Strong Advocate of Nuclear Security Wins Confirmation as Undersecretary of State for Arms Control

March 6, 2014

Choice Increases Prospects of Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty

Ploughshares Fund congratulates arms control negotiator Rose Gottemoeller and the U.S. Senate for confirming Gottemoeller as Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security. Gottemoeller has been a leading champion of effective and pragmatic arms control policy, serving as a lead negotiator for the New START treaty and helping lead U.S. efforts to reduce the nuclear threat.

"Rose Gottemoeller is superbly qualified for this position,” said Ploughshares Fund President Joe Cirincione, “we look forward to working with her on efforts to mitigate the risk that global nuclear arsenals pose to U.S. national security."

Global nuclear arsenals still stand at roughly 17,000 weapons, held in nine states including roughly 7,000 in the United States. Recent revelations have demonstrated that the U.S. nuclear force is dangerously insecure, increasing the risk of accidents and terrorist theft. Globally, nuclear weapons continue to be a destabilizing force in South Asia, around the Korean Peninsula and between the U.S. and Russia. The current State department team, already led by Gottemoeller as acting undersecretary, has done much to address these threats.

"Rose Gottemoeller is a strong advocate of the policies advanced by President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry, including the need to finally win Senate approval of the CTBT and reduce the role and numbers of our obsolete nuclear weapons," said Philip Yun, executive director and chief operating officer of Ploughshares Fund. "Her confirmation as under secretary recognizes the strong consensus among national security experts that nuclear weapons have become a liability rather than an asset."

Speaking last weekend at a commemoration of the Castle Bravo nuclear test on Bikini Atoll – an incident widely considered to be the largest radioactive accident in U.S. history – Gottemoeller reaffirmed her commitment to pushing forward practical steps on arms control poicy.

“I cannot emphasize strongly enough that it is precisely our deep understanding of the consequences of nuclear weapons -- including the dangerous health effects of nuclear explosive testing -- that has guided and motivated our efforts to reduce and ultimately eliminate these most dangerous and awe-inspiring weapons,” Gottemoeller said. “Entry into force of the CTBT is one such essential part of our pragmatic, step-by-step approach to eliminating nuclear dangers.”