In a major disarmament step, Russia and the United States appear poised to negotiate a significant new agreement on strategic arms reduction as the clock ticks toward the December 2009 expiration of the 1991 START. At the same time, the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office issued a report detailing proposed steps for an eventual ban on all nuclear weapons. (Continue)
Several recent U.S. government reports identified significant difficulties in tracking U.S. small arms and light weapons meant for Afghan national forces and an improvement in monitoring such weapons meant for Iraq.
According to a January study by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the United States did not maintain complete records for 87,000 of 242,000 U.S.-procured weapons for the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF). The study also found records to be unreliable for 135,000 weapons obtained from 21 other countries for the ANSF. (Continue)
Notifications made to Congress in 2008 of requested U.S. arms sales reached their highest monetary level in more than a decade. Countries in the Middle East accounted for more than half of the $75 billion in government-to-government requests, which also included controversial arrangements with Taiwan. Notifications do not always result in deliveries, and experts warn against expecting the high level of possible deals to continue. (Continue)
In recent public statements and congressional hearings, Obama administration officials have indicated that they will reverse Bush-era policies on a number of major arms control issues. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and other Obama appointees have said that they will actively pursue ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) as well as a new strategic arms agreement with Russia and have revised the U.S. approach to negotiations on a treaty banning the production of fissile material for use in nuclear weapons. (Continue)
Letter to the Obama Administration from 67 national organizations, requesting a review of U.S. policy on landmines and cluster bombs.
Chapter from Reykjavik Revisted: Steps Towards a World Free of Nuclear Weapons on the CTBT by Raymond Jeanloz.
Many aspects of the Chinese-U.S. relationship are mutually beneficial: some $400 billion in trade, bilateral military exchanges, and Beijing's increasingly constructive diplomatic role. There are other grounds for concern. Each side's militaries view the other as a potential adversary and increasingly make plans and structure their forces with that in mind.
On the conventional side, there are many important areas to consider, but the potential for nuclear rivalry raises monumental risks. This article assesses the dangers in the bilateral nuclear relationship, the potential for traditional arms control to address these challenges, the broadening of the "strategic" military sphere, and the issue of proliferation beyond the bilateral relationship. (Continue)
The Bush administration scored a hit in a recent test of a U.S.-based strategic anti-missile system, but struck out in talks to ease Russian opposition to the planned stationing of a similar system in Europe...
President George W. Bush Dec. 30 signed the instrument of ratification for a U.S. additional protocol to its International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards agreement. Although the United States is a nuclear-weapon state under the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) and is not required to adopt IAEA safeguards, it has done so as a confidence-building measure. Washington has also pressed for the universal application of the 1997 Model Additional Protocol in order to better detect and deter illicit nuclear activities. (Continue)
Four years after the U.S. Senate issued its advice and consent to ratify an additional protocol with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), President George W. Bush signed the instrument of ratification Dec. 30. The United States is expected to deposit the measure with the agency this week. (Continue)
Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, Russia's new ambassador to the United States, has assumed his post at a critical time in U.S.-Russian relations and at a point when presidential transitions are underway in both Moscow and Washington. Kislyak has served in a number of senior foreign policy positions in Moscow. Most recently, he served as Russia's deputy foreign minister where he played the lead role on arms control and nonproliferation issues. On November 14, Arms Control Today spoke with Ambassador Kislyak about his views on a number of issues in U.S.-Russian strategic relations, including missile defense, future strategic arms reductions, the status of the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty, and Russian views on how to deal with Iran's nuclear program. (Continue)