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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

House Budget Proposal Would Cut NNSA Nonproliferation Programs

by Daryl G. Kimball On Monday the Barack Obama Administration will roll out its budget request for the next fiscal year (2012). Those numbers will have a major impact on various programs related to the National Nuclear Security Administration's (NNSA) activities to maintain and refurbish existing nuclear weapons and upgrade the nuclear weapons complex, as well as NNSA initiatives to reduce the threat that nuclear weapons-usable material might be lost, stolen, or sold. Just as important though was Friday's announcement from the House Appropriations Committee about its proposed Continuing...

What about Egypt's WMD?

By Nik Gebben If Egypt's political future remains uncertain, its nonproliferation future is even more so. The only known quantity on this issue is former IAEA Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei, who could potentially help steer Cairo in a stronger direction on nonproliferation. But it's still not clear what role, if any, he will play. Therefore, some of the " concerns " described in recent news reports seem premature. It isn't exactly news that Egypt has had a checkered past and unsatisfactory commitments when it comes to WMD: Egypt did sign on to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty , which...

Indiscriminate Weapons, Especially Cluster Munitions: Grading the Obama Administration's Conventional Arms Control Record

By Jeff Abramson The Obama administration started off well when on Jan. 21, 2009 it deposited ratifications to three protocols and an amendment to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW), a meaningful accord that seeks to regulate the use of weapons judged to be more inhuman or indiscriminate than others. Hopes that this administration would then take a new approach on cluster munitions , one of the most high-profile indiscriminate weapons, have thus far been dashed. Indiscriminate Weapons, Especially Cluster Munitions: D When agreeing to the CCW protocol on incendiary weapons,...

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...

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