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"[Arms Control Today] has become indispensable! I think it is the combination of the critical period we are in and the quality of the product. I found myself reading the May issue from cover to cover."

– Frank von Hippel
Co-Director of Program on Science and Global Security, Princeton University
June 1, 2018
Arms Control NOW

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...

Fifth Biennial Ministerial Meeting in Support of the CTBT Produces Joint Statement

Yesterday, foreign ministers from many different countries assembled at the United Nations to discuss the future of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. They released a Joint Ministeral Statement (PDF) reaffirming their "strong support" for the CTBT. Here are some of the highlights of the Statement: The CTBT is Necessary The entry into force of the Treaty is vital to the broader framework of multilateral disarmament and non-proliferation. Test ban will help preserve the nonproliferation regime [T]he CTBT will make an important contribution by constraining the development and qualitative...

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...

AP: Foreign Ministers Urge U.S. to Ratify CTBT

The Associated Press reports on vocal international support for U.S. ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. Advocates said approval by the U.S. Senate, in particular, would encourage some of the other eight governments whose ratification is required to bring the 1996 Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) into force, to outlaw all nuclear test explosions. "I believe the national security interests of the United States are enhanced by ratification of the CTBT," Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd told reporters after chairing the two-hour meeting to promote the treaty on the 2010-...

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...

Fifth CTBT Ministerial Meeting to Take Place Sept. 23

On September 23rd, Foreign Ministers from a range of countries will meet at the UN headquarters in New York City to hear a statement from UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and to promote the CTBT's eventual entry into force. According to a CTBTO media advisory : The CTBT bans all nuclear explosions. Although already signed by 182 countries and ratified by 153, the Treaty can only enter into force once it is signed and ratified by 44 ‘Annex 2’ States. Nine have yet to do so: China, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Pakistan and the United...

China and New START

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 the next 10 years, it'd be wise to give some thought to Beijing'...

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