Since I wrote to you in April, the human toll of the global coronavirus pandemic has grown and the public health forecast about the crisis remains murky.
The pandemic is not only affecting our daily lives, but also accelerating several worrying trends in international and security affairs. We continue to witness the decline of U.S. leadership, which is often necessary to forge international cooperation on an array of global threats, including weapons-related dangers, that don’t respect national borders.
With your support, the staff and the board of directors continue working hard to bring these and other problems to light by producing our reliable fact-based news and analysis and encouraging political action to arrive at effective solutions. I’m proud of the incredible efforts of our small, hard-working team. In the coming months, you can count on us to:
Our approach to effecting meaningful change that improves national and global security involves working with other like-minded organizations, colleagues, and networks in the U.S. and around the globe. We’ll continue to work in coalition and partnership with others and continue to convene virtual meetings to strategize and plan how we can advance progress.
We understand that personal budgets are tighter and there are many worthy causes in these difficult times. Please consider becoming a member or making a donation to the Arms Control Association in an amount that is meaningful for you given your current finances, because our work still depends on your support.
Thank you and stay safe,
Daryl G. Kimball,
ACA Girds for Trump’s Next Attack on the Iran Deal
As we reported in our latest “P4+1 and Iran Nuclear Deal Alert” e-newsletter, the United States is considering a range of options to extend an expiring UN embargo that restricts arms sales to and from Iran. Among these options, the United States is trying to make the counterfactual legal case that it remains a participant of the nuclear deal with Iran despite the U.S. withdrawal from the agreement in May 2018 and can thereby reimpose UN nuclear-related sanctions on Iran.
Reimposing all UN sanctions and restrictions on Iran would likely collapse the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and tie the hands of a future U.S. president seeking to return to the multilateral nuclear deal.
Worse still, Iran’s foreign minister has also warned that Iran would withdraw from the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) if referred to the Security Council over its nuclear program and faced with the reimposition of UN sanctions.
Given the strong international support for compliance with the Iran nuclear deal, it is unclear if the Trump administration's plan to unilaterally snapback UN sanctions on Iran will succeed. We will be working over the next several weeks to keep the nuclear deal alive so we can avoid a new proliferation crisis and keep the door open to negotiations on a follow-on deal that builds on the JCPOA.
Q & A: U.S. Policy Toward the Iran Nuclear Deal
In the second of our new Q&A Video Short series, director for nonproliferation policy Kelsey Davenport discusses the Trump administration’s policies toward Iran and the status of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). View Kelsey’s presentation above or on the official Arms Control Association YouTube channel. You can subscribe to our channel to be the first to hear about when we publish new video content.
New START and U.S. National Security
As part of our ongoing campaign to build support for a five-year extension of the 2010 New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START), the Arms Control Association hosted a virtual policy briefing on April 29 featuring top former U.S. administration officials that drew more than 250 attendees.
New START is the last remaining arms control agreement between the United States and Russia. It is due to expire in February 2021. U.S. officials, including President Trump’s newly appointed special envoy, Marshall Billinsglea, have criticized New START and argue that it should not be extended unless China gets involved in nuclear arms control talks.
As we have shown, the vast majority of U.S. national security experts, former negotiators, Republican and Democratic members of Congress, U.S. allies, and U.S. military leaders don’t believe there is time for a new agreement and emphasize that a five-year extension of New START is critical to U.S. and international security.
“Put me down in the column of extension, and the reason for that is the clock is running,” said Admiral (ret.) Michael Mullen, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Our other briefers, Rose Gottemoeller, the lead U.S. negotiator for the treaty, and Lt. Gen. (ret.) Frank Klotz, the former administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration, joined Mullen in calling for an extension.
Gottemoeller argued that extending New START “would be an act of global leadership, reassuring our publics as they grapple with sickness and uncertainty.”
On May 6, Arms Control Association board member Laura Kennedy, former Ambassador to the Conference on Disarmament, spoke on a webinar organized by the National Committee on American Foreign Policy regarding the need for the Trump administration to extend New START with Russia.
We invite you to do your part to encourage New START extension. Please visit our “Take Action” page and write to your members of Congress.
Arms Control Association Board Chair Thomas Countryman’s article in the May issue of The Foreign Service Journal, “Why Arms Control Matters Today,” is a must-read.
He takes on the skeptics and explains how, “in this time of new strains in great-power relations, nuclear arms control agreements are an essential component of national security.”
Fulfilling the Promise of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty
The 10th review conference for the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) has been postponed until 2021 due to the coronavirus. But the problems posed by nuclear weapons remain.
Arms Control Association Executive Director Daryl Kimball, along with a small group of other NGO leaders, drafted and delivered a joint statement to representatives of all the NPT member states urging them to fulfill unmet obligations under the treaty, particularly on nuclear disarmament, and to realize their agreed commitment to the goal of the “complete elimination of nuclear weapons.”
The statement was released May 11, the 25th anniversary of the package of decisions that led to the indefinite extension of the NPT. More than 80 national and international peace and nuclear disarmament organizations endorsed the statement.
Beginning in June, Arms Control Association and the Reaching Critical Will program of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom will co-sponsor a series of monthly webinars for the general public and diplomats on key issues surrounding the NPT review conference. Sign-up here to get notifications of these and other upcoming ACA events.
May 20 Webinar: “Stopping the War That No One Wants”
You may be interested in an upcoming webinar coming up this week. Our colleagues at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco are hosting a special briefing featuring remarks from fmr. secretary of state George Shultz, fmr. undersecretary of state Rose Gottemoeller, fmr. secretary of defense Bill Perry, UN undersecretary-general for disarmament affairs Izumi Nakamitsu, and others. Dr. Gloria Duffy will moderate.
Registration details are available online.
By The Numbers