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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."

– Joseph Biden, Jr.
Senator
January 28, 2004
Arms Control NOW

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...

U.S. and Russia Submit Resolution to UN General Assembly Calling for CTBT Ratification

On Monday, October 15th, the United States and Russia submitted a joint draft resolution to the United Nations General Assembly, which called for the swift entry-into-force of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. Marcie B. Ries, a member of the U.S. delegation to the UN General Assembly, told the First Committee of the General Assembly that: This draft resolution expresses the hope that the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty will enter into force at an early date, recalls that both the Russian Federation and the United States have stopped the production of fissile materials for use in...

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...

Ban Ki-moon Asks Governments to "Be Courageous" and Ratify CTBT

At the fifth biennial ministerial meeting in support of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon delivered a passionate statement in support of the CTBT. Nuclear testing has left a legacy of devastated and uninhabitable landscapes and lasting health and economic effects on local and downwind populations. More troubling, nuclear testing has still not been consigned to history. Two tests have been conducted in the past five years. Until we have universal adherence to a legally-binding global norm against nuclear testing, there is no guarantee that nuclear tests will...

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