The Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation is the Council’s affiliated 501(c)(3) research organization.
UKRAINE SUFFERS TROOP SHORTAGE AGAINST RUSSIA
The Ukrainian Armed Forces are suffering serious manpower and munition problems as the Russian offensive pushes deeper into the Donetsk Oblast. One anonymous Ukrainian official lamented that the number of tanks promised by the West was “symbolic,” and that the lack of supplies impedes Kyiv’s ability to launch a spring counteroffensive.
A German official estimates that Ukrainian casualties have amounted to as high as 120,000 though the true numbers are unknown. New troops are reportedly in need of Western training to be effective. Ukrainian intelligence reported last month that Russia had more than 325,000 soldiers in the country and another 150,000 mobilized troops that could join the war. Russian soldiers are, however, poorly equipped and less motivated compared to their Ukrainian counterparts.
In a deal brokered by China, Iran and Saudi Arabia renewed diplomatic relations and overcame one of the hurdles toward denuclearizing the Middle East. The two countries agreed, for the first time since 2016, to reopen embassies and exchange ambassadors as well as respect each other’s territorial sovereignty. The regional rivalry between Iran and Saudi Arabia has been a lingering issue that has stifled negotiations on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA, better known as the Iran nuclear deal) for years. Beijing has previously voiced support for settling the Iranian nuclear issue while simultaneously repeating Iranian talking points. The pro-regime Tehran Timesreported that such an agreement raised the likelihood of resuming JCPOA talks. While the development is still embryonic, it shows a positive development for non-proliferation.
CHINA VOICES PROLIFERATION WORRIES OVER AUKUS
China criticized the United States, United Kingdom and Australia for a recent agreement — commonly called AUKUS — to share nuclear submarine technology. Ultimately, the kind of fuel that AUKUS-produced submarines will use is unknown and is a concern for non-proliferation experts. Learn more:Low-Enriched Uranium for Naval Reactors. Australia has approached the International Atomic Energy Agency to explore how submarine fuel might be safeguarded to avoid proliferation risk.
On March 16, the Senate advanced significant legislation to terminate the 1991 and 2002 Authorizations to Use Military Force (AUMF) that justified the U.S. invasions of Iraq. A key preliminary vote approved the termination 68-27, with an extraordinary 19 Republican Senators voting aye. Final passage of the measure is expected the week of March 20. Then it is on to the House, which in previous years has approved similar legislation. After 20 years, success is around the corner.
BIDEN’S BIG BAD BUDGET
The Biden administration has begun the process of releasing its fiscal year 2024 budget request, including another significant increase in defense spending. Topline numbers were released last week and additional details have begun to trickle out. For Council for a Livable World, the bottom line is this: the topline for defense spending is $28 billion above that just provided in December without a strategy or adequate planning for efficient spending. Council for a Livable World has already begun its work to push back against this increase in Congress.
DID SOMEONE SAY ELECTION SEASON?
The 2022 midterm elections seem barely in the rearview, but the 2024 election cycle is approaching rapidly. Council for a Livable World completed drafting of its 2024 candidate questionnaire and plans to begin outreach to campaigns soon.
The Senate map is not favorable for progressives, but a closely divided House lends itself to a number of potential pick-ups. Ohio and North Carolina may still revisit their congressional maps, which could complicate House races in 2024, but Council for a Livable World will work diligently to endorse and support candidates working to acheive our goals.
STATEMENT ON PASSING OF REP. PATRICIA SCHROEDER
Upon hearing the news of the passing of former Rep. Patricia Schroeder, the Council released a statement on behalf of Executive Director and former Rep. John Tierney praising Schroeder’s commitment to arms control and lamenting the loss of a former chair of the Council’s PeacePAC, which raises funds for House candidates who support smart policies to reduce and eventually eliminate nuclear threats.
NATIONAL SECURITY LEGISLATIVE CALENDAR RESUMES
Senior Fellow John Isaacs has resumed weekly publication of the Council’s National Security Legislative Calendar, which is generally emailed each Monday that Congress is in session. Highlights this week included progress in termination of an Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF) in the Senate, an unusual House vote to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria (unsuccessful) and brief summary of the Biden administration’s Fiscal Year 2024 Pentagon budget. You may subscribe to the weekly online publication here.
Elections are over and now it’s time for the Council to ramp up its advocacy work 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!
820 1st Street NE, Suite LL-180
Washington, D.C. 20002