The Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation is the Council’s affiliated 501(c)(3) research organization.
60TH ANNIVERSARY OF CUBAN MISSILE CRISIS
Today marks the 60th anniversary of the beginning of the Cuban Missile Crisis, a 13-day nuclear standoff between the United States and Soviet Union.
While we wish the tensions felt during that crisis were now distant history, unfortunately, that is not the case. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s dangerous nuclear threats have escalated nuclear tensions to levels unseen in the past 60 years.
As we continue our advocacy for a world free from nuclear threats, we acknowledge that we were founded just months before the crisis to prevent such nuclear disasters through political action. The Cuban Missile Crisis only reinforced the need for our work. A world without nuclear threats was possible then, and it is possible now.
In keeping with our mission to advocate diplomacy and inform elected officials and the public about nuclear threats, we’ve put together a new fact sheet about the Cuban Missile Crisis as well as a timeline, below, to illustrate not only what happened 60 years ago, but how quickly things could escalate today.
Thankfully, President John F. Kennedy and Premier Nikita Khrushchev knew their countries would not survive a nuclear war and kept the door to diplomacy open even at the height of the crisis. We must heed that lesson today and use diplomacy to pressure Russia to step back from the brink.
RUSSIAN MISSILES RAIN ACROSS UKRAINE; BIDEN WARNS OF ARMAGEDDON
A barrage of airstrikes has showered across Ukraine in the last week, hitting Kyiv, Odesa, Kharkiv and Lviv among other major cities. The missiles have targeted civilian infrastructure including heating and electrical stations and killed 11 people as well as injuring dozens more.
President Joe Biden warned that President Putin’s threats to use tactical nuclear weapons raised, “the prospect of Armageddon” to a degree not seen since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. Senior Policy Director John Erath spoke with Yahoo! News about the seriousness of the Russian threat and said, “I think they are prepared to follow through on the threat. I don’t think they want to. What [Biden] is saying is, ‘Hey, be careful. This is a road nobody wants to go down.'”
Secretary of State Antony Blinken revealed in late September, following widespread protests in Iran, that he did not “see any prospects in the very near term” of returning to the Iran deal. He lamented that Tehran has continuously added extraneous issues to negotiations that the United States simply cannot accept. American diplomats are also concerned about a UN probe that found unexplained traces of uranium at undisclosed Iranian sites.
State Department spokesperson Ned Price later announced that the Iran nuclear deal is “not our focus right now,” saying, “the Iranians have made very clear that this is not a deal that they have been prepared to make, a deal certainly does not appear imminent.” Price went on to praise the protestors in Iran and expressed American support for their rights to assembly and expression. Some officials hope that domestic unrest in Iran may incentivize leaders to agree to limiting their nuclear program in return for sanctions relief. The U.S. Treasury Department recently sanctioned the Morality Police for their role in the killing of the woman whose death sparked wide-scale protests across the country.
DID YOU MISS OUR WEBINAR WITH SEN. ED MARKEY?
The 2022 election cycle is in its final weeks and the House and Senate have recessed until after the polls close on November 8. Council for a Livable World continues our elections efforts, fundraising for candidates, educating campaigns and informing our supporters of the latest developments. On October 12, Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) joined our experts for a final webinar before the midterms, discussing what’s at stake on our issues, highlighting key races and fielding questions from attendees. Sen. Markey talked about the difference you make as a Council supporter and about what sparked his own advocacy on nuclear weapons issues. Our political experts highlighted 12 key races that need your attention in these final weeks before polls close. Watch the webinar and donate to some or all key races today.
NEW FACT SHEET SERIES HIGHLIGHTS CLOSE NUCLEAR CALLS
As we seek to inform lawmakers and the public about the past, these history lessons also serve as a warning for the present and future: as long as nuclear weapons exist, so do severe dangers.
CONGRESS LEAVES TOWN WITHOUT FINISHING DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION AND APPROPRIATIONS
With the start of the new fiscal year on October 1, Congress still has not completed its annual defense authorization and appropriations process. Before leaving town at the end of September, both chambers passed a short-term Continuing Resolution to fund the government at last year’s spending levels but still have to negotiate and pass funding bills for fiscal year 2023 by December 16 or pass additional stopgaps. The status of the fiscal year 2023 appropriations and authorization bills depends heavily on the outcome of the election.
On the defense authorization bill, which the House has already passed, the Senate took procedural steps to begin debate on its version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) this past week. Senators submitted more than 900 amendments to the Senate version, but only 75 were included in a manager’s package submitted by Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI). Senate leadership says they intend to pass the NDAA on the floor following the midterm elections recess and the House and Senate-passed versions of the bill will then be formally conferenced to produce a final bill. Read our just-published analysis of the Senate version of the bill.
As a reminder, the Council is a non-partisan organization, and has endorsed members of both major political parties, as well as Independents, in its 60-year history. We hope nuclear arms control will become a bipartisan issue again someday soon. Meanwhile, contribute to Council-endorsed candidates today and read more about news from the campaigns we’re following in the Council’s Political News and Notes.
NUCLEAR READING RECOMMENDATIONS Last month, we shared with you reading recommendations from Executive Director and Former Congressman John Tierney and asked if you had any of your own. Here’s what one of our readers recommends: