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Arms Control Today Interview With Undersecretary John Bolton Available



Bolton Questions Value of Past Negative Nuclear Security Pledges; Acknowledges U.S. Never Offered Specific Proposals to Amend the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty

For Immediate Release: February 20, 2002

Contacts: Daryl Kimball, 202-463-8270 x 107 or Wade Boese, 202-463-8270 x 104

(Washington, D.C.) On February 11, Arms Control Today interviewed John R. Bolton, undersecretary of state for arms control and international security, about the Bush administration's strategic nuclear policy, its ongoing negotiations with Russia, and its approach to nonproliferation. In the interview, Bolton questioned the value of long-standing U.S. commitments limiting the circumstances under which the United States would use nuclear weapons and acknowledged that the Bush administration never offered Russia amendments to the ABM Treaty. The following are highlights from the interview.

Bolton Dismissive of U.S. Negative Security Commitments
Arms Control Today asked Bolton if the Bush administration would stand by the United States' 24-year-old commitment not to use nuclear weapons against a non-nuclear-weapon state unless that state attacks the United States in alliance with a state that has nuclear weapons.

Bolton replied, "I don't think we're of the view that this kind of approach is necessarily the most productive. … The point is that the kind of rhetorical approach that you are describing doesn't seem to me to be terribly helpful in analyzing what our security needs may be in the real world, and what we are doing, instead of chit-chatting, is making changes in our force structures that we're making in a very transparent fashion."

Bolton's statement is significant because it suggests that the Bush administration might reverse a commitment the United States first made in 1978 and reaffirmed in 1995 to help strengthen the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), which the Bush administration has said that it supports. The NPT allows Britain, China, France, Russia, and the United States to have nuclear weapons but prohibits all others from developing them. Under the NPT, the five nuclear-weapon states agreed to pursue steps toward nuclear disarmament and to share peaceful nuclear technology.

Seeking to win support for an indefinite extension of the NPT at a 1995 treaty review conference, the United States, as well as the other nuclear-weapon states, gave additional assurances to non-nuclear-weapon states that nuclear weapons would not be used against them. These pledges to not use nuclear weapons against states that do not have them were ultimately a significant factor in winning consensus for indefinite extension. If the Bush administration appears to be reneging on these assurances, it could negatively affect support for the NPT.

Bush Did Not Offer Russians Amendments to the ABM Treaty, As Had Been Promised
Bolton also indicated that the United States did not propose amendments to the ABM Treaty before announcing its withdrawal-in contradiction to pledges previously made by President George W. Bush and other administration officials.

In a September 2000 interview with Arms Control Today, then-candidate Bush said that he would "offer Russia the necessary amendments to the ABM Treaty so as to make our deployment of effective missile defenses consistent with the treaty." (See full text of interview.) But Russian officials, including President Vladimir Putin, claim the United States never did so before announcing its intention to pull out of the treaty on December 13, 2001.

Bolton confirmed that the United States did not offer Russia amendments: "We didn't do line-in, line-out amendments. We talked about ways possibly with a new treaty that would replace it or other ways that would give us what we wanted in terms of freedom from the constraints of the ABM Treaty as written."

Bolton Confirms U.S. Is Seeking "Legally Binding Agreement" on Strategic Force Deployments
Though some administration officials have said they want to avoid arms control negotiations, Bolton reinforced Secretary of State Powell's February 5 statement before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the administration's effort to reach a legally binding agreement on operationally deployed nuclear forces with Russia. Bolton said that the United States seeks a binding agreement "which could well take the form of a treaty or something other than a political declaration [that] would embody the offensive weapons numbers."

However, many issues relating to such a deal-ranging from verification and transparency measures to the relationship between strategic offenses and defense-remain to be worked out. Bolton said: "I think we're still contemplating exactly what we mean by that-what the most appropriate format would be, how it would be structured, and that sort of thing. And I think that's all part of the negotiating process."

Bolton Lists U.S. Arms Control Priorities; Controlling Russian Tactical Nukes Not High on Agenda

Bolton said that the administration is "certainly willing to discuss tactical nukes" with Russia but that the administration will not be looking for an agreement on that issue in the run-up to the May meeting between Presidents Bush and Putin in Moscow. He said that the administration's "first priority is missile defense…the second priority is going to be the offensive [strategic] warheads…the next priority is Russian proliferation behavior…."

When outlining the framework for START III in March 1997, Presidents Clinton and Yeltsin agreed that the two sides would explore measures relating to "tactical nuclear systems." There are an estimated 1,600 tactical nuclear weapons in the U.S. arsenal, while Russia is estimated to possess at least 4,000 such weapons.

See complete transcript of the Arms Control Today interview with Undersecretary Bolton.

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Arms Control Today is a publication of the Arms Control Association, an independent, nonprofit membership organization dedicated to promoting public understanding of and support for effective arms control policies.

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Arms Control Association Calls Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty Withdrawal 'Neither Necessary Nor Prudent'



For Immediate Release: December 13, 2001

Contacts: Daryl Kimball, 202-463-8270 x 107
or Wade Boese, 202-463-8270 x 104

(Washington, D.C.) Today, President George W. Bush formally notified Russia of the United States' intention to unilaterally withdraw from the landmark Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty in six months. According to the independent Arms Control Association, the decision could negatively affect long-term U.S. relations with its allies, China, and Russia, and undermine efforts to curb the spread of weapons of mass destruction.

"Abrogating the ABM Treaty, coupled with abandoning the strategic nuclear arms reduction process, will undercut four key elements of the strategic relationship with Russia: structure: predictability, stability, and transparency," warned Jack Mendelsohn, who served as a member of the U.S. delegations to the SALT II and START I negotiations and is currently on the Board of Directors of the Arms Control Association.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has reiterated his opposition to scrapping the 1972 ABM Treaty, which Putin has said Russia would be willing to amend to accommodate a more robust U.S. strategic missile defense testing program. In September 2000, candidate George W. Bush promised to "offer Russia the necessary amendments to the ABM Treaty so as to make our deployment of effective missile defenses consistent with the treaty." However, since taking office, Bush officials have not proposed amendments to the treaty, offering only joint withdrawal.

"In recent weeks, President Bush has also turned down the opportunity to lock-in reductions of Cold War-era U.S. and Russian strategic nuclear weapons through a new agreement with Moscow, preferring unilateral, voluntary reductions over ten years," added Daryl G. Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association.

"U.S. withdrawal from the ABM Treaty will likely inhibit Russia's willingness to implement deeper reductions of Cold War nuclear stockpiles and encourage China to accelerate its strategic nuclear weapons modernization program from two-dozen to over two-hundred nuclear-armed, long-range missiles," cautioned Kimball.

Bush and his advisors insist that the ABM Treaty must be discarded because it stands in the way of a robust national missile defense testing program and eventual deployment. To help make their case, the Pentagon formulated a new series of missile defense program activities, including construction of a "test bed" in Alaska in mid-2002, specifically designed to "bump up against" the ABM Treaty.

"In reality, deployment of a reliable national missile defense is decades away. President Bush is betting future U.S. security on an unproven technology that requires many more years of treaty-compliant developmental testing before operational testing can begin. President Bush has the opportunity to secure Russian agreement to modifications of the ABM Treaty to permit a wider range of national missile defense testing, but he has apparently spurned that opportunity," Kimball said.

"The Bush administration is single-mindedly focused on dismantling and discarding proven arms control agreements at the expense of cooperative international efforts to prevent the acquisition, development, and potential use of weapons of mass destruction," said Kimball. In recent weeks, Bush officials have also blocked progress on an international agreement to enforce the Biological Weapons Convention and boycotted international consultations on the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.

"Unilateral U.S. withdrawal from the ABM treaty also sets a dangerous precedent that could undercut other countries' participation in and adherence to other arms control regimes," warned Kimball.

"Eliminating proven arms control and nuclear risk reduction tools is a foolish approach, particularly when the United States seeks international support in the struggle to stem the spread of weapons of mass destruction and the threat of their use," Mendelsohn said.

"National missile defenses will do nothing to guard against more likely means of future terrorist attack, such as trucks, planes, or even suitcases, involving weapons of mass destruction," Kimball noted.

For expert analysis and background information see the ACA Web site at http://www.armscontrol.org.

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The Arms Control Association is an independent, non-profit membership organization dedicated to promoting public understanding of and support for effective arms control policies.

Experts Available for Analysis on Bush-Putin Summit to Discuss Missile Defense and Nuclear Cuts



For Immediate Release: November 8, 2001

Contacts: Daryl Kimball or Wade Boese, ACA, 202-463-8270 or 202-421-0371 (cell)

(Washington, D.C.) President George W. Bush is scheduled to meet his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin from November 13-15 to discuss missiles defenses, the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty, and strategic nuclear cuts.

Expectations are growing that Bush and Putin will agree to permit additional U.S. missile defense testing that is currently ruled out by the ABM Treaty without a unilateral U.S. withdrawal from the accord-an action which Russia opposes. As further inducement for Russia to accept U.S. missile defense testing plans, Bush is expected to follow through on planned unilateral reductions in the deployed U.S. strategic arsenal. Putin has long-called for U.S. and Russian reductions down to 1,500 deployed strategic warheads apiece, but Bush has not yet revealed U.S. plans. Just months ago, the popular assumption was that the Bush administration would unilaterally withdraw from the ABM Treaty, but now it appears that Bush may be seeking a deal rather than acting unilaterally in order to keep Russia as a partner in the international coalition against terrorism.

Yet a deal is not certain. Russian officials have recently downplayed expectations for an agreement, contending too many issues remain unresolved. On the U.S. side, national security adviser Condoleezza Rice cautioned reporters November 1 against "expecting any particular deal at any particular time."

The following Arms Control Association experts are available before and after the summit to comment on the future of U.S.-Russian strategic relations and to analyze the ramifications of an agreement on strategic offenses and defenses:

Lee Feinstein, Visiting Scholar, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and Resident Fellow, The German Marshall Fund of the United States; former principal deputy director of the Secretary of State's policy planning staff, phone: (202) 939-2398.

Raymond Garthoff, Senior Fellow (ret.), Brookings Institution; former executive officer on the SALT I delegation, phone: (301) 249-3233 or (202) 797-6035.

Morton Halperin, Senior Fellow, Washington Program of Council on Foreign Relations; former director of the State Department policy planning staff, phone: (202) 518-3406.

Jack Mendelsohn, Vice President, Lawyers Alliance for World Security and Senior Associate, Center for Defense Information; former member of the U.S. delegations to the SALT II and START I negotiations, phone: (202) 745-2450 or (202) 965-4595.

For expert analysis and background information see the ACA resource page at http://www.armscontrol.org/subject/spec/usrussum.asp.

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The Arms Control Association is an independent, non-profit membership organization dedicated to promoting public understanding of and support for effective arms control policies.


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Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Conference November 11-13 at UN: Likely to Urge Holdout States to Sign and Ratify



For Immediate Release: November 7, 2001

Contacts: Daryl Kimball or Philipp C. Bleek, ACA, 202-463-8270 or 202-421-0371 (cell)

(New York City, NY) The second "Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty" (CTBT) is scheduled for November 11-13 at United Nations Headquarters in New York City. The conference is expected to approve a final document that calls on CTBT holdout states to sign and/or ratify the agreement in order to facilitate entry into force.

The meeting has been convened under Article XIV of the CTBT at the request of a majority of states that have ratified the agreement. The meeting is intended to allow these states parties to consider measures to accelerate the ratification process and advance entry into force of the treaty. High-level governmental representation is expected - a number of states have confirmed the attendance of their foreign ministers at the conference. Non-governmental organizations will participate and address the conference.

The CTBT prohibits all nuclear weapons test explosions and all other nuclear explosions. By barring tests and establishing an extensive global monitoring network and short-notice, on-site inspection regime, the treaty plays a dual role in combating nuclear proliferation. It prevents existing nuclear weapon
states from developing new and more sophisticated types of nuclear weapons, while very substantially hampering acquisition by potential proliferant states.

Under the terms of the treaty, the CTBT will not enter into force until a group of 44 nuclear-capable states have ratified it. Three of those states have not signed the treaty to date, including India, Pakistan, and North Korea, and thirteen have not ratified, including the United States, China, and Israel. President Clinton championed the treaty and was the first to sign it in 1996, but the Senate subsequently rejected the CTBT in a 1999 vote.

President George W. Bush has pledged to maintain the testing moratorium in effect since 1992, but has said that he will not ask the Senate to reconsider ratification. It remains unclear whether the Bush administration will send a representative to the conference.

The entry-into-force conference had previously been scheduled for September 25-27, but was postponed after the tragic events of September 11. The rescheduled conference will coincide with the annual General Debate of the General Assembly of the United Nations, also in New York.

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The Arms Control Association is an independent, non-profit membership organization dedicated to promoting public understanding and support for effective arms control policies. http://www.armscontrol.org.

Media Advisory

Protecting Nuclear Reactors From Terrorists: International Measures Sorely Needed, Say Experts



For Immediate Release: October 24, 2001

Contacts: George Bunn, 650-725-2709; Fritz Steinhausler, 650-725-0936; or Daryl Kimball, ACA, 202-463-8270

(Washington, D.C.) In light of the September 11 attacks, nuclear power plants and associated infrastructure present a significant terrorism vulnerability in the United States and abroad. Directly attacking reactors with aircraft or truck bombs, sabotaging reactor control systems, or attacking nuclear material transports could all lead to a dangerous dispersal or theft of nuclear materials.

According to a new article by Ambassador George Bunn and Fritz Steinhausler in the October 2001 issue of Arms Control Today, "Many countries provide some form of physical protection for their nuclear material, but because there is no international standard or requirement for physical protection of civilian nuclear material, countries' physical protections for nuclear facilities vary widely and are often inadequate."

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has recently endorsed efforts aimed at fortifying the physical protections of nuclear facilities, but efforts need to be pursued with greater urgency, according to Bunn and Steinhausler. There is one international treaty that provides for protection of civilian nuclear material, the 1980 Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material, but it only applies to the protection from theft of nuclear material in international transit. The authors argue that "Adoption of new physical protection standards … is essential, and the sooner the better. Unfortunately, revising the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material will take several years."

In the interim, they suggest, new principles and standards for improving physical protection of nuclear facilities worldwide, which have already been recommended by the IAEA, should be applied immediately by national governments. In addition, with adequate funding, "the IAEA can provide guidance, training, advisory services and technical assistance to help countries improve their protection practices," write Bunn and Steinhausler, who are with the Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Cooperation.

The authors are available for comments and analysis on this vital security issue. Their article, "Guarding Nuclear Reactors and Material From Terrorists and Thieves," can be accessed on-line at www.armscontrol.org/act/2001_10/bunnoct01.asp. For comprehensive news coverage and expert analysis of nuclear non-proliferation and related issues, visit www.armscontrol.org

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Arms Control Association, 1726 M ST, NW, Suite 201, Washington, D.C. 20036
Phone: (202) 463-8270, Fax: (202) 463-8273, E-mail: [email protected]

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