'We Still Have More Work To Do'9:01 AM, Dec 19, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
The State Department's Rose Gottemoeller, under secretary for arms control and international security, spoke at the Brookings Institution Thursday where she reaffirmed the United States' "unassailable" commitment to putting the nuclear weapons genie back in the bottle. Gottemoeller told the attendees at the Arms Control and Non-Proliferation Initiative-sponsored event that "the U.S. commitment to achieving the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons is unassailable."
She went on to note that the nation's stockpile of active weapons is down 85 percent from maximum cold war levels, falling to 4,804 in 2013 from a high of 31,255. But, she said, "We still have more work to do."
As you all might know, I have been traveling quite a bit lately and was just recently in the Czech Republic for a conference on the Prague Agenda. I reminded people at that conference that when President Obama laid out his vision for the peace and security of a world free of nuclear weapons, he made it clear that it was not a desirable, but unattainable dream. The Prague Agenda is an achievable long-term goal and one worth fighting for. I will say here what I said in Prague. There should be no doubt: the U.S. commitment to achieving the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons is unassailable. We continue to pursue nuclear disarmament and we will keep faith with our Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) commitments, prominent among them, Article VI. Our responsible approach to disarmament has borne fruit in the form of major reductions in nuclear weapons, fissile material stocks and infrastructure. These efforts have led us to reduce our nuclear arsenal by approximately 85% from its Cold War heights. In real numbers, that means we have gone from 31,255 nuclear weapons in our active stockpile in 1967 to 4,804 in 2013. We know we still have more work to do.
According to the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, which is put out by the Federation of American Scientists, Russia has about the same number of active weapons now as the U.S., and both countries have several thousand more warheads awaiting deactivation. Due to security concerns governments are reluctant to divulge exact numbers, but it's generally beleived that most of the older nuclear powers (U.S., Russia, the UK, and France) have reportedly been gradually declining their stockpiles. Israel, never publicly acknowledging its possession of nuclear weapons, is believed to be holding steady on its stockpile. China, India, and Pakistan, on the other hand, are all still believed to be gradually increasing their numbers. The exact status of North Korea's nuclear program and stockpile of weapons remains unknown.
Not only is China's stockpile of nuclear weapons believed to still be on the increase, but this week the Washington Free Beacon reported that China is continuing to develop delivery systems. This past Saturday, China conducted a test of an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of delivering multiple warheads.
A Pentagon spokesman declined to comment on the report.
8:04 AM, Oct 17, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
Some American and Iranian diplomats have been spending so much time together lately that they're beginning to crack jokes with one another.
Uprisings in the East, corruption in the West— Ukraine emerges from elections divided and weakenedJun 23, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 39 • By CHRISTOPHER CALDWELL
Jul 1, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 40 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
On June 19, President Barack Obama delivered a lengthy speech in Berlin, in front of the Brandenburg Gate. The shades of John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan surely wept.
9:47 AM, Jun 20, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
Robert Zarate writes, for the Foreign Policy Initiative:
In a high-profile speech today in Berlin, President Obama announced his plan to “seek negotiated cuts with Russia” in order to reduce America’s “deployed strategic nuclear weapons by up to one-third.” The prudence of Obama’s plan, however, remains far from certain due to many stubborn problems.
2:14 PM, Mar 9, 2012 • By ROBERT ZARATE
As Washington wrangles over the size of the federal budget in a time of fiscal austerity, Congress is debating whether to hold President Obama to his promise of adequately funding the modernization of America’s nuclear arsenal and infrastructure in exchange for the Senate’s passage of the controversial New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) with the Russia in December 2010. The debate has pit liberal lawmakers like Congressman Edward Markey (D, Mass.), who advocate global nuclear disarmament, against Congressman Michael Turner (R, Ohio) and other national security stalwarts, w
4:33 PM, Nov 9, 2011 • By THOMAS JOSCELYN
In order to fool the U.S. intelligence community when it comes to a nuclear weapons program, all a rogue regime has to do is change the name of the government agency housing it. Although that may sound ludicrous, it is one way to read the IAEA’s newly released report on Iran’s nuclear program.
3:26 PM, Jun 29, 2011 • By ANNE BAYEFSKY
On Tuesday, the United Nations again made itself an international laughing stock – except perhaps to the American taxpayers who continue to foot 22 percent of the bill – by appointing North Korea chair of the U.N. Conference on Disarmament. That would be the same North Korea that, according to an article this week by Senator John Kerry, head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has “twice tested nuclear weapons…is developing missiles to carry them…has built facilities capable of producing highly enriched uranium for more nuclear weapons” and has defied a U.N. arms embargo by exporting weapons and sensitive technologies to rogue regimes.
10:01 AM, Jun 15, 2011 • By DANIEL HALPER
Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has just published the following article on its website, indicating clearly that the regime seeks a nuclear bomb.
4:14 PM, Jun 8, 2011 • By MASEH ZARIF
Iran has long stonewalled the IAEA, the organization tasked with enforcing multiple United Nations Security Council resolutions that demand a halt to Iran’s illicit nuclear activities.
3:42 PM, Jun 7, 2011 • By ROBERT ZARATE
A confidential copy of a draft resolution by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which would call for Syria to face consequences for its nuclear transgressions, is now being privately circulated among the IAEA’s 35-nation Board of Governors, in the hopes of getting it approved by the board this week in Vienna, Austria. The United States, Britain, and other partners are standing behind this resolution.
2:34 PM, Jun 7, 2011 • By ROBERT ZARATE
Does Syria’s recent offer of transparency to the world’s atomic watchdog represent a change of heart, or is it simply a tactic meant to prevent (or delay) punishment for its nuclear transgressions? History tells us that it’s likely the latter.