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 further pressure from ACA’s Board Chair Tom Countryman a few months later, the Biden administration followed up with a confidential paper proposing such talks and outlining ideas on managing nuclear risks.
But last week, Russia’s leadership said they were not interested in resuming arms control talks, complaining that the United States is seeking the strategic defeat of Russia through its support of Ukraine.
"We do not reject this idea for the future, but we precondition this possibility on the abandonment by the West of its policy of undermining and not respecting Russia’s interests," Foreign Minister Lavrov said.
As executive director Daryl Kimball told The Wall Street Journal, Moscow’s stance risks fueling a new arms race: “Russia’s rejection of the U.S. offer for discussions of nuclear risk reduction and arms control is a violation of Moscow’s obligation under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty to engage in negotiations on disarmament and bring an end to the arms race.”
In response to a question at a forum in Washington, D.C. Pranay Vaddi, senior director for arms control at the White House National Security Council, said "I think that they will want to come back to the table at some point, and ideally before expiration, but Russia could also be unpredictable."
With your support, ACA will remain at the forefront of civil society efforts to build support in Congress and in key capitals for renewed disarmament diplomacy. With the 2010 New START pact expiring in less than 745 days, we will leverage every possible opportunity to make progress.
Webinar on Jan. 26 on "The Sentinel ICBM: Risks, Costs, and Alternatives”
As cost estimates for the Pentagon program to develop, build, and operate a new generation of 450 land-based, nuclear-armed missiles continue to grow, the Arms Control Association and the Physicists Coalition for Nuclear Threat Reduction are co-hosting a webinar on the weapons system.
The discussion will feature Sébastien Philippe, Sharon K. Weiner, Frank von Hippel, and Zia Mian (moderator). More on the topic can be found in Philippe's recent set of articles in Scientific American.
Physicists Coalition for Nuclear Threat Reduction "DC Days" Set for April
One of the projects of the Physicists Coalition for Nuclear Threat Reduction will be an April 14-16 outreach by dozens of physical scientist members of the Coalition to congressional offices and policy officials on priority issues. The event is made possible by a grant from Ploughshares Fund.
This initiative is part of our broader effort to increase public awareness and pressure on policymakers to reduce nuclear spending, reduce nuclear arsenals, and reduce nuclear weapons-related risks.
See the registration page for more information and to register.
Arms Control Persons of the Year 2023
Earlier this month, we announced the winners of the Arms Control Person of the Year Award: the workers and technicians at the U.S. Army’s Pueblo Chemical Depot in Colorado and the Blue Grass Army Depot in Kentucky "for their successful and safe completion of eliminating the last vestiges of the United States' once-enormous declared stockpile of lethal chemical munitions as required by the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention.”
Thanks to the more than 2,500 supporters from more than 80 countries who voted in the contest. And thanks to each of the contest nominees for their respective contributions to a safer world!
Thank You, Shannon!
On January 10, we said our goodbyes (for now) to ACA Senior Policy Analyst Shannon Bugos, who has joined the U.S. State Department’s Office of Strategic Stability and Deterrence Affairs (SSD), which leads in the development, diplomatic negotiation, congressional coordination, implementation, verification, and compliance analysis of both current and prospective nuclear arms control measures and agreements. (The current director of that office is Wade Boese, who was on ACA’s policy staff from 1998-2009.)
During her tenure, Shannon became an invaluable contributor to ACA’s reporting, research, analysis, and advocacy efforts on U.S.-Russian nuclear arms control and disarmament, the cost and contours of the U.S. nuclear weapons modernization program, hypersonic weapons, and the impacts of new and disruptive military technologies on strategic stability.
In keeping with ACA’s role as a training ground and launching point for professionals in the field, Shannon is the sixth ACA staff member, intern, or Herbert Scoville Peace Fellow to join either the State Department or the Defense Department in just the past five years. We are in the process of filling the vacancy Shannon leaves behind.
In Case You Missed It …
Thank you for your support in 2023!
We are especially grateful to our ACA members and donors who made our work in 2023 possible. Your gifts and renewed membership in ACA enable us to continue advancing effective solutions for nonproliferation and disarmament efforts and shaping the public narrative on the danger of nuclear weapons.
We also invite you to consider other ways of making gifts to ACA that may be meaningful to you, including planned bequests, gifts of stock, qualified charitable IRA distributions, employer matching gifts, and donor-advised fund grants. All are great ways to give. You can find out more about these options at ArmsControl.org/Give.
You can view your contribution history online and print receipts for tax-deduction purposes by visiting ArmsControl.org/MyProfile.
If you have any questions about your contributions and support, please contact Kathy Crandall Robinson at [email protected] or (202) 463-8270 ext. 101.