JOIN US AT OUR VIRTUAL ANNUAL CONFERENCE
The Center will host our 2021 annual conference, “Arms Control in a Divided America,” on November 2, 2021 at 4:30 p.m. ET. Speakers include Members of Congress and arms control experts, featuring Speaker Nancy Pelosi; Sen. Chris Van Hollen; Amb. Susan F. Burk, Former Special Representative of the President; Dr. Alex Wellerstein, Stevens Institute of Technology; Amb. Steven Pifer, Stanford University; and more! The full schedule will be announced soon. Register for free and join us!
A NOTE OF CAUTION ON THE U.S.-RUSSIA DIALOGUE
It is certainly good news that the United States and Russia are talking about arms control again, writes Senior Policy Director John Erath in a new blog post. Although some might argue that it would be better if China were participating as well, the convening of a dialogue to follow up on the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) is overdue. Amid the general relief, however, a note of caution would be appropriate. Both sides are calling the process a “Strategic Stability Dialogue.” This should raise concerns over its ultimate conclusion for two main reasons. Read the blog to learn more about those reasons
DELAYS IN DEFENSE SPENDING BILLS
With Congress focusing on the massive spending and infrastructure bills earlier this month, annual defense bills have been put on the backburner. The full Senate has yet to consider the annual defense authorization bill and neither chamber has passed a defense appropriations bill. That may soon change with Senate leaders preparing Members to submit floor amendments on short notice. Here’s the Center’s breakdown and analysis on the defense authorization bill as passed by the House. Here’s the Center’s new breakdown and analysis of the Senate defense authorization bill as passed out of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
IRAN TALKS STALLED BUT HOPE REMAINS
There has been no sign as to when nuclear talks with Iran may recommence, but just last week, the coordinator of the JCPOA, Enrique Mora, traveled to Tehran to urge the resumption of nuclear negotiations. In a sign of greater international pressure, IAEA Director General Mariano Grossi will travel to Tehran in the coming days. Talks have stalled for four months now and the Biden administration has been signaling that they are “prepared to turn to other options if Iran doesn’t change course.”
Research Analyst Samuel Hickey argued in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists that “failure to revive the nuclear deal could remove the possibility of applying the verification tools gained to other proliferation challenges like North Korea or the next nuclear threshold state. The loss of these techniques would undermine efforts to improve the global nonproliferation regime.”
Fortunately, the Biden administration has not given up hope, although they are frustrated. “It goes to how catastrophic a decision it was to unilaterally withdraw,” U.S. Iran envoy Rob Malley said of Trump’s decision to quit the Iran nuclear deal in 2018. “We are now talking to Iran about the issues of the JCPOA rather than decisions that go beyond it. And that is one of the legacies that we are dealing with now.”
CENTER WELCOMES NEW BOARD MEMBERS
The Center is happy to announce the appointment of five new members to its board: former administration and Congressional staffer Mark Appleton; Just Security co-editor-in-chief Dr. Tess Bridgeman; the Center for Policy Research’s Dr. Togzhan Kassenova; At the Brink’s Lisa Perry; and attorney and former Center policy analyst Greg Terryn. Read their bios
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NATO 2030: What the new Strategic Concept should say about nuclear weapons, by former intern Shane Ward
Congress’s role in the AUKUS nuclear-powered submarine deal, by Research Analyst Samuel Hickey
‘Neglected danger’: Nukes not in forefront in speeches at UN, featuring Senior Policy Director John Erath
Biden’s nuclear agenda in trouble as Pentagon hawks attack, featuring Executive Director John Tierney
California biosecurity bill safeguards bioeconomy and public health, by Scientists Working Group member Gregory Koblentz. (Gov. Newsom vetoed the bill in question.)