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Disarmament Diplomacy

Issue No. 19, October 1997

Editor's Introduction

October's issue features three papers on the future of nuclear weapons by four distinguished US analysts. Ambassador Thomas Graham, President of the Lawyers Alliance for World Security (LAWS) and formerly President Clinton's Special Representative on arms control matters, and John Rhinelander, LAWS Board Member and former senior US arms control official, present the case for deep cuts in existing nuclear arsenals as an indispensable means of countering the threat of nuclear terrorism. Morton Halperin, a senior arms control official under Presidents Johnson, Nixon and Clinton, concentrates on defining the goal of 'zero' nuclear weapons in a way that will facilitate early and significant progress towards that end. The definition he suggests is "no more than eight nuclear States, each with no more than two hundred nuclear cores separated from their warheads and delivery systems." Another former senior official, Jack Mendelsohn, Deputy Director of the Arms Control Association, concentrates on the US-Russia arms control agenda, casting a sober look at the prospects for satisfying three preconditions for deep nuclear cuts: START II ratification by Russia, a secure future for the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty, and diplomatic "mitigation" of "the sting of NATO expansion."

Malcolm Chalmers and Owen Greene, Senior Lecturers at the Department of Peace Studies, University of Bradford, provide a Guest Analysis on the UN Register of Conventional Arms. They conclude that while the Register's evolution to date has been disappointingly limited, it retains the potential to develop into a powerful means of encouraging transparency and constraining inappropriate arms transfers.

Documents and Sources includes coverage of the General Debate of the United Nations First Committee and the General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). News Review includes coverage of interlocking controversies over relations with Iran; a fresh crisis in Iraq; discussions on START II between the Russian Government and Parliament; ongoing rumours about 'missing' Russian nuclear weapons; and the eventful aftermath of the Oslo Diplomatic Conference which agreed the text of a ban on landmines.

© 1998 The Acronym Institute.

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