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"I want to thank the Arms Control Association … for being such effective advocates for sensible policies to stem the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and most importantly, reduce the risk of nuclear war."
– Senator Joe Biden
January 28, 2004
Arms Control NOW

Arms Exporters React to Middle East Unrest

By Xiaodon Liang Source: ABC News Arms suppliers have scrambled to readjust their export policies in the face of political unrest against client governments in the Middle East and North Africa. Germany, France, and the United Kingdom, the three largest exporters of arms within the European Union (EU), in addition to the United States, have been criticized for their sales of not only tools of armed conflict (tanks and combat aircraft) to governments hovering on the brink of instability but also for sales of tools of domestic repression: armored vehicles, small arms, tear gas, and riot...

Thinking Existentially about the Worldwide Threat

Image Source: AP By Greg Thielmann A panel of scientists provided a useful update today on the latest thinking about the climatic consequences of nuclear weapons use. The presentation provided a grim reminder that the nuclear Sword of Damocles still hangs over all nations of the earth, nuclear and non-nuclear powers alike – notwithstanding the significant achievement of New START ratification by the United States and Russia. At the annual meeting in Washington of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Georgiy Stenchikov (King Abdullah University of Science and Technology),...

Ratifying the Nuclear Weapons Free Zone Protocols

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Rose Gottemoeller (Image Source: U.S. State Dept.) By Alfred Nurja In a little noted section of a speech before the Conference on Disarmament, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Rose Gottemoeller reiterated a commitment made last year by Secretary Clinton to submit for "Senate advice and consent the ratification of protocols to the nuclear weapons-free zones established for Africa and South Pacific." It is indeed past time that the State Department submits these protocols and the U.S. Senate approves U.S. participation in these two important pillars of the...

After New START, What's Next? Remarks at 3rd Annual "Nuclear Deterrence Summit"

Arms Control Association Executive Director Daryl G. Kimball discussed what's next after New START yesterday at the 3rd Annual "Nuclear Deterrence Summit," in Crystal City, VA. Below are his prepared remarks: After New START, What's Next? It's a pleasure and honor to appear once again at the Nuclear Deterrence Summit. Once again Ed Helminski and his Exchange Monitor Publications team have assembled an impressive lineup of speakers and we're glad to be able to be part of this important dialogue. The organizers have asked me to address what can and should be done to reduce nuclear dangers now...

Worldwide Threat Assessment – What's New and What Isn't?

Robert Mueller, James Clapper, and Leon Panetta at House Permanent Select Committee Hearing (Image Source: Zimbio.com) By Greg Thielmann In spite of widespread rumors that the intelligence community's assessment of the Iranian nuclear threat had changed significantly in the last three years, two hearings held by the intelligence committees in recent days provided scant confirmation. Instead, terrorism and cyber threats dominated both the testimony of witnesses and questioning by Members of Congress. The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence hosted the year's first comprehensive...

Midterm Grades on Obama Administration's Conventional Arms Control Record

By Jeff Abramson During the week of Feb 7-11, 2011, we provided midterm grades on 5 aspects of the Obama administration's approach to conventional weapons arms control. Bookmark this post and come back over the next months and years to compare the grades you'd give to those earned at the two-year mark of the Obama administration. Click a topic below to go directly to the original post. Arms Trade Treaty (Feb 7) Arms Trade/Sales (Feb 8 ) Export Control Reform (Feb 9) Landmines (Feb 10) Indiscriminate Weapons, Especially Cluster Munitions (Feb 11) Grading Guide A: Global leader pressing for...

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...

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