The Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation is the Council’s affiliated 501(c)(3) research organization.
DID ‘OPPENHEIMER’ SPARK SOMETHING INSIDE OF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW?
Christopher Nolan’s blockbuster film Oppenheimer about the father of the atomic bomb continues to break box office records nearly a month after its release. And, this film is expected to remain in popular culture conversations for at least the next few months ahead of awards season and upon its streaming release.
We have already heard from people who did not realize they needed to pay close attention to nuclear weapons issues until they saw the film, and we are grateful for the opportunities this film, though imperfect, provides for organizations like ours to reach new audiences. That’s why we’ve launched a new page on the Council website connecting the film to our founder, Leo Szilard, and our present nuclear reality.
The warnings from Szilard, Oppenheimer and others about what might happen should countries engage in a nuclear arms race remain relevant, but diplomacy and public engagement have helped us avoid nuclear nightmares since the U.S. bombing of Nagasaki and can do so again. Please share this page with anyone you know whose interest in our issues might have been ignited or reignited after watching Oppenheimer.
CRANES FOR OUR FUTURE CAMPAIGN MARKS 78TH ANNIVERSARIES OF U.S. ATOMIC BOMBINGS OF JAPAN
August 6 and 9 this year marked the 78th anniversaries of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear bombings. For the third year in a row, the Center and Council participated in the #CranesForOurFuture campaign that was launched in 2021 by Hiroshima Prefecture, Nagasaki Prefecture, the Nuclear Threat Initiative and Hiroshima Organization for Global Peace. Each year during the anniversaries, partner organizations work to promote social media engagement of colleagues, celebrities, politicians, and other global leaders in posting content with a folded paper crane. Cranes are a universal symbol of peace, and spreading the message is aimed at promoting a world safe from nuclear weapons.
BIDEN REQUESTS MORE UKRAINE AID FUNDS; ATTACKS CHANGE CONDITIONS ON UKRAINIAN FRONT LINES
The Biden administration announced a request for $40 billion in supplemental appropriations, which include $13 billion in additional funding to support Ukraine in its war against Russia. The bill also funds $12 billion in emergency disaster relief in the United States to deal with fires, flooding and tornado damage in Hawaii and elsewhere.
As a result of the counteroffensive against Russia, Ukraine has taken back the village of Urozhaine in eastern Donetsk. Russian drones attacked port infrastructure on the Danube River in southern Ukraine, damaging agriculture infrastructure. Additionally, footage of Ukraine using a sea drone to attack Russia’s bridge to Crimea has surfaced.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Tuesday that he could not confirm a report stating Iran slowed its nuclear-weapons-grade enriched uranium but that the United States would “welcome any steps that Iran takes to actually deescalate the growing nuclear threat that it has posed since the United States got out of the Iran nuclear deal.”
UNITED STATES, SOUTH KOREA, JAPAN ANNOUNCE NEW MILITARY COOPERATION PLANS
The United States, South Korea, and Japan met on August 18 at their first trilateral summit at Camp David. The three nations have announced plans to expand military cooperation by meeting annually to discuss further trilateral cooperation, sharing data on North Korean missile launches, holding joint military exercises and establishing a crisis hotline. The leaders also committed to consult and coordinate responses with each other on “regional challenges, provocations, and threats that affect their collective interests and security.” This summit comes on the heels of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s call for North Korean munition factories to “drastically boost” missile production.
DEFENSE SPENDING MESS AWAITS CONGRESS
Last month we told you about the House version of the Fiscal Year 2024 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s decision to allow unrelated culture war provisions to hijack the bill. The Senate also passed its version of the NDAA before leaving Washington for the August recess. As expected, the Senate version did not include the contentious House language.
However, like their House counterparts, Senators authorized increases in nuclear weapons spending while cutting funding for nuclear cleanup efforts. Council for a Livable World voiced our concerns with a number of provisions, including the increased funding for the nuclear-armed sea-launched cruise missile (SLCM-N).
Council advocacy on both versions included letters to House and Senate offices that we helped coordinate and lead on behalf of the entire nuclear weapons policy community.
The House and Senate will now head to conference. We will continue advocating on your behalf to ensure the most favorable compromise bill possible.
Read analyses from our sister organization, the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, of both NDAAs as passed by the House and Senate Armed Services Committees.
SENATE DEFENSE BILL INCLUDES EXPANSION OF RADIATION SURVIVOR COMPENSATION
Despite mostly disappointing developments during consideration of the NDAA, the Senate provided one significant bright spot: the Senate-passed version of the bill included language expanding compensation for victims of nuclear testing and weapons production. The inclusion of important nuclear justice language to expand the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act, known as RECA, allows long overdue compensation for more survivors of the nuclear complex than were previously eligible.
Expanding RECA has long been a Council goal, and we are thrilled to see that it might finally become law, affecting survivors of nuclear weapons mining, testing and cleanup in New Mexico, Idaho, Colorado, Montana, Missouri and Guam.
Now is the time to let your elected official know that this language must be preserved in conference to ensure that these affected communities and veterans can finally be compensated.
2024 TAKES SHAPE AS 3 BIG SENATE QUESTIONS LOOM
Council for a Livable World has continued working to get leaders elected to Congress in 2024 that embody our mission and will push back against unnecessary military spending. Since last month, we have endorsed Rep. Susan Wild (D-PA-07)andRep. Greg Landsman (D-OH-01).
The 2024 election continues to take shape as more candidates declare and fundraising heats up. Looking at the list of 34 Senate races in 2024, where most incumbents have declared for reelection or announced their retirement, there are still three candidates who have yet to reveal their plans: Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV), Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ) and Mitt Romney (R-UT).
Sen. Manchin last won reelection as a Democrat, winning in 2018 50-46% in a state carried by President Donald Trump by 39 points. Manchin is being challenged by popular Gov. Jim Justice, who originally was elected as a Democrat but switched parties. Manchin has said he will not make a decision on reelection until the end of 2023. Rumblings of a possible third-party presidential run have also persisted.
Earlier this year, Sen. Sinema officially switched from Democrat to independent, but has yet to declare whether she will run for reelection and if so, which party. She is being challenged by Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ-03) and Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb (R-AZ), but other candidates may yet still declare.
Sen. Romney has made his disdain for Republican standard bearer Trump well-known. That view has made him an outlier among Utah Republicans. He also has not declared his intention to run in 2024, a race in which he could well face a Republican primary defeat.
If Manchin does not run, West Virginia will almost certainly elect a Republican to replace him. This causes headaches for Democrats who are already playing defense across the Senate map in 2024. Utah is a safe Republican seat though a non-Romney Senator is likely to be more conservative. In Arizona, current polls show Gallego ahead in a three-way race.
CHINA SHAKES UP NUCLEAR COMMAND
Xi Jinping carried out the highest-level upheaval in China’s military in more than five years, replacing Rocket Force’s two top commanders with inexperienced outsiders. Rocket Force is the sector of the People’s Liberation Army in charge of expanding China’s nuclear arsenal. This upheaval could signal issues in higher ranks, disrupting modernization.
As election season begins, the Council is still hard at work on its advocacy on Capitol Hill. Have you considered making a monthly donation to support our efforts to reduce and eventually eliminate nuclear threats through political action? You can donate as little as $1 a month. Become a monthly supporter today!
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