Council: Front and Center – April 11

An update on arms control, national security & politics from Council for a Livable World and the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation.


Iran Talks Breakthrough:

Last week, the P5+1 countries came together in Lausanne, Switzerland to announce they’d come to an historic agreement on a framework deal to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran. After more than a year of supporting these negotiations, Council for a Livable World was thrilled to see diplomacy bear fruit andissued this statement to the press offering praise and encouragement as world diplomats inch toward the finish line.

Our Letter to the President:

This week marked the anniversaries of two of President Obama’s most laudable accomplishments on nuclear weapons: the signing of the New START agreement, and his historic speech in Prague. The Council and Center took this opportunity to write a letter to the President with recommendations on how he can improve his legacy on sensible nuclear weapons policies before the end of his term. Read the letter on our website!

Attention New Englanders: TONIGHT in Boston

Tonight, we will be in Boston for a night of expert analysis, substantive discussion, and fun at our event,Politics on the Edge: From Boston to Tehran. We’re excited to feature Council-endorsed former Senate candidate Shenna Bellows, Council Board Member and Iran expert Dr. Jim Walsh of MIT, and Executive Director Angela Canterbury. Tickets are still available!

Angela Canterbury will also be a featured speaker today at the Tax Day Forum, a free event hosted by Budget For All Coalition. The forum will be held at the Old South Church (645 Boylston Street) at 2:00pm, with lunch served.

We hope to meet many of you in Boston today!


Tell Congress: Let Diplomacy Succeed

For some in Congress, the Iran framework agreement reinvigorated efforts to derail negotiations, especially in the form of a bill sponsored by Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), which would allow Congress to veto a final deal. For our part, we’ve been actively lobbying the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to urge them to vote no on the poison pill bill next week.

Help us amplify this message. Sign our petition and call your Member of Congress toll free at 1-855 68 NO WAR to tell them you support the framework agreement and oppose legislation that could derail the negotiations.


Laicie on the Ed Show

Among her many media appearances from the past few weeks, Laicie Heeley was back on MSNBC’s “The Ed Show” as Iran diplomacy neared its temporary finale last week. On the segment, Laicie recalled that our inability to trust Iran is the reason behind negotiating with them in the first place. Watch her interview.


Our Experts Back Diplomacy

As negotiators toiled in Switzerland to produce a framework deal, our board members and experts offered their analysis of the agreement to the media. Center Board Member Ed Levine was interviewed by The Washington Post on the deal’s aftermath in Congress. An op-ed praising the agreement by Center Board Member Colonel Richard Klass was published by CNN. And, Center Science Fellow Phil Coyle was quoted by the Los Angeles Times on the unprecedented verification features contained in the agreement.

In the Know on Iran

The agreement reached with Iran over its nuclear program is by no means easy to understand. That’s why Policy Associate Sarah Tully and Scoville Fellow Greg Terryn have each distilled the complex framework deal down to the need-to-know elements. Read Sarah’s takeaways on the Chain Reaction blog and Greg’s on Nukes of Hazard.

In addition to outlining the major facets, we also compiled a list of reactions in Congress to the agreement. Many Members were quick to offer praise, while others just as quick to skepticism and cynicism. Read more from Sarah Tully on Nukes of Hazard.

Funny Money and the Power of the Purse

Before its two-week recess, Congress approved budget resolutions that bloated the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) fund to $92 billion in the House and $89 billion in the Senate. Sarah Tully offers this picture of Congress’ idea of fiscal discipline—or lack thereof: “Congress’s abuse of OCO is like opening up another line of credit, even though it has already maxed out several credit cards.” Read her post on Nukes of Hazard.

The U.S. Falls Behind

Just in time for the anniversary of New START, numbers revealed last week that the United States now has more deployed nuclear weapons than Russia. “Imagine these warhead stockpiles as your post-lunch weigh-in. This time, Russia went for the salad,” writes Sarah Tully on the Nukes of Hazard blog. [4/8]

Draw Down Let Down

On the Chain Reaction Blog, Senior Fellow John Isaacs examines how a slowing of U.S. troops withdrawal from Afghanistan underscores the hard-learned lesson of Iraq, Vietnam, and more: wars are always easier to get into than out of. [4/8]

Surprising Support

From Jeb Bush to the Saudi Arabian King to Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly, critics of diplomacy with Iran came out in droves to nod in approval of the framework agreement reached last week. Senior Fellow John Isaacs has a full list of surprising supporters on the Chain Reaction blog. [4/8]

If You Liked Iraq & Afghanistan, You’ll Love Iran
Veteran and Council Board Member Matthew Hoh knows war. In a recent article on The Huffington Postblog, Hoh reminds us of the consequences of over a decade of (losing) wars in the Middle East, with the hopes of bringing Congress back to reality as it seeks to start anew down that deleterious path with Iran.Click here to read the article. [4/7]


Before and after we got word from Lausanne, we made several infographics highlighting support for diplomacy with Iran. Check out our Facebook page to view our album of all our pro-diplomacy graphics! Below are a few of our favorites: