CHAPTER VIII
THE NEW AGENCIES OF WAR: GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS

Armament Evolution--Its Desirability: Some Historical Data: History of the Machine-Gun: War Chemicals: General Characteristics of the New Agencies: Specific Attack v. Blind Force: The Argument of Limited Development

Humane or Inhumane?


ARMAMENT EVOLUTION--ITS DESIRABILITY

Armament development is steadily going on. While planning the organisation of peace the nations are steadily developing weapons, the cumulative effect of which in two or three decades may well throw out of gear the operation of any agreed scheme of armament limitation. With the exception of timid reference to restricting chemical and bacteriological weapons there seems to be a profound silence on this subject, yet, taking a long view, the problem of the evolution of new types of armament is one of the two major issues of technical disarmament. Why has it received practically no attention?

Studying the records of official and other organisations dealing with disarmament and allied subjects, one can only conclude that this grave matter has not been recognised as a fundamental issue. The question whether the nations should pursue the development of arms and the important issues involved have apparently not yet seized the individual, national, and international mind and conscience either at all or with sufficient force as to demand an answer. Alive as the world is to the main problem of organising for peace, yet it seems blind to one of its most important elements. If such development is indeed capable of disturbing the equilibrium of world peace organisation, then there is no better analogy than that of a surgeon performing a major internal operation and forgetting to sterilise the wound before closing it. But it is not enough to assume the simple solution that arms evolution should cease. Why is it claimed that unrestricted arms development is a danger to the stability of peace? It might, in fact, be a danger to humanity, and undesirable, even if we admit war a proper part of man's affairs, but that is another story.

-165-

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