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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

Spurgeon M. Keeny, Jr. 1924-2012

By Daryl G. Kimball Spurgeon M. Keeny, Jr.--an influential nuclear arms control practitioner, advocate, scholar, and mentor for new generations of weapons and security experts--died on August 10 at the age of 87 of cancer at his home in Washington D.C. Spurgeon M. Keeny, Jr. in 2003 Spurgeon was known to his many colleagues and arms control acquaintances the world over as practical, professional, persistent, and incredibly knowledgable and well-connected. He was a walking, talking nuclear arms control Google search engine before there was an internet. His long career put him in the center of...

Hiroshima and Nagasaki: Never Again

by Daryl G. Kimball The first nuclear bomb test in July 1945 and the surprise attacks on the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and 9 of that year ignited a global debate about the role, the morality, and the control of nuclear weapons that continues to this day. August 6 commemoration of the first atomic bombing in Hiroshima City. Then, as now, some judged that the catastrophic dangers inherent in nuclear weapons outweigh any justification for their existence or at least for large numbers of such weapons, leading them to seek meaningful nuclear restraints. Others considered nuclear...

Sanctions Squeeze Too Tight?

An Iranian Bank designated as a proliferation financing risk by the U.S. Treasury DepartmentPhoto Credit: Getty Images By Kelsey Davenport The Administration and Congress are increasing the pressure on Tehran, but in their attempts to tighten the squeeze with further restrictive measures this week, cracks in the international support for sanctions are beginning to show. The White House and the Hill would do well to remember that the purpose of sanctions is to drive Iran to the negotiation table, and not to drive international partners like China away from the United States. Fractures began to...

Senator Lugar Honored for National Security Work

Senator Lugar inspects a Soviet SS-18 ICBM being readied for destruction in 2002. Photo Credit: Office of Senator Richard Lugar By Kelsey Davenport The American Security Project (ASP) honored Senator Richard Lugar (R–Ind.) on Wednesday for his extensive contributions to national security as the first recipient of an ASP award for leadership in national security . ASP will annually present "the Lugar Award" to an individual that embodies the Senator's efforts to solve pressing national security concerns. As a former intern in Senator Lugar's Washington DC office, I felt honored to be present...

Is All Hope LOST for the Law of the Sea Treaty?

Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) at a hearing on the Law of the Sea Treaty. By Lauren Weiss Despite the United States' vital role in crafting the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea in the 1970s and amending it in 1994, the treaty has never come to a vote in the Senate. Commonly called the Law of the Sea Treaty, it outlines the rules governing maritime activity, covering issues such as navigational rights, territorial sea limits, and economic jurisdiction over various resources. Following attempts made under Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, the Obama administration has also...

Film Focuses on Illicit Weapons Trade and the Need for an Arms Trade Treaty

By Wyatt Hoffman A newly released video called "A Short Film About Guns" underscores the need for an effective Arms Trade Treaty to reduce the illegal flow of weapons to conflicts across the world. Director Minos Papas partnered with the Control Arms Campaign to produce the video, which features four experts with firsthand experience with the devastating results of the unregulated global arms trade. These experts include Kathi Lynn Austin, arms trafficking investigator and director of the Conflict Awareness Project ; Ishmael Beah, former child soldier in Sierra Leon and author of A Long Way...

About Time: Bill to Enhance Nuclear Security Moves through House

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX). By Benjamin Kagel Legislation necessary to ratify two international treaties that improve nuclear security and strengthen measures to prevent nuclear terrorism finally passed the House of Representatives on June 28 after multiple failed attempts to bring U.S. federal code in line with these important treaties. The Nuclear Terrorism Conventions Implementation and Safety of Maritime Navigation Act of 2012 brings the United States into compliance with the 2005 amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM...

Reading the Iran Military Report Carefully and Between the Lines

Shahab 3 MRBM launch during Iranian military exercise on July 3. (Photo credit: ARASH KHAMOOSHI/AFP/GettyImages) By Greg Thielmann Last week the Pentagon delivered to Congress an unclassified report on Iranian military power , containing just enough information to leave its readers yearning for more. Signed on June 29 by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, the report also was provided in a classified edition, according to Tony Capaccio, who broke the story for Bloomberg News . Missile Programs The most interesting and potentially newsworthy portion of the report is its description of Iranian...

The Global Arms Trade Is Just Bananas: Time to Negotiate A Robust ATT

By Daryl G. Kimball The ongoing conflict in Syria--like recent wars in Sudan, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Congo--underscores the urgent necessity of common-sense rules to prevent the international transfer of weapons, particularly when it is determined there is a substantial risk of human rights abuses or if the weapons are going to states under arms embargoes. [vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/44865879 w=500&h=281] An unregulated arms trade increases the availability of weapons in conflict zones. Arms brokers can exploit these conditions to sell weapons to criminals and insurgents, including...

P5+1 and Iran Nuclear Talks: Slowly Moving Toward a Deal?

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton (left) and chief Iranian nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili (right) at the talks (AFP/EU Pool, Kirill Kudryavtsev) By Daryl G. Kimball Given the infrequency of serious, direct talks with Tehran on its disputed nuclear program, the failure to achieve a diplomatic breakthrough in Moscow this week is disappointing but not surprising. At the same time, there was no breakdown and there will be follow-on technical talks in Istanbul on July 3. The meetings over the past three months have yielded greater clarity on the positions of the sides and point-by-point...

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