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I salute the Arms Control Association … for its keen vision of the goals ahead and for its many efforts to identify and to promote practical measures that are so vitally needed to achieve them. -

– Amb. Nobuyasu Abe
Former UN Undersecretary General for Disarmament Affairs
January 28, 2004
Arms Control NOW

Obama Still Committed to Nuclear Test Ban Ratification

By Tom Z. Collina and Daryl G. Kimball The Obama administration is "committed" to working with Senators of both parties to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), National Security Advisor Tom Donilon said March 29, "just as we did for New START." This was one of the most significant, high-level statements from a senior administration official on the test ban since April 2009, when President Obama called on the Senate to reconsider the treaty. Donilon said the administration would stress three essential points as it makes its case to the Senate and the American people. "First," he...

Update: Cluster Munitions, Obama Administration, Global Activities

By Jeff Abramson As the year progresses, we'll revisit the mid-term grades given the Obama administration on their conventional weapons policies. For the moment, the D grade on cluster munitions remains unchanged because U.S. policy is unchanged, but there is much happening: Libya President Obama, March 27, 2011, in Address to the Nation on Libya Earlier this month as air strikes against Libyan forces became increasingly likely, so did concerns that we'd see a new round of cluster munitions use, especially by the United States. The pro-Qaddafi forces to be attacked sounded very similar to...

Emerging into the Light

RS-24 Yars ICBM, Associated Press By Greg Thielmann For more than a year, U.S. analysts responsible for monitoring Russia's nuclear arsenal have been traveling through a long and increasingly dark tunnel. The sensitive information that had flowed out of Russia for years on strategic forces under terms of the original Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) was abruptly stanched when the treaty expired on December 5, 2009. By that time, U.S. inspectors who had been monitoring Russian strategic weapons "up close and personal" at bases and other facilities for years had to leave. In losing the...

How does the Middle East Crisis Affect the 2012 WMDFZ Conference?

By Alfred Nurja Image Source: CNS This month's issue of Arms Control Today carries an insightful article by Anne Penketh that reports on the potential impact that unrest in the Middle East may have on international efforts to host a 2012 regional conference on a Weapons of Mass Destruction Free Zone in the Middle East. At the 2010 NPT Review Conference , the sponsors of 1995 Middle East resolution, the United States, Russia and Great Britain committed to work together with the UN Secretary General to convene a conference in 2012 in the region , appoint a facilitator and identify a host...

Examining the Impact of Iran Sanctions: Highlights from Today's ACA Event

Robert J. Einhorn, Special Advisor for Nonproliferation and Arms Control, Department of State The Arms Control Association organized a briefing today on " The Impact of Sanctions on Iran's Nuclear Program , which is the third in our Solving the Iranian Nuclear Puzzle Briefing Series . The session included a keynote presentation by Robert J. Einhorn , Special Advisor for Nonproliferation and Arms Control, Department of State, in which he provided a detailed overview of the Obama administration's approach to Iran's nuclear activities. Einhorn's address was followed by full panel of experts who...

Are Sanctions Contributing to or Impeding a Diplomatic Solution to the Iranian Nuclear Puzzle?

Image Source: Wall Street Journal By Alfred Nurja Hossein Mousavian , Iran's former Ambassador to Germany, nuclear negotiator and current Princeton visiting research scholar , has just released an article on Iran's Nuclear Crises and the Way Out, an edited version of which appears here . As noted elsewhere , the Mousavian's articles bear watching not only for their material substance, coming from a former senior Iranian official intimately involved in nuclear negotiations, but also for the " insights into Tehran's decision making " that can be gleaned from it. Here are some of the points that...

Update: U.S.-Libya Arms Trade

In a February 3 post, Arms Exporters React to Middle East Unrest , Arms Control Now noted that the United States had not sold military goods to Libya and had maintained a unilateral embargo on arms sales to Col. Gaddafi's regime which was last updated in 2007. This picture of the U.S.-Libyan trade relationship is overly simplistic. Beginning in 2006 and continuing through 2009, the United States began to relax direct commercial sales rules for transfers to Libya of controlled items on the U.S. Munitions List. The 2007 changes to the embargo included an exemption for "non-lethal defense...

ACA Examines Debate over Funding to Prevent Nuclear Terrorism

In a recently released Issue Brief, ACA Scoville Fellow Rob Golan-Vilella looks at the impact of the ongoing battles over the federal budget on government programs aimed at preventing terrorists from obtaining nuclear weapons-usable materials. While the Obama administration last year called for increased spending in these areas, Rob reports that the newly elected House of Representatives is proposing to reduce funding for many of these programs. There is an overwhelming, bipartisan consensus among America's leaders that nuclear terrorism is one of the most dangerous threats facing the United...

Following the ATT debate

By Jeff Abramson (blogging from the UN) Today is the second day of a week of discussion at the UN on creating a legally binding Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). For a number of years, the Arms Control Association has been making the case for why the ATT offers an unparalleled opportunity to improve U.S. and international security. A few weeks ago on this blog, the U.S. administration earned a B grade for its approach to the treaty. For those interested in tracking this week's discussions in New York, and the ongoing U.S. and international approach, there are a number of great resources available,...

Twelve Years Since Mine Ban Treaty Entry Into Force

March 1 marks the 12th anniversary of the 1999 entry into force of the Mine Ban Treaty, which seeks to eliminate the use of one of the most destructive and indiscriminate weapons of war. It has been over a year since the Barack Obama administration began a comprehensive review of its landmines policy. During those months, U.S. and international leaders have made a clear case that now is the time for the United States to join with the global consensus and accede to the treaty. ACA's Deputy Director Jeff Abramson outlines the growing support and strong case for why the United States should the...

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