On January 1, 2011 (10:00 KST) Duyeon Kim, Deputy Director of Nuclear Non-Proliferation at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, moderated a 60-minute TV panel discussion on South Korean global broadcaster Arirang TV’s New Year’s Special “2011 Prospects of Global Issues.”.
Kirk and I have an op-ed in the Register Citizen today on the CTBT. But, judging by our names in size 20 font and in all caps, it could just be about us. Here are a few highlights:
Nuclear weapons tests are a toxic relic of a past characterized by arms races and fallout shelters. Except for outlaw nations like North Korea, the world today has quit the business of testing nuclear weapons.
And adding a touch of bipartisan flavor…
Republicans in favor of the Test Ban Treaty include former Secretaries of State George P. Shultz and Henry Kissinger, and Colin Powell and former National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft. These aren’t naïve idealists. They’re men who have devoted their lives to protecting the United States.
And finally, because it can’t be avoided in any CTBT discussion…
Due to technological advances, the safety and reliability of the U.S. nuclear stockpile no longer requires nuclear tests…The United States knows more about maintaining its nuclear weapons today than ever before, and its stockpile is more advanced, safer, and stronger than any other country’s in the world.
And there we have an easily digestible and nicely packaged op-ed. Enjoy!
Last week the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation sent around a short primer on some of the problems that continue to divide the U.S. and Russia as they try to negotiate a “New START” agreement to replace START I, which expires on December 5.
The AP’s David Nowak cited our analysis in his report on U.S. National Security Advisor James Jones’ recent visit to Moscow to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and other high-ranking Russian officials. Writes Nowak:
But the Washington-based Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation recently noted several sticking points that may take negotiations into the 11th hour.
The obstacles include a divergence on the number of so-called delivery vehicles – a reference to missiles and bombers. Washington has reportedly proposed a limit of 1,100 such weapons platforms, while Russia wants less than half, a discrepancy too great to forge an agreement, the center concluded.
To clarify, while we highlight several issues that could prevent an agreement from being reached on or before December 5, we do not suggest that these divisions are insoluble. For example, as we note, “The wide range for delivery vehicles reflects the opening positions of the two countries….Such a wide range will almost certainly not be in the Treaty, as the U.S. and Russia will either have to agree to a single number or a narrower range.”
As of today, the discrepancy in the U.S. and Russian positions on a number of key issues is still “too great to forge an agreement” (though if this report is accurate, perhaps the delivery vehicle divide is close to being bridged). But given the modest goals laid out by Presidents Obama and Medvedev in July, resolving these problems should be eminently doable. The question is whether it’s doable before December 5.
by Kingston Reif Published by Foreign Policy in Focus on October 26, 2009 On September 17th, President Barack Obama announced changes in the American missile defense program seeking a more proven and cost-effective system than that introduced by the Bush administration. Such changes are part of Obama’s new comprehensive foreign policy based on an assessment […]
Last week, former Assistant Secretary of State Stephen Rademaker published an Op-Ed in the Wall Street Journal lambasting the trajectory of President Obama’s arms control agenda.
To get a better idea of where Rademaker is coming from, check out this interview he did with Arms Control Today back in 2005. In the category of “You can’t make this stuff up”, Rademaker refers to the U.S. record of compliance with Article VI as “unassailable” and describes the START I counting rules as “just sophistry”.
Ambassador Thomas Graham, Jr., a special representative for arms control, nonproliferation and disarmament under President Clinton and a member of the Center for Arms Control and Nonproliferation’s National Advisory Board, penned the following letter to the editor in response…
Arms Control Has Been Bipartisan
In “Why Democrats Fail at Arms Control” (op-ed, Sept. 24), Stephen Rademaker argues that Democratic presidents have failed with Russia on strategic arms control agreements because of “their excessive enthusiasm and ambition.” I disagree. In fact, at least until 2001, the conduct of the strategic arms control process in the U.S. was remarkably bipartisan.
As for the current negotiations, Mr. Rademaker claims that President Barack Obama overreached in trying to achieve deeper reductions in U.S. and Russian arsenals rather than simply “replacing the START verification regime.” However, neither side favored a simple extension. Simply extending the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty without deeper reductions in U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals, fails to address the fact that the outdated START limits of 6,000 deployed strategic nuclear weapons are simply too high to be acceptable in today’s world.
Reductions require other changes and will be consistent with the now world-wide consensus to move toward the elimination of nuclear weapons, expressed by the recent United Nations Security Council resolution. Such reductions are also a partial implementation of one of the key U.S. promises—to reduce nuclear arsenals—made in exchange for most countries giving up forever their right to acquire nuclear weapons when the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty was indefinitely extended in 1995, a historic diplomatic and strategic success of the Clinton administration.
Mr. Rademaker also claims that the president should not have sought to limit both deployed warheads and delivery systems. Limits on delivery vehicles, which were central to START, facilitate verification and reduce the risk of quickly increasing deployed forces.
Finally, contrary to Mr. Rademaker’s characterization of President Obama’s negotiating position on missile defense and strategic conventional weapons, both the U.S. and Russia have stated repeatedly that the new START treaty will address only strategic offensive forces.
Legally binding and verifiable arms reductions remain vital tools to strengthen U.S. security.
Ambassador Graham was special representative for arms control, nonproliferation and disarmament under President Clinton.