The Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation is the Council’s affiliated 501(c)(3) research organization.
WORKING WITH PRESIDENT-ELECT JOE BIDEN
So far, we at the Council are optimistic about the selection of many of Biden’s Cabinet picks whose focuses overlap with ours, including Secretary of State nominee Antony Blinken, Climate Change Envoy appointee John Kerry, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations nominee Linda Thomas-Greenfield, Director of National Intelligence nominee Avril Haines, National Security Advisor appointee Jake Sullivan, Secretary of Defense nominee Lloyd Austin and Secretary of Energy nominee Jennifer Granholm. We know that not everyone is thrilled about every pick, but we remain confident that the Biden administration will work to reduce nuclear threats, restore morale and purpose at the State Department after four years of damage, and try to rein in out-of-control defense spending.
Meanwhile, while our team continues to focus primarily on Congressional work, we have met with various members of the Biden transition team to provide our expert analysis and insight on the most critical national security issues we’ll face over the next four years.
INCOMING BIDEN ADMINISTRATION FACES NEW TIME CONTRAINTS FOR IRAN DIPLOMACY
Once implemented, the legislation will require Iran to immediately take steps to enrich greater quantities of uranium and up to a much higher level. Around the end of February, Iran will stop implementing the Additional Protocol, which will reduce the number of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors in Iran (not kick them all out as has been reported), and limit the tools inspectors will have to verify the non-diversion of nuclear material to any sort of clandestine program. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has tried to extend this timeline for President-elect Biden by refusing to sign the legislation, but it is in the process of being implemented over his objections.
We also learned recently that there is new construction underway at Fordo, an Iranian underground enrichment facility, but Research Analyst Samuel Hickey says that while this does raise red flags, this might not be a huge cause for concern: either the construction has been registered with the IAEA, or it’s civilian. Read more from Hickey on Iran
DEFENSE SPENDING BILLS MAKE IT THROUGH CONGRESS, MIGHT FACE VETO
Here is our analysis of the final authorization bill, which, along with the appropriations bill, will provide $740.5 billion in defense-related funding, including around $44.5 billion for nuclear weapons. In case you need a refresher, here are a blog post and a graphic on how the National Defense Authorization Act are passed.
HELP US CONTINUE THE FIGHT FOR A MORE LIVABLE WORLD
Congress is (finally) paying attention to missile defense costs and failures, by John Isaacs and Samuel Hickey
Reinforcing Saudi Arabia’s Non-Proliferation Obligations, by intern Evan O. Lisman
We Can’t Fix Systemic Injustice Without Addressing the Nuclear Threat, by Office Manager Isabel Martinez
Death by DNA, a radio interview featuring Gregory Koblentz, member of the Center’s Scientists Working Group
Trump left the Open Skies Treaty, but don’t write it off yet, with a quote from Senior Policy Director Alexandra Bell
HELP US FLIP GEORGIA IN THE SENATE
RACES YOU HELPED WIN