Center for Arms Control

Recent Policy Analysis

Recent Policy Analysis

Apr 16, 2014

Fact Sheet: FY 2015 Budget Request for Nuclear and Radiological Material Security and Nonproliferation Programs

A summary of the FY 2015 budget request for nuclear and radiological security and nonproliferation programs.

Apr 3, 2014

Ukraine and the future of nonproliferation

How will Russia’s annexation of Crimea affect other countries’ efforts to become or remain nuclear powers, asks Kingston Reif in his March/April Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists column?

Mar 18, 2014

Fact Sheet: FY 2015 Budget Request for Replacement Nuclear Delivery Systems and Warhead Life Extension Programs

A summary of the FY 2015 budget request for nuclear weapons replacement and warhead life extension programs.

Mar 6, 2014

New Obama Budget Slashes Nonproliferation

For the third year in a row the NNSA budget submission continues a disturbing trend of cutting funding for core nuclear and radiological material security programs, writes Kingston Reif.

Mar 3, 2014

In the Shadow of the Nuclear Modernization Mountain, Nuclear Weapons Budget Ripe for Savings

It would be puzzling if the Pentagon shields nuclear weapons from the chopping block in its budget request, writes Kingston Reif.

Feb 27, 2014

Obama's nuclear legacy on the line

He’s made progress on Iran, but the rest of the president's nuclear agenda has stalled, writes Kingston Reif in his February Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Column.

Feb 21, 2014

Fact Sheet: The F-35 “Lightning II” JOINT STRIKE FIGHTER (JSF)

A detailed summary of the F-35 “Lightning II” Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)

Feb 18, 2014

Fact Sheet: FY 2014 Budget Request and Appropriations for Replacement Nuclear Delivery Systems and Warhead Life Extension Programs

A summary of U.S. government spending on nuclear weapons replacement and warhead life extension programs in FY 2014.

Feb 11, 2014

The Defense That Does not Defend: More problems for national missile defense

In the wake of a new report by the Pentagon's in-house tester, spending even more money to expand the troubled Ground Based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system is a fool’s errand, writes Kingston Reif in this new analysis.

Jan 30, 2014

New Jersey Star-Ledger Publishes Letter to the Editor on Undermining Iran Nuclear Accord by Usha Sahay

"But the sanctions bill Menendez put forward would effectively change the rules mid-game. Ask any businessman: That is a sure way to end a deal and a business relationship," writes Usha Sahay for The Star-Ledger.

Jan 24, 2014

Fact Sheet: Global Nuclear Weapons Inventories in 2014

A summary of the number of nuclear weapons possessed by each nuclear-armed state in 2014.

Jan 22, 2014

A necessary evil

The recent nuclear deal with Iran allows it to enrich uranium, but puts it farther away from a weapon. So why do some argue that it undermines nonproliferation?

Jan 17, 2014

Editorials Opposing New Sanctions on Iran

A summary of newspaper editorials opposing new sanctions on Iran while negotiations are ongoing.

Jan 15, 2014

FY 2014 Omnibus Appropriations Summary and Analysis

A summary of final FY 2014 appropriations for national security spending, nuclear weapons, nonproliferation, and missile defense.

Jan 15, 2014

Roll Call OpEd: Spend Smarter, Not More by Generals Gard & Johns

"Our nation needs an open dialogue about government spending, especially on U.S. military programs that damage our national security by ballooning the national debt," writes Lt. General Robert Gard & Brig. General John Johns for Roll Call.

Jan 10, 2014

Analysis of Faults in the Menendez-Kirk Iran Sanctions Bill (S. 1881)

If enacted, the new Menendez-Kirk Iran sanctions bill risks ending the international sanctions regime and leading either to a nuclear-armed Iran or to a war in which U.S. armed forces might well be active participants, writes Center National Advisory Board Member Edward Levine.

Dec 19, 2013

Fact Sheet: Iran’s Nuclear and Ballistic Missile Programs

An assessment of the status of Iran's nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

Dec 17, 2013

Defense Legislation Moves Closer to Senate Vote

“Congressional leaders are coming to realize that Pentagon spending is coming down as the wars are coming to an end. Smart strategy has to be employed to make sure we reduce spending in the right way,” said Laicie Heeley, director of defense policy at the Center. “In future years, appropriators have to begin to reshape spending to address 21st century threats and not those of the past.”

Dec 17, 2013

Analysis of the FY 2014 National Defense Authorization Bill, H.R. 3304

A summary and analysis of the final conference version of the Fiscal Year 2014 National Defense Authorization Act.

Dec 11, 2013

Ryan-Murray Budget Deal Misses Mark on Security Opportunities

“The deal increases funding for a series of critical international and domestic programs,” said Laicie Heeley, the Center’s Director of Defense Policy. “Tragically, the new deal still pours wasted billions into programs that do not enhance the security of the United States or our allies.”

Dec 11, 2013

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Reduce the Bombs

"Since the end of the Cold War, the size of the U.S. nuclear stockpile has dropped steadily - from about 22,000 warheads to roughly 5,000 today. But perhaps the best kept non-secret of U.S. nuclear policy is that most of these reductions haven’t been codified in treaties," write Kingston Reif & Usha Sahay.

Dec 4, 2013

Fact Sheet: M1 Abrams Tank

A detailed summary of the US Army's M1 Abrams Tank.

Dec 4, 2013

Fact Sheet: "Star Creep"

A detailed summary of the extensive growth in the number of general and flag officers in the US military in recent years; a trend known as "Star Creep."

Dec 4, 2013

Defense News Story on Wall Street Journal Sequester Editorial Quotes Kingston Reif

More than one defense source sent the editorial to your correspondent on Tuesday, with Kingston Reif of the Center for Arms Control and Non-proliferation expressing shock to Defense News/Intercepts about the piece’s tone: “WSJ ed board calling out McKeon is a big deal, no?”

Nov 20, 2013

Making a nuclear deal with Iran

On November 20, nuclear talks between Iran and six world powers will resume. Only negotiation can check Tehran’s nuclear program, writes Kingston Reif in his November Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Column.

Nov 20, 2013

Fact Sheet: TRICARE

A detailed summary of TRICARE; the US military's civilian healthcare program.

Nov 19, 2013

Fact Sheet: Littoral Combat Ship (LCS)

A detailed summary of the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS).

Nov 4, 2013

Roll Call OpEd: U.S. Would Benefit From Fixing the Problems With Missile Defense

"The to-this-point-unsolvable challenge to U.S. missile defenses is their vulnerability to decoys, countermeasures, stealth and confusion from space debris from rocket stage separations; the slow pace of testing; and excessively scripted tests that avoid the realities of battle and impede effective operational capability.
A truly effective missile defense would deal with all these challenges rather than building systems that won’t protect American security," writes Lt. General Robert Gard and Philip Coyle for Roll Call.

Oct 25, 2013

Pentagon pushes for billions to refurbish nuclear bombs

The proposed B61 life extension program is unaffordable, unworkable, and unrealistic writes Kingston Reif in his October column for the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

Oct 16, 2013 OpEd: A Smarter Pentagon Budget

"The deficit financing of two major wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, plus irresponsible increases in the military’s core budget, have created a mountain of debt that threatens the health of our economy," writes Lt. General Robert Gard for

Oct 16, 2013

The Hill OpEd: Some Pentagon Spending Actually Harms Our National Security by Lt. General Robert Gard

"Our security is no longer based principally on matching the Soviet Union bomb-for-bomb or on a massive force structure of tanks, planes and ships. Neither of these is effective at deflecting a Chinese cyber attack or a terrorist plot in Nairobi.
The fundamental problems are an outdated strategy, misallocation of resources, and wasteful expenditures on projects that do not enhance security," writes Lt. General Robert Gard in The Hill.

Sep 24, 2013

Navy Tries a Budget Sleight-of-Hand to Pay for Ballistic Missile Submarines

The enormous cost to recapitalize America’s fleet of ballistic missile submarines should not be swept under the rug by budget games, writes Kingston Reif in this new analysis.

Sep 17, 2013

Would the United States ever actually use nuclear weapons?

It is impossible to conjure up a believable scenario whereby the United States would use 500 nuclear weapons, let alone nearly 5,000, writes Kingston Reif in his September column for the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

Aug 22, 2013

Fact Sheet: New START and Nuclear Modernization Funding

An assessment of the claim that the President has broken a commitment to the Senate to modernize the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile.

Aug 19, 2013

Fact Sheet: President Obama’s Berlin Speech and New Nuclear Weapons Policy Guidance

In a high-profile speech in Berlin, President Obama announced that he has updated U.S. nuclear weapons policy guidance to comport with the 21st century security environment.

Aug 14, 2013

Blown Opportunity: The Folly of Exempting Nuclear Weapons from Sequestration

The Pentagon says it is exempting nuclear weapons from sequestration. This is a terrible idea, writes Kingston Reif in this new analysis.

Aug 5, 2013

Don't blame Moscow

Concerns about Russian treaty compliance aren’t an argument against further arms control writes Kingston Reif in his August column for the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

Jul 24, 2013

DefenseOne OpEd: What Ash Carter Gets Wrong about Nuclear Weapons Spending

"First, it’s a sad commentary on the current state of the Pentagon that its second highest-ranking official deems $16 billion in taxpayer dollars to be “trivial”. Every billion adds up, especially in a time of budget austerity. Furthermore, claiming that a particular program “is not a big swinger of the budget” tells us nothing about whether the funding level for the program is appropriate," writes Kingston Reif for DefenseOne.

Jul 9, 2013

Fact Sheet: The Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI)

Information about the Proliferation Security Initiative, an international effort that aims to prevent the spread of weapons of mass destruction, and their related components and materials.

Jul 9, 2013

Fact Sheet: North Korea's Nuclear and Ballistic Missile Programs

A summary of North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

Jul 9, 2013

Fact Sheet: The Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Program

The Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) Program, also known as the Nunn-Lugar Program, was created to secure and dismantle weapons of mass destruction in the former Soviet Union.

Jun 19, 2013

Obama in Berlin: Empty aspiration or inspiration to action?

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists turns to a number of prominent nuclear weapons experts for their assessments of Obama’s Berlin speech, including Kingston Reif.

Jun 18, 2013

What Obama should say on nuclear weapons

The US President will soon outline his second-term plans. Here’s what the world needs to hear, writes Kingston Reif in his June column for the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

Jun 13, 2013

Fact Sheet: The 2005 Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM) and the International Convention on the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism (ICSANT)

Background on two key anti-nuclear terrorism treaties and the status of legislation to implement them in Congress.

Jun 11, 2013

Do You Even Have to HASC: House Republicans Still Love the Bomb

Kingston Reif analyzes the key nuclear weapons, nonproliferation, and missile defense provisions in the House Armed Services Committee Version of the Fiscal Year 2014 Defense Authorization Bill.

Jun 3, 2013

Fact Sheet: The New START Treaty

Information about the New START treaty, the arms reduction agreement between the United States and Russia that was signed in 2010 and entered into force in 2011.

May 31, 2013

Are Sanctions on Iran Working?

Laicie Heeley and Usha Sahay explore the impact of U.S. and international sanctions on Iran. They examine the political and economic effects of economic sanctions, as well as their impact on Iran’s decision-making regarding its nuclear program.

May 21, 2013

Congress Plans Tough New Sanctions Amidst Widespread Skepticism

Congress is mulling a number of new sanctions bills, even as foreign-policy experts and the White House caution that more pressure on Iran could derail prospects for a negotiated solution.

May 21, 2013

It's smart to scale back nuclear weapons spending

Two Republican Senators think the United States should protect nuclear weapons outlays at all costs. They're wrong, writes Kingston Reif in his May column for the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

May 16, 2013

Pruning the Nuclear Triad? Pros and Cons of Submarines, Bombers, and Missiles

As the United States contemplates strategic, political, and economic reasons to pursue further reductions to its nuclear arsenal, perhaps in tandem with Russia, attention must be paid to the composition of each country’s strategic arsenal of submarine-based missiles, nuclear-armed bombers, and land-based missiles. This fact sheet considers the arguments traditionally made about the strengths and weaknesses of each leg of the nuclear triad.

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