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ACA’s journal, Arms Control Today, remains the best in the market. Well focused. Solidly researched. Prudent.

– Hans Blix,
former IAEA Director-General

Daryl G. Kimball

Syria Will ‘Pay a Heavy Price’ for Another Chemical Attack, White House Says

News Source: 
The New York Times
News Date: 
June 26, 2017 -04:00

Posted: June 27, 2017

Assad preparing chemical weapons attack in Syria, US claims

News Source: 
The Guardian
News Date: 
June 26, 2017 -04:00

Posted: June 27, 2017

The Nuclear Requiem

News Source: 
Southern Oregon Public Television
News Date: 
June 22, 2017 -04:00

Posted: June 23, 2017

U.N. Leader Softens His Predecessor’s Criticism of Iran Missile Tests

News Source: 
The New York Times
News Date: 
June 21, 2017 -04:00

Posted: June 22, 2017

Is Iran complying with the nuclear deal? For the most part, yes

News Source: 
Politifact
News Date: 
June 14, 2017 -04:00

Posted: June 15, 2017

Senate Puts Trump’s Saudi Arms Sales Plans on Notice

Description: 

Senate Puts Trump’s Saudi Arms Sales Plans on Notice

Body: 

For Immediate Release: June 13, 2017

Media Contacts: Jeff Abramson, senior fellow (646) 527-5793; Daryl G. Kimball, executive director (202-463-8270 x107)

(Washington, D.C.)—Congressional votes to block major arms deals are very rare, but today a substantial, bipartisan group of 47 Senators voted to support S.J. Resolution 42, a resolution of disapproval to transfer U.S. precision-guided munitions to Saudi Arabia, which is waging a controversial military campaign in Yemen. The close vote was a rebuke of Trump’s Middle East policy. In the final tally, 47 Senators voted for full consideration of the resolution, while 53 rejected that step.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis meets with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, April 19, 2017. DoD photo by U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Brigitte N. BrantleyThe growing opposition to the roughly $500 million sale indicates that President Trump will face tough resistance should he try to move forward with other elements of the still mostly undefined $110 billion arms package he announced last month to Saudi Arabia.

“The Senate’s bipartisan stand today against the sale of precision guided munitions to Saudi Arabia puts the Trump administration on notice that their approach is off target,” said Jeff Abramson, nonresident senior fellow at the Arms Control Association.

“The United States should not be sending more weapons into an unwinnable conflict and into the hands of a country that uses U.S. weapons against civilian targets. Instead, the Trump administration should use its influence to find a political solution to the disastrous war in Yemen, which has led to a massive humanitarian crisis,” Abramson added.  

“Current U.S. conventional arms transfer policy includes the goal of ‘Ensuring that arms transfers do not contribute to human rights violations or violations of international humanitarian law.’” Abramson noted.

“With today’s vote, the Senate is sending a strong message that U.S. arms transfers should not go to states that target civilians and violate human rights.”

Additional resources

  • “Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia and Bahrain Should Be Rejected,” Arms Control Association Issue Brief, Volume 9, Issue 3, May 2017.
  • “Defiant Congress Sparks Showdown With Trump Over Saudi Arms Deal,” Arms Control Today, June 2017.

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The Arms Control Association is an independent, membership-based organization dedicated to providing authoritative information and practical policy solutions to address the threats posed by the world's most dangerous weapons.

Posted: June 13, 2017

In Vienna with Nuclear Disarmament Expert Daryl Kimball

News Source: 
International Press Syndicate
News Date: 
May 9, 2017 -04:00

Posted: June 7, 2017

Congress launches new missile defense push as North Korea advances

News Source: 
Washington Post
News Date: 
May 25, 2017 -04:00

Posted: June 5, 2017

Toward a Treaty Prohibiting Nuclear Weapons

Toward a Treaty Prohibiting Nuclear Weapons

June 2017

By Daryl G. Kimball

Nearly five decades ago, the 1968 nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) established the requirement that states-parties pursue “effective measures” to end the nuclear arms race and to achieve nuclear disarmament.

The United States and Russia have reduced their Cold War stockpiles and verifiably banned nuclear explosive testing. But some 15,000 weapons remain, additional nuclear-armed states have emerged, and the risk of nuclear weapons use is rising.

Key NPT disarmament commitments made in 2010 are unfulfilled. The future of key nuclear arms control treaties, including the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty and the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, are in doubt. The 1996 Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) has not formally entered into force. Global fissile material stocks remain very substantial. Worse still, the world’s nine nuclear-armed states are replacing, upgrading, or in some cases expanding their arsenals.

In response, non-nuclear-weapon states have justifiably argued that the grave risks posed by nuclear weapons demand more urgent action. Last fall at the United Nations, 123 states voted to launch negotiations on a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons.

The conclusion of such a treaty is now within sight. From June 15 to July 7, representatives from some 130 states and civil society groups will try to finalize a draft treaty text issued May 22 by the president of the negotiating conference, Ambassador Elayne Whyte Gómez of Costa Rica.

The draft preamble correctly notes that “further effective measures” will be necessary to achieve a world free of nuclear weapons and that the “use of nuclear weapons would be contrary to the rules of international law in armed conflict.” The draft also recognizes the central role of the NPT, the CTBT, and nuclear-weapon-free-zone treaties for achieving disarmament.

At its core, the new treaty would prohibit states-parties from using, testing, developing, producing, manufacturing, or otherwise acquiring, possessing, stockpiling, transferring, or receiving control over nuclear weapons. It would also require each state to prohibit and prevent the stationing, installation, or deployment of nuclear weapons on their territory (but does not prohibit “transit”). These latter provisions would affect the five NATO states that still host U.S. nuclear weapons.

The text provides a solid basis for a final agreement, although, like any first draft, it will under go refinements. As negotiators make adjustments, they should ensure the treaty allows for the establishment of effective means for disarmament verification on a case-by-case basis, including special anytime, anywhere access by the International Atomic Energy Agency as may be required to verify that a nuclear-armed state has completely eliminated its arsenal and related facilities and inventory of materials. Negotiators also should make clear that the prohibition on nuclear explosive testing in the new convention does not detract from or offer an alternative to states’ obligations under the CTBT, including its nuclear test explosion monitoring and inspections regime.

The nuclear-weapon states have dismissed the initiative as irrelevant and said it may undermine support for the NPT. In reality, efforts to reduce the salience of nuclear weapons are fundamentally consistent with NPT objectives and the common pursuit of a world without nuclear weapons.

It is also a healthy challenge to nuclear deterrence orthodoxy, which incorrectly and dangerously assumes that military postures threatening large-scale use of nuclear weapons are sustainable and will not fail. It is a reminder that, for a majority of the world’s states, these weapons of mass destruction are a security liability, not an asset.

The emerging treaty has the potential to further delegitimize nuclear weapons as instruments of national power and to strengthen the legal and political norms against their possession and use. At a time when the nuclear danger is growing, these contributions are especially useful.

Although the emerging prohibition convention can help encourage further action on disarmament, additional and difficult work lies ahead. Prohibition treaty supporters, skeptics, and opponents must find new and creative ways to come together to strengthen the NPT regime, in part by advancing new and effective disarmament measures, while easing the growing tensions between nuclear-armed states that make progress difficult and increase the danger of nuclear use.

Leaders from the nuclear-armed states who say nuclear disarmament can be achieved only in a progressive, step-by-step fashion must be willing and able to walk the talk. Such measures include securing the ratifications needed to bring the CTBT into force; reviving the moribund U.S.-Russian arms control dialogue; bringing China, India, and Pakistan further into the nuclear risk reduction and disarmament process; avoiding the introduction of new and destabilizing strategic weapons systems and technologies; concluding legally binding negative nuclear security assurances for non-nuclear-weapon states; and conducting smart and sustained diplomacy to halt and reverse North Korea’s dangerous nuclear pursuits.

The coming nuclear weapons prohibition treaty is not an all-in-one solution, but it promises to be a historic and valuable leap forward.

Posted: May 31, 2017

Missile defense push as N. Korea advances

News Source: 
The Post and Courier
News Date: 
May 26, 2017 -04:00

Posted: May 30, 2017

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