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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

New START After the Mid-Term Election

By Daryl G. Kimball Following the Nov. 2 U.S. mid-term election, Congressional leaders and the White House now must shift from campaign mode to governing mode. That will be tough for many, but is necessary for the health and security of the nation. Congress will reconvene on November 15 for a post-election "lame duck" session. Senators might start working together on the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty ( New START ), one of the few domestic or foreign policy issues upon which there is a modicum of bipartisan agreement consensus. If Senate leaders agree to spare 2-3 days for floor debate...

Under Obama, U.S. Nuclear Alert Policy Still Stuck in the Cold War

By Daryl Kimball In a September 2008 Arms Control Today Presidential Q & A , then-candidate for president Barack Obama committed "to working with Russia and other nuclear-armed states to make deep cuts in global [nuclear weapons] stockpiles by the end of my first term." He went on to say, "As a first step, I will seek Russia's agreement to extend essential monitoring and verification provisions of the START I before it expires in December 2009." Obama has fulfilled that pledge with the negotiation and active support for New START, which is awaiting Senate approval for ratification next...

School's In: The ACA Nuclear Report Card

By Scoville Fellow Rob Golan-Vilella What is the "mainstream" in the nuclear nonproliferation regime? What are the standards that countries are expected to meet? And are crucial nations living up to these expectations? These questions are the subject of a new Arms Control Association report, Assessing Progress on Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament: 2009-2010 Report Card , written by Peter Crail with assistance from ACA research staff. The report was released yesterday at an event at the National Press Club. At the release, Peter, ACA Executive Director Daryl Kimball, and the Carnegie...

Schwarzenegger: Ratify New START

By Eric Auner As if the support from national security officials , former nuclear commanders , and numerous editorial boards wasn't enough, Arnold Schwarzenegger has now joined the ranks of New START supporters. He recently told a meeting of the U.S.-Russia Business Council (video available at link, New START section begins at around the eighteen minute mark): Well, let me just tell you that the most excited I'm about is -- and I'm asking Congress to pass --is the agreement to reduce our nuclear weapons. This, I think, is the most important thing, because we can talk from here to eternity...

Perkovich: Movement on Indian Nuclear Liability Issue Likely

By Eric Auner There is continuing uncertainty surrounding India's nuclear liability bill , and the extent to which it will discourage foreign, privately-owned suppliers from participating in the country's civil nuclear sector. As the bill is currently written, nuclear suppliers (in addition to the operator of a nuclear facility) may be liable in the case of an accident. This is inconsistent with international standards, such as the Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage (CSC), which channel liability exclusively to the operator (in this case the government-owned Nuclear...

Lower the Curtain on the Airborne Laser

By Matt Sugrue The Airborne Laser (ABL) missile defense system failed its second shoot-down test in a row yesterday. The Missile Defense Agency, which oversees the ABL program, released a statement saying that investigators are looking at the "intermittent performance of a valve within the laser system" as a possible source of the failure. The ABL is a modified Boeing 747 that was designed to use a powerful chemical oxygen-iodine laser to disrupt ballistic missiles during their boost phase. Currently, there is only one ABL and it is unlikely that any additional ones will be built. In a 2009...

Air Force Magazine Editor: Ratify New START

By Eric Auner In an excellent editorial in the October issue of Air Force Magazine , chief editor Adam J. Hebert effectively addresses many of the misguided criticisms of New START and calls for prompt Senate approval of the treaty. It's only the latest example of the overwhelming support for New START from uniformed and retired military officers . It's also the latest in a long list of editorials from across the nation that have been written in support of the treaty. Critics have pointed to missile defenses and verification concerns as the two greatest weaknesses with the treaty. New START...

NATO and Missile Defense: Conspicuous Vagueness

By Scoville Fellow Rob Golan-Vilella Recently, the issue of NATO missile defense capabilities has come to the fore. The United States is hoping that at November's NATO summit in Lisbon, the alliance will officially approve a plan to turn the U.S. Phased Adaptive Approach into the centerpiece of a comprehensive NATO missile defense system. This plan has been endorsed by NATO's leadership. However, there is a high degree of vagueness about just where the threat comes from that necessitates such a system. The alliance's secretary general, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, wrote on Tuesday: Missiles pose an...

Will No-Test Condition Sink India-Japan Nuclear Deal?

By Eric Auner As I reported in September, India and Japan have been discussing a potential civil nuclear deal. As a major supporter of the nonproliferation regime, Japan has suggested that it will attach a condition whereby cooperation would cease in the event of a future Indian test. As Global Security Newswire reports, India is unenthusiastic about such a condition: India has spurned suggested language in a nuclear trade agreement with Japan that would freeze the deal should the South Asian state carry out another atomic test blast, Kyodo News reported today (see GSN, Aug. 23). "I hear...

Russia Blocks Iranian Nuclear Access

By Matt Sugrue Xinhua reports that Russian President Dmitry Medvedev issued a decree banning Iranian investments in any "commercial activities involving uranium production or use of nuclear material and technology. The presidential decree states, Any investment by Iran, its citizens and legal entities registered in Iran or located in its jurisdiction, or individuals or legal entities acting on their behalf or on their orders, or organizations owned or controlled by them, in any commercial activity related to uranium production, or production or use of nuclear material, equipment, special non-...

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