Login/Logout

*
*  

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

– Hans Blix
Former IAEA Director-General
Press Releases

Experts Available and Key Resources on the P5+1 Talks With Iran

Sections:

Body: 

Includes Audio from March 26 Press Conference

For Immediate Release: March 26, 2015

Media Contacts: Kelsey Davenport, director of nonproliferation policy, 202-463-8270 ext. 104; Daryl G. Kimball, executive director, 202-463-8270 ext. 107; Greg Thielmann, senior fellow, 202-463-8270, ext. 103; Matthew Bunn, board member and Havard Belfer Center researcher, 617-495-9916.  

(Washington, D.C.)--This week, top diplomats from the P5+1 (China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States) and Iran are meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland, to hammer out a political framework agreement for a comprehensive, long-term nuclear deal to block Iran's potential pathways to a nuclear weapon.

Over the past several weeks, progress has been made on many difficult issues but some gaps remain. Meanwhile, some members of Congress are threatening to advance new Iran sanctions legislation and set unrealistic requirements for a nuclear deal, including Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), who has said that he will seek action on his controversial bill, S. 615, next month. 

Our experts are prepared to provide insights and analysis on both the negotiations in Lausanne and the debate in Washington, D.C.

Below are must-read resources on the negotiations, agreements, and role of Congress from the Arms Control Association: 

More resources are available in our online briefing book, "Solving the Iranian Nuclear Puzzle."

Sign-up today for our "P5+1 and Iran Nuclear Talks Alert" newsletter for the latest developments and analysis surrounding the negotiations delivered straight to your inbox.

Follow @KelseyDav and @DarylGKimball for the latest updates on Twitter.

### 

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.

Description: 

This week, top diplomats from the P5+1 and Iran are meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland, to hammer out a political framework agreement for a comprehensive, long-term nuclear deal...

Country Resources:

2014 Arms Control Person of the Year Announced

Sections:

Body: 

2014 "Arms Control Person of the Year"
Austria's Director for Arms Control, Nonproliferation, and Disarmament Ambassador Alexander Kmentt
 

For immediate release: January 8, 2014
 
Press contact: Daryl G. Kimball, Executive Director, (202) 463-8270 x 107
 
(Washington, D.C.) Austria's Director for Arms Control, Nonproliferation, and Disarmament Alexander Kmentt received the highest number of votes in an online poll to determine the "2014 Arms Control Person of the Year." Nine other worthy candidates were nominated by the staff of the Arms Control Association for their significant achievements and contributions to reducing the threats posed by the world's most dangerous weapons in the past year.

Ambassador Kmentt, who started his career at the Austrian Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs in 1994 and has been a leading disarmament diplomat for many years, was recognized for organizing the third International Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons, Dec. 8-9, 2014 in Vienna, which drew delegations representing 158 states, the United Nations, and civil society.

For the first time in the series of conferences on nuclear weapons use, the list of participants included countries recognized as nuclear-weapon states by the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT)--the United Kingdom and the United States. In addition, an unofficial representative from China attended the meeting. Two other nuclear-armed states, India and Pakistan, took part in the previous two meetings and were also present in Vienna.

Building on the work of the two previous humanitarian impacts conferences, the Vienna meeting expanded the agenda to include the physical impacts of nuclear weapons use, the health effects of nuclear weapons production and testing, the application of international law to the consequences of nuclear weapons explosions, and the shortfalls in international capacity to address a humanitarian emergency triggered by the use of nuclear weapons.

Kmentt was also recognized for Austria's pledge at the close of the conference "... to cooperate with all relevant stakeholders ... in efforts to stigmatise, prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons in light of their unacceptable humanitarian consequences and associated risks."

"Ambassador Kmentt deserves enormous credit for making the third conference on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons the most inclusive and extensive yet," said Daryl G. Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association. "The Vienna conference has changed the international conversation about nuclear weapons and provided renewed urgency to the effort to move toward a world free of nuclear weapons," he said.

"The majority of states parties to the NPT will expect the upcoming Review Conference in May to take into account the findings and conclusions of the Vienna conference and prompt the world's nuclear weapon states to make faster progress on their NPT Article VI commitments," added Kimball.

The runner-up in the vote for the 2014 Arms control Persons of the Year were the team of Ahmet Üzümcü, director general of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and Sigrid Kaag, head of the OPCW-UN Joint Mission, for successfully overseeing the elimination of Syria's 1300 metric tons of chemical weapons, constituting a major steps toward a world free of chemical weapons.

Although Syria has continued to use chlorine as a weapon in violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention, the OPCW-UN operation--involving personnel, equipment, and resources from the United States, Russia, and 28 other countries--has prevented further, large-scale attacks involving Syrian President Bashar Assad's sarin and mustard gas arsenal and eliminated the risk that these deadly weapons might have come under the control of non-state terrorist groups, including Daesh (a.k.a. ISIL).

Pope Francis was the second-runner-up in online voting. He was nominated for guiding the Catholic Church to revise its position on the morality of nuclear deterrence for the first time in many years. The Holy See document, "Nuclear Disarmament: Time for Abolition," issued in December. It argues that: "The strategic nuclear situation has changed dramatically since the end of the Cold War. Rather than providing security...reliance on a strategy of nuclear deterrence has created a less secure world."  

With a late-surge of online voting over the Christmas holidays, Pope Francis edged out another nominee: the members of the technical and political negotiating teams of Iran, led by Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, and the P5+1 group (China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States) led by EU High Representative Catherine Ashton. They were nominated for making significant progress toward a long-term, compromise solution to address international concerns over Iran's sensitive nuclear activities as part a future, comprehensive nuclear agreement. They will resume negotiations next week in Geneva.

The list of all 2014 nominees is available online.

The online poll was open between Dec. 16, 2014 to Jan. 7, 2015.

----
Past winners of the "Arms Control Person of the Year" are: Lassina Zerbo  (2013); Gen. James Cartwright (2012); reporter and activist Kathi Lynn Austin (2011),Kazakhstan's Deputy Foreign Minister Kairat Umarov and Thomas D'Agostino, U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration Administrator (2010); Senator Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) (2009 ), Norway's Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre and his ministry's Director-General for Security Policy and the High North Steffen Kongstad (2008), and U.S. Congressmen Peter Visclosky (D-Ind.) and David Hobson (R-Ohio) (2007).
If you find the Arms Control Association's resources and work of value, please consider making a contribution online right now, or by giving a friend or colleague a gift subscription to Arms Control Today this holiday season.
Our continued efforts-and progress on arms control in the years ahead- depend on the support of individuals like you.
 

# # #    

The Arms Control Association (ACA) is an independent, membership-based organization dedicated to providing information and practical policy solutions to address the dangers posed by the world's most dangerous weapons. ACA publishes the monthly journal, Arms Control Today.

Description: 

Austria's Director for Arms Control, Nonproliferation, and Disarmament Alexander Kmentt received the highest number of votes in an online poll to determine the "2014 Arms Control Person of the Year."

Subject Resources:

Vote for the 2014 Arms Control Person(s) of the Year!

Sections:

Body: 
The Arms Control Association is dedicated to providing authoritative information and promoting practical solutions to address the dangers posed by the world's most dangerous weapons: nuclear, biological, and chemical, as well as certain types of conventional arms.
 
Every year since 2007, Arms Control Association's staff has nominated several individuals and institutions that best exemplify leadership and action in pursuing effective arms control solutions.
 
Each, in their own way, has provided leadership to help reduce weapons-related security threats. We invite you to cast your vote (one per person) for the 2014 Arms Control Person(s) of the Year.
 
Click here to vote and enter "ACPOY2014" as the password. The vote will beclosed at midnight on January 7 and the results announced January 9.

 

 
 
The nominees are:
  • The members of the technical and political negotiating teams of Iran, the United States, Russia, the UK, France, Germany, and China for making significant progress toward developing long-term, compromise solutions to address concerns about Iran's sensitive nuclear fuel cycle activities, facilities, and uranium stockpiles as part a future, comprehensive nuclear agreement.
     
  • Ahmet Üzümcü, Director General of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and Sigrid Kaag, head of the OPCW-UN Joint Mission, for successfully overseeing the elimination of Syria's 1300 metric tons of chemical weapons, constituting a major advance toward achieving a world-wide ban on chemical weapons. The operation--involving personnel, equipment, and resources from the United States, Russia, and 28 other countries--demonstrated the ability of the international community to work collaboratively to eliminate weapons of mass destruction.
     
  • The members of the International Atomic Energy Agency inspection teams for their more intensive, on-the-ground work to verify Iran's compliance with the November 2013 Joint Plan of Action, which put into place interim confidence-building steps that have halted the progress of the elements of Iran's nuclear program of greatest proliferation concern.
     
  • Ambassador Alexander Kmentt, Austria's Director for Arms Control, Nonproliferation, and Disarmament for organizing the 3rd International Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons, Dec. 8-9, 2014 in Vienna, which brought together 158 governmental delegations, including representatives from India, Pakistan, the United Kingdom and the United States, and for Austria's pledge "... to cooperate with all relevant stakeholders ... in efforts to stigmatise, prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons in light of their unacceptable humanitarian consequences and associated risks."
     
  • Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) for his advocacy for mine removal, an end to the production of banned antipersonnel mines, and the universalization of the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty. Leahy was instrumental in pressing the Barack Obama administration to announce adjustments in U.S. mine ban policy  earlier this year. Leahy has also been a staunch supporter of victim assistance programs. As a result of the treaty and global mine removal efforts, significantly lower numbers of deaths and injuries from land mines and other explosive remnants of war were reported in the past year.
     
  • Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) for her legislative efforts to curb excessive federal spending on nuclear weapons programs she believes exceed U.S. defense requirements and press the Obama administration to accelerate progress to eliminate excess nuclear warheads and secure dangerous nuclear and radiological materials. In 2014, the appropriations subcommittee she chairs zeroed out research funding for a new nuclear-armed, air-launched cruise missile and she publicly pressed the White House to make policy changes to reduce excess "hedge" weapons in the U.S nuclear arsenal. She helped lead a bipartisan effort to increase funding for programs to secure and eliminate dangerous nuclear and radiological materials.
     
  • Human Rights Watch for conducting field research in conflict zones to document the use of weapons that violate international norms. Their reports help bring international attention to the use of incendiary munitions in the conflict in eastern Ukraine and in Syria and the use of chemical weapons (chlorine in barrel bombs) in Syria.
     
  • The Netherlands Nuclear Security Summit 'Sherpa,' Ambassdor Piet de Klerk, who was his country's lead coordinator and negotiator for the March 24-25, 2014 Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague. The Summit produced a consensus communique and a number of multilateral initiatives to strengthen the security of vulnerable nuclear materials.
     
  • Pope Francis for guiding the Catholic Church to revise its position on the morality of nuclear deterrence for the first time in many years. The Holy See document "Nuclear Disarmament: Time for Abolition" argues that: "The strategic nuclear situation has changed dramatically since the end of the Cold War. Rather than providing security...reliance on a strategy of nuclear deterrence has created a less secure world."
     
  • C. J. Chivers, reporter for The New York Times, for his groundbreaking investigative reports documenting the previously unacknowledged exposure of U.S. troops in Iraq to remnants of Saddam's pre-1991 chemical weapons arsenal and for revealing the improper, secret, open-air disposal methods used by U.S. forces from 2004-2009.
Click here to vote and enter "ACPOY2014" as the password.
 
----

 

Past winners of the "Arms Control Person of the Year" are: Lassina Zerbo (2013); Gen. James Cartwright (2012); reporter and activist Kathi Lynn Austin (2011),Kazakhstan's Deputy Foreign Minister Kairat Umarov and Thomas D'Agostino, U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration Administrator (2010); Senator Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) (2009 ), Norway's Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre and his ministry's Director-General for Security Policy and the High North Steffen Kongstad (2008), and U.S.Congressmen Peter Visclosky (D-Ind.) and David Hobson (R-Ohio) (2007).

 

If you find the Arms Control Association's resources and work of value, please consider making a contribution online right now, or by giving a friend or colleague a gift subscription to Arms Control Today this holiday season.

 

Our continued efforts-and progress on arms control in the years ahead- depend on the support of individuals like you.

# # #    

The Arms Control Association (ACA) is an independent, membership-based organization dedicated to providing information and practical policy solutions to address the dangers posed by the world's most dangerous weapons. ACA publishes the monthly journal, Arms Control Today.

Description: 

Every year since 2007, Arms Control Association's staff has nominated several individuals and institutions that best exemplify leadership and action in pursuing effective arms control solutions.

Subject Resources:

U.S. NGOs Urge Prompt Action to Make Nuclear Disarmament a Global Enterprise

Sections:

Body: 

Statement to 3rd Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons in Vienna

For Immediate Release: Dec. 9, 2014

Media Contacts: Kingston Reif, Arms Control Association (202-463-8270 x107); Hans Kristensen, Federation of American Scientists (413-695-1089); Sean Meyer, Union of Concerned Scientists (202-331-5429); Catherine Thomasson, Physicians for Social Responsibility (503-819-1170);

(Vienna/Washington) Today at an extraordinary international conference in Vienna on The Humanitarian Impacts of Nuclear Weapons, some 800 diplomats and civil society representatives from more than 150 states discussed the implications of the catastrophic effects of nuclear weapons testing, production, and use.

In a statement to the conference, the leaders of five major U.S.-based organizations—the Arms Control Association, Institute for Energy and Environmental Research, Nuclear Information Project of the Federation of American Scientists, Physicians for Social Responsibility, and the Union of Concerned Scientistsincluding two presenters at the conference, urged prompt action to make disarmament a global enterprise.

Noting that follow-through on the consensus action plan developed at the 2010 Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference has been “very disappointing,” the leaders said “creative, practical ideas are needed to overcome the obstacles and excuses.”

They urged government leaders and civil society to come together around four major objectives, among others:

1. Examine dangerous doctrines. In 2010, all of the NPT nuclear-weapon states committed to “diminish the role and significance of nuclear weapons” and “[d]iscuss policies that could prevent the use of nuclear weapons.”

“Unfortunately,” the NGO statement said, “none of them has undertaken demonstrable, concrete steps to do so.”

Reif and the others said: “At the 2015 NPT Review Conference and elsewhere, the leaders of the world’s nuclear-armed states should be called upon to explain the effects of their nuclear war plans, if these plans were to be carried out, and how they believe the use of hundreds of such weapons would be consistent with humanitarian law and the laws of war as some nuclear-armed states claim.”

“Given the catastrophic consequences of the large-scale use of nuclear weapons against many dozens, if not hundreds of targets, as envisioned in the U.S., Russian, French, Chinese, British, Indian and Pakistani nuclear war plans, it is hard to see how the use of significant numbers of nuclear weapons could be consistent with international humanitarian law or any common sense interpretation of the Law of Armed Conflict,” they wrote.

2. Accelerate U.S.-Russian nuclear cuts and freeze other nuclear-armed nation stockpiles.Further nuclear reductions need not wait for a new U.S.-Russian arms control treaty. As long as both sides continue to reduce force levels below the treaty limits, U.S. and Russian leaders could undertake parallel, verifiable reductions well below New START ceilings,” the five organizations argued. 

“Other countries must get off the disarmament sidelines, particularly China, France, India and Pakistan, which continue to improve their nuclear capabilities. [Their] arsenals,” the statement noted, “are just as dangerous and destabilizing.”

“A unified push for further U.S.-Russian arms cuts combined with a global nuclear weapons freeze by the other nuclear-armed states could create the conditions for multilateral action on disarmament,” they said.

3. Convene Nuclear Disarmament Summits: “In order to provide a forum to follow up on the important discussions held in Oslo, Nayarit, and Vienna,” the NGO leaders said “[n]ow is the time for a group of concerned states to invite the leaders of a representative group of 20 to 30 nuclear and nonnuclear weapon states to a one- or two-day summit on the pursuit of a joint enterprise to achieve a world free of nuclear weapons.”

“The high-level meeting—ideally held near the August 6 and 9, 2015 anniversaries of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki—could be an historic, new, and productive starting point for discussions (not simply speeches) on proposals for advancing nuclear disarmament,” they said.

4. Follow through on the CTBT. “The vast majority of the world’s nations recognize that nuclear explosive testing is no longer acceptable, but due to the inaction of a few, the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) has not formally entered into force. In the interest of global security and out of respect for the victims and survivors of nuclear testing, it is past time to act,” they said.

In their call for action, the leaders of the five organizations cited President Barack Obama’s statement from June 2013 in Berlin: ‘[S]o long as nuclear weapons exist, we are not truly safe. Complacency is not in the character of great nations.’”

“In the coming months and years, creative, bold approaches will be needed to overcome old and new obstacles to the long-running effort to eliminate the potential for nuclear catastrophe,” they said.

The organizations' full statement is available online.

###

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

Description: 

In a statement to the conference, the leaders of five major U.S.-based organizations urged prompt action to make disarmament a global enterprise.

Country Resources:

Leading Nuclear Policy Experts and Organizations Call on the United States to Participate in International Conference on Humanitarian Impacts of Nuclear Weapons

Sections:

Body: 
For Immediate Release: October 29, 2014
Media Contacts: Daryl G. Kimball, Executive Director, 202-463-8270 x107

(Washington, D.C.)--A group of more than two dozen leading nuclear policy experts, former U.S. government officials, and peace and security organizations are urging the Barack Obama administration "to authorize U.S. participation in the Dec. 8-9 Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons in Vienna, Austria."

In an October 29 letter to the White House, State Department, and Pentagon, the signatories write that U.S. participation in the Vienna conference "would enhance the United States' credibility and influence at the 2015 NPT Review Conference. U.S. participation would also provide support to key U.S. allies and partners," many of which are also urging the United States to send an official delegation.

The Vienna humanitarian impacts conference, which is the third such meeting since 2013, "is a useful and important venue for raising awareness about the risks of nuclear weapons," the letter signers write, and it "contributes to the oft-repeated U.S. government call for 'extending the nearly 70-year record of non-use of nuclear weapons forever.'"

The United States and the other five original nuclear weapon states--Russia, the U.K., France, and China--have not attended the two previous humanitarian impacts conferences, citing concerns that it could be used as a launching point for negotiations calling for a ban on nuclear weapons or a convention leading to the elimination of nuclear weapons.

"While some participating states and some nongovernmental organizations support such a ban ... this conference is not a negotiating conference and is not intended to launch such an effort. Even if it were, there is no clear consensus among the participants about the direction of any such process," the signers note in their letter, which was addressed to the president's National Security Advisor, Susan Rice, Secretary of State John Kerry, and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel.

"Nuclear-armed states may have reasons to argue that not all potential uses of nuclear weapons necessarily would lead to humanitarian disaster, and that nuclear weapons may deter other existential threats," says George Perkovich, Vice-President for Studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and one of the letter's signatories.

"But given that the whole world would be affected if they are wrong, they should be willing to discuss these issues with others," Perkovich says. "Unwillingness to do so suggests an arrogance that can only provoke international contempt and resistance."

A decision on the part of the Obama administration not to attend the Vienna conference, the signatories write, "would be a major lost opportunity and a setback for President Obama's own call for action toward a nuclear weapons free world."
###

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

Description: 

In an October 29 letter a group of more than two dozen leading nuclear policy experts and former U.S. government official sare urging the United States to participate in the next humanitarian impacts conference.

Country Resources:

Experts Urge U.S. to Scale-Back Plans and Reduce High Costs of Nuclear Weapons Modernization Plan

Sections:

Body: 
Experts Urge U.S. to Scale-Back Plans and Reduce High Costs of Unsustainable, Unnecessary Nuclear Weapons Modernization Plan 

For Immediate Release
: Sept. 22, 2014

Media Contacts: Daryl G. Kimball, Arms Control Association (202-463-8270 x107); Hans Kristensen, Federation of American Scientists (202-454-4695);Stephen Young, Union of Concerned Scientists (202-331-5429); Angela Canterbury, Council for a Livable World, (202-546-0795); Erica Fein, Women's Action for New Directions (202-544-5055 x2605).
(Washington, D.C.) Leaders and experts from seven national nongovernmental organizations are charging that current plans for maintaining and upgrading the U.S. nuclear arsenal over the next decade and beyond exceed reasonable deterrence requirements as set out by the President in June 2013, are unaffordable, and unless they are significantly adjusted, the nuclear force modernization plan will also deplete resources from higher priority budget needs. 

In a letter to the White House earlier this year, the groups write: "[w]e believe there are more realistic ways to maintain U.S. nuclear forces to meet tomorrow's national security requirements. The President's 2013 guidance allows for a one-third reduction below New START levels, but even if the United States maintains New START warhead levels, it can do so at significantly lower cost."

"Perpetual nuclear modernization is inconsistent with the pledge made 45 years ago by the the United States and the other NPT nuclear-weapons states to pursue nuclear disarmament, and is inconsistent with President Obama's call for the pursuit of a world without nuclear weapons," says Hans Kristensen of the Federation of American Scientists. "Despite the financial constraints, the United States (and other nuclear-armed states) appear committed to spending hundreds of billions of dollars over the next decade on modernizing their nuclear forces," he notes.

In December 2013, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that the United States plans to spend at least $355 billion to maintain and rebuild the nuclear arsenal and refurbish the nuclear weapons complex over the next decade, and that costs will continue to climb thereafter. A major part of this cost growth is the plan to rebuild all three legs of the existing nuclear "triad" and their associated warheads, including 12 new ballistic missile submarines, up to 100 new long-range bombers, and possibly new land-based ballistic missiles and a new long-range standoff cruise missile. 

The nuclear weapons plans, the costs, and the politics behind them, are described in a front page story in today's edition of The New York Times.

The nuclear weapons experts say that this U.S. spending plan is excessive, and that the United States can save tens of billions of dollars by reducing the number of new missiles and bombers it plans to buy and still maintain nuclear warhead levels established by the 2010 New START treaty with Russia.

Budget limits on future defense spending will force budget trade-offs among various Pentagon programs, the letter notes. The defense budget still needs to be cut by $115 billion from 2016-2019 to meet sequester targets, or about $29 billion per year on average.

These realities have led the White House to launch a National Security Council-led, interagency review of the multibillion-dollar plans to modernize the U.S. nuclear arsenal. This review will inform the administration's fiscal year 2016 budget request to Congress, Ned Price of the National Security Council said in an Aug. 22 e-mail toArms Control Today.

"We believe the current nuclear spending plan is unsustainable and will deplete resources from higher priorities," said Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association. "In its review, the Obama administration needs to make significant changes to existing nuclear force modernization plans that trim back, and in some cases, forgo unnecessary programs, such as a new nuclear-armed cruise missile, and save taxpayer dollars," he said.

The nongovernmental leaders say the United States can maintain planned warhead levels with fewer delivery vehicles. New START allows both sides to field up to 1,550 warheads on 700 long-range delivery vehicles. But the United States could also meet the warhead limit by fielding only about 600 delivery vehicles, saving tens of billions of dollars.

For example, the Navy plans to deploy about 1,000 warheads at sea under New START.  But the United States does not need 12 new submarines to field 1,000 warheads; eight submarines would be enough the groups note in their letter. By reducing the fleet of submarines to eight, the United States would save $16 billion over the next decade, according to the CBO.

The Air Force wants to develop a new nuclear-armed cruise missile, "but it is not clear why it needs both a penetrating bomber and a standoff missile to meet the deterrence requirements of the United States and our allies," said Kimball of the Arms Control Association. 

Earlier this year, Senate Appropriations energy and water subcommittee and the House and Senate Appropriations defense subcommittees cut the administration's request for the new cruise missile.

In its June 17 report accompanying the bill, the Senate Appropriations energy and water subcommittee said it is "reluctant to provide funding for a new cruise missile warhead when the Air Force cannot identify sufficient funding in its budget planning documents to design and procure a cruise missile to deliver a refurbished warhead."

The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) is also pursuing an overly ambitious and costly strategy for warhead refurbishment argue the organizations. The current plan, dubbed "3+2", envisions spending $60 billion to refurbish the arsenal and to use nuclear components that have not previously been tested together, raising reliability concerns.

"The NNSA should instead pursue a simpler refurbishment strategy, avoid risky schemes, and retire warhead types where possible," said Lisbeth Gronlund, co-director of the Global Security Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Cuts in the size and not just the cost of U.S. and Russian stockpiles are also in order, the organizations argue. Last year, President Obama and the Pentagon announced that the U.S. could cut the size of the deployed strategic stockpile by up to one-third. Both sides should work in parallel to reduce force levels below the New START limits.

"Such an initiative would also allow both sides to reduce the extraordinary costs of force maintenance and modernization and could help induce other nuclear-armed states to exercise greater restraint," said Erica Fein, nuclear weapons policy director for Women's Action for New Directions.

"The New York Times did an excellent job of covering our nation's unsustainable, nonsensical nuclear weapons policy. However, there is more to the story," said Angela Canterbury, executive director for Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation. "The current plan is geared towards building more nuclear weapons that we don't need and can't afford. We need to scrap it and the nuclear weapons we don't need. We need to put into place a far more affordable plan to meet the President's goals to make us safer."

The organizations' letter to the White House is available online.
###

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

Experts from seven national nongovernmental organizations are charging that current plans for maintaining and upgrading the U.S. nuclear arsenal over the next decade and beyond exceed reasonable deterrence requirements.

Country Resources:

Subject Resources:

As Arms Trade Treaty PrepCom Nears, Experts Analyze Arms Trade and Recommend Action in Arms Control Today

Sections:

Body: 

For Immediate Release July 7, 2010

Media Contacts Jeff Abramson, Deputy Director, Arms Control Association (202-463-8270 ext. 109)

(Washington, D.C.) Next week, representative from more than 100 countries will gather at the United Nations in New York City for preparatory committee meetings on a legally binding international arms trade treaty (ATT). In a special section “Getting a Handle on the Arms Trade” in the July/August edition of Arms Control Today, experts analyze the difficulty of monitoring transfers of conventional weapons and provide recommendations for creating a strong international instrument.

Daniel Mack, policy and advocacy coordinator for arms control at the Brazilian nongovernmental organization Instituto Sou da Paz and a leader within the international community pressing for a robust ATT, analyzes the current international debate in “The Arms Trade Treaty PrepCom: Prepared and Committed?” Detailing the key points of contention in the years that have led up to the July 12-23 PrepCom, Mack calls for states to be ambitious. He says, “The worst case scenario would be to move slowly and ultimately accommodate all views…  into a lowest-common-denominator or toothless instrument that could be ratified by all governments but would make none of their citizens safer.

The full article is available online at http://www.armscontrol.org/act/2010_07-08/mack

In another article, titled “The International Arms Trade: Difficult to Define, Measure, and Control,” Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s arms transfer program director Paul Holtom and researcher Mark Bromley note that the international arms trade continues to thrive despite the recent economic downturn. In explaining the challenges of defining and estimating the arms trade, Holtom and Bromley find that while the list of major arms suppliers  remains consistent since the height of the Cold War, the list of top importers is considerably different. They note, “If an ATT can be concluded, the next challenge will be to ensure that states have the capacity to control arms transfers (exports, imports, transit, transshipment, brokering, and other activities covered by transfer controls).”

The full article is available online at http://www.armscontrol.org/act/2010_07-08/holtom-bromley

Additional ATT resources are available online from the Arms Control Association at http://www.armscontrol.org/subject/116/date

Description: 

As Arms Trade Treaty PrepCom Nears, Experts Analyze Arms Trade and Recommend Action in Arms Control Today 

Arms Control Association Announces New Research Director, Tom Collina

Sections:

Body: 


For Immediate Release: June 8, 2009
Press Contact: Daryl G. Kimball, Executive Director, (202) 463-8270 x 107

(Washington, D.C.) Today, the Arms Control Association announced that Tom Collina will join the staff as its Research Director beginning July 1.

Tom Z. Collina has over 20 years of Washington D.C. experience in arms control and global security issues. He has held senior leadership positions such as Executive Director of the 2020 Vision Education Fund, Director of the Global Security Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists, Executive Director of the Institute for Science and International Security and Senior Research Analyst at the Federation of American Scientists.
Collina portrait
Tom's past research and policy advocacy has focused on advancing efforts to strengthen the nonproliferation regime and reduce the risk of nuclear terrorism, including the indefinite extension of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, negotiation of a the zero-yield Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, and reductions in U.S.-Russian strategic arsenals.

He has published over 50 articles in major magazines and journals and has appeared frequently in the national media, including The New York Times, CNN, and NPR. Tom has testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and briefed congressional staff on numerous occasions. Tom has a degree in International Relations from Cornell University and serves on the Boards of Directors of the Scoville Peace Fellowship and the Janelia Foundation.

Collina will concentrate on nuclear weapons policy, nuclear arms control, missile defense and missile nonproliferation, and nuclear testing policy issues and contribute to the ACA's monthly journal, Arms Control Today.

"We very pleased Tom Collina will be with ACA to augment our already strong research and policy team at this time, when so many important arms control opportunities and decisions are before U.S. and global decision-makers," said Daryl G. Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association.

Subject Resources:

U.S. Accuses Burma of Seeking Weapons Technology

Paul Kerr


U.S. officials are warning that another new concern may be emerging in the clandestine world of proliferation: Burma.

During a March 25 House International Relations Committee hearing, Assistant Secretary of State Matthew Daley testified that the United States has “reason to believe” North Korea has offered surface-to-surface missiles to Burma (called “Myanmar” by the current regime). Daley said Washington has expressed concerns to Rangoon about possible transfers and said the United States would deal with such activity “vigorously and rapidly.” There is no indication, however, that Burma’s attempts have yielded any significant progress and Burmese officials deny accepting such offers.

Responding to questioning from the committee’s chairman, Rep. James Leach (R-Iowa), Daley confirmed that North Korea has provided some military hardware to Burma, but was unable to provide details about what had actually been transferred.

Daley also said that “the Burmese remain interested in acquiring a nuclear research reactor, [but] we believe that news reports of construction activities are not well founded.” Burma’s Deputy Foreign Minister U Khin Maung Win acknowledged in January 2002 that Burma had received “a proposal” from Russia to build a nuclear research reactor. A Burmese embassy official told Arms Control Today April 22 that Burma continues to receive “assistance…from Russia to construct a nuclear research reactor and trainees have been sent to Russia.”

Concerns that Burma is attempting to acquire missile and nuclear technology have surfaced before. In a September 2003 Washington Post op-ed, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) called Burma’s attempts to acquire a nuclear reactor “troubling,” arguing that even a civilian reactor poses “an unnecessary proliferation risk” because terrorists could steal nuclear material from it.

Keith Luse, a senior aide to Lugar on the Foreign Relations Committee, also expressed concern about Rangoon’s possible weapons activities during an April 9 speech at the Heritage Foundation. Asserting that “special attention must be provided to the growing relationship between Burma and North Korea,” Luse argued that the charge that Pyongyang may have transferred both nuclear technology and Scud missiles to Rangoon requires further investigation.

But the Burmese embassy official denied Luse’s charges, saying “there is no truth in statements indicating Myanmar is acquiring assistance in nuclear technology” from North Korea and pointing out that Rangoon does not have diplomatic relations with Pyongyang.

According to a Feb. 13 statement from the Myanmar Information Committee web site, Rangoon “has no desire” to develop nuclear weapons, but “has the right to develop nuclear facilities for peaceful purposes.” In his 2002 statement, Win indicated that Burma is pursuing a nuclear research reactor to produce radioisotopes for medical purposes and to “train our young scientists and engineers.” Additionally, a Burmese Atomic Energy Department employee’s presentation to a 2003 conference in Japan states that “nuclear power introduction [is] desirable for [the] long term” and Rangoon “should consider small” 100-400 megawatt reactors, perhaps to be introduced around 2025.

As a party to the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), Burma is prohibited from developing nuclear weapons, but is allowed to have civilian nuclear facilities. Daley told the House International Relations Committee in October that Washington wants to be “absolutely certain” that any Burmese nuclear facility “not be directly usable for nuclear weapons and that it would be subject to the full panoply of international atomic energy safeguards.” Burma has a comprehensive safeguards agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency. Such agreements allow the agency to ensure that parties to the NPT do not divert civilian nuclear programs for military purposes. Burma has also signed the Treaty of Bangkok, which established a nuclear-weapons free zone in Southeast Asia when it entered into force in 1997.

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has not publicly expressed any concerns about Burma and nuclear or missile-related activities. A November CIA report to Congress regarding weapons proliferation does not mention Burma, and an agency spokesperson interviewed April 12 declined to comment on Daley’s testimony. The CIA report does mention North Korea’s exports of ballistic missiles and related components to other countries—a longstanding U.S. concern.

 

 

 

 

U.S. officials are warning that another new concern may be emerging in the clandestine world of proliferation: Burma...

U.S. Shifts Focus in Iraq WMD Hunt

Paul Kerr


Charles Duelfer, the head advisor to the Iraq Survey Group (ISG), provided some new details about the still-fruitless search efforts for Iraqi weapons of mass destruction (WMD) during a recent Senate hearing but presented little new evidence regarding prohibited Iraqi weapons programs.

Duelfer testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee March 30 during a closed hearing. According to a public version of his testimony, Duelfer said the ISG—the task force charged with coordinating the U.S.-led search for Iraqi WMDs—is continuing to search for weapons, but is also beginning to focus on former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein’s related “intentions.”

Defending their failure to locate stockpiles of nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons more than a year after the United States invaded Iraq, Bush administration officials have continued to insist that Iraq had “programs” to produce prohibited weapons. However, the ISG’s findings to date have produced only evidence of low-level, dual-use biological, chemical, and nuclear research efforts. Additionally, Duelfer’s predecessor, David Kay, told The Boston Globe in February that Iraq did not have the ability to produce weapons on a large scale. (See ACT, November 2003 and March 2004.)

Kay has indicated that Iraq had programs to develop missiles exceeding the 150-kilometer range permitted under relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions. However, he presented no evidence Iraq was producing such missiles, apart from noting that Iraq had modified 10 cruise missiles as of the recent invasion whose range may have exceeded that permitted by the UN.

Emphasizing that he was providing the committee a “status report” rather than an assessment of the ISG’s findings, Duelfer provided little new information about Iraq’s weapons efforts. He did reveal that Iraq had “plans” to construct facilities to produce large supplies of some dual-use chemicals. Additionally, the ISG has found “documents” indicating that Iraq was working on a conventional weapons project that included “research applicable for nuclear weapons development,” Duelfer said.

The committee’s ranking Democrat, Sen. Carl Levin (Mich.), stated after the hearing that Duelfer’s public statement was misleading because it selectively chose intelligence from a supporting classified report submitted to the committee the same day. Duelfer suggested “that Iraq had an active…WMD program while leaving out information that would lead one to doubt that it did,” Levin said. The charge is reminiscent of one of the most controversial aspects of the invasion: administration officials’ unequivocal prewar statements about the existence of such weapons on the basis of often dubious intelligence.

Duelfer also identified several “challenges” facing the ISG, placing special emphasis on the “extreme reluctance” of relevant Iraqi personnel to cooperate. Consequently, he said, the ISG remains ignorant of several aspects of Iraq’s WMD efforts, including whether Iraq concealed prohibited weapons or was planning to resume production of them in the future. Additionally, the ISG has “yet to identify the most critical people in any programmatic effort” because many have not been located or refuse to cooperate fully.

Duelfer pointed to the postwar destruction of many key documents and the lack of experienced ISG personnel as additional impediments to the ISG’s work. Kay told Congress in January that the destruction of important documents and other evidence would likely render the ISG’s final conclusions ambiguous.

Duelfer did not say how long the ISG’s investigation would take or make any predictions about the prospect for future weapons finds. This stands in contrast to Kay’s January assessment that “85 percent” of Iraq’s prohibited weapons programs “are probably known” and that the ISG’s search is unlikely to turn up any significant stock piles of prohibited weapons.

 

 

 

 

Charles Duelfer, the head advisor to the Iraq Survey Group (ISG), provided some new details about the still-fruitless search efforts for Iraqi weapons of mass destruction (WMD)...

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Press Releases