The Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation is the Council’s affiliated 501(c)(3) research organization.
WHAT A BIDEN WIN MEANS FOR NATIONAL SECURITY AND NUCLEAR ISSUES
President-elect Joe Biden has been a champion for arms control his entire career — in fact, the Council endorsed him in his first Senate bid in 1972, becoming his first endorsement from a national organization. So, it was no surprise when the Council made its first ever presidential endorsement in his favor this summer. But now that he has won, what does it mean for supporters of smart nuclear arms control, an accountable Pentagon and ending forever wars?
Senior Policy Director Alexandra Bell writes that there are four steps Biden must take to reset the nuclear agenda: address the immediate crises with Russia, Iran and North Korea; build a stronger, more diverse team of experts; clearly communicate with the public and allies; and, finally, ignore the cynics who oppose diplomacy and cooperation. “There is no doubt that Biden will face a slew of arms control and nonproliferation challenges, but few presidents have been better prepared for the task,” Bell writes.
Meanwhile, Senior Fellow John Isaacs writes that there are many national security-related actions Biden can take without Congressional approval, including extending the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) with Russia, reentering the Iran nuclear deal, establishing deterrence as the sole purpose of the U.S. nuclear arsenal, and canceling plans to develop needless new weapons.
TRUMP CONTINUES TO TRY TO CAUSE TROUBLE IN IRAN
The New York Times reports that on November 12, President Donald Trump asked about his options to strike Iran’s primary nuclear facility at Natanz. His few remaining advisors, Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and a few others, dissuaded him on the grounds that it could spark a military confrontation in the waning days of his presidency. Still, the threat of conflict will remain until January 20, as the Trump administration also works to tie President-elect Biden’s hands on Iran via new sanctions. These bad-faith efforts will heighten concerns in Tehran that any nuclear deal can survive domestic U.S. politics.
However, in his most clear statement yet, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Iran would fully implement its obligations under the 2015 Iran nuclear deal if Biden lifts sanctions on Tehran. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported last week that Iran continued to accumulate low-enriched uranium but at a slightly lower rate than in previous terms. There remain IAEA queries about samples taken at the atomic warehouse in Tehran, but Iran continues to cooperate with IAEA investigations. Biden has made clear that he would return to the nuclear deal if Iran began to faithfully implement its obligations again. Here’s what Iran would need to do to return to compliance.
DEFENSE SPENDING NEGOTIATIONS UNDERWAY
Negotiations on a nearly $700 billion defense spending package are underway on Capitol Hill. Here’s a look at how the Senate Appropriations Committee hopes to allocate that money and here are select comparisons between the House and Senate authorization bills. The authorization and appropriations bills are separate but work in tandem to finalize annual defense spending.
HELP US CONTINUE THE FIGHT FOR A MORE LIVABLE WORLD
If you are able, please consider using the Council’s new fundraising feature that allows you to donate to us your spare change from purchases made with your credit or debit card, make a one-time donation or set up a monthly donation. Your generosity empowers us to continue our work of vetting and supporting Congressional candidates and advocating progressive national security policies on Capitol Hill.
Senators up for election in 2022, by John Isaacs
Lessons from the Roosevelt: A Call for Improving the U.S. Navy’s Preparedness for Biological Threats, co-authored by Gregory Koblentz
Nuclear Weapons Will Soon Be Banned Under International Law, with a quote from Alexandra Bell
Trump Should Act Against Russia’s Use of Chemical Weapons, co-authored by Gregory Koblentz
HELP US FLIP GEORGIA IN THE SENATE
All eyes are on Georgia as its two Senate seats will be determined in a runoff election January 5. We have already endorsed Jon Ossoff, who is running against Sen. David Perdue, and have been contacted by Reverend Raphael Warnock about a potential endorsement in his race against Sen. Kelly Loeffler, which we hope to share potential news on soon. Meanwhile, we urge you to donate to Ossoff — the balance of the Senate hangs on these two seats.
RACES YOU HELPED WIN
It’s no secret that many people thought progressives would strengthen their majority in the House and possibly flip the Senate outright on election night, neither of which happened. But we had some good victories, including two new Democratic senators in Colorado and Arizona. The full list of our Congressional victories is below. Thank you for your enduring support of us and our candidates, and thank you for helping to build a more livable world.