On the Issues


Council for a Livable World praises the U.S. Congress for enacting legislation mandating that the Executive Branch provide “a clear statement of the objectives of United States policy with respect to Afghanistan and Pakistan, and the metrics to be utilized to assess progress toward achieving such objectives” and that the administration report to Congress on the extent to which application of the metrics indicates progress in meeting these strategic objectives. However, concerned about the growing American military commitment in Afghanistan and the danger of becoming bogged down in a prolonged military conflict, the Council urges that an exit plan for an orderly withdrawal should be developed as an integral part
of that strategy in case the aforementioned metrics indicate that the administration’s
strategy is not succeeding.
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Council for a Livable World believes in upholding and strengthening the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) and Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). The Council supports establishing a U.N. bioweapons unit for investigating allegations of bioweapons development or use; implementing U.N. Security Council Resolution 1540, which calls for various actions from member states to prevent non-state actors from obtaining weapons of mass destruction; enhancing the transparency of biodefense and other scientific dual-use research activities; and decreasing military and law enforcement interest in incapacitating biochemical weapons.
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Council for a Livable World believes that direct diplomatic engagement with Iran on the nuclear issue, without preconditions, should be pursued as soon as possible. Since top U.S. intelligence agencies agree that Iran is still years away from having a deliverable nuclear weapon, if it even chooses to pursue one, there is still time to find a negotiated solution to Iran's nuclear program. Military force against Iran should not be considered at this time, and should not be exercised in the future unless it meets basic requirements, such as authorization from Congress and the United Nations Security Council.
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Council for a Livable World believes that the Bush administration’s pursuit of an unjustified “preventive” war against Iraq was waged on the basis of purposefully distorted intelligence. The Council believes that military action, when determined to be absolutely necessary, should be pursued in concert with U.S. allies. After more than five years of war, it time for the United States to safely and promptly withdraw its military forces from Iraq in coordination with the Iraqi government and neighboring countries while helping to rebuild Iraq and to assist Iraqi civilians.
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Council for a Livable World believes that after more than $150 billion spent since the 1950s, national missile defense remains an experimental system that has provided the United States with few tangible results and does not contribute to effectively addressing the most pressing threats to U.S. security. Key elements of missile defense are years away from being ready and the system remains incapable of dealing successfully with countermeasures. The United States should continue to research and develop missile defense, particularly short- and medium-range systems that have a better track record, but should not rush to deploy unproven long-range technologies.
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Council for a Livable World believes that there are many parts of the defense budget which consume massive budgetary resources but provide little return in terms of security. Terrorism and other threats can only be overcome by broadening our vision of national security to include law enforcement, intelligence, immigration policy, border security, foreign assistance, economic development, and diplomacy. Combining these non-military tools with a robust military is the prescription for global peace and security under American leadership in the future.
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Council for a Livable World believes that the United States must engage North Korea diplomatically to negotiate a verifiable and irreversible disarmament process and a halt to its nuclear weapons program. Sanctions alone are not a viable solution. Without engagement, North Korea was able to spend six years developing its nuclear weapons program and produce enough material for ten nuclear weapons.
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Council for a Livable World believes that the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) has proven largely successful in stopping nuclear proliferation and remains our best defense against the spread of nuclear weapons. The Council believes nuclear non-proliferation efforts can be enhanced by ratifying the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT); significantly reducing the number of nuclear weapons; and committing to the global cleanout of all vulnerable nuclear materials in four years.
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Council for a Livable World believes that nuclear terrorism is one of the gravest threats facing the United States, and that serious efforts are urgently needed to prevent the possibility of a terrorist group being able to acquire and use a nuclear weapon against the United States. Certain programs are already reducing the threat, including Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction, the Global Threat Reduction Initiative, and the International Material Protection and Cooperation programs. Future steps should include reducing the stockpiles of nuclear weapons usable material; creating a “Nuclear Terrorism Czar” at the level of deputy national security advisor; strengthening the disruption of terrorist finances; and developing
contingency plans in case of an attack.
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Council for a Livable World believes that the United States must work toward a “world free of nuclear weapons.” Council for a Livable World seeks deep reductions, and the eventual elimination, of nuclear weapons. Important policies that will help the United States achieve this goal include opposing the development of new nuclear weapons like the “Bunker Buster” or “Reliable Replacement Warhead”; committing to a “no first use” of nuclear weapons pledge; taking nuclear weapons off hair-trigger alert; ratifying the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT); and making deep cuts in the U.S. nuclear arsenal and negotiating verifiable and legally-binding reduction agreements with Russia.
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