Policy Paper

Does the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency Have a Future?

in Program

Administrations come and go, the names of individuals and interagency committees change, but much remains the same with regard to the structure for arms control policy-making.

The ACDA director participates in National Security Council (NSC) deliberations on arms control, and he or his deputy participate in the arms control discussions of the Deputies Committee. The ”action” groups in the Bush administration are, first, the Arms Control Policy Coordinating Committee (PCC), which is chaired by a staff member of the NSC. ACDA assistant directors usually attend these pee meetings. On paper, this is supposed to be the real decision-making group, but apparently decisions are pretty hard to come by in this venue. The Arms Control PCC has several subcommittees that ACDA chairs or participates in.

Most of the action takes place in a second group, called the ”un­ group.” This interagency committee was formed about a year ago to accompany and support Secretary of State James Baker during negotiations. The un-group has the authority to make decisions on the spot. When attending, the ACDA director outranks all of the other members who, are usually at the assistant secretary level. The NSC chairs some un-group meetings in Washington. Un-group deliberations related to ministerial meetings are chaired by the Under-Secretary of State. According to our reports, the ACDA director and his deputy  are not influential members of the un-group.

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