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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

Iraq WMD Intelligence Errors Show Value of Verification

By ACA Intern Matt Sugrue In his mea culpa op-ed for the Washington Post , Matt Miller reflects on how he, and others, was convinced by faulty intelligence that Saddam Hussein was pursuing nuclear weapons. Without opening up all of the failures leading to the U.S. decision to invade, I would like to extract one important lesson as it applies to the current need for the Senate to pass New START. While there has been plenty of evidence that the Bush administration did not provide a faithful rendition of the available intelligence before the invasion and had, in fact, decided to invade long...

Unanticipated Benefits of Arms Control

Source: CDC By ACA Intern Matt Sugru e A recently published " proof of concept " by a joint USAMRIID (U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Disease) and AVI BioPharma team shows the possibility for developing a vaccine against the Marburg and Ebola filoviruses. USAMRIID is the lead research organization at Fort Detrick Maryland, the former home of the U.S. biological weapons program. On November 25, 1969, President Richard Nixon announced that, biological warfare...has massive, unpredictable, and potentially uncontrollable consequences. It may produce global epidemics and...

Peaceful Use or Weaponization: The Lingering Threat of Biological and Chemical Weapons

By ACA Intern Daniel Salisbury Last week in Switzerland over 100 states party to the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) are due to conclude an annual Meeting of Experts. As Global Security Newswire reported August 20: Law enforcement and public health experts from around the globe will gather next week in Switzerland to discuss the potential use of biological weapons and how nations can improve their preparedness to respond to intentional or natural disease outbreaks... The meeting is part of the "intersessional process" conducted between the convention's review conferences held every five...

Assuaging Concerns About New START

By ACA Intern Matt Sugrue In the Washington Post, Stephen G. Rademaker's chastises New START supporters for not having the "patience and respect for dissenting views" to allay critics' concerns. He suggests steps treaty supporters could take in order to work out the differences between themselves and critics of New START. It is a valid point that proponents of New START should make time to listen to the concerns of critics, but many of Rademaker's concerns have already been dealt with. No Limits on Missile Defense and Prompt Global Strike Frequently expressed concerns that the treaty may...

Time to Reaffirm U.S. Commitment to CTBT

By Eric Auner According to a recent Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Proliferation Analysis by Daryl Kimball, President Obama should use the International Day against Nuclear Tests to reiterate his pledge to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. American Does Not Need to Test Its Nuclear Arsenal [T]here is simply no technical or military rationale for resuming testing. Contrary to myth, the United States has never relied on nuclear testing to ensure that proven warhead designs still work, but rather to perfect new types of nuclear bombs, which the U.S. military no longer needs...

A Close Look at New START Critiques

By ACA Intern Matt Sugrue In a recent op-ed for National Review Online , former Assistant Secretary of State for Verification and Compliance Paula DeSutter offers some critiques of New START . She writes: the Obama administration's dismissal of the consequences of losing telemetry is misleading at best.... Had the administration deemed the data provided under START to be critical, they could have extended the START treaty until negotiations on New START were completed and it was ratified by the U.S. and Russia. Instead, they let START expire and negotiated against a deadline after making...

An Out of This World Treaty

By ACA Intern Valerie Pacer In 2011, China will launch a permanent space station. On August 17, China announced that they had finished constructing the first module and it will now undergo testing. When the space station is launched, it will join the International Space Station in orbit. Under international law, states are allowed to use space but international agreements have created some restrictions. The Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies, or by its shorter/friendlier name the...

Trust but Verify: A Brief Response to New START Criticisms

Source: State Department Blog By ACA Intern Matt Sugrue In a recent op-ed , Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) argues against New START on the basis of three points: that the Russians will maintain a tactical nuclear weapons advantage over the United States, supposed constraints on U.S. missile defense, and alleged inadequacy of verification provisions in the treaty. Tactical Nuclear Weapons Are Not Relevant to New START DeMint writes, "the treaty mandates strategic nuclear weapons parity with the progeny of an old Cold War foe, yet allows the Russians to maintain a 10-to-1 tactical nuclear-weapons...

Military Strikes vs. Arms Control

By ACA Intern Matt Sugrue With Jeffery Goldberg's article in The Atlantic the issue of a possible Israeli attack on Iran's nuclear facilities is once again front and center. The possibility of an Israeli strike raises one immediate question: what is the supposed benefit to be derived from the strike? There is still plenty of time allow the newest round of U.S., E.U. and U.N. sanctions to work. In an ACA Threat Assessment Brief, Greg Thielmann wrote , In spite of ubiquitous rhetoric about "time running out" and "redlines being crossed," an actualized Iranian nuclear threat is years, not months...

Obama's Missile Defense Plans Continue to Advance

Aegis system test launch from USS Hopper By ACA Intern Daniel Salisbury The Washington Post recently reported : The U.S. military is on the verge of activating a partial missile shield over southern Europe, part of an intensifying global effort to build defenses against Iranian missiles amid a deepening impasse over the country's nuclear ambitions. Pentagon officials said they are nearing a deal to establish a key radar ground station, probably in Turkey or Bulgaria. Installation of the high-powered X-band radar would enable the first phase of the shield to become operational next year. The...

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