Secretary Clinton Announces New Arms Control, Verification and Compliance Bureau

February 24, 2010
Destroyed Libyan Missles

About the Author: Ellen Tauscher serves as the Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security.

In Prague last April, President Obama set forth a vision for how to meet the urgent threats posed by the spread of nuclear weapons. Under his leadership and with the hard work of the State Department, the United States is working to build a renewed international consensus on arms control and nonproliferation that is based on common concern and shared responsibility.

To implement the President's agenda, the State Department is undertaking a focused reorganization that will make arms control the centerpiece of a newly named Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance (VCI) and concentrate the focus of Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation (ISN) on the proliferation challenges we face.

This targeted reorganization is not just bureaucratic reshuffling. The reorganization addresses management goals recommended in a 2009 report by the Government Accountability Office. This process will take about two months, and we plan to work closely with the staff of the ISN and VCI bureaus and consult with the Congress.

Secretary Clinton is personally committed to an open and effective reorganization and will review and make the final decision on the reorganization plan before it goes into effect this spring -- moving us one step closer to achieving the President's vision of a world without weapons of mass destruction.



United States
February 25, 2010

Zharkov in USA writes:

You might want to send a message to Mr. Gates at the Pentagon to remind him of the promise to stop using depleted uranium ammunition and phase in tungsten ammunition as a replacement.

Nobody believes the WHO whitewash of DU contamination.

The use of depleted uranium (DU) is arguably a war crime.

DU is killing our troops.

A special investigation on the effects of depleted uranium reveals the Army made a tape warning of the effects of depleted uranium which was never shown to troops despite the fact the Pentagon knew the agent to be potentially deadly, CNN reports. (Feb 6, 2007)

Veterans, using their positive test results as evidence, have sued the U.S. Army, claiming officials knew the hazards of depleted uranium, but concealed the risks.
August 12, 2006

Arms control begins with us. Let's stop using DU rounds so that we don't have to spend time and money later to clean up radioactive waste in foreign countries.

Donald M.
Virginia, USA
February 25, 2010

Donald M. in Virginia writes:

2 24 10

Outstanding progess towards peace by collecting these deadly weapons and destroying them before someone gets killed. I'm for arms reduction and the destruction of weapons that will destroy human life. This tactic will save lives. Well done and keep up the good work! This kind of work is needed to bring peace to the world. Too many weapons and too many land mines, which meant too many arms dealers getting rich while innocent lives have been taken.


Michelle J.
United States
February 25, 2010

Michelle J. in USA writes:

I strongly agree on the Presidents vision here. I agree that the state Department and our United States has to work truly closer than ever on this topic. I really enjoyed reading this post. Thank you madam Secretary Clinton for your grate efforts and focus on New Arms Control and Thank you Madam Tauscher. For you President Obama a thought or two I know you will keep this vision strong and true and praise you for your vision in building and creating the focus on New Arms Control. I do feel the challenges the Department faces needs to stay focused on common concern and shared responsibilities mentioned.God Bless all of you in your Challenge that is ahead in the coming months.May the Force be with you all.

mary w.
District Of Columbia, USA
March 2, 2010

Mary W. in Washington, DC writes:

Thanks for this info - will the new bureau cover weapons of mass destruction or all weapons? What about antipersonnel landmines? The US Department of State needs to engage with its allies on the Mine Ban Treaty and not just fund clearance and assistance to victims of this weapon.

New Mexico, USA
March 20, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Under Secretary Ellen Tauscher,


Dipnote blog entry makes news;

My first impression after reading the article is that putting out a "nuts and bolts" briefing by a senior official ( hint..hint..), on the how and why of the restructuring might help the common understanding of the evolution of non-proliferation measures and verification protocols.

As well as how that effects orginizational structuring to meet the global challenge posed by ethical infants.

When the "Godfather of non-proliferation" (as I fondly think of Sen. Lugar in his mentoring of the process over decades) writes a letter of concern then it would be wise to take heed of it I think and address the ethical boundaries he outlined in that those that do verification shouldn't be doing the negotiation of treaties.

If in some cases it becomes nessesary for someone to wear two hats, then I think it would be good in testimony to let folks know what hat they are wearing when speaking.

I don't know that this would address the issue completely, but it might avoid misunderstandings of job description.

The article mentions "Lugar also pointed out that the White House has yet to submit a nominee to lead the International Security and Nonproliferation Bureau. The agency is managed by acting Assistant Secretary Vann Van Diepen.""At present, it is not clear if the administration intends to submit a nominee ... before it takes any action to reorganize the ISN Bureau," the senior lawmaker said.


So I had to ask myself what would be the first thing I'd do on the job if I were so unlikely to be picked out of the blue.

Just so I knew everyone was up to speed with where things are at I'd have folks pull all the data and compile it for public release in a "country report" styled after State's "human rights country report" put out annually. I'd intend to name arms merchants and make them infamous public pariahs.

This way both the public and congress can guage for themselves how well humanity is doing on getting a grip and whether my team is doing its job properly.

I'd take a public attitude that very seldom is so much owed by so many to so few, so consistantly by those who seek sanity by treaty in reducing nuclear stockpiles.

And with that, I anticipate getting every budget request filled, and fostering a "can do" attitude in the workplace.

I'm more concered with the morale problem that exists because the world seems to be losing its grip on proliferation, than any temporary inconvieniance a dept reshuffle may pose on employees.

So I'm going to bring in a full sized pool table into the office so that folks can freely discus strategy and tactics or anything else on their mind while lining up their best shot.

At that table the intern would have as much imput as the dept head, as folks bring their A-game to bear with ideas.

That will provide some healthy stress relief while anticipating miracles of epiphany.

It will give other dept's and agencies an excuse to drop by, grab a stick and share ideas I think.


Latest Stories