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"In my home there are few publications that we actually get hard copies of, but [Arms Control Today] is one and it's the only one my husband and I fight over who gets to read it first."

– Suzanne DiMaggio
Senior Fellow, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
April 15, 2019
Arms Control NOW

NNSA supercomputers: another reason we don't need nuclear test explosions

By Daryl G. Kimball The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) has just released a new video and blogpost on the role of their supercomputers in the nuclear weapons stockpile stewardship program--a role that has grown by leaps and bounds over the past 15 years or so. One message that comes across is that the nuclear weapons labs know more about the physics of nuclear weapons today than they did in the days of nuclear test explosions ... and that old myths and assertions about the necessity of nuclear test explosions need to be revisited. For instance, back in 1992 when we were all...

India Nuclear Deal: Dumb and Dumber

By Daryl G. Kimball One of the chief proponents of the disastrous 2008 civil nuclear trade exemption for India, Ashley Tellis, is apparently a bit sour about this week's announcement from the Indian government that it will pursue the purchase of the European Eurofighter and French Rafale aircraft rather than U.S. made F-18 (Boeing) or F-16 (Lockheed Martin) as part of its drive to build up its conventional military capabilities. The Hindu reports today: Questioning whether these aircraft represented the best value for the IAF and the best investments for India overall, Mr. Tellis said to The...

Pentagon Oversells Missile Defense Test

By Tom Z. Collina Today, the Pentagon's Missile Defense Agency (MDA) announced that it conducted a "successful" intercept test of the Phased Adaptive Approach system to be deployed in Europe starting this year. This test of the SM-3 interceptor might have been considered a significant step toward the deployment an effective missile interceptor system if there were near-term plans to test the system against realistic targets including countermeasures . However, this test did not include countermeasures and MDA has given no indication when or if such tests will take place. As it has done in the...

Bad Betting Advice on Iran from The Washington Post

The Washington Post's editors are reinforcing the Iranian government's narrative with respect to Tehran's nuclear program. Last November, the editors criticized Defense Secretary Gates for "talking down military action [against Iran]." This week, they assert that a "better course [than pursuing negotiations] is to bet on a renewed popular uprising in Iran." These policy prescriptions play into Tehran's version of the dispute between the international community and the Islamic Republic – i.e., the United States and its allies are intent on forcing regime change; negotiations are a ruse to deny...

What Language Does Iran Understand?

By Alfred Nurja Alan Eyre The Prague-based Radio Liberty ( formerly known as Radio Free Europe ) reported last weekend that the State Department has appointed Alan Eyre, as the first Persian-language spokesperson. Reportedly Mr. Eyre is authorized to appear on Iranian state-owned media and according to the article "the move seems to be part of an increased effort by the Obama administration to reach out to the Iranians directly." While it remains to be seen what kind of access to the Iranian public Tehran will grant to U.S. officials, the decision is also important for demonstrating the...

Human Rights Report Release: A Moment to Reflect on U.S. Arms Policy

By Jeff Abramson In a live broadcast at 11:30 this morning, the State Department will release its annual human rights report. Among many hopes of what will become of this important yearly assessment, one is that it will spur an examination of U.S. arms transfer policies . As noted last week , ACA staff have cross-checked the list of 28 countries for which Congress was notified of foreign military sales last year against the State Department's last human rights reports . More than a third (11) of the states failed to guarantee freedom of speech, association, and assembly, as well as a free...

Middle East Arms Trade: Yemen

By Xiaodon Liang Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh (Image Source: Government of Yemen) On April 3 the New York Times published a news story citing U.S. administration officials that stated the United States had over the past week adopted a new position calling for the departure from office of Ali Abdullah Saleh, longtime President of Yemen. While a State Department spokesperson moved quickly to quash these reports of a firm change in policy, the case is drawing particular attention because Saleh, an American ally in the so-called global war against terror, has received considerable material...

Obama's Prague Agenda Two Years On

President Obama in 2009 at Hradcany Square Prague, Czech Republic (Image Source Christian Science Monitor) By Daryl G. Kimball In a stirring speech delivered two years ago in Prague's Hradcany Square, President Barack Obama outlined his vision for strengthening the global effort to curb the spread of nuclear weapons, moving forward on long-overdue disarmament measures, and preventing nuclear terrorism. He reiterated "clearly and with conviction America's commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons." To move forward, Obama pledged that he will pursue "concrete...

Whither Strategic Arms Control: Clues from Carnegie

By Greg Thielmann Last week's 2011 Carnegie International Nuclear Policy Conference in Washington, D.C. provided some revealing perspectives on the challenges and opportunities ahead for future strategic arms control agreements between the United States and Russia. The dynamics of strategic force planning described by Carnegie's panel participants suggests a way to enhance prospects for successful negotiations. The United States can easily achieve the modest reductions required by New START in half the seven-year timeframe allowed under the treaty with probable cost savings and no risk. As...

Arab Spring: A Wake Up Call on U.S. Arms Policy

By Jeff Abramson As President Obama openly ponders whether to arm rebels in Libya and the media is reporting that the CIA is already on the ground to potentially support that cause, attention is now focused on Libya. But one take away from the broader Arab spring is that it's past time for a comprehensive review of U.S. arms transfer policy. Admittedly, the United States was not the major arms supplier to Libya , but it certainly has not shied away from supplying arms to other repressive regimes. As highlighted in an earlier post and in ACA fact sheets , last year's $100+ billion in potential...

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