History, Status and Challenges for Non-proliferation and Arms Control Verification

  • David Keir
  • Andreas Persbo


This opening chapter considers the basic concepts of arms control verification, and how it works with international agreements. It shows how verification differs from, but can contribute to, general confidence-building. Later, the text elaborates on the role of technology and technological expertise in a verification enterprise, touching on the current status of technologies employed in arms control and exploring the principles on which they have been designed. The chapter highlights, in particular, the need to protect sensitive data, the need for equipment to be jointly trusted, and the requirement that equipment is designed, specified and built taking host facility considerations into mind. The text exemplifies equipment development by looking at so-called information barriers—gear intended to detect a nuclear warhead’s attributes or to match a warhead against a template while protecting classified and proliferative information. Finally, the chapter points out the continuing importance of progress in arms control verification research and development, as well as in basic verification methodology.


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Copyright information

© This is a U.S. government work and not under copyright protection in the U.S.; foreign copyright protection may apply 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Keir
    • 1
  • Andreas Persbo
    • 2
  1. 1.Cloverdale Scientific LimitedNewburyUK
  2. 2.Verification ResearchTraining and Information Centre (VERTIC)LondonUK

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