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ACA’s journal, Arms Control Today, remains the best in the market. Well focused. Solidly researched. Prudent.

– Hans Blix,
former IAEA Director-General

Arms Control NOW

Reasons to Doubt Laser Missile Defense

For years the disheveled YAL-1 Airborne Laser baked in the Air Force Boneyard in Tucson, Arizona. Stripped of its chemical laser and turbofan engines, its airframe became a skeletal albatross—a monument to the futility of laser-based missile defense. But in 2014, it was unceremoniously destroyed, and the Defense Department wiped the failure from its memory. The system was meant to fly above hostile territory to track and destroy intercontinental ballistic missiles in flight. But after 16 years and $5 billion , the program was canceled simply because it did not work. Four years later, however...

Trump just opened the door for Iran to expand its nuclear capabilities

This op-ed originally appeared in The Hill . Fulfilling a misguided campaign pledge, President Trump has chosen to violate the 2015 nuclear deal between the United States and its partners — the EU, U.K. France, Germany, Russia, and China — with Iran and reimpose U.S. sanctions that were waived according to the terms of the 2015 accord in exchange for severe limits and very robust international monitoring on Iran’s nuclear activities. Now, the valuable nonproliferation barriers established by the agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), are at risk. Contrary to Trump...

International Support for the Iran Nuclear Deal

International support for the 2015 nuclear deal between the P5+1 (China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States) and Iran remains strong, despite comments by U.S. President Donald Trump threatening the future of the agreement. The Arms Control Association will be adding international statements in support of the nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), on this page as they are released. May 2018: General Australia Australia is disappointed that the United States has announced its withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (...

Reporting on the 2018 NPT PrepCom

NPT PrepCom Wraps Up with Chair Summary Discussion May 7, 2018 The final day of the 2018 NPT Preparatory Committee was dedicated to discussing the chair’s summary of the conference, which was released on Thursday evening. The summary is under the chair’s responsibility and thus is not a consensus document and the conference did not vote on it. Instead, the chair allocated two sessions for statements from delegations about the text. Dozens of states expressed revisions they would have liked to have seen in the text. Several states expressed disappointment in general terms that some viewpoints...

Iran's Past Nuclear Experiments Reflect Value of JCPOA

This op-ed originally appeared in The Iran Primer of the United States Institute for Peace. For decades, the international community has grappled with the danger of nuclear weapons proliferation and, in particular, the risk that the Islamic Republic of Iran might seek the capability to design and produce nuclear weapons. For more than a decade following the 2003 revelation that Iran had surreptitiously built a uranium conversion facility and an enrichment plant, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the world’s major powers have expended enormous effort and political capital to...

The P5+1 and Iran Nuclear Deal Alert, April 25, 2018

Europe Works to Save the JCPOA As time winds down to the May 12 deadline U.S. President Donald Trump set for negotiating a “fix” to the nuclear deal with Iran, Washington’s P5+1 partners (China, France, Germany, Russia, and the United Kingdom) are urging the United States not to violate the agreement and warning Washington of the consequences if the deal collapses. Behind the scenes, E3–France, Germany, and the United Kingdom–and U.S. officials continue working on a supplemental arrangement dealing with the “flaws” Trump demanded the Europeans address before the May 12 deadline to renew U.S...

The P5+1 and Iran Nuclear Deal Alert, March 22, 2018

P5+1 and Iran Meet Amid Uncertainty Over the Nuclear Deal’s Future Members of the P5+1 (China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States) and Iran met last week in Vienna for a quarterly meeting of the Joint Commission, the body set up by the nuclear deal to assess its implementation. This was the first full meeting of the Joint Commission since U.S. President Donald Trump threatened in January to pull out of the deal in May unless Congress and the E3 (France, Germany, and the United Kingdom) worked with his administration to address what he terms as “flaws” in the...

The Perils of Space-Based Missile Defense Interception

Past U.S. efforts to develop and deploy a space-based missile defense have known many names, including "Strategic Defense Initiative,” “Brilliant Pebbles,” and “Global Protection Against Limited Strikes.” And all have suffered the same fate: cancellation due to insurmountable financial, technical, and strategic obstacles. But like a zombie that can’t be killed, the idea keeps coming back. Senator Ted Cruz wrote a letter Feb. 22 calling for a space-based capability to intercept ballistic missiles (SBI) in “boost phase,” when a missile is “traveling its slowest, emitting its clearest heat...

Putin’s Irresponsible Nuclear Boasts

In a March 1 pre-election speech to the Federal Assembly, Russian President Vladimir Putin boasted about Russia’s pursuit of several nuclear weapons systems, some that have already been tested as well as some new capabilities: Putin cited the “Sarmat’ heavy intercontinental missile, which can carry nuclear and hypersonic munitions, which has been undergoing developmental testing. Putin said Russia is developing a type of cruise missile with nuclear propulsion that has an unlimited range that “is invincible against all existing and prospective missile defense and counter-air defense systems.”...

African American Leadership in the Fight for Nuclear Disarmament

Since Donald Trump became president, many of us in the disarmament community have warned about Trump’s desire to use nuclear weapons. We have witnessed Trump threaten the destruction of North Korea, express a desire to resume nuclear testing, and recommend other countries develop their own nuclear arsenals. The fear of Trump starting a nuclear war only got worse with the release of his new security strategy, Nuclear Posture Review, and budget in which the administration called for more money to be spent on nuclear weapons, while the U.S. “ broaden its use of nuclear weapons ” to include using...

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