Digests and Blog

Authored by Xiaodon Liang, Shizuka Kuramitsu, Libby Flatoff

Nuclear Disarmament MonitorMay 2024As efforts by the United States to engage with Russia in talks on nuclear risk reduction and a new nuclear arms control framework remain on hold, a group of Democratic lawmakers in the House and the Senate are urging President Joe Biden to prioritize efforts to engage Russia in bilateral talks on nuclear arms control, and to continue bilateral nuclear risk reduction talks with China, warning of growing risks of nuclear instability.On May 17, a dozen House and Senate Democrats wrote a bicameral letter to Biden on the need for renewed arms control talks amid…

Authored by Daryl Kimball, Kathy Crandall Robinson, and Tony Fleming

Inside the Arms Control Association            May 2024This year at ACA’s annual meeting, we will delve into some of the most pressing arms control, nonproliferation, and disarmament challenges facing the nation and the world today.We are honored to announce that UN Secretary-General António Guterres will deliver special remarks via video on the nuclear threat and critical steps to reduce nuclear dangers.One of the leading proponents of effective nuclear arms control and more sensible U.S. nuclear weapons policies, Congressman John Garamendi (D-Calif.), will deliver the opening keynote…

Authored by By Daryl Kimball, Tony Fleming, and Kathy Crandall Robinson

Inside the Arms Control Association    April 2024Today, nearly 80 years after the start of the nuclear age, the United States has more than 5,000 nuclear warheads, including some 1,770 thermonuclear warheads deployed on 660 powerful, long-range missiles on land and at sea, and on strategic bombers. In addition, the United States retains some 200 "tactical" nuclear bombs on shorter-range aircraft. Use of just a fraction of these weapons, most of which are deployed on a prompt launch status, would lead to catastrophic devastation on a global scale.As we reported in Arms Control Today this month…

As the Israeli government considers its response to Iran’s April 13 retaliatory attack, a strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities should be off the table. Targeting Iranian nuclear sites in reaction to a drone and missile attack that did minimal damage to Israel would be a reckless and irresponsible escalation that increases the risk of a wider regional war. Furthermore, a large-scale attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities is more likely to push Tehran to decide that developing nuclear weapons is necessary to deter future attacks.While the U.S. military rightly helped Israel shoot down the wave…

Authored by Kelsey Davenport

Iran avoided a censure during the March meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) Board of Governors despite Tehran’s failure to cooperate with a yearslong agency investigation into past undeclared nuclear activities. The United States and the E3 (France, Germany, and the United Kingdom) denounced Iran’s stonewalling during the quarterly board meeting and suggested that they will push for action at the June meeting if Iran does not cooperate with the agency.In a March 6 statement, the E3 said that “the need for the Board to hold Iran accountable to its legal obligations is…

Authored by Daryl Kimball, Tony Fleming, and Kathy Crandall Robinson

Inside the Arms Control Association    March 2024Last month speaking in Geneva, UN Secretary-General António Guterres issued a stark warning: “The nuclear shadow that loomed over humanity last century has returned with a vengeance.  The nuclear risk is higher than at any moment since the depths of the Cold War.”“Some statesmen regularly imply that they are fully prepared to unleash nuclear hell — an outrageous threat that the world must condemn with clarity and force.  And the vital norms and standards against the proliferation, testing, and use of nuclear weapons are being eroded,” he said.…

Authored by Shizuka Kuramitsu

A high school teacher in my hometown Hiroshima once shared with me a quote from David Krieger, “Some view Hiroshima from above mushroom clouds, whereas some are under the clouds.”On the evening of Feb. 22, an auction titled “Hiroshima Atomic Bombing: Melted Wristwatch with Detonation Time of 8:15 AM” was concluded with a $31,113 winning bid.Some, including sellers and bidders, perceived this auction as an opportunity to collect a rare historic treasure that symbolizes the dawn of the nuclear era. For other people, this watch is an artifact of a tragic memory. They felt disrespected, disgusted…

Authored by Kelsey Davenport

As U.S. forces and Iranian-backed militias clash in the Middle East, there is a growing risk that another dangerous flash point could ignite conflict between Tehran and Washington: Iran’s advancing nuclear program. Iran is already on the threshold of nuclear weapons six years on from U.S. withdrawal from the multilateral arrangement that had, to that point, successfully contained its nuclear program. Escalating regional tensions could push Tehran to determine it needs a nuclear deterrent for security or the United States to miscalculate Iran’s intentions and prematurely use military force…

Authored by Libby Flatoff and Shizuka Kuramitsu

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,…

Authored by Daryl Kimball, Kathy Crandall Robinson, and Tony Fleming

Inside the Arms Control Association      December 2023Bright Spots in a Difficult YearOverall, 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…