Council: Front and Center – August 22

An update on arms control, national security, and politics from Council for a Livable World and the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation. 
What’s News:
Where Does Your Member Stand?
Council for a Livable World has put together a whip list to track our progress toward the ultimate goal of garnering support from more than one third of each chamber of Congress, which is needed to support the President’s veto of a Republican-led resolution of disapproval of the deal, should it come to that. The highest priority right now is generating calls and emails of support directed to undeclared lawmakers. To contact your member of Congress to encourage them to support this deal, visit our take action page now.
Celebrating the Life and Lasting Legacy of Julian Bond: 1940-2015
Julian Bond—a former Council for a Livable World Advisory Board Member, an important leader of the 1960s civil rights movement, a lifelong champion of equal rights and a fighter for a progressive national security policy—died on August 15, 2015. His work as chairman of the NAACP is well known; less known is his vigorous opposition to the Vietnam War at a time when it was controversial to mix civil rights and anti-war work.
Notably, just before he passed, he gave this ringing endorsement of the Iran nuclear deal:
“I have been involved in the struggle for justice and peace for more than a half century. In that time, I have seen issues which divided the nation along deep unbridgeable chasms and others that brought us together in the common pursuit of a shared vision for a better tomorrow. Today we have before us an issue that should unite all Americans, supporting the nuclear agreement with Iran. This historic diplomatic accord will not only help prevent the proliferation of mankind’s most heinous weapon, it will help avoid yet another disastrous war in the Middle East.”
Take Action:
A Letter of Your Own
Calls and emails to Congress are important ways to make your voice heard, but while your member of Congress is back in your district or state for the August recess, they may be checking the local newspaper to gauge public support for the Iran agreement. Take 5 minutes now to write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper. We even provide talking points to help you begin your draft! Enter your zip code to start, and get writing.
27 Days to Stop a War
The Iran deal opposition may have deep pockets, but we have deep grassroots support for a diplomatic solution to Iran’s nuclear program. All across the country, members of Congress are hosting town hall events, where they want to hear from their constituents on this agreement before making their final decision. Council for a Livable World has teamed up with MoveOn and other partner organizations to co-sponsor “60 Days to Stop a War,” a one-stop shop where you can locate and even add your own town hall events taking place in your district or state. Get started by clicking here.
Election Center:
Politics for a Livable World
With Presidential candidates dominating the headlines these days, the 2016 election is slowly creeping to the forefront. That’s why Senior Fellow John Isaacs has wasted no time in churning out useful analysis for Politics for a Livable World, our new hub for all things elections. This week, be sure to check out thelatest political tip sheet covering new and hot races, as well as a 2016 Senate races roundup.
Competitive Senate Races Chart
In one easy chart, you can learn all you need to know about the 2016 Senate races in any given state, including factors like important endorsers (including CLW!), date of the state’s primary election, early outcome predictions, and fundraising totals. Many thanks to longtime friends of the Council Riley and Rebecca Newman for producing and updating this valuable resource. View it on our website.
A Vote of Conscience
As members of Congress contemplate perhaps the most important foreign policy decision of their career, they must consider: How exactly will this agreement stop Iran from a bomb? What are the alternatives? What’s at stake? And most importantly, how will my vote impact U.S. and world security? Executive Director Angela Canterbury addresses all of these and more in her latest piece for CQ Roll Call.Read it here.
Senator Dorgan Takes a Stand
Council Advisory Board Member and former Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) has 30 years of experience as a member of Congress, and he knows when it’s time to stop playing politics with issues of national security. The Iran nuclear agreement, he argues, is such a time. Read his op-ed for the North DakotaInForum.
Over 70 Experts Endorse the Deal
In a new letter backing the Iran nuclear agreement, over 70 nuclear non-proliferation experts give their reasons as to why this deal is a “net plus” for preventing the spread of nuclear weapons worldwide. Among the experts are Council Board Member Dr. Jim Walsh, as well as Center Board Members Ed Levine, Sharon Squassoni, and Center Advisory Board Member Frank Von Hippel. Read the letter on our website.
Former Brass Back the Deal
Thirty-six retired admirals and generals recently penned a letter of their own, urging Congress not to reject this good, diplomatic option to stop Iran from a bomb and avoid another military conflict. The signatories include Council Advisory Board Member Brig. Gen. John Johns, Center Board Chair Lt. Gen. Robert Gard, and Center Advisory Board Members Gen. Joseph P. Hoar and Lt. Gen. Arlen “Dirk” Jameson.
Who Else?
Former military leaders and nuclear experts are just two of a handful of prominent groups to have publicly praised the Iran deal. Check out this factsheet on “Who Supports the Iran Nuclear Agreement”to learn about the significant support for the deal.
Saying No to $700 Billion
A recent report revealed that the U.S. is preparing to spend $704 billion on modernizing each leg of the nuclear triad over the next few decades. Read our commentary on this unaffordable overhaul on the Nukes of Hazard Blog.
Finding the Rational in “Operational”
After years of delays, cost overruns, and technical malfunctioning, the Marines have finally announced that the F-35 fighter jet is “operational” and ready for combat. But how operational, exactly, is “operational,” and is it worth the $1.5 trillion price tag? Read our take on the Nukes of Hazard Blog.
Be Social:
On August 10, Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) became the 17th Democratic Senator to support the Iran nuclear negotiations. Share the graphic below to amplify Sen. Schatz’s pro-diplomacy statement, or visit our website to contribute to Sen. Schatz’s 2016 Senate campaign.
Schatz statement Iran council