Arms Control Today

Arms Control Today is a magazine published 10 times a year by the Arms Control Association in Washington, DC. Founded in 1972, its subjects are international arms control issues, peace and international affairs. Its audience includes policy makers, educators and the general public.

Articles from Vol. 39, No. 1, January/February

BWC States Address Safety, Security Measures
At a Dec. 1-5 meeting, states-parties to the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) discussed steps to improve the safety and security of biological agents as well as oversight mechanisms to prevent the misuse of biotechnology for hostile purposes.The...
Central Asian Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Formed
Kazakhstan ratified a treaty establishing the Central Asian Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone (CANWFZ) Dec. 11, allowing it to enter into force in early 2009. Breaking from typical practice, the treaty lacks the endorsement of three of the five official nuclear-weapon...
Chinese-U.S. Strategic Affairs: Dangerous Dynamism
Many aspects of the Chinese-U.S. relationship are mutually beneficial: some $400 billion in trade, bilateral military exchanges, and Beijing's increasingly constructive diplomatic role. There are other grounds for concern. Each side's militaries view...
Compliance Report Delays Continue
One of the stated cornerstones of the Bush administration's approach to arms control and nonproliferation issues has been an increased emphasis on ensuring that other countries comply with their arms control and nonproliferation agreements.As then-Undersecretary...
Countries Sign Cluster Munitions Convention
During a December ceremony in Oslo, 94 countries signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM), including many western European countries that have stockpiled and produced the weapons. Unexpectedly, Afghanistan also agreed to the treaty, breaking...
Dealing with North Korea: "Diplomatic Warfare" Ahead
U.S. presidents have struggled with the challenges posed by a hostile North Korea since the end of the Korean War and with the dangers of a nuclear North since the mid-1980s.The diplomatic struggle over Pyongyang's nuclear weapons program has had many...
Drawing a Bright Redline: Forestalling Nuclear Proliferation in the Middle East
If Iran goes nuclear, so too will more of its neighbors, or so says the established wisdom. It is a logical deduction given the extent to which Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey feel a need to maintain power and political parity with Iran and the security...
Engagement with Russia: Managing Risks, Repairing Rifts
The U.S. security relationship with Russia is a matter that is more significant to the U.S. government and the American people than was apparent during the presidential election. Elections are primarily about attitudes. The exercise of power is about...
EU Issues Space Code of Conduct
In December, the European Union issued a draft code of conduct for outer space activities that skirted many thorny issues that have plagued prior international efforts to prevent an arms race in outer space. Designed to encompass civilian and military...
EU Pledges Funds for IAEA Fuel Bank
The European Union Dec. 8 pledged 25 million euros (about $33 million) toward the establishment of a nuclear fuel bank under the auspices of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The EU contribution means that supporters have come close to meeting...
Landmine Ban Deadlines Extended
At the ninth meeting of states- parties to the 1997 Mine Ban Convention, also referred to as the Ottawa Convention, in November 2008, 15 countries requested and re- ceived extensions to their 2009 demin- ing deadlines. The United Kingdom received a 10-year...
Reassessing the Role of Nuclear Weapons
Beginning Jan. 20, U.S. nuclear weapons policy can and must change. The U.S.-Soviet standoff that gave rise to tens of thousands of nuclear weapons is over, but the policies developed to justify their possession and potential use remain largely the same.Previous...
Report Predicts Future Global Arms Trends
The National Intelligence Council (NIC) released its fourth Global Trends report on Nov. 20, timed to correspond every four years to the period of transition between presidential administrations. Chaired by Deputy Director of National Intelligence for...
Russia, India Ink Nuke Cooperation Deal
During a Dec. 5 visit by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to New Delhi, Russia agreed to provide India with four new nuclear power plants as part of a nuclear cooperation agreement between the two countries. The agreement marks the third such accord...
Six-Party Talks Stall over Sampling
The latest round of six-way talks aimed at denuclearizing North Korea ended Dec. 11 in stalemate as the parties continued to disagree on the issue of verifying North Korea's nuclear activities. The four days of talks are expected to have marked the last...
States Approve OPCW Budget, Not Report
A Dec. 2-5 meeting in The Hague of Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) states-parties failed to adopt a consensus final report but agreed on a budget for 2009 and modest measures to reform the treaty's verification system.The 126 state-parties participating...
Stepping Back from the Brink: Avoiding a Nuclear March of Folly in South Asia
Historian Barbara Tuchman described the trail of misperceptions and bad decisions that led to mankind's worst self-imposed disasters as a "March of Folly." Now is the time for India and Pakistan to take steps to ensure that another war or crisis between...
Test Hit, Diplomatic Flop for U.S. Missile Defense
The Bush administration scored a hit in a recent test of a U.S.based strategic anti-missile system, but struck out in talks to ease Russian opposition to the planned stationing of a similar system in Europe. The lead U.S. negotiator said the Kremlin...
WMD Commission Issues Findings
On Dec. 3, a congressionally mandated commission released a report offering 15 recommendations to help the U.S. government improve its ability to prevent and respond to threats of biological and nuclear terrorism. Drawing even more attention and criticism...