Magazine article Arms Control Today

Editor's NOTE

Magazine article Arms Control Today

Editor's NOTE

Article excerpt

Our feature articles this month all touch in one way or another on the intersection of technology with arms control.

Troubled by the possibility that terrorists might acquire and use widely available shoulder-fired missiles to down airplanes, the U.S. government has been looking at ways to counter such destructive attacks. The most eye-catching possibilities have been multibillion-dollar high-tech devices, including unmanned aerial vehicles equipped with laser jammers and ground-based systems that use microwaves and high-energy lasers to deflect or destroy missiles. But as Matt Schroeder points out in this month's cover story, small, low-tech Department of Defense and Department of State security and destruction programs may be far more useful ways to reduce the threat.

In another feature article, Kyle M. Ballard takes a critical look at a technology that has been used against terrorists: riot control agents, which are chemical agents intended to incapacitate but not kill targets, to disperse crowds, or to deny access to protected areas. Ballard writes that eventually the Chemical Weapons Convention needs to ban these arms. In the meantime, he recommends that states put far more explicit restrictions on their use. …

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