Tactical Nuclear Weapons: Time for Control

By Taina Susiluoto | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 2

AN UPDATE ON EFFORTS TO REDUCE
TACTICAL NUCLEAR WEAPONS*
William C. Potter
THE CURRENT PREDICAMENT
Ironically, at a time when the Bush administration appears increasingly enthusiastic about unilateral approaches to nuclear arms control, it has been noticeably silent about the informal arms control regime on tactical nuclear weapons (TNWs) created ten years ago on the basis of parallel, unilateral declarations made by George Bush and Mikhail Gorbachev. As a disarmament measure, these unilateral declarations have resulted in the elimination of more nuclear charges than all the negotiated agreements between the United States and the Soviet Union/Russia, and also have led to the redeployment in central storage of thousands of additional weapons.Notwithstanding the significant accomplishments of the 1991/92 declarations, the informal regime suffers from a number of serious deficiencies:
Unilateral statements are not legally binding. They can be disavowed without prior notification;
The parallel, unilateral declarations do not provide a mechanism for their mutual modification;
The 1991/92 informal regime does not provide for data exchange or any verification and transparency measures. It, therefore, is impossible to have confidence in the implementation of the declarations and to ascertain the status of the remaining TNWs. Russia, for example, has not provided any new information on its implementation of the 1991 declarations, since its statement at the 2000 NPT Review Conference;

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