Bipartisan National Security Officials Call on Congress to Prevent Nuclear Terrorism

Media Contacts: Jack Brosnan, Program Manager, Partnership for a Secure America, 202-293-8580;

22 Countries Have Weapons Usable Material: What Could Go Wrong?

Monday, October 22nd – Partnership for a Secure America, the Arms Control Association, and Hudson Institute held the third and final event of The Nuclear Security Forum. Alarmed by nuclear smuggling and terrorist efforts to acquire WMD, world leaders have strengthened standards to protect dangerous materials but theft, trafficking, and terrorism remain potent problems. This briefing […]

First-Ever Study Finds Congressional Attention on Nuclear Security Waning as Nuclear Terrorism Threat Persists

For Immediate Release: July 26, 2016


Media Contacts: Nathan Sermonis, Executive Director, Partnership for a Secure America, (202) 293-8580; Jack Brosnan, Program Associate, Partnership for a Secure America, 202-293-8580; Kingston Reif, Director for Disarmament and Threat Reduction Policy. Arms Control Association, 202-463-8270 ext. 104; Tony Fleming, Director for Communications and Operations, Arms Control Association, 202-463-8270 ext. 110


(Washington, D.C.)—A new report from Partnership for a Secure America and the Arms Control Association reveals a concerning diminution of congressional leadership and interest in critical efforts to prevent nuclear terrorism.


The report, Empowering Congress on Nuclear Security: Blueprints for a New Generation, assesses current congressional staff attitudes about nuclear security and explores the role of Congress and case studies in congressional leadership on this issue. The report also offers action items for lawmakers in enhancing nuclear security efforts and reducing global stockpiles of nuclear materials.


“As the threat of nuclear terrorism continues to loom, America must maintain its leadership of global efforts to keep dangerous nuclear and radiological materials out of the wrong hands,” said Nathan Sermonis, Executive Director of Partnership for a Secure America. “Unfortunately, congressional interest has steeply declined with nuclear security faded from the headlines. We need, however, an all-of-government approach to advance the most effective measures against this threat.”


This joint report, made possible by funding provided by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, comes at a time when national attention on the security of nuclear and radioactive materials is decreasing even as these materials remain at risk from theft and more countries express interest in nuclear research and development.


“Despite significant progress in securing and eliminating nuclear materials around the world and the continued dedicated leadership role of several lawmakers, there is a need for Congress to play a more active role in shaping nuclear security policy,” noted Kingston Reif, Director for Disarmament and Threat Reduction Policy at the Arms Control Association. “We provide an important blueprint to build upon Congress’ historic bipartisan achievements on nuclear security and engage a new generation of policy advisers on Capitol Hill.”


To mark the publication of the report, Partnership for a Secure America and the Arms Control Association will be hosting an invitation-only event July 26 on Capitol Hill for congressional staff. The event will feature Ambassador Linton BrooksAmbassador Bonnie Jenkins, and General Frank Klotz.
For more information about the report, please contact Partnership for a Secure America at or (202) 293-8580, or the Arms Control Association at or (202) 463-8270 ext. 104.

Renewed Prospects for Peace on the Korean Peninsula?

On May 22, the United States Institute of Peace’s Senior Expert on North Korea, Frank Aum and the Senior Research Fellow on Northeast Asia at The Heritage Foundation, Bruce Klingner discussed the available options for President Trump at a US-North Korea Summit

Roundtable: Congressional Leadership on Nuclear Security

On Thursday, February 2nd Partnership for a Secure America held a roundtable dinner discussion for a select group of Congressional staff  to discuss the results of PSA’s ongoing work with the Arms Control Association to build bipartisan engagement and restore Congressional leadership on nuclear security.

Prospects for Peace on the Korean Peninsula: U.S. and China

On October 16th, United States Institute of Peace Director for China Programs, Jennifer Staats and former Deputy Commander, US Forces Korea, Lt. General (Ret.) Jan-Marc Jouas discussed options to address the North Korean crisis and ideas for potential areas of cooperation or coordination between the U.S. and China.

Why Korean Reunification is in China’s Strategic National Interest

Yanbian University, Yanji, China – Jamie Metzl, Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for Partnership for a Secure America (PSA), spoke at the Chinese Summit Forum on Korean Peninsula Studies. Metzl made a strong case for why it is in China’s national interest to rein in North Korea’s nuclear ambitions and, ultimately, to support the reunification of the Korean peninsula under South Korean law. 

North Korea in 2017

The Kim regime has continued to oppress its own citizens in North Korea, with a UN Commission of Inquiry calling its program of suppression a “crime against humanity.”North Korea remains closed off from the world, new ideas, and new opportunities, and continues to threaten its neighbors; occasionally launching unprovoked attacks. Recently North Korea’s rapidly developing nuclear and missile programs grabbed global attention with the successful launch of an ICBM on July 4th. As North Korea’s nuclear weapons program continues its race toward full, deliverable weaponization, it continues to sow regional instability and threatens to ignite an arms race in Asia.

The Perspective of the Kim Regime

The Kim regime views nuclear weaponization as beneficial to their prestige, leverage, and the stability of its leadership. North Korea is racing to develop deliverable nuclear weapons capability in order to prevent the type of foreign intervention experienced by Libya and Ukraine. The hyper-paranoid leadership of North Korea feels safer with nuclear weapons than without them, and has a long history of non-compliance with arms reduction agreements. The only way North Korea will give up its nuclear weapons is if its leaders come to believe the cost of maintaining nuclear weapons is greater than the cost of giving them up.

China’s Relationship with North Korea

China and North Korea have a historic and strategic relationship; the Kim regime provides China with a buffer between itself and US-allied South Korea, as well as a source of cheap resources and labor. China helps to keep the North Korean economy afloat by providing energy, access to trade, and financial services – without Chinese intervention the North Korean state would never have existed, and would crumble quickly. Despite its reliance on Beijing’s support North Korea is becoming increasingly hostile to China, and North Korea’s actions justify our military presence in the region. Chinese leaders are faced with a binary choice; to continue their current path of expressing displeasure without applying sufficient pressure, or to do what it takes to force the North Korean leadership to either give up their nuclear weapons or face regime destabilization and collapse. 

Jamie Metzl serves as vice-chair of Partnership for a Secure America’s Board of Directors. Mr. Metzl is also a senior fellow of the Atlantic Council, and has served on the U.S. National Security Council, State Department and Senate Foreign Relations Committee and with the United Nations in Cambodia. 

PSA Awarded Nuclear Security Grant by MacArthur Foundation

Washington, DC – Partnership for a Secure America (PSA) is pleased to announce a new grant award from the MacArthur Foundation in support of an innovative bipartisan campaign to engage Congress on evolving nuclear security challenges around the world. This will be a joint program between PSA and the Arms Control Association (ACA). The award is part of a recent collaboration between the Carnegie Corporation of New York (CCNY) and the MacArthur Foundation to reduce nuclear risk through innovative and solutions-oriented approaches.

Partnership for a Secure America was selected along with 10 other grant recipients from a pool of 83 proposals.

This project seeks to improve Congressional interest and knowledge on the issue of nuclear materials security, in response to uncertain international cooperation following the conclusion of the Nuclear Security Summit last year.  A key goal of the initiative is to catalyze enduring bipartisan commitment to this critical, yet increasingly-overlooked global threat.

“We are honored to receive this award from the MacArthur Foundation in support of PSA’s essential bipartisan work in Washington, DC,” said Nathan Sermonis, PSA Executive Director. “Capitol Hill has a crucial role to play in the nuclear security field, and we look forward to advancing bipartisan engagement among members of Congress and staff.”

In 2016, with the Nuclear Security Summit process coming to a close, Carnegie Corporation and MacArthur recognized that the progress started through the Summits remained fragile and much work was left to be done. The two foundations made a commitment – a “gift basket” pledge, in Summit parlance – to invest up to $25 million over two years “to secure nuclear materials and reduce the threat they pose.” This funding has gone toward nongovernmental efforts that provide new ideas; create opportunities for governments, industry, and civil society to collaborate; and hold stakeholders accountable.

More information about PSA’s work in bipartisanship, foreign policy, and national security can be found on our website.