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"I find hope in the work of long-established groups such as the Arms Control Association...[and] I find hope in younger anti-nuclear activists and the movement around the world to formally ban the bomb."

– Vincent Intondi
Professor of History, Montgomery College
July 1, 2020
Arms Control NOW

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...

“Somebody Has to Make the First Move”

Inside the Arms Control Association September 2023 On June 2, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan spoke at ACA’s Annual Meeting and announced that “rather than waiting to resolve all of our bilateral differences, the United States is ready to engage Russia now to manage nuclear risks and develop a post-2026 arms control framework” and “without preconditions.” The Kremlin responded cautiously saying Russia would study with care any formal proposal for discussions from Washington. It was an encouraging sign and since then, we have been closely monitoring and persistently encouraging the two...

US-Russia Nuclear Arms Control Talks `Without Preconditions’: Somebody Has to Make the First Move

National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan spoke to the annual meeting of the Arms Control Association on June 2, and as organization chairman, it was my honor to introduce him. Sullivan said just what needed to be said about the continuing risk of nuclear conflict: that the Biden administration would continue the long U.S. tradition of leadership in finding ways to reduce that danger. In particular, he said the United States is ready – “without preconditions” — to discuss with the Russian Federation how the two countries together could 1) manage nuclear risks, and 2) develop a new nuclear arms...

Three Months Later, Still No U.S. Arms Control Proposal to Russia

The United States has yet to send a formal written arms control proposal to Russia, three months after U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan first outlined the Biden administration’s strategy and suggested arms control talks in a June address. “We discussed [Sullivan’s speech] verbally several times at various levels,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov acknowledged in a Sept. 6 interview with Kommersant . But Moscow has yet to receive the proposal “on paper,” he added, ascribing it to the “extremely sporadic and unsystematic” approach to arms control by the Biden...

Oppenheimer and Today’s Nuclear Dangers

Inside the Arms Control Association August 2023 At a time of increasing global tensions and growing risk of nuclear war, Christopher Nolan's mesmerizing, expertly-crafted, and sometimes disturbing feature-length film, Oppenheimer , provides a jolting, timely reminder for millions of moviegoers that nuclear weapons are anything but normal because they give the leaders of a few nations to power to destroy us all. The film biopic, which centers around the life of the director of the Manhattan Project, J. Robert Oppenheimer, explores many but not all of the key technical, political, and moral...

To Protect the NPT, States Must Address the Nuclear Elephant in the Room

For more than 50 years, the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) has served as an invaluable foundation for the international nonproliferation regime. However, the 11th NPT review cycle set to begin with the first Preparatory Committee this summer faces a daunting array of issues. Prospects for U.S. arms control with Russia appear fragile, the war in Ukraine continues to threaten the safe operation of nuclear facilities, and it is unclear whether the 2026 Review Conference will succeed or fail—as was the case in 2022—to reach a consensus final document. Though the NPT has withstood these and...

‘Oppenheimer’, the bomb, and arms control, then and now

It has been nearly 80 years since the world entered the nuclear age. But the complex story of the making of the first atomic bomb, the decisions US leaders made to use these terrible new weapons on cities, and the post-war policy missteps that opened the door to the dangerous Cold War arms race are all now starting to fade from public consciousness. The existence of nuclear weapons and the dangers they pose, while well-known and widely feared, are accepted by far too many of those living in one of the world’s nine nuclear-armed countries as part of their “normal” daily lives. A new survey...

Why President Biden Should Not Transfer Prohibited Cluster Bombs to Ukraine

Russia’s brutal full-scale invasion of Ukraine has killed thousands of people and displaced millions of civilians. Ukrainian cities have been leveled and villages have been turned into wastelands. U.S. and allied diplomatic, military, and intelligence support to Ukraine, including over $40 billion in security assistance since the war began, is essential to its defense and an eventual end to the conflict. However, providing some types of lethal U.S. and European military assistance to Ukraine would be escalatory, counterproductive, and only further increase the dangers to civilians caught in...

A New Opening to Reduce the Nuclear Danger

Inside the Arms Control Association June 2023 Earlier this month, the Biden administration outlined a viable pathway for moving back from the nuclear brink. At ACA's annual meeting June 2, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan delivered a major policy address stating that the United States is ready to engage in nuclear arms control diplomacy with Russia, as well as the other nuclear-armed NPT states-parties "without preconditions." Sullivan criticized Russia's suspension of its implementation of New START but he noted that "Russia has publicly committed to adhere to the Treaty's central...

Russia Open to Hearing U.S. Arms Control Proposal

Russia expressed a willingness to consider the proposal by U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan in June to engage in a bilateral dialogue on nuclear risk reduction and arms control "without preconditions." “Rather than waiting to resolve all of our bilateral differences,” said Sullivan in a June 2 address at the Arms Control Association’s annual forum in Washington, “the United States is ready to engage Russia now to manage nuclear risks and develop a post-2026 arms control framework.” The 2010 New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty ( New START ), the last remaining U.S.-Russian arms...

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