DISARMAMENT SKETCHES: Three Decades of Arms Control and International Law

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DISARMAMENT SKETCHES: Three Decades of Arms Control and International Law, Thomas Graham, Jr., University of Washington Press, Seattle, 2002, 362 pages, $35.00.

Thomas Graham, Jr., contends that Disarmament Sketches: Three Decades of Arms Control and International Law was written as a personal account of his 27 years of experiences at the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (ACDA), not as an exhaustive history of arms control. In truth, however, it is much closer to the latter than the former. Because of Graham's involvement in all aspects of arms control, including being the general counsel and acting director of ACDA, this personal account becomes a history of arms control policy development within the U.S. Government as well as a history of the ACDA.

Instead of approaching the subject as a straight-line chronological narrative, Graham builds his work around the key arms control initiatives that occurred from the time of President Richard M. Nixon's administration to that of President Bill Clinton. Of value is an insider's explanation of the internal and bureaucratic debates that surrounded those initiatives and how policies developed. The reader receives a complete understanding of how interpretations of the Antiballistic Missile Treaty became a point of contention when President Ronald Reagan's administration opined that a broad reading of the treaty allowed for developing and testing "Star Wars. …