"Though we have acheived progress, our work is not over. That is why I support the mission of the Arms Control Association. It is, quite simply, the most effective and important organization working in the field today."
Last week, the Trump administration announced it would reverse U.S. policy not to deploy landmines outside of the Korean Peninsula and would give combatant commanders the authority to use “self-destructing” mines when they deem necessary.
The world has rejected landmines because they are indiscriminate and disproportionately harm civilians. Technical solutions to make landmines self-destruct or be otherwise labeled “smart” have failed to work as advertised and have been rejected by the 164 countries that have joined the Mine Ban Treaty.
Congress must respond by imposing a ban on the deployment of any type of anti-personnel landmine in new theaters of operation and encouraging the United States to join the Mine Ban Treaty.
The world has moved on from the use of landmines. Tell Congress that the United States should too.
The world has rejected landmines because they are indiscriminate and disproportionately harm civilians. In response to new Trump administration policies, Congress should impose a ban on the deployment of any type of anti-personnel landmine in new theaters of operation and encouraging the United States to join the Mine Ban Treaty.
With the Aug. 2 termination of the INF Treaty, the New START agreement is now the only treaty putting limits on the world’s two largest nuclear weapons arsenals—and it too is in jeopardy.
New START, or the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, is set to expire in 2021, although the U.S. and Russian presidents can extend it—and its irreplaceable verification and monitoring system—for up to five years if they choose.
But given the Trump administration’s demonstrated antipathy toward important arms control treaties, it may be up to Congress to save it.
A growing number of Republican and Democratic members of Congress are voicing their support for the treaty and its extension. For instance:
In the House, Reps. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) and Michael McCaul (R-Texas) introduced the “Richard G. Lugar and Ellen O. Tauscher Act to Maintain Limits on Russian Nuclear Forces” (H.R. 2529) bill, which expresses the Sense of Congress that the United States should seek to extend the New START Treaty so long as Russia remains in compliance.
In the Senate, Sens. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Todd Young (R-Ind.) introduced a companion bill, also named the “Richard G. Lugar and Ellen O. Tauscher Act to Maintain Limits on Russian Nuclear Forces” (S. 2394). This bill expresses the same as the House bill.
Instead of working toward an extension of New START, the Trump administration is busy arguing that China and Russia’s tactical nuclear weapons must be covered in the treaty as well.
Pursuing talks with other nuclear-armed states, like China, and limits on all types of nuclear weapons is an admirable objective, but such a negotiation would be complex and time-consuming.
The first step should, therefore, be a five-year extension of New START which would provide a foundation for a more ambitious successor agreement.
Use the form below to urge your senators and representative to support these bills.
We need your members of Congress to support these efforts to make sure that the limits on Russia’s nuclear weapons arsenal—which help keep us from engaging in an expensive and dangerous arms race—remain in force.
The New START agreement is now the only treaty putting limits on the world’s two largest nuclear weapons arsenals—and it is in jeopardy. The U.S. and Russian presidents can extend it—and its irreplaceable verification and monitoring system—for up to five years if they choose. But it may be up to Congress to save it.
But now, the United States and Russia are on course to withdraw from the INF Treaty in six months over a long-running dispute over Russian compliance with the treaty.
Termination of the INF Treaty opens the door for Russia and the United States to develop and deploy more and new types of ground-launched intermediate-range missiles–a move that would increase the risks of a destabilizing new missile race.
You can help stop this!
A group of leading U.S. Senators has re-introduced the "Prevention of Arms Race Act of 2019," which would prohibit funding for the procurement, flight-testing, or deployment of a U.S. ground-launched or ballistic missile until the Trump Administration meets seven specific conditions, including identifying a U.S. ally formally willing to host such a system, and in the case of a European country, have it be the outcome of a NATO-wide decision.
This bill is a step in the right direction. New U.S. ground-launched cruise deployments in Europe or elsewhere would cost billions of dollars, take years to complete, and are militarily unnecessary to defend NATO allies because existing weapons systems can already hold key Russian targets at risk.
Your Senators need to hear from you.
Termination of the INF Treaty allows Russia and the United States to deploy new ground-launched intermediate-range missiles, increasing the risk of a new destabilizing arms race. Congress must adopt legislation to prohibit funding for the procurement, flight-testing, or deployment of U.S. ground-launched or ballistic missiles until the Trump administration meets seven specific conditions.