between battlefield and tactical nuclear weapons, or between tactical and strategic weapons.
It has been suggested throughout this paper that the "CB taboo," stemming from a widespread feeling that this kind of warfare is immoral, may be inhibiting both an essential discussion and essential research on CB arms control. The just war doctrine has been used here as a viewpoint from which to examine the problem. Some analysts, however, assert that the "CB taboo" serves as a fire-break; and we should not overlook the use of the taboo to secure a CB arms control accord with the Soviet Union. There are several reasons why an East-West arms control agreement specifically banning the production and deployment of biological weapons should be negotiated:
(1) These weapons do not enhance the military security of the United States or the Soviet Union and the present strategic balance would not be stabilized if they were outlawed.
(2) There is a real danger that in the near future they may spread to the underdeveloped world where they could be employed with awesome effectiveness against nations with poor medical facilities and a paucity of doctors. Moreover, insurgents today can effectively employ biological weapons against legitimate governments whereas the latter cannot use biological agents as effectively in counterinsurgency operations.
(3) Under just war, biological weapons are deemed immoral because they are inherently uncontrollable and they cannot be employed in counterforce warfare.
A CB arms control treaty would dampen East-West tensions. It would serve as a confidence-inducing agreement that would bring us a step closer to more comprehensive arms control negotiations. Short of an immediate East-West accord along these lines, the nations of Latin America and Africa should work to secure a regional arrangement that would ban the procurement and deployment of biological weapons, for they are certain to have the most to lose should biological weapons proliferate to Africa and Latin America.
An earlier version of this paper was presented at the Second International Arms Control and Disarmament. Symposium in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in January 1964.
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Publication information: Book title: War, Morality, and the Military Profession. Contributors: Malham M. Wakin - Author. Publisher: Westview Press. Place of publication: Boulder, CO. Publication year: 1986. Page number: 422.
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