The recognition of the need for nuclear disarmament and the question of how to achieve it are as old as the nuclear age. In June 1945, before the first nuclear weapon had been built, in what became known as the Franck Report, a group of scientists working on the U.S. atomic bomb program warned that:
Month: September 2010
Is Myanmar developing nuclear weapons, perhaps with the help of North Korea? That worrisome possibility, prompted by Myanmar’s receipt of dual-use technology via an illegal North Korean procurement network, has garnered considerable speculation.
After countless Senate hearings and nearly six months after the signing ceremony in Prague, the New START treaty has successfully passed out of committee. The support of the necessary 67 out of 100 senators appears likely but is not yet a done deal; as a Senate staff member told the Washington Post, "The administration is still going to have to work on these votes."
The Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC) have evolved in interestingly different ways in the first decade of the twenty-first century. The CWC and its major international organization — the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons — have become rather opaque to civil society, despite a significant program of official activities.
On September 16, the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved New START, the bilateral treaty signed in April that would verifiably reduce US and Russian nuclear weapons. Three Republican senators — Richard Lugar, Bob Corker, and Johnny Isakson — voted in committee to approve the treaty. Such support bodes well for the pact’s prospects during floor consideration by the full Senate, which can still attach additional declarations and conditions to New START’s resolution of ratification in order to clarify its interpretation of the treaty.