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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

Military Strikes vs. Arms Control

By ACA Intern Matt Sugrue With Jeffery Goldberg's article in The Atlantic the issue of a possible Israeli attack on Iran's nuclear facilities is once again front and center. The possibility of an Israeli strike raises one immediate question: what is the supposed benefit to be derived from the strike? There is still plenty of time allow the newest round of U.S., E.U. and U.N. sanctions to work. In an ACA Threat Assessment Brief, Greg Thielmann wrote , In spite of ubiquitous rhetoric about "time running out" and "redlines being crossed," an actualized Iranian nuclear threat is years, not months...

Obama's Missile Defense Plans Continue to Advance

Aegis system test launch from USS Hopper By ACA Intern Daniel Salisbury The Washington Post recently reported : The U.S. military is on the verge of activating a partial missile shield over southern Europe, part of an intensifying global effort to build defenses against Iranian missiles amid a deepening impasse over the country's nuclear ambitions. Pentagon officials said they are nearing a deal to establish a key radar ground station, probably in Turkey or Bulgaria. Installation of the high-powered X-band radar would enable the first phase of the shield to become operational next year. The...

Convention on Cluster Munitions Enters into Force without U.S. Signature

By ACA Intern Valerie Pacer The Convention on Cluster Munitions entered into force on August 1, 2010 with thirty-eight ratifications and one hundred and eight signatories. The United States, Russia, China, India, Brazil are just some of the many states that have not signed or ratified this important treaty. Reuters named the United States as the world's largest producer of cluster munitions with a "stockpile of 800 million submunitions." Parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions agree to: Neither use, produce, stockpile, nor sell cluster munitions Destroy existing stockpiles within eight...

Trident: Alternatives and potential cost cutting?

Are there viable alternatives? By ACA Intern Daniel Salisbury The costs of the British Trident nuclear deterrent have emerged as an issue in British politics; with HM Treasury looking to cut costs and the Ministry of Defence insisting that cuts are unnecessary. While the current plan for a "like-for-like" renewal of the system was passed in 2007, the British government could choose to make more aggressive cuts to the program. Two pieces highlight the range of options facing the British government. In " Continuous at-Sea Deterrence: Costs and Alternatives ," Malcolm Chalmers of the Royal...

India Developing Laser-based Missile Defense

By Eric Auner Global Security Newswire reports that the Indian Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) wants to protect itself from incoming missiles using a "directed energy" system. "Lasers are weapons of the future. We can, for instance, use laser beams to shoot down an enemy missile in its boost or terminal phase," the Times of India quoted Anil Kumar Maini, who heads the Indian Defense Research and Development Organization's Laser Science and Technology Center, as saying. One device under development would fire a 25-kilowatt laser at a ballistic missile to destroy the weapon...

UK Strategic Defense and Security Review Avoids the Main Strategic Question

HMS Vanguard, one of four Royal Navy SSBN vessels By ACA intern Daniel Salisbury The U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne has been ruffling feathers in the Ministry of Defence (MoD) in recent weeks. He has ruled that Trident, the U.K. nuclear deterrent , will now be paid for by the MoD and not a special Treasury fund. This is putting the already strained MoD budget under even more pressure. The Financial Times reports that he made the following comment when questioned during his recent India trip: "All budgets have pressure. I don't think there's anything particularly unique about...

65 Years after Hiroshima and Nagasaki

By Eric Auner In August 1945, nuclear weapons were used in war for the first and last time. The Wall Street Journal reports that for the first time the U.S. is sending a representative to Japan's annual ceremony commemorating the bombing of Hiroshima. John Roos, the U.S. ambassador to Japan, will join representatives of 73 other countries, including Britain and France, for Friday's event marking the 65th anniversary of the Aug. 6, 1945, bombing. United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will also attend. The annual Hiroshima peace memorial ceremony—where doves were released as a symbol for...

Mitt Romney's Mistaken New START Theses

By ACA Intern Matthew Sugrue Mitt Romney recently published a follow-up to his Washington Post critique in the National Review . Unfortunately, as in his first piece for the Washington Post Mr. Romney incorrectly represents some of New START's provisions. There are three points in particular that are should be addressed. 1. Romney claims that Russia has "succeeded in restricting not only our strategic nuclear capability and missile-defense program but also [the America's] strategic conventional capability." The basic point of any arms control treaty is to impose restrictions. New START is no...

The Mine Ban Treaty: A Treaty to Join

By ACA Intern Valerie Pacer The Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction (also known as the Mine Ban Treaty and the Ottawa Convention), enjoys widespread international support. One hundred and fifty-six countries are currently state parties to the Treaty. The United States, however, is still "undecided" on whether or not it will join. Reuters reports : Releasing the State Department's annual review on the destruction of conventional weapons, a senior official acknowledged that a review of U.S. landmines...

August CTBT Update

Last week, ACA Executive Director Daryl Kimball published an Issue Brief responding to lingering questions and doubts regarding the United States' ability to maintain its nuclear stockpile into the indefinite future.

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