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"I greatly appreciate your very swift response, and your organization's work in general. It's a terrific source of authoritative information."

– Lisa Beyer
Bloomberg News
August 27, 2018
Arms Control NOW

In the age of Trump, the global nuclear threat is too high

This article originally appeared on the website Left Foot Forward. Today, US and Russian nuclear stockpiles are down from their Cold War peaks, but the global nuclear threat remains far too high. The US and Russia are estimated to have 4,018 and 4,500 warheads stockpiled and assigned for military use. Under the 2010 New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), each is limited to 1,550 deployed strategic nuclear weapons on as many as 700 nuclear delivery vehicles until 2021. If these weapons were used even in a ‘limited’ way, the result would be catastrophic. Even before the arrival of Donald...

Interview: Why Did Syria Still Have Chemical Weapons?

This op-ed originally appeared in NYMag.com. Late on Thursday night, Donald Trump launched the first military strike of his presidency, hitting a Syrian government air base with 59 missiles. It was the same air base from which Syria had dispatched a chemical-weapons attack against its own people earlier this week. Foreign-policy experts are only now beginning to debate whether the U.S. is at war with Syria; what happens next remains totally unclear. However, one thing is certain: Syria’s chemical weapons were supposed to be gone as of 2014, thanks to a removal plan the U.S. and Russia had...

Reducing the Risks of U.S.-Russia Nuclear Conflict

The violence in Ukraine and rising tension in the Baltics, combined with concern about Russian nuclear doctrine and posturing, has heightened the risk of nuclear conflict in Europe. As William Perry, former Secretary of Defense under President Bill Clinton, recently warned , “A new danger has been rising in the past three years and that is the possibility there might be a nuclear exchange between the United States and Russia.” A recent uptick in fighting in Ukraine, last week’s unrest in Belarus and Russia , and increasing concern in Washington and Brussels about the solidity of the NATO...

Congressional hearings reveal “no military requirement” for new low-yield weapons

Witnesses with military, policy and technical expertise all rejected the notion of a “military requirement” for new low-yield weapons in a series of hearings before the House and Senate Armed Services Committees March 8 and March 9. This evident agreement among experts from a range of positions and backgrounds should demonstrate to Congress that there is little credible argument for the additional development of low-yield nuclear weapons, despite language in a December 2016 Defense Science Board report recommending the development of such weapons. The Defense Science Board is an advisory body...

Declassified Films Remind Public of Horror of Nuclear Testing

Greg Spriggs, a weapon physicist at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and a team made up of film experts, archivists, and software developers have set out to find, preserve, and declassify the 10,000 films made depicting the 210 U.S. atmospheric nuclear tests from between 1945 to 1962. The team has located around 6,500 of the films of which 4,200 have been scanned, 400 to 500 have been reanalyzed and around 750 have been declassified. Because the films have been stored for many years, some of the films are decomposing and need to be digitized as soon as possible. Since the films...

The P5+1 And Iran Nuclear Deal Alert, March 10

IAEA Board Meets, Discusses Iran Iran’s nuclear program was a topic at this week’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors meeting in Vienna. The 35-member board met March 6-10 to discuss a range of topics including the IAEA’s monitoring of Iran’s nuclear program under the July 2015 deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Andrew Schofer, charge d’ affaires at the U.S. mission to international organizations in Vienna, delivered Washington’s statement at the meeting. The statement referenced the “essential” role of the IAEA’s monitoring activities in...

Congressional Republicans Seek to Cut CTBTO Funds

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) introduced legislation on February 7 to limit all funding for the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), except for its International Monitoring System (IMS). Although the legislation partially protects funds towards the IMS, portions of its overall budget that pay for staff time and the International Data Centre, which processes information given by IMS operations, are supported by the CTBTO. Since the United States provided about a quarter of the CTBTO budget of $128 million in 2016, the possibility of underfunding the...

Martin Luther King on Non-Violence and Disarmament

On April 1, 1961, the prominent black writer James Baldwin addressed a large group of peace activists at Judiciary Square in Washington, DC. Baldwin, who had recently become a member of the advisory group of SANE, was one of the headlining speakers for the rally, which focused on “Security Through World Disarmament.” When asked why he chose to speak at such an event, Baldwin responded: “What am I doing here? Only those who would fail to see the relationship between the fight for civil rights and the struggle for world peace would be surprised to see me. Both fights are the same. It is just as...

On travel bans: Instead of refugees coming out, look at weapons going in

This op-ed originally appeared in The Hill. The Trump administration's new executive order on immigration, replacing the currently-blocked “Muslim ban,” will be top-line news. Likely lost in the conversation will be the vast amount of weaponry the United States has supplied in and around the conflict zones from which refugees are fleeing. The United States remains the world’s top major arms dealer at a time when the volume of global arms transfers has reached its highest point since the Cold War , according to a report released Monday by the well-respected Stockholm International Peace...

Which nuclear threats should we worry most about?

This op-ed originally appeared in The Des Moines Register. During his 24-day reign as national security adviser, Michael Flynn put non-nuclear Iran “on notice” after it conducted a medium-range ballistic missile test in late January. Flynn directed no comparable warning to nuclear North Korea after it conducted a more significant missile test two weeks later. Meanwhile, no one had apparently put Flynn “on notice” about his multiple conversations with the Russian government concerning U.S. sanctions in the wake of Moscow’s interference in the U.S. elections. Between the internal politics of...

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