A NOTE FROM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR JOHN TIERNEY
I hope you and your loved ones are safe and well and finding comfort in these uncertain times. At the Center, we are all working from our respective homes as much as possible, for which we are incredibly thankful. We know that with obvious public health and family concerns paramount, nuclear weapons policy might not be your top priority right now. Still, policy and budgets continue to be debated on and voted on by Congress, and thus we endeavor to continue doing our work as well as we can and sharing it with you when appropriate.
Our meetings with Congressional staff and Members of Congress continue via telephone and video conferences. My policy team is still hard at work ensuring that as and when Congress is ready to address issues of national security and defense spending, they know where to turn for the best analysis and advice. My communications team is still engaging on social media, talking to reporters, working on our new website, and sharing news and analysis about nuclear weapons policy. Our work hasn’t changed, even though how and where we are doing it has.
While the immediate future and our full return to the office are uncertain for now, I know the people of this country will weather this storm, just as we’ve done so many times before. In the meantime, the Center will keep fighting for a smarter, more principled national security framework. Stay safe.
Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation
Member of Congress 1997-2015
$740 BILLION DEFENSE BUDGET UPDATE
According to recent reporting, Congress still plans to move forward on the Trump Administration’s massive $740 billion defense bill this spring. Unfortunately, it is unlikely that standard hearings and discussion will take place, potentially limiting oversight on one of the largest defense spending bills in history. When we are on the verge of an economic crisis, wasteful defense spending is unacceptable and downright dangerous. Rest assured that we will not let up for one moment. We will continue to make the case to Congress that we can keep this country safe at lower costs. You can learn more about the President’s defense budget request in our briefing book and review of its nuclear-specific requests.
NEW START EXPIRATION NEARS
The Trump administration is still dragging its feet on plans to extend the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) with Russia before it expires Feb. 5, 2021. This treaty has brought the United States and Russia down to the lowest level of deployed nuclear warheads since the 1950s, and continues to provide critical and unprecedented transparency into each other’s nuclear arsenals. Without the treaty, we could be facing a new nuclear arms race.
NORTH KOREA TESTS MORE MISSILES
As if the world wasn’t dealing with enough challenges, North Korea tested two short-range ballistic missiles last week, and two more this weekend, marking the fourth round of tests this month. This is an alarming reminder that Pyongyang is continuing to advance its nuclear and missile programs, while the Trump administration has shown no resolve in moving negotiations forward. The Center will continue to work with Congress to make clear that there is no military solution to the North Korean nuclear crisis.
DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE: PLANNING FOR NUCLEAR WAR
Since the beginning of the nuclear age, there have been hundreds of serious and well-drilled plans about how the United States would use nuclear weapons in war, with the express purpose of winning. But how is winning defined? The latest episode of our Nukes of Hazard podcast features an interview with author Fred Kaplan discussing his new book, The Bomb: Presidents, Generals and the Secret History of Nuclear War. Listen online now or via iTunes, Google Play or Stitcher.
STAFF PROFILE: MEET ALEXANDRA BELL, SENIOR POLICY DIRECTOR
Senior Policy Director Alexandra Bell, a native of Tuxedo, North Carolina, has traveled all over the world between her service in the Peace Corps and her work at the State Department. But what is on her travel bucket list? Who would she invite to her dream dinner party? Find out!
WE HAVE A NEW WEBSITE!
The Center has a new website! It’s now even easier to dive deeper into policy issues like No First Use and missile defense from your computer or mobile device. Right now, we’re building up content on our country profile pages, like this new page on France’s nuclear arsenal and policies.