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"I actually have a pretty good collection of Arms Control Today, which I have read throughout my career. It's one of the few really serious publications on arms control issues."
– Gary Samore
Former White House Coordinator for Arms Control and WMD Terrorism
Arms Control NOW

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-...

GAO Report on U.S. Arms Sales, 2005-2009

A recently released GAO report highlights the value of U.S. arms sales, either by the U.S. government or licensed private companies, between 2005-2009, as well as some problems with the current U.S. system for reporting arms sales. In one oversight gap, the State Department authorizes direct commercial sales (DCS) but it does not collect data from the U.S. companies with DCS export licenses. Another gap in information is due to a lack of transparency regarding arms sales. The issue of transparency is partially due to something as simple as the Department of Defense not posting the information...

The Economist on New START

By Eric Auner The Economist has written a compelling new editorial on the necessity of New START ratification. It is a sensible, incremental treaty that will cut America's and Russia's deployed strategic nuclear warheads by about a third, from the current maximum of 2,200 to 1,550, and the number of deployed missiles and bombers to 700 apiece. ... It does not stop America deploying anti-ballistic missile defences, developing strategic-range non-nuclear weapons systems or updating its nuclear weapons infrastructure (indeed, Mr Obama has promised to spend $80 billion on this over the next...

China and New START

By ACA Intern Matt Sugrue and Scoville Fellow Rob Golan-Vilella In an op-ed for the New York Post , Heritage Foundation analyst Peter Brookes warns against New START on the grounds that treaty reductions may increase the strategic threat from China's arsenal. According to Brookes, "[U.S.] lawmakers haven't yet fully faced the problem that, as we build down our strategic nuclear forces (by some 20 percent under New START) in the White House's hopes that others will disarm, China is involved in a strategic buildup. So, before there's any final vote on an arms-control pact that would endure for...

New START vs. the Bolton Uncertainty Principle

By ACA Intern Matt Sugrue John Bolton argues in the Wall Street Journal that: [United States] will pay for [the New START] mistake in future conflicts entirely unrelated to Russia....New Start's limits on delivery systems reflect military judgments only marginally. Fundamentally, they are political, diplomatic and legal in nature. The Pentagon is being told to structure its forces according to the treaty's limits, including a ceiling of 700 launchers. This sort of compulsion has happened before, as was the case with both Start I and Start II. Forced to live within limits, and knowing that...

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