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"No one can solve this problem alone, but together we can change things for the better." 

– Setsuko Thurlow
Hiroshima Survivor
June 6, 2016
Arms Control NOW

The Right Stuff

Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla. on Capitol Hill Monday, July 18, 2011 (Image Source: Associated Press) By Greg Thielmann Senator Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma) proposed a plan this week for reducing the deficit that includes $79 billion in cuts from the U.S. nuclear weapons budget over the next ten years. In specifying the individual components of a reduced strategic force structure, Coburn deserves credit for helping to break the strait jacket of Cold War thinking, which still burdens considerations of 21st century defense needs. As Ben Loehrke of the Ploughshares Fund noted in his July 19 analysis,...

North Korea's Presidency Is Not the CD's Real Tragedy

(Image Source: The United Nations Office at Geneva) By Rob Golan-Vilella Two weeks ago, some eyebrows were raised when North Korea assumed the rotating presidency of the Conference on Disarmament (CD). Observers mocked the idea that North Korea—an international pariah state that in the past decade has withdrawn from the NPT and conducted two nuclear tests—could become the president of an organization whose mission is to negotiate agreements relating to nuclear disarmament. This week, Canada responded to this news by announcing that it will boycott the current session of the CD until Pyongyang...

Nuclear Disarmament: the South African Example

by Daryl G. Kimball Is a world free of nuclear weapons possible? Do states that have developed nuclear weapons have the vision and the courage to verifiably eliminate their nuclear arsenals? As South Africa has shown, some do. Others can. The casings made for the atomic bombs and stored at Advena. (Image Source: http://nuclearweaponarchive.org/) July 10 marks the 20th anniversary of the Republic of South Africa's signature of the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) as a non nuclear-weapon state, making it the first and -- so far -- the only country to build nuclear weapons and then later to...

Original Nuclear Weapons States Need to Walk the Walk and Fulfill Their NPT Disarmament and Nonproliferation Commitments

By Daryl G. Kimball and Peter Crail This week's meeting of senior officials from the five original nuclear weapon states (the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, and China) in Paris for the second meeting on nuclear weapons policy issues is a potentially important step toward multilateralizing the nuclear disarmament enterprise. Their joint press statement (full text below) released today by the so-called "P5,"reaffirms the importance of the 64-point Action Plan approved at the 2010 nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference and specifically Action 5, which...

Indian Membership in the NSG? A Bad Idea Whose Time Has Not Come

By Daryl G. Kimball Global efforts to prevent the spread of the world's most deadly weapons depend on universal compliance with rules that constrain the sale of nuclear technology. Too often, however, powerful states try to make exceptions from these rules, or simply ignore them, in order to help powerful commercial nuclear interests score profits or to curry favor with key allies, or both. The latest example is the Obama administration's proposal to create a process for India to join the 46-member Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG)–the nuclear technology control organization established in 1975...

Germany Opposes United States on China-Pakistan Nuclear Deal

By Oliver Meier in Berlin The German government believes that Chinese plans to export two nuclear reactors to Pakistan are covered by the existing policies and understandings of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and that the 46-nation export control organization should not even discuss the deal at its meeting this week in the Netherlands. In response to a set of questions asked by opposition Social Democrat members of the German Bundestag on Germany's nuclear export control policies, the government explained that it views the planned export of the Chashma 3 and 4 nuclear reactors to Pakistan...

NNSA Weapons Complex Funding: Only in Washington Is More Considered "Less"

by Daryl G. Kimball Yesterday, the House Appropriations Committee marked up the fiscal year 2012 Energy and Water Appropriations bill, which includes funding for the National Nuclear Security Administration's nuclear weapons activities, commonly referred to as the "nuclear weapons complex." Early news accounts have overlooked the fact that the House Energy and Water Appropriations bill would increase—not decrease—the NNSA weapons activities budget above the previous year's level, and has allocated more than enough money to keep programs on track but not so much as to be fiscally irresponsible...

Woolsey Misstates the Intelligence in Missile Defense Pitch

By Greg Thielmann I would like to second Sarah Palin in being " appalled and surprised " in reading the June 7 Foreign Policy article by R. James Woolsey and Rebeccah Heinrichs, " Giving Away the Farm ." But the reason for my reaction is completely different. (Image Source: C-SPAN Video) The emergence of a potential Iranian ICBM threat to the United States is one of the foundations on which the authors of this article build their case against the administration's missile defense policies. It is therefore particularly significant that Mr. Woolsey, a former Director of Central Intelligence,...

Sen. Kyl Laments Russian "Unilateral" Reductions?

By Tom Collina As ACA reported in a recent blog post , the State Department announced June 1 that Russia's nuclear arsenal is already below the limits set by the New START treaty. Most people would say it's a good thing that there are now less deployed nuclear weapons in Russia that could be aimed at the United States. Most people would say it's good that Moscow reduced its forces early, rather than wait until 2018, as the treaty allows both sides to do. And most people would say that New START has already made America safer. Sen. John Kyl R-Ariz. (Image Source: AP) But Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz...

Why Sarah Palin Is Wrong About Missile Defense Cooperation with Russia

by Daryl G. Kimball This week former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin parroted the misinformed critiques by Republican members of Congress and former CIA director James Woolsey about sharing missile launch data with Russia. In an entry on her Facebook page, Palin wrote: "President Obama wants to give Russia our missile defense secrets because he believes that we can buy their friendship and cooperation with this taxpayer-funded gift. But giving military secrets and technologies to a rival or competitor like Russia is just plain dumb. You can't buy off Russia. And giving them advanced military...

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