The Control of the Arms Race: Disarmament and Arms Control in the Missile Age

By Hedley Bull; Richard Goold-Adams | Go to book overview

INTRODUCTION

THIS IS an inquiry into the modern arms race and the measures by which it might be controlled. It is not a plea for disarmament, or against it, or for any particular military policy. If it contains a plea at all, this is for the recognition of complexity in the moral, military and political issues raised by modern war: for confronting this complexity, rather than turning away from it: for rigorous study and anxious questioning, in place of the pursuit of panaceas.

There are two ideas which have a central place in this study: disarmament and arms control. These are examined both in general and in the context of the strategies, weapons and political tensions of the present time. It will be helpful to make clear at the outset what is meant by these terms.

Disarmament is the reduction or abolition of armaments. It may be unilateral or multilateral; general or local; comprehensive or partial; controlled or uncontrolled.

Arms control is restraint internationally exercised upon armaments policy, whether in respect of the level of armaments, their character, deployment or use.1

Disarmament and arms control intersect with one another. They are not the same, for there can be disarmament which is not controlled, and control which does not involve a reduction of armaments. On the other hand they are not exclusive of one another. Arms control is not thought of here, as it is sometimes, as an alternative to disarmament. International negotiations in recent years have been mainly concerned with the area of intersection between disarmament and arms control: with the establishment of treaty systems which both reduce armaments and impose restraint or control on armaments policy in order to

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Both terms are used in a variety of other ways, which it would be tedious to rehearse. These are the usages which most facilitate the argument that follows.

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