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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

Another Look at Iran's Nuclear Capability Timelines

Cover of INCBC Report by the International Institute of Strategic Studies By Alfred Nurja The International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) released this month a substantial analysis of Iran's nuclear, chemical and biological capabilities. The report's detailed break-out scenarios allow readers to finally make some sense of the various and conflicting timelines that have circulated in recent years about when and how Iran could produce a nuclear bomb if that is what it chose to pursue. More importantly, the nuclear section of the IISS publication also makes a number of observations that...

Landmines: Grading the Obama Administration's Conventional Arms Control Record

By Jeff Abramson Earlier this week, the public engagement staff at the State Department's Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement sent out an email highlighting U.S.-supported efforts to clear landmines in Croatia , Sudan and Central America . There is no question that the United States is a global leader in these critical removal and assistance efforts, but is the Obama administration also moving Washington toward the global norm of barring use of victim-activated anti-personnel landmines ? That answer is still unclear. Landmines: C+ As a presidential candidate , Barack Obama told Arms...

Separating Fact from Bush Administration Fiction About Iraq's Suspected WMD (Again)

By Daryl G. Kimball As he pushes sales of his memoir, George W. Bush's former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld is trying, once again, to spin the facts about the "knowns" and the "unknowns" about Iraq's suspected nuclear, chemical, biological and missile programs in the months leading up to the March 2003 U.S.-led invasion. In an interview with ABC's Diane Sawyer this week, Rumsfeld claimed "the intelligence was certainly wrong" and "we had reasonable confidence he had these weapons." In his Good Morning America interview with Rummy, George Stephanopolous asked the smart question: "But...

Export Control Reform: Grading the Obama Administration's Conventional Arms Control Record

By Jeff Abramson This administration has launched an aggressive and comprehensive review of U.S. export control policy , which is no small task. With multiple bureaucracies playing a role in deciding what U.S. military and dual-use goods and services can be exported, and to whom, past efforts have generally failed to overcome national security concerns and stakeholder inertia. This administration may break the mold, but not in a good way. Export Control Reform: C- When first announced in August 2009, there was a sense that the effort could be coordinated with Congress. The White House...

Arms Trade/Sales: Grading the Obama Administration's Conventional Arms Control Record

By Jeff Abramson Today, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and Assistant Secretary of State Andrew Shapiro will be in India to attend one of the world's largest arms shows in order "to increase significantly the volume and technological sophistication of U.S. defense sales to India." At the same time, events in Egypt are sparking a debate about the value of U.S. military assistance . It's a good time to ask how the Obama administration is doing on its approach to arms sales and trade. Arms Trade/Sales: D The Obama Arms Bazaar is open and operating at full speed. In 2010, the administration...

Arms Trade Treaty: Grading the Obama Administration's Conventional Arms Control Record

By Jeff Abramson At the end of this month, delegates will meet again at the United Nations to continue work on a legally binding accord to regulate the conventional arms trade. As we launch a week of assessing the Obama administration's conventional arms control record, we begin with: Arms Trade Treaty: B In 2009, the Obama administration broke with the Bush administration and voted to support the international effort to seek a legally binding global arms trade treaty ( ATT ). Last year at an ACA co-sponsored event , U.S. delegation head Ambassador Donald Mahley gave an address on behalf of...

Next Week: Grading the Obama Administration's Conventional Arms Control Record

By Jeff Abramson With news out of Egypt that U.S. manufactured goods are being used to suppress protests, an administration overhauling its export control system, and notifications to Congress in 2010 of record-breaking potential arms sales (including more than $60 billion to Saudi Arabia ), now's a good time to ask what's going on with U.S. conventional arms control policies and practices. Not surprisingly, you won't find an answer in last week's state of the union speech address , which lacked any real talk of this administration's conventional arms control record and how it is contributing...

Kyl Mischaracterizes ACA on Missile Defense

By Tom Collina The Arms Control Association often finds itself at odds with Senate Republican Minority Whip Jon Kyl (Ariz.). After all, Sen. Kyl led opposition to the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty in 1999 and to New START last year, both of which ACA strongly supports. Even so, ACA prides itself on cultivating a civil, fact-based debate on policy issues, and we expect the same of others. We were thus disappointed to read Sen. Kyl's Jan. 31, 2011 floor speech in which he mischaracterized ACA's position. In his prepared remarks, Sen. Kyl stated that the Senate's Resolution of Ratification,...

Russia Approves New START--Now What?

Source: PBS Newshour By Tom Z. Collina New START is reaching the finish line. After three votes in Russia's lower house of parliament, or Duma, Russia's upper house, the Federation Council, gave unanimous final approval today. The U.S. Senate approved New START on Dec. 22. The only thing still standing in the way of the treaty's entry-into-force is the exchange of official documents, called "instruments of ratification" between Presidents Obama and Medvedev. This could happen in a matter of days. Inspections could resume by April Once the treaty is in force, the two sides have 45 days to...

The State of the Union and Nuclear Policy

Image Source: White House By Rob Golan-Vilella Last night, President Barack Obama delivered his annual State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress. As expected, the speech focused heavily on domestic and economic policy. With unemployment still over 9% and the national discussion still largely overshadowed by the fallout from the recent shootings in Tucson, it was unsurprising that foreign policy issues received little mention. Most of the comparatively brief section on foreign policy was devoted to terrorism and America's ongoing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Still, Obama...

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