12:29 PM, Mar 7, 2013 • By JERYL BIER
The world continues to experience much turmoil and angst over the possible proliferation of nuclear arms, particularly relative to North Korea, Iran, and even Russia. Just today comes word that North Korea made its most provocative statement yet, threatening a preemptive nuclear strike on the United States. Less than a month ago, North Korea conducted another underground nuclear test, drawing near universal condemnation. Secretary of State John Kerry said in a recent interview with ABC News, "This is a very challenging moment with great risks and stakes for everybody because the region will be far less stable and far more threatened if Iran were to have a nuclear weapon." And it has not been quite a year since President Obama made his now infamous "after my election I have more flexibility" open-mic comment to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev at a global nuclear security summit in South Korea.
Yet on the heels of confirmation hearings for John Kerry (State) and Chuck Hagel (Defense), who will both play significant roles in arms policies and negotiations, the State Department is exploring less conventional approaches to this deadly serious business. As the sequestration was just beginning to take effect, the State Department announced cash prizes in the first ever Innovation in Arms Control Challenge:
The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance is pleased to announce the winners of the first Innovation in Arms Control Challenge. This Challenge, which received interest from more than 500 potential solvers, sought creative ideas from the general public to use commonly available technologies to support arms control policy efforts.
Ms. Lovely Umayam, a graduate student from the Monterey Institute of International Studies at Middlebury College, located in Monterey, California, has been awarded the first prize of $5000. Ms. Umayam developed “Bombshelltoe,” an online education platform that examines the intersection of culture and nuclear issues in order to facilitate better public understanding of basic nuclear and arms control-related issues.
Runners-up included a "mobile application that provides a platform for users to connect and interact, as well as a rewards program for sharing information on various arms agreement regimes" and a "unique geographically based online social game for verifying treaty compliance."
These ideas seem to mark a trend in government to emphasize new media and technology to raise awareness on a variety of issues, as well as attract the interest of the public, especially young people. In another example, the Centers for Disease Control recently released an iPad app called "Solve the Outbreak," an interactive game that allows a user to be a "disease detective." The U.S. Mint has a whole page dedicated to various games and activities (to raise kids' awareness of ... money?). The American people will have to decide if this trend is valuable outside-the-box thinking for government in the 21st century, or if the Obama administration is just playing games courtesy of the taxpayer.
4:58 PM, Dec 23, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
David Gregory mocked the NRA's Wayne LaPierre for proposing that armed guards be at every school in America. But the NBC host seems to have no problem with armed guards protecting his kids everyday where they attend school in Washington, D.C.
"You proposed armed guards in school. We'll talk about that in some detail in a moment. You confronted the news media. You blamed Hollywood and the gaming industry. But never once did you concede that guns could actually be part of the problem. Is that a meaningful contribution, Mr. LaPierre, or a dodge?," asked Gregory.
How Iran arms its allies.Dec 31, 2012, Vol. 18, No. 16 • By LEE SMITH
An explosion in southern Lebanon last week destroyed what is believed to have been a Hezbollah weapons depot.
3:03 PM, Nov 28, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
According to Iran, the terrorist group Hamas is very thankful for all the help provided to attack Israel.
The wishful thinking of U.S. arms control. Apr 9, 2012, Vol. 17, No. 29 • By KEITH B. PAYNE
George Kennan, the celebrated architect of U.S. Cold War doctrine, called arms control policy during the 1920s and 1930s a species of wishful thinking and a vapid distraction from the serious business of responding to the international threats that culminated in World War II. Contemporary U.S. arms control increasingly reflects the characteristics lamented by Kennan.
6:24 PM, Mar 8, 2012 • By ROBERT ZARATE
In a Politico op-ed today, Congressman Michael Turner (R, Ohio) criticizes the Obama administration’s lack of transparency on its controversial study of future reductions to America’s nuclear deterrent—including one option that would cut the arsenal by 80 percent, down to as few as 300 deployed strategic nuclear warheads.
9:15 AM, Mar 8, 2012 • By DAVID SCHENKER
During the decades of international sanctions against Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, successive U.S. administrations yearned for regime change.
12:48 PM, Dec 13, 2011 • By DANIEL HALPER
Robert Zarate recently noted that nuclear disarmament folks are exagerating defense spending numbers in order to appeal to fiscal hawks. Today, Eli Lake writes about the main group behind this effort, the Ploughshare Fund:
But not for Taiwan.12:29 PM, Jun 1, 2011 • By JOSEPH A. BOSCO
A delegation of the People's Liberation Army, the largest group of Chinese military officers ever to visit the United States, recently toured the Pentagon and other U.S. defense facilities. Part of their mission was to further erode and finally end the congressional ban on weapons and technology sales to China imposed after the Tiananmen Square massacre of peaceful demonstrators on June 4, 1989.
10:29 AM, Sep 14, 2010 • By IRFAN AL-ALAWI and STEPHEN SCHWARTZ
On Monday, September 13, the Associated Press and other media outlets reported that the Obama administration will ask Congress for approval to sell Saudi Arabia up to $60 billion worth of high-tech fighter aircraft and helicopters, with an option of $30 billion in naval armaments to follow. Because of the Iranian threat, the deal is expected to be approved, since it will give the Saudis military striking capacity across the Gulf region.
Will UN peacekeepers disarm Hezbollah in southern Lebanon?9:29 AM, Jul 20, 2010 • By GABRIEL SCHOENFELD
In the aftermath of the 2006 Israel-Lebanon war, the UN inserted a peacekeeping force of 11,000 troops from 31 nations. According to the UN resolution authorizing the mission, its purpose was to block the flow of weapons to Hezbollah and keep Hezbollah from operating south of the Litani River, near Israel’s northern border.
3:06 PM, Apr 9, 2010 • By JAMIE FLY and JOHN NOONAN
With healthcare reform behind him, President Obama has turned his attention to what is perhaps his number one foreign policy priority: nuclear disarmament. On April 6, the Obama administration released a new Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) report, outlining U.S. nuclear weapons strategy. The NPR is not the dramatic document that some on the left had hoped for, but in a sop to Obama's base, does revise U.S. declaratory policy to limit the instances in which the United States will use nuclear weapons. The NPR also fails to outline a clear path to warhead modernization, something that Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has said is essential to ensuring the reliability of the U.S. nuclear stockpile in the coming decades.
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