing nuclear arms control diplomacy with Russia and China. At ACA’s annual meeting in June, President Biden’s national security advisor proposed renewing a dialogue with Russia on a new nuclear arms control framework and a separate nuclear risk reduction dialogue with China “without preconditions.” At...

Why Dr. King Opposed the Atomic Bomb

Forty years ago in his December 11, 1964 Nobel Peace Prize lecture, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. declared, "Recent events have vividly reminded us that nations are not reducing but rather increasing their arsenals of weapons of mass destruction. The best brains of the most highly developed nations of the world are devoted to military technology. ... In a day when vehicles hurtle through outer space and guided ballistic missiles carve highways of death through the stratosphere, no nation can claim victory in war." In words that are, unfortunately, as applicable today as they were in 1964, he...

Brights Spots in a Difficult Year

Inside the Arms Control Association December 2023 Bright Spots in a Difficult Year Overall, 2023 was another difficult year for arms control and international security. In fact, it has been a difficult decade as relations among the states with the world’s largest nuclear arsenals have deteriorated and progress on disarmament has stalled. The result is that nuclear risks are on the rise, and we are now on the brink of a dangerous and costly era of nuclear competition – unless we act now. Through the challenges of the past year, we have persisted and made some headway that may provide openings...

JCPOA Off the Table as Nuclear Tensions Rise

The P4+1 and Iran Nuclear Deal Alert A top U.S. official said that restoring the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran is not a viable option in the current environment, confirming the shift in the Biden administration’s strategy for addressing the risk posed by Iran’s advancing nuclear program. Kurt Campbell, President Joe Biden’s nominee for deputy secretary of state, told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during his Dec. 7 confirmation hearing that a return to the nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), is “just not on the table.” Campbell, currently the National...

Our Creative, Effective, and Productive Team

Inside the Arms Control Association November 2023 More than a decade ago, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation recognized ACA as an “exceptional organization that effectively addresses pressing national and international challenges with an impact disproportionate to its small size.” We’re still modest in size and resources, but our dedicated professional staff and high-caliber board members continue to work hard to make a difference. This month has been no exception. In the wake of Russia’s counterproductive decision to withdraw its ratification from the CTBT, we continue to lead...

Russia Withdraws Ratification of Nuclear Test Ban Treaty

In an unprecedented move, Russian President Vladimir Putin officially rescinded Russia’s ratification of the treaty banning nuclear test explosions anywhere in the world Nov. 2. Russia’s ratification of the 1996 Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty ( CTBT ) and the U.S. failure to ratify the treaty “created an imbalance” between the two countries, “which is unacceptable in the current international situation,” said the Kremlin in a statement that day. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken responded that “Russia’s action will only serve to set back confidence in the international arms control regime...

Russia’s Self-Destructive Move to De-Ratify the CTBT

Inside the Arms Control Association October 2023 Russia’s Self-Destructive Move to De-Ratify the CTBT As with other critical arms control agreements, the 1996 Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) is under threat due to inattention, diplomatic sclerosis, and worsening relations between nuclear-armed adversaries. Disturbingly, but not surprisingly, Russian President Vladimir Putin has given members of the Russian Duma the green light to “un-ratify” the CTBT, ostensibly to “mirror” the posture of the United States toward the treaty and somehow pressure the United States to ratify the...

New Momentum for Nuclear Talks?

The P4+1 and Iran Nuclear Deal Alert The United States and Iran took limited steps to de-escalate tensions over the past few weeks, but it is unclear if the progress will lead to a resumption of talks over Iran’s advancing nuclear program and steps to reduce nuclear risk. On Sept. 18, five Americans imprisoned in Iran returned to the United States. In exchange, five Iranians in U.S. custody were released, and South Korea completed the transfer of $6 billion of Iran’s frozen assets to Qatar. Iran can access those funds to pay for goods exempt from U.S. sanctions, such as food and medicine. The...

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