Arms Control and the Future of Nuclear Weapons
Arms control, to include both actual treaties and the arms-control process, has had a notable impact on U.S. nuclear weapons over the past twenty-five years or more. The influence of arms control is likely to continue and, in combination with other factors, to contribute to a substantial reorientation of future U.S. military strategy with narrower, though still crucial, roles for nuclear weapons. In particular:
Already, the United States and the Soviet Union have agreed to eliminate intermediate-range nuclear forces, have agreed to discuss reductions in short- range nuclear weapons, and are nearing completion of negotiated reductions to more equal, comparable, and stable strategic nuclear force levels. Such forces possessed by the superpowers will be highly deterring, but less credibly applicable to actual military plans and political uses.
KeywordsNuclear Weapon Nuclear Force North Atlantic Treaty Organization Ballistic Missile Cruise Missile
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Notes and References
- 1.The U.S. case for sublimits is made in U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, Office of Public Affairs, The Case for START Sublimits, February 24, 1988. The U.S. and Soviet positions on numerical sublimits is in Nuclear and Space Talks: U.S. and Soviet Proposals, published periodically by the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, Office of Public Affairs. The sides agreed at the Washington summit in December 1987 to specific warhead numbers for existing ballistic missile systems. See “Joint U.S.-Soviet Summit Statement,” Survival (May/June 1988), p. 268.Google Scholar
- 2.UK Ministry of Defence, British Defence Policy, May 1989, pp. 16, 18Google Scholar
- French Ministry of Defense, The 1984–1988 French Defense Programme, pp. 9, 10Google Scholar
- see also International Institute for Strategic Studies, The Military Balance, 1988–1989, p. 213.Google Scholar