An update on arms control, national security & politics from Council for a Livable World and the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation.
Bills, Bills, Bills
Over the past few weeks, Council for a Livable World has been involved in a legislation triple-header, lobbying congressional offices on provisions and amendments in the House annual defense bill, the House Energy and Water appropriations bill, and the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act in the Senate. We have had our work cut out for us, but are advising friendly offices on how to improve these important national security bills. Stay tuned for how you can help!
Save The Date!
It’s that time of year, again! We’ve set a date for our annual Father Robert F. Drinan National Peace and Human Rights Award. More information on award recipients and formal invitation is to follow—but in the meantime, be sure to mark your calendars!
Last week, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, which, if passed into law, might jeopardize a good final deal. Council-endorsed House Representatives Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), Lloyd Doggett (D-Tex.), and David Price (D-N.C.) wrote a letter to President Obama offering their firm and ongoing support for diplomacy with Iran.
The letter has over 100 signers, but we need your help in getting more Representatives to sign on! You can help by calling the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121, ask to be connected to your U.S. Representative, and urging him or her to sign the Schakowsky letter in support of diplomacy.
Shortly after P5+1 negotiators reached a framework agreement over Iran’s nuclear program, Center Policy Director Laicie Heeley was featured on MSNBC’s “The Ed Show” with her analysis of increased efforts in Congress to intervene in negotiations. Watch her interview. [4/13]
On the Nukes of Hazard blog, Senior Fellow John Isaacs and Scoville Greg Terryn discuss the unaffordability of current plans to modernize the entire nuclear arsenal. But don’t just take their word for it, plenty of current and former officials within the Pentagon are also concerned. [4/24]
No Clear Reason for the Cold Shoulder
Joe Sestak of Pennsylvania is a 2016 Senate candidate with a long list of accomplishments and credentials—enough, in fact, to merit Council for a Livable World’s first endorsement for 2016. On the blog, Senior Fellow John Isaacs and Board Secretary-Treasurer Bob Musil review Sestak’s qualifications and address his apparent shunning by the Democratic Party. Read here. [4/17]
This past Earth Day, the Council and Center took some time to reflect on the environmental consequences of nuclear weapons. Read the Earth Day post by our newest Policy Fellow Adam Proveaux. [4/22]
This April marks the fifth anniversary of the signing of New START agreement between the U.S. and Russia. To commemorate, Scoville Fellow Greg Terryn makes the case for why continued cooperative efforts to reduce Russian and American stockpiles of nuclear weapons is a worthy goal indeed. Read his post on the Nukes of Hazard Blog. [4/17]
We love the now-famous incident of the 82-year old nun and other activists who breached the Fort Knox of highly enriched uranium, because it begs the question: is the U.S. stockpile of this dangerous nuclear material truly secure from the threat of nuclear terrorism? Read the post by Scoville Fellow Greg Terryn to find out. [4/17]
Congress: Constructive or Catastrophic?
The Richmond Times-Dispatch published an article by Center Board Member Colonel Richard Klass, where he outlines the positive and constructive role available for Congress in the Iran nuclear negotiations, but explains how many members have instead chosen a hazardous one. Read the article here. [4/12]
In an article published for PilotOnline, Center Board Chairman General Robert Gard assesses the consequences of derailing diplomacy with Iran and argues that those in Congress crying “bad deal” should be forced to answer: What’s the alternative? Read the General’s article. [4/13]
FROM OUR RESEARCH CENTER:
This week, the House Appropriations Committee marked up the Fiscal Year 2016 Energy and Water bill, which included recommendations for spending on nuclear weapons activity and non-proliferation. On our website, you can view a synthesis of the Committee’s recommendations prepared by our policy team, which we sent to offices on Capitol Hill and to the media. [4/22]
Before its dramatic moderation, the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act contained several “poison pills” that, if passed, would make the bill almost guaranteed to scuttle negotiations. Center Board Member Ed Levine provided to Congressional staff this excellent analysis of the harmful elements of the bill, many of which were eventually removed. Read it here! [4/13]
As the former 17th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen knows the alternative to diplomacy is another quagmire war in the Middle East. If you agree, help us share this graphic onTwitter, Facebook, or by email!