Founded in 1971, the Arms Control Association (ACA) describes itself as a "non-partisan" membership organization "dedicated to promoting public understanding of and support for effective arms control policies." In practice, the group lobbies for the complete nuclear disarmament of every nation, particularly the United States. To spread its message, the ACA periodically holds events such as seminars, luncheons, and press conferences where its representatives discuss military- and national security-related issues. It also publishes the magazine Arms Control Today, which provides policy-makers, the media, and the interested public with what ACA calls "authoritative information, analysis and commentary on arms control proposals, negotiations and agreements, and related national security issues."
The ACA has been highly critical of the war in Iraq, and has accused the Bush administration of "misleading" the American public concerning Saddam Hussein's capacity and intent to develop weapons of mass destruction.
The ACA also opposes America's development of a missile defense system, stating that "the unproven defense offers no reliable, useful shield against the threat it is designed to counter and is worthless in protecting Americans from more real dangers posed by terrorists and the spread of weapons of mass destruction." ACA Executive Director Daryl Kimball contends that even if the technology worked to perfection, the deployment of missile defense would still be ill-advised, on grounds that "an attacker would more likely use means other than a ballistic missile to strike the United States, such as smuggling a weapon inside a ship, because the alternatives would be easier to acquire, more reliable, more accurate, less costly, and offer greater anonymity."
Kimball has been the Executive Director of the ACA since September 2001. Previously he served as the Executive Director of the Coalition to Reduce Nuclear Dangers, and prior to that he was Director of Security Programs for Physicians for Social Responsibility; both of these organizations pushed for an American nuclear freeze during the Cold War, a move that would have frozen Soviet nuclear superiority in place.
The ACA has also urged the U.S. to take a "softer" stance on Iran's uranium enrichment programs.
The ACA is funded by the Blue Moon Fund, the Ford Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the New-Land Foundation, the Ploughshares Fund, the Prospect Hill Foundation, the Public Welfare Foundation, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Rockefeller Family Fund, and the Turner Foundation.