• Berhanykun Andemicael
  • John Mathiason
Part of the Global Issues Series book series (GLOISS)


The goal of non-proliferation and eventual elimination of weapons of mass destruction is not just a wish of idealists aspiring to a better world but is an anxious expectation of humankind for a realistic solution to ensure survival. Today’s rapid changes in the strategic environment are being met by inadequate — and sometimes detrimental — policies of arms control. In the past, doctrines of balance and deterrence were used to maintain equilibrium in a disciplined bipolar world. The post-Cold War asymmetry in power distribution and the emergence of new threats from disgruntled smaller States and from well-organized terrorist organizations outside State jurisdiction have unleashed new threats requiring new solutions. In this context, the existence and accessibility of the lethal weapons has become part of the problem, which necessitates more and not less control of the weapons of mass destruction in the possession of the major powers. During the past decade, the two Gulf Wars against Iraq and the crises in the rest of the Middle East, in the Korean Peninsula and in South Asia have shown that despite over 40 years of effort, there is a clear perception that weapons of mass destruction are not under control. There exist enough chemical, biological or nuclear weapons, or the capacity to produce them to pose an immediate risk of their falling into reckless hands.


Security Council Verification System Mass Destruction Major Power Biological Weapon 
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Copyright information

© Berhanykun Andemicael and John Mathiason 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Berhanykun Andemicael
    • 1
  • John Mathiason
    • 2
  1. 1.Energy Agency to the United NationsUSA
  2. 2.Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public AffairsSyracuse UniversityUSA

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