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“Over the past 50 years, ACA has contributed to bridging diversity, equity, inclusion and that's by ensuring that women of color are elevated in this space.”
– Shalonda Spencer
Women of Color Advancing Peace, Security, and Conflict Transformation
June 2, 2022
Published Op-eds

The opinion pieces and editorials below are those authored by Arms Control Association staff and leadership published in major U.S. and international media.


Enhancing Nuclear Transparency in Iran Could Help Prevent a Wider War

As U.S. forces and Iranian-backed militias clash in the Middle East, there is a growing risk that another dangerous flash point could ignite conflict between Tehran and Washington: Iran’s advancing nuclear program. Iran is already on the threshold of nuclear weapons six years on from U.S. withdrawal from the multilateral arrangement that had, to that point, successfully contained its nuclear program. Escalating regional tensions could push Tehran to determine it needs a nuclear deterrent for security or the United States to miscalculate Iran’s intentions and prematurely use military force...

US-Russia Nuclear Arms Control Talks `Without Preconditions’: Somebody Has to Make the First Move

National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan spoke to the annual meeting of the Arms Control Association on June 2, and as organization chairman, it was my honor to introduce him. Sullivan said just what needed to be said about the continuing risk of nuclear conflict: that the Biden administration would continue the long U.S. tradition of leadership in finding ways to reduce that danger. In particular, he said the United States is ready – “without preconditions” — to discuss with the Russian Federation how the two countries together could 1) manage nuclear risks, and 2) develop a new nuclear arms...

‘Oppenheimer’, the bomb, and arms control, then and now

It has been nearly 80 years since the world entered the nuclear age. But the complex story of the making of the first atomic bomb, the decisions US leaders made to use these terrible new weapons on cities, and the post-war policy missteps that opened the door to the dangerous Cold War arms race are all now starting to fade from public consciousness. The existence of nuclear weapons and the dangers they pose, while well-known and widely feared, are accepted by far too many of those living in one of the world’s nine nuclear-armed countries as part of their “normal” daily lives. A new survey...

Why President Biden Should Not Transfer Prohibited Cluster Bombs to Ukraine

Russia’s brutal full-scale invasion of Ukraine has killed thousands of people and displaced millions of civilians. Ukrainian cities have been leveled and villages have been turned into wastelands. U.S. and allied diplomatic, military, and intelligence support to Ukraine, including over $40 billion in security assistance since the war began, is essential to its defense and an eventual end to the conflict. However, providing some types of lethal U.S. and European military assistance to Ukraine would be escalatory, counterproductive, and only further increase the dangers to civilians caught in...

An Opening to Deescalate the Iran Nuclear Crisis?

After months of ratcheting up its nuclear activities while negotiations remain stalled, Iran took a small, limited step toward deescalation in May. Iran’s recent willingness to work with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to increase transparency on its nuclear program could help open diplomatic space for additional steps toward decreasing tensions and rolling back Iran’s nuclear advances. The United States should take advantage of this limited window, given the growing risk posed by Iran’s nuclear program and the lack of progress in restoring the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action...

At Hiroshima, Leaders Should Choose to End All Nuclear Threats

At a meeting of the G7 nations this week in Hiroshima, the first city destroyed by the bomb, President Joe Biden and other leaders have a chance to begin addressing the long-standing problem of states threatening to use nuclear weapons. Russia’s nuclear threats of the past year in support of its invasion of Ukraine have flashed for all to see a core purpose of nuclear arsenals: coercion and intimidation. At this historic gathering, Biden and his counterparts need to act on Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s proposal that the G7 “demonstrate a firm commitment to absolutely reject the...

Biden Must Deliver on Disarmament at the G7 Summit in Hiroshima

On the 75th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, during the 2020 U.S. presidential campaign, Joe Biden pledged to “restore American leadership on arms control and nonproliferation…and work to bring us closer to a world without nuclear weapons.” This month’s summit of the Group of Seven (G7) in Hiroshima, the site of the first atomic attack that killed more than 140,000 men, women, and children in 1945, provides President Biden with a historic and timely opportunity to do so. To support America’s Japanese allies, Biden and the other leaders will need to acknowledge the horrors of...

A US-China War Over Taiwan?

What will happen when China invades Taiwan, as so many in Washington believe is inevitable? To answer that question, the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party, an entity created at Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s behest in February, conducted a “tabletop exercise” involving a simulated attack of this sort on April 19. No official report on the closed-door exercise has been made public, but participants indicated that the outcome of such an encounter would prove catastrophic for all parties involved. Committee members were confronted “with the potential for death and destruction on...

The IAEA Just Bought Some Time for Nuclear Diplomacy With Iran

Earlier this month, Rafael Grossi, the director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, or IAEA, traveled to Tehran amid growing concern over the proliferation risk posed by Iran’s expanding nuclear activities. In particular, the IAEA had recently detected uranium enriched to 84 percent in an Iranian nuclear site, at a time of heightened tensions due to the breakdown in multilateral talks on reviving the Iran nuclear deal. During Grossi’s trip, Iran agreed to allow the IAEA to reestablish certain transparency measures at select nuclear sites. Iran had suspended IAEA access and...

How Russia’s retreat from the Vienna Document information exchange undermines European security

Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine has inflicted much suffering, amplified international divisions, and made any attempt to build common security extremely difficult. Moscow’s war on Ukraine also hobbled several arms control and security agreements—including, now, the Vienna Document . Hosted by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the Vienna Document is a confidence- and security-building mechanism that allows participants to observe and notify each other about their military exercises and other relevant activities to prevent misinterpretation of each other’s...

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