Arms Control and Disarmament

  • J. E. Hare
  • Carey B. Joynt


It is tempting to view with cynicism attempts by the nations to render themselves less dangerous through disarmament. We will look in this chapter at some of the reasons for pessimism about the chances that these attempts will be successful. Our conclusion will not be that failure is inevitable, but that success will only come if proposals for arms control are accompanied by more general attempts to relax political tensions. Disarmament cannot stand as an independent goal, and the difficulties which have faced diplomats both before and after 1945 bear witness to this. There has indeed been a striking continuity in the sorts of difficulties they have found, and we will be discussing to what extent the situation has changed since the development of atomic weapons.


Nuclear Weapon Great Power International Affair Atomic Bomb Weapon System 
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  1. The literature on these matters is enormous, much of it propagandistic or utopian in nature. What follows is a selection to indicate some of the enduring features of the problems involved and the main lines of argument utilized by different schools of thought. The single best treatment is Hedley Bull, The Control of the Arms Race (London, 1961 and 1965).Google Scholar
  2. A good short analysis of technical problems is R. J. Barnet and R. A. Falk (eds), Security in Disarmament (Princeton, 1965).Google Scholar
  3. 1.
    Rolland A. Chaput, Disarmament in British Foreign Policy (London, 1935) p. 17.Google Scholar
  4. 2.
    Merze Tate, The Disarmament Illusion (New York, 1942) p. 346.Google Scholar
  5. Martin Wight, Power Politics (London, 1978) p. 274.Google Scholar
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    W. S. Churchill, The Gathering Storm (London, 1948) p. 115Google Scholar
  10. 13.
    W. M. Jordan, Great Britain, France, and the German Problem 1918–1939 (London, 1943) p. 160; Chaput, Disarmament in British Foreign Policy, pp. 160 ff. This issue became paramount at the Geneva Naval Conference of 1927. For a brilliant analysisGoogle Scholar
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  12. 14.
    Salvador De Madariaga, Disarmament (New York, 1929); for a slightly different versionGoogle Scholar
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  15. 15.
    John W. Wheeler-Bennett, The Pipe Dream of Peace (New York, 1935) chs. 1,5 and 9. The English edition is entitled The Disarmament Deadlock (London, 1934).Google Scholar
  16. 19.
    Woodward, Great Britain and the German Navy, pp. 15, 33, 67 ff, 141 ff, and. 431. If weapons changes occur rapidly, no long-range planning is possible. J. Stone, Containing the Arms Race (London, 1966) p. 158.Google Scholar
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    Decade of Negotiations, p. 20. After another decade’s experience, the same conclusion is reached in Thomas B. Larson, Disarmament and Soviet Policy, 1964–1968 (Englewood Cliffs, NJ., 1969), p. 194.Google Scholar
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    But see Erich Fromm, “The Case for Unilateral Disarmament”, in D. G. Brennan, Arms Control and Disarmament (London, 1961) pp. 187–97.Google Scholar
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    See, for example, Bertrand Russell, “Values in the Atomic Age” in The Atomic Age, Sir Halley Stewart Lectures, 1948 (London, 1949) pp. 81–104;Google Scholar
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    Wight, Power Politics, pp. 286–8. A short analysis of the proliferation problem is in Leonard Beaton, Must the Bomb Spread (London, 1966).Google Scholar
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    The point is made by J. I. Coffey, “Threat, Reassurance and Nuclear Proliferation”, in B. Boskey and M. Willrich, Nuclear Proliferation: Prospects for Control (New York, 1970) p. 132.Google Scholar
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    J. S. Nye, “Nonproliferation: A Long-Term Strategy”, Foreign Affairs (Apr. 1978) 611. Nye chaired the Carter Administration’s National Security Council group on the problem. His suggestions on the security and prestige aspects of the problem are nebulous in the extreme. The role of U.S. carelessness in spreading the bomb is described inGoogle Scholar
  29. A. Wohlstetter, “Spreading the Bomb Without Quite Breaking the Rules”, Foreign Policy (Winter 1976/77) p. 88 ff.Google Scholar
  30. 35.
    For a neutral’s critical analysis, see Alva Myrdal, The Game of Disarmament (New York, 1976) pp. 103–8. The following articles will be cited: Strategic Survey for 1994, 1975 and 1976;Google Scholar
  31. Colin S. Gray “SALT II and the Strategic Balance”, British Journal of International Studies, vol. 1 (1975) 183–208;CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. M. Leitenberg, “The SALT II Ceilings and Why They are So High”, British Journal of International Studies, vol. 2 (1976) pp. 149–63;CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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  37. A short review of arms sales is Leslie H. Gelb, “Arms Sales”, Foreign Policy (Winter 1976/77) pp. 3–23.Google Scholar
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    Following S. Sienkiewicz, “SALT and Soviet Nuclear Doctrine”, International Security (Spring 1978) pp. 94 ff.Google Scholar
  39. 42.
    Trevor Taylor, “President Nixon’s Arms Supply Policies”, The Year Book of World Affairs 1972 (London, 1972) pp. 65–80. Strategic Survey 1976, p. 24. See also, in this book, Ch. 7, pp. 160–162.Google Scholar
  40. 45.
    Martin Wight, Power Politics (London, 1978) p. 288. Possibilities for an integrated Western approach to the European area are in Richard Burt, “Technology and East—West Arms Control”, International Affairs, vol. S3 (Jan. 1977) pp. 51–72.Google Scholar
  41. No clear path ahead is seen by Neville Brown, The Future Global Challenge: A Predictive Study of World Security, 1977–1990 (London, 1978) ch. 25.Google Scholar
  42. 46.
    A recent study — Robert Ranger, Arms and Politics 1938–1978: Arms Control in a Changing Political Context (Toronto, 1979) — criticizes severely U.S. policy on arms control. The burden of Ranger’s complaint is that the United States has treated threats to stability as primarily technical in nature whereas in fact the dangers arise from political differences between the superpowers.Google Scholar
  43. 47.
    For other suggestions, see Franklin Griffiths and John C. Polanyi (eds), The Dangers of Nuclear War (Toronto, 1979) particularly ch. 5.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© J. E. Hare and Carey B. Joynt 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. E. Hare
    • 1
  • Carey B. Joynt
    • 1
  1. 1.Lehigh UniversityUSA

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