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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

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...

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...

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