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"[Arms Control Today] has become indispensable! I think it is the combination of the critical period we are in and the quality of the product. I found myself reading the May issue from cover to cover."

– Frank von Hippel
Co-Director of Program on Science and Global Security, Princeton University
Arms Control NOW

CCW Review Conference Fails to Reach Consensus on Weak Cluster Munitions Protocol

By Daryl G. Kimball Today in Geneva, delegations from over 100 nations ended a two week-long Review Conference on the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) without reaching agreement on a controversial proposal backed by the United States that would have legitimized the continued use of cluster munitions and undermined the existing 2008 Convention on Cluster Cluster Munitions (CCM). According to early reports on the tense final day of the meeting, the CCW did not adopt a mandate for further work on cluster munitions. For nearly a decade, the body has discussed how to regulate...

Whither the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty?

By Daryl G. Kimball Today, the Obama administration announced it "would cease carrying out certain obligations under the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty with regard to Russia." The announcement is a symptom of the long-running disputes that have emerged over CFE implementation over the years and the inability of key parties to reach common ground, despite the Obama administration's recent diplomatic overtures on the issue. The CFE Treaty led to the elimination of thousands of Soviet-era weapons. Today's U.S. announcement is a response to Russia's 2007 announcement that it...

How Many Nuclear-Armed Subs Do We Really Need?

By Tom Z. Collina If you need proof that outdated, Cold War thinking is blocking smart budget decisions and progress to trim nuclear excess, read on. Open warfare has broken out between the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Navy over how many nuclear-armed submarines the nation needs for the future. As reported at defense.aol.com , OMB is challenging the Navy's claim that it needs 12 new subs to carry more than 1,000 nuclear weapons into the 2080s. Over its 50 year lifetime, a 12 sub fleet is expected to costs about $350 billion, a hefty price tag even in good economic...

Too Little, Too Late: U.S. Pushing Weak Cluster Munitions Protocol in Geneva

De-miners working to eradicate an agricultural area in Lebanon of cluster munitions deployed by Israel in 2006. By Daryl G. Kimball This week, diplomats from 114 countries will gather in Geneva for the Fourth Review Conference of the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW). The focus of the November 14-25 meeting will be a controversial draft protocol that would regulate the use of cluster munitions, a weapon already banned by the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM). Cluster munitions are bombs, rockets, and artillery shells that disperse smaller submunitions over broad areas that...

The IAEA's Report on the Military Dimensions of Iran's Nuclear Program

By Daryl G. Kimball, Peter Crail, and Greg Thielmann NOTE: For a more detailed summary and analysis of the IAEA's November 8 report, see www.armscontrol.org The IAEA report and annex released today provides disturbing and "credible" additional details regarding Iranian nuclear warhead development efforts that have allowed Tehran to acquire some of the expertise needed to build nuclear weapons, should it decide to do so. The broad outline in the IAEA's latest report on the military dimensions of Iran's program is not new, but rather, provides greater detail regarding weapons-related activities...

China's Nuclear Modernization Efforts Cast A Long Shadow

An image taken from inside China's 5,000-kilometer long network of tunnels (Source: The Korea Times) By Kathleen E. Masterson The modernization of China and Russia's nuclear arsenals and delivery systems were the subject of a House Armed Services strategic forces subcommittee hearing on Oct. 14. The hearing took place in the context of a recent debate over proposed budget reductions to U.S. nuclear weapons modernization, which strategic forces subcommittee chairman, Rep. Michael Turner (R-OH), denounced in his opening remarks as tantamount to "unilateral disarmament." The purpose of the...

New York Jury Convicts Viktor Bout

By Xiaodon Liang and Daryl G. Kimball Child soldier in Sierra Leone. Viktor Bout has been suspected of moving arms to West Africa during the 1990s. (Source: Keystone) After two days of deliberations, a New York jury has convicted Russian arms smuggler Viktor Bout on multiple conspiracy charges that could lead to his life imprisonment. Bout was found guilty of conspiring to aid the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), a U.S.-designated foreign terrorist group, providing it with surface-to-air missiles, and conspiring to kill U.S. nationals and officials. A Feb. 8 sentencing has been...

South Korea's Quest for Better Missile Deterrence

Mock Scud-B missiles on display at the Korean War Museum in Seoul. (Source: AP Photos) By Kathleen E. Masterson South Korea and the United States have recently entered working-level talks to discuss extending the range of South Korea's missiles. A decade ago Seoul successfully lobbied Washington for entry into the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) , an informal coalition of 34 states committed to limiting the proliferation of ballistic missiles and other unmanned delivery systems capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction. At the time Washington was hesitant to allow the South...

How to be a Budget-Minded Superpower

It's not easy being a nuclear superpower at a time of tight budgets. The simple truth is that the United States cannot afford to spend over $400 billion on new strategic weapons over the next few decades. The Nation needs a new plan, and ACA has one. Read on for how the Pentagon can save billions on submarines and bombers while still fielding as many nuclear warheads as planned under New START. The following was originally posted on Defense News on October 24, 2011. U.S. Must Rethink New Subs, Bombers By TOM COLLINA and KELSEY DAVENPORT Twenty years after the break-up of the Soviet Union, the...

Iranian Ballistic Missile Developments: Non-Barking Dog and Dead Monkey

Iranian Rhesus monkeys in containers of type used for failed space launch. By Greg Thielmann Iran's unsuccessful attempt to launch a Rhesus monkey into space last month merits more mention than it has received in the press thus far, because of what it implies for U.S. nonproliferation objectives. The failure provides two timely reminders: 1) a long-range missile threat from Iran is not imminent; and 2) Iran's quest for space-faring nation status is encumbered by the international sanctions that have been imposed due to Tehran's unwillingness to abide by its safeguards obligations to the...

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