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"...the Arms Control Association [does] so much to keep the focus on the issues so important to everyone here, to hold our leaders accountable to inspire creative thinking and to press for change. So we are grateful for your leadership and for the unyielding dedication to global nuclear security."
– Lord Des Browne
Vice Chairman, Nuclear Threat Initiative
Arms Control NOW

Needed: A "Reset" in Candidate Romney's Hostility Toward New START

GOP Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney (Image Source: CBS News) By Greg Thielmann The White Paper on U.S. security strategy released October 7 by "Romney for President, Inc." shows some improvement over the July 2010 articles of GOP presidential candidate Romney regarding New START, which were riddled with factual errors. His public comments were severely criticized then by the leading treaty experts of both parties . Perhaps Romney's recently announced foreign policy team deserves credit for helping the candidate with fact-checking and with establishing the pledge that, as president, he...

Viktor Bout and the Tools Needed to Fight Arms Trafficking

By Xiaodon Liang Next week, the world's most notorious arms trafficker, Viktor Bout, will go on trial in New York. Bout's case underscores the urgent need for stronger national and international efforts to curb illicit gun running and conventional arms proliferation. Viktor Bout walks out of a Thai jail August 2009 after an initial ruling barring his extradition to the United States. Source: Narong Sangnak/EPA Bout faces four conspiracy charges stemming from a U.S. Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) sting operation conducted in 2007 and 2008. According to the...

France and Germany agree on truce over nuclear arms control committee as NATO works on Deterrence and Defense Posture Review

By Oliver Meier On July 7, in a rare show of unity on nuclear issues between France and Germany, the ambassadors of both countries sent a joint proposal to NATO members on the future of the new Weapons of Mass Destruction and Disarmament Committee (WCDC). Despite this compromise, however, the Alliance's role in nuclear arms control remains a contentious issue. In the run-up to the NATO summit in Lisbon in November last year, which adopted the Alliance's new Strategic Concept , Berlin and Paris were deeply divided on a range of nuclear issues, including on nuclear arms control. While the...

Don't put international cooperation on Iran at risk

By Peter Crail The following entry was originally posted on The Hill's Congress Blog on September 29, 2011. During Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's speech at the UN last week, many attendees turned their backs and walked out. Although they were reacting to another anti-West tirade by the embattled president, the reaction was also indicative of Iran's own increasing isolation over its human rights abuses, its destabilizing role in the region, and of course, its nuclear program. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Speaks at the UN (Image Source: Associated Press) In the past month, we...

More Collateral Damage from Missile Defense

U.S.-Russian negotiations on strategic arms reductions have demonstrated time and again that U.S. missile defense plans are an obstacle to negotiating lower levels of offensive nuclear forces. Security experts have been providing more reminders lately that in attempting to treat the effects of ballistic missile proliferation, missile defense programs are also having a counterproductive effect on the causes of ballistic missile proliferation. One of the shibboleths characteristic of most missile defense advocates is their faith-based assertion that missile defenses discourage proliferators...

Accelerating the Entry Into Force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty

By Daryl G. Kimball Today, fifteen years after the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty was opened for signature, more than 100 senior government officials will gather at the United Nations in New York for the seventh conference on "Facilitating Entry Into Force of the CTBT." To date, the United States and 181 other nations have signed the Treaty; 155 nations have ratified. While the CTBT has near universal support, the Treaty must still be ratified by nine hold-out states, including the United States and China, before it can formally enter into force. CTBT states will gather at the UN for...

Iran's Nuclear Program: Still Time for a Diplomatic Solution

(Image Source: CNN) By Greg Thielmann Washington pundits spend too much time warning about the immediate danger of an Iranian nuclear weapon, instead of focusing on the ways we can dissuade Iran from building one in the first place. But alarmist estimates provided earlier this month require a response regarding timelines, for we have every reason to believe that an Iranian bomb is neither imminent nor inevitable. A Washington Post editorial on September 6 predicted, on the basis of a Bipartisan Policy Center study, that Iran could produce sufficient highly enriched uranium for a weapon in as...

Left Hand Tussles With Right as U.S. Arms Persian Gulf States

By Xiaodon Liang U.S. HMMWV fording a river in Afghanistan As the Libyan summer gives way to an autumn of uncertainty in the Middle East, memories of the policy inconsistencies brought to light by the Arab Spring have apparently faded entirely from the minds of U.S. arms exports policy makers. The fear of Iranian aggression has again trumped evidence of severe human rights violations in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, at least in the calculus that informed the administration's decision to sell 44 Armored High Mobility Multi-Purpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWVs, or Humvees) to the Bahraini government...

Sept. 2011 IAEA Iran Report: Initial Analysis

By Peter Crail The Institute for Science and International Security has posted the latest IAEA report on Iran's nuclear program . The report provides some additional information about recent developments reported in the media regarding Iran's installation of centrifuges at the Fordow plant near Qom and plans to increase enrichment to 20%, but leaves out a critical detail: the type of machines Iran is currently installing at Fordow. Iran initially said that it would begin installing more advanced centrifuge designs at the Fordow plant it has been developing elsewhere. The newer machines can...

The Military Option on Iran: Be Careful What You Wish For

By Peter Crail TIME Magazine has recently highlighted an analysis entitled "Invading Iran: Lessons from Iraq" by Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Leif Eckholm, who works in the Strategic Plans and Policy Directorate for the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (the analysis was published by Stanford's Hoover Institution, where Eckholm served as a defense fellow). As the title suggests, the analysis examines many of the challenges in securing a post-invasion Iraq, and how they would be similar, different, or magnified in the context of Iran. One of the key takeaways, however, is a brief cost/...

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