Examples of Ambiguities in Compliance Disputes

Arms Control Today, November 2005 | Go to article overview

Examples of Ambiguities in Compliance Disputes


Deciding whether a country has complied with an agreement is not always clear-cut.

Many arms control disputes are really over how ambiguous information should be interpreted. Some of the frequent clashes over the Limited Test Ban Treaty, for example, revolved around the differing meanings of the word "debris" in the English text and its counterpart "osadki" in the Russian text. Unfortunately, these two words had slightly different meanings but were equally authentic. This led to disputes over whether the Soviet Union had violated the treaty.

Likewise, under the Threshold Test Ban Treaty, the seismic data from Soviet tests were clear enough, but translating these into nuclear yields was difficult and led to charges of violations that may not always have been warranted.

There were also differing interpretations of the famous 1979 "South Atlantic Flash." Not everyone agreed that it was a nuclear explosion and who was responsible if it was. In 1982 the United Nations sent a team of experts to Southeast Asia to investigate "yellow rain" and whether the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) had been violated. In spite of their efforts, the results were ambiguous.

In the 1990s, a chemical mix-up may have led to allegations of chemical weapons use among warring ethnic factions in the former Yugoslavia. Differences over the definition of "ambulance" and the distinction between ambulances and armored combat vehicles occurred in the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty.

On the other hand, during the Cold War, the Soviet Union sometimes used plausible explanations of ambiguous data to cover up violations. In the fatal 1979 Sverdlovsk incident, in which illegally produced anthrax spores escaped from a facility, officials claimed that the anthrax was caused by infected meat and that anthrax spores had been present in the region for many decades.

The Soviet Union used a similar strategy to discount the construction of a large tracking radar for an anti-ballistic missile (ABM) system near Krasnoyarsk, claiming that the radar was intended for space tracking.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Examples of Ambiguities in Compliance Disputes
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.