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former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
School's In: The ACA Nuclear Report Card
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Arms Control NOW

By Scoville Fellow Rob Golan-Vilella

What is the "mainstream" in the nuclear nonproliferation regime? What are the standards that countries are expected to meet? And are crucial nations living up to these expectations?

These questions are the subject of a new Arms Control Association report, Assessing Progress on Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament: 2009-2010 Report Card, written by Peter Crail with assistance from ACA research staff. The report was released yesterday at an event at the National Press Club. At the release, Peter, ACA Executive Director Daryl Kimball, and the Carnegie Endowment's George Perkovich commented on and answered questions regarding the study's findings.

In the report's preface, Daryl describes its purpose:

This report is an ambitious attempt to describe what constitutes the "mainstream" of nonproliferation and disarmament behavior expected of responsible members of the international community and to provide a straightforward, transparent measurement of the performance over the past 18 months of 11 key states in meeting 10 major, universally recognized nuclear disarmament, nonproliferation, and nuclear security standards.

The 11 countries examined are the nine nations possessing nuclear capabilities (China, France, Russia, the U.K., the U.S., India, Israel, Pakistan, and North Korea) as well as two others in which there are outstanding nuclear proliferation concerns (Iran and Syria). The categories include banning nuclear testing, reducing nuclear force levels, controlling nuclear exports, and more. The report assigns grades on an A-to-F scale based on how each nation's actions measure against international standards in a particular category.

Read the full report here, as well as ACA's press release describing its approach and country-by-country highlights here. In future posts, this blog will also look at the results and implications of the report for specific countries.