Modernization Progress of Nuclear Arsenal Proves Contentious

United States Capitol (Credit: Allen Dodson)
United States Capitol (Credit: Allen Dodson)

While the New START Treaty provides an unprecedented exchange of information between the United States and Russia, in a hearing on June 21 some senators aired their concern with the Obama administration’s commitment to fulfill its promise to modernize the U.S. arsenal.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee analyzed the Treaty’s implementation since February 2011. Massachusetts Senator and Committee Chair John Kerry and committee ranking member Richard Lugarof Indiana presided over the hearing. The panel of witnesses included Thomas D’Agostino, Administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration; Rose Gottemoeller, acting Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security; and Madelyn Creedon, Assistant Secretary of Defense of Global Strategic Affairs. Continue reading

A Teachable Moment

Written by FAS President Dr. Charles Ferguson

Views on nuclear weapons are often linked to strong emotions. On August 6, 2010, the text announcing my podcast on nuclear security issues to FAS members and on the FAS Website used a strong, emotionally charged word to describe the August 6, 1945 atomic bombing of Hiroshima. That word was “unconscionable.”

An FAS member wrote to me expressing her disagreement with the use of that word because it is:

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Invest in Nuclear Security

Friends,

Like you, I value a secure world that is free from use of nuclear weapons. Through your generous support, FAS staff are helping to create that world. At the beginning of May, FAS commenced its campaign to take the lead in educating policymakers, the press, and the public on all aspects of reducing the risks of further nuclear proliferation, the new START agreement, the road toward deeper nuclear arms reductions, and the Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference. Nearly one month in, we are seeing fruitful results. To highlight four notable accomplishments:

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Invest in FAS Efforts at this Critical Time

Friends,

Thank you for your interest in the work of the Federation of American Scientists (FAS).

Two weeks ago, the Obama administration released the total number of nuclear warheads in the U.S. stockpile — 5,113 — a number that was classified for decades. In February 2009, FAS expert Hans Kristensen published an estimate that now turns out to have been only 87 warheads off. Over the past two weeks, Kristensen’s estimate and FAS efforts on nuclear security have gained widespread recognition in the mainstream media.

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FAS Needs Your Help: Become a Member During this Critical Time in Nuclear Security

Friends,

Thank you for your interest in the work of the Federation of American Scientists (FAS).

Last week, the Obama administration released the total number of nuclear warheads in the U.S. stockpile — 5,113 — a number that was classified for decades. In February 2009, FAS expert Hans Kristensen published an estimate that now turns out to have been only 87 warheads off. Over the past week, Kristensen’s estimate and FAS efforts on nuclear security have gained widespread recognition in the mainstream media.

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Support FAS at this critical time in nuclear security

Friends,

The world stands at a critical moment in nuclear security. Last year, President Obama committed his administration to seeking “the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.” Between the negotiation of a new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) agreement; a historic, unprecedented White House nuclear security summit; renewed efforts to end nuclear testing worldwide through enactment of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT); and the current Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference, the international community has revitalized the idea of a world free of nuclear war and nuclear terrorism.

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NPT Pre-conference Day 2 Round Up

Day two of the NPT Pre-conference started at 10am back at Riverside Church on the upper west side of Manhattan. Unlike day one, day two would be an all day affair, including workshops, afternoon performances, and the closing event — an address from U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

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NPT Pre-Conference Day 1

The NPT Pre-Conference kicked off this evening with speeches, testimonies, and performances at Riverside Church on the upper west side of Manhattan (Interestingly enough, Riverside Church was also the site of Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous get-out of Vietnam speech). Prior to the doors finally opening at 7pm, the real “activism” was occurring outside in front of the Church during the afternoon.

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Preview to the NPT Pre-conference

“If the bomb gets out of hand, if we do not learn to live together so that science will be our help and not our hurt, there is only one sure future. The cities of men on earth will perish.”

Dr. Philip Morrison, Manhattan Project scientist and one of the founders of FAS, wrote this line in his work “If the bomb gets out of hand.” While he wrote this in 1946 following his survey of the effects of the Hiroshima bomb, these words still ring very true today.

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