Arms Control Essay Contest Seeks Your Innovative Ideas

A student works with a computer and a calculator during a pilot math class in Reynoldsburg, Ohio, February 2012. [AP File Photo]

About the Author: Grant Schneider serves in the Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance (AVC).

The State Department’s Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance (AVC) is in the final stages of its Innovation in Arms Control Challenge, and we hope to announce the results soon. In the meantime, we aren’t slowing down. AVC has a new competition ready to go, and this time we will be engaging American and Russian citizens through the 2012-13 International Arms Control Essay Contest

We are looking for ideas from citizens of the United States and Russia to offer innovative ideas on how to reduce the risks posed by weapons of mass destruction… more »

Reaching for the Stars in South Africa

Deputy Assistant Secretary for Space and Defense Policy Frank Rose poses for a photo with the U.S. delegation on his recent trip to South Africa for the first ever U.S.-South Africa Space Security Dialogue in South Africa, July 2012. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]

About the Author: Kimberly Coniam and Jaisha Wray serve as Foreign Affairs Officers in the Office of Missile Defense and Space Policy in the Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance.

The United States is leading the way in preserving space for the benefit of all nations. International cooperation and collaboration in space, particularly with established and emerging space-faring nations, is a priority for the Department of State. By working together with space-faring nations to adopt approaches for responsible activity in space, we can preserve the use of space for future generations. 

We accompanied Deputy Assistant Secretary for Space and Defense Policy Frank Rose on his recent trip to South Africa for the first ever U.S.-South Africa Space Security Dialogue. This Dialogue was an important opportunity to exchange viewpoints on initiatives to improve the long term sustainability of the space environment, such as anInternational… more »

Anniversary of the Trinity Test and the Dawn of the Atomic Age

Trinity test image, showing that sixteen milliseconds after the bomb exploded, the mushroom cloud had already taken shape, July 16, 1945. [Image courtesy U.S. Department of Energy and the Los Alamos National Laboratories]

About the Author: Blake Narendra serves in the Bureau of Arms Control Verification and Compliance (AVC).

The United States conducted the world’s first nuclear explosive test, codenamed “Trinity,” 67 years ago this month in the southern New Mexico desert. The atomic age was born.

The former Soviet Union conducted a test of its own nuclear device four years later, sparking an arms race that saw more than 2,000 nuclear explosive tests in the decades to follow.

The Trinity Test had an explosive yield of 10 kilotons (releasing an energy equivalent of 10,000 metric tons of dynamite). The test was literally an earthshaking feat in the fields of science and technology, but also a sobering moment for those involved. It ushered in nearly two decades of further atmospheric testing of nuclear devices.

"[It was] an awesome and foul display," Harvard Physicist and Trinity Test Director Kenneth Bainbridge said.

In the years since 1945, thinking… more »

Boosting Missile Defense Cooperation in Europe

A U.S. Navy officer looks on, from his station next to the weapons control deck of the USS Monterey in the Black Sea port of Constanta, Romania, June 7, 2011. The USS Monterey, a war ship carrying AEGIS class ballistic missile defense technology arrived in Romania to offer training and familiarize Romanian officers to this technology. [AP File Photo]

About the Author: Frank Rose serves as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Space and Defense Policy in the Bureau of Arms Control, Verification, and Compliance.

The European Phased Adaptive Approach to missile defense (or EPAA) is designed to protect our deployed forces and Allies in Europe, as well as improve protection of the U.S. homeland against potential ICBMs from the Middle East.

Today, there is a growing threat from short-, medium-, and intermediate-range ballistic missiles to our deployed forces, allies, and partners. This threat is likely to increase in the coming years as some states make their ballistic missiles more accurate, reliable, and survivable.

That is why in 2009, President Obama outlined a four-phase approach for European missile defense that would augment the defense of the United States against a future long-term threat and provide more comprehensive and more rapid protection to our deployed forces and European Allies against the current threat. The President made clear his commitment to… more »

Flying Aboard an Open Skies Mission
Alexander Borman, an Intern in the Office of Euro-Atlantic Security Affairs in the Bureau of Arms Control, Verification, and Compliance (AVC/ESA), joins an inspection team to examine the Russian Tupolev-154 aircraft in summer 2011. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]

About the Author: Alexander Borman serves as an Intern in the Office of Euro-Atlantic Security Affairs in the Bureau of Arms Control, Verification, and Compliance (AVC/ESA).

This past week, I had the privilege of representing the Department of State aboard a Russian military jet flying over the United States under the Open Skies Treaty. For those who are not familiar, the Open Skies Treaty, in order to promote transparency and confidence building among the 34 Parties to the Treaty, provides these States Parties the ability to fly a limited number of unarmed observation flights over any part of any signatory. The previous nine weeks of my internship in Washington D.C. provided me with ample background to understand the treaty implementation I witnessed first-hand.

State Department internships are 10 weeks. They offer undergraduate and graduate students the… more »

Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance Rose Gottemoeller delivers remarks at a high-level meeting on “Revitalizing the Work of the Conference on Disarmament” at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations in New York on July 27, 2011.

New START Treaty Implementation: Off and Running
Joint portrait of the U.S. and Russian START follow-on delegations standing on the steps of the Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations in Geneva, April 6, 2010. Standing at the center are heads of delegation Rose Gottemoeller, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Verification, Compliance, and Implementation, and Ambassador Anatoly Antonov, Director of the Department of Security and Disarmament Affairs, Foreign Ministry of the Russian Federation, to the U.S. Mission for the closing plenary of the new START negotiations. [U.S. Mission Geneva Photo by Eric Bridiers/ Public Domain]

About the Author: Jerry Taylor serves as the Director of the Office of Strategic Affairs in the Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance.

Over the course of the last two years, the United States and the Russian Federation negotiated, signed, and ratified the New START Treaty. The Treaty entered into force on February 5, 2011, and the implementation of that Treaty is now well underway.

The pace of activity has been impressive. We have already exchanged 1,000 notifications on our strategic nuclear facilities and forces. This information forms the foundation of the Treaty’s database, which is continuously updated by both countries through the notification process and will be exchanged every six months throughout the life of the Treaty. You can find the New START Treaty aggregate numbers of strategic offensive arms here, as of February 5, 2011, as drawn from the initial exchange of data by the Parties.

In March, the United… more »