Cornerstones of Security
Arms Control Treaties in the Nuclear Era
Publication Year: 2003
Published by: University of Washington Press
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Title Page, Copyright
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Table of Contents
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Abbreviations and Acronyms
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In some respects, Cornerstones of Security is a project many years in the making.The inspiration and model for this book is a critically important product issued by the now-defunct Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (ACDA) beginning in the 1970s. That book, entitled Arms Control and Disarmament Agreements, compiled the texts of arms control and disarmament treaties in which the United States participated and narrative histories and summaries of those agreements.
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This book presents a chronology and history of international efforts to control weapons of mass destruction through legal arrangements. It covers more than forty agreements, negotiated during the last eight decades, to control conventional, chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons in outer space, the Antarctic, Europe, Latin America, Africa, the South Pacific, Southeast Asia, and on the ocean floor.
1. The 1925 Geneva Protocol
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Chemical and biological weapons are two types of weapons of mass destruction that are closely linked historically and to which similar constraints were initially applied. The Protocol for the Prohibition of the Use in War of Asphyxiating, Poisonous or Other Gases, and of Bacteriological Methods of Warfare, was signed in Geneva on June 17, 1925. Known as the Geneva Protocol, in effect it banned the first use of both chemical and biological weapons.
2. The Antarctic Treaty
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The Antarctic Treaty, the earliest of the post–World War II arms limitation agreements, has significance both in itself and as a precedent. It internationalized and demilitarized the Antarctic continent and provided for its cooperative exploration and future use. It has been cited as an example of nations exercising foresight and working in concert to prevent conflict before it develops.
3. The “Hot Line” Agreements
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In 1954, the Soviet Union was the first nation to propose specific safeguards against surprise attack; it also expressed concern about the danger of accidental war. At the initiative of Western governments, a conference was held in Geneva in 1958. Although it recessed without achieving results, the conference stimulated technical research on the issues involved. In the spring of 1962, the United States submitted a draft treaty outline and the Soviet Union ...
4. The Limited Test Ban Treaty
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The Limited Test Ban Treaty (LTBT) of 1963 prohibits nuclear weapons tests “or any other nuclear explosion” in the atmosphere, in outer space, and under water. While the treaty does not ban underground tests, it does prohibit nuclear explosions if such tests would cause “radioactive debris to be present outside the territorial limits of the State under whose jurisdiction or control” the explosions were conducted.
5. The Outer Space Treaty
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The Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, Including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies, known as the Outer Space Treaty, was the second of the so-called nonarmament treaties. Its concepts and some of its provisions were modeled on its predecessor, the Antarctic Treaty. Like that treaty, the Outer Space Treaty sought to prevent ...
6. Nuclear-Weapon-Free-Zone Treaties
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Nuclear-weapon-free-zone (NWFZ) treaties serve to enhance international regulation of nuclear arms by establishing large geographical regions wherein the testing, possession, and stationing of nuclear weapons are prohibited. The assumption embedded in the logic of NWFZs is that the creation of such regions will reduce the likelihood that states in the regions will be ...
7. The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty
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A major step in multilateral nuclear arms control was achieved with the signing of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty or NPT) on July 1, 1968, and its entry into force on March 5, 1970. The treaty provides for two categories of nations. Article IX defines a nuclear weapon state party (nuclear weapon state) as one of the five states that had manufactured and exploded a nuclear weapon or other ...
8. Special Non-Proliferation Treaty Safeguards Agreements
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The agreement between the United States and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for the application of IAEA safeguards in designated facilities in the United States originated during the Eighteen-Nation Disarmament Committee (ENDC) negotiation for the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (Non-Proliferation Treaty or NPT). During those negotiations, Japan and the European Community non-nuclear weapon states ...
9. The Seabed Arms Control Treaty
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Like the Antarctic Treaty, the Outer Space Treaty, and the Latin American Nuclear-Weapon- Free Zone Treaty, the Treaty on the Prohibition of the Emplacement of Nuclear Weapons and Other Weapons of Mass Destruction on the Seabed and the Ocean Floor and in the Subsoil Thereof—the Seabed Arms Control Treaty—sought to prevent the introduction of international conflict and nuclear weapons into an area previously free of them.
10. The “Accidents Measures” Agreement
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The very existence of nuclear weapon systems, even under the most sophisticated command-and-control procedures, is a source of constant concern. Despite the most elaborate precautions, it is conceivable that technical malfunction or human failure (a misinterpreted incident or unauthorized action) could trigger a nuclear disaster. In the course of the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT) in the 1970s, the United States and the Soviet ...
11. The Biological Weapons Convention
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Biological and chemical weapons have generally been linked together in the public mind, and the extensive use of poison gas in World War I (resulting in over a million casualties and over 100,000 deaths) led to the Geneva Protocol of 1925 prohibiting the use of both poison gas and bacteriological weapons in warfare (see Chapter 1). Between 1932 and 1937, unsuccessful attempts were made to work out an agreement that would prohibit the ...
12. The Incidents at Sea Agreement
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In the late 1960s, several incidents involving U.S. and Soviet naval forces occurred. These included aircraft of the two nations passing near one another, ships bumping one another, and both ships and aircraft making threatening movements against those of the other side. In March 1968, the United States proposed talks to prevent such incidents from becoming more serious. The Soviet Union accepted the invitation in November 1970, and the talks ...
13. The Strategic Arms Limitation Talks
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SALT I, the first Strategic Arms Limitation Talks, extended from November 1969 to May 1972. During that period the United States and the Soviet Union negotiated the first agreements to place limits and restraints on some of their central and most important armaments. In the Treaty Between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on the Limitation of Anti-Ballistic Missile Systems (the ABM Treaty), the ...
14. The Threshold Test Ban Treaty
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The Treaty on the Limitation of Underground Nuclear Weapon Tests, also known as the Threshold Test Ban Treaty (TTBT), was signed in July 1974. It establishes a nuclear “threshold,” by prohibiting nuclear weapon tests having a yield exceeding 150 kilotons (equivalent to 150,000 tons of TNT). The threshold was militarily important since it removed the possibility of testing new or existing nuclear weapons beyond the ...
15. The Peaceful Nuclear Explosions Treaty
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In preparing the Threshold Test Ban Treaty (TTBT) in July 1974, the United States and the Soviet Union recognized the need to establish an appropriate agreement to govern underground nuclear explosions for peaceful purposes (PNEs). There is no essential distinction between the technology of a nuclear explosive device that would be used as a weapon and that of one used for a peaceful purpose. Hence, the agreement in TTBT Article III assures that ...
16. The Environmental Modification Convention
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Use of environmental modification techniques for hostile purposes has not played a major role in military planning for many years, and it does not at the present time. Such techniques might be developed in the future, however, and would pose a threat of serious damage unless action was taken to prohibit their use. In July 1972, the U.S. government renounced the use of climate modification techniques for hostile purposes, even if their development proved to be feasible in the future.
17. The Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material
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The Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material provides for certain levels of physical protection during international transport of nuclear material. It also establishes a general framework for cooperation among states to protect, recover, and return stolen nuclear material. Further, the convention lists certain serious offenses involving nuclear material, which state parties are to make punishable and for which offenders shall be subject to a system of extradition or submission for prosecution.
18. Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons
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The Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCCW), formally known as the Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which May Be Deemed to Be Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects, was negotiated in the late 1970s and concluded in 1980. It opened for signature in New York on April 10, 1981. The negotiation was sponsored by the International Committee ...
19. Nuclear Risk Reduction Centers
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As the result of a U.S. initiative, U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev agreed at the November 1985 Geneva Summit to have experts explore the possibility of establishing centers to reduce the risk of nuclear war. The impetus for this initiative grew out of consultations between the Reagan administration and Congress, particularly Senators Sam Nunn and John Warner. U.S. and Soviet experts held ...
20. The Ballistic Missile Launch Notification Agreement
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The Agreement on Notifications of Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) and Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missile (SLBM) Launches, signed in 1988, requires the United States and the former Soviet Union (succeeded by Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Ukraine) to notify the other of the planned date, launch area, and area of impact, of any launch of an ICBM or an SLBM. Notifications are to be made through the nuclear risk reduction centers (see Chapter 19) at least twenty-four hours in advance.
21. The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty
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The Treaty Between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on the Elimination of Their Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles, commonly referred to as the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, required destruction of the parties’ ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges of between 500 and 5,500 kilometers, their launchers and associated support structures, and support equipment within three years after the treaty enters into force.
22. The Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty
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The process of limiting conventional forces in Europe began with the conclusion of the Helsinki Final Act of 1975 and accelerated after the termination of the Mutual Balanced Force Reductions (MBFR) negotiations, which concluded in 1987 after fourteen years with no progress. The Helsinki Final Act was a three-year negotiation long sought by the Soviet Union to ratify post–World War II borders; however, the West insisted on a number of ...
23. The Open Skies Treaty
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The idea of the Open Skies Treaty dates back to the Quadripartite (United States, United Kingdom, Soviet Union, and France) Summit Conference in Geneva in July 1955. In a speech to the conference, President Dwight D. Eisenhower proposed an agreement between the United States and the Soviet Union to permit aerial reconnaissance flights over each other’s territory. This was in the days prior to the development of photographic reconnaissance satellites.
24. The Strategic Arms Reduction Treaties (START I & II)
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The START I Treaty, in its detailed complexity, is a lawyer’s dream. It is the ultimate example of the 1980s approach of arms control conservatives that every element of an agreement had to have the same status as the treaty text, and that subordinate implementing agreements were just not acceptable. This approach gave rise to the doctrine of technical changes (as opposed to amendments) to the treaty text being authorized by the treaty regime; ...
25. The Chemical Weapons Convention
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The Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), the companion agreement to the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC), prohibits the possession, manufacture, and use of chemical weapons. It was signed in early 1993. The CWC had long been of special interest to President George H.W. Bush, as it had been Vice-President Bush who introduced the U.S. draft in Geneva in 1984, and he was in office during the final push for its completion in ...
26. The Agreed Framework
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In early 1993, in the wake of a demand by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that it be permitted to inspect two nuclear waste storage sites, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK or North Korea) gave notice of its intent to withdraw from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) amid fears that it would reprocess the spent fuel in its existing power reactors, extract plutonium from it, and use that plutonium to construct up ...
27. Confidence and Security Measures Documents
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Members of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the follow-on organization to the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE), signed the Vienna Document 1990 on November 19, 1990, at the same time as the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty. The purpose of the Vienna Document 1990 is to strengthen European security by expanding and improving confidence- and security-building measures (CSBMs) among European nations in the OSCE.
28. The Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty
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Perhaps the very first disarmament issue of the nuclear era was the effort to halt nuclear explosive testing. As early as 1954, Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru proposed a “standstill agreement” on nuclear testing. It began in 1955, just a year after an incident in which a U.S. thermonuclear device produced a much larger than expected yield and, as a result, Japanese fishermen aboard the fishing vessel Lucky Dragon were struck by fallout outside the ...
29. The Ottawa Convention on Landmines
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Increasingly, with the end of the Cold War and the winding down of many proxy wars, antipersonnel landmines left behind after conflicts posed a threat to humanity around the world. An estimated 100 million landmines were still deployed around the world, many where they could no longer be identified. Up to 25,000 people per year are killed by encountering one of them. Landmines, of course, cannot “distinguish” between soldiers and civilians.
30. Treaty on Strategic Offensive Reductions
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On May 24, 2002, the United States and Russia signed the Treaty on Strategic Offensive Reductions (also known as the Moscow Treaty), establishing a limit of 1,700 to 2,200 warheads in each party’s deployed strategic nuclear arsenal by 2012. This agreement codifies reductions initially announced by U.S. President George W. Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin during meetings in Crawford, Texas, in November and Moscow in December 2001.
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While for much of the Cold War, arms control appeared to focus exclusively on managing the bilateral superpower relationship and capping the arms race, arms control efforts have always been global in nature. The treaties addressed in this text tell the story of how, over many decades, a cohesive and integrated system to promote world stability and to reduce the dangers posed by weapons of mass destruction was established.
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Publication Year: 2003