The Future of Arms Control
This book began with Stuart Croft's suggestion that the international community has developed a set of arms control tools to deal with the various problems that have arisen in different historical periods (1). Although the nature of the global order that will evolve and stabilize as the current post-Cold War, transitional era comes to a close is still the subject of intense debate, and though some commentators are rather pessimistic about what arms control may have left to contribute, the position adopted here is in line with those who pragmatically expect to see many future roles for arms control (2, 3, 4, 5, 6). In particular, while consideration will continue to be given to a variety of ways of dealing with the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, arms control must remain central (7, 8). As the UK Ministry of Defence stated in its major review of the threat from biological and chemical weapons in mid-1999, “[t]he foundation for managing the risks is diplomatic: international pressure to agree acceptable norms of behaviour; disarmament and non-proliferation initiatives; and preventing the supply of materials needed for biological and chemical weapons programmes” (9). The question then is, What kind of arms control is likely to develop?
(THE LAWS OF WAR)
Since the mid-nineteenth century, the prohibition of the use of weapons that cause superfluous injury or unnecessary suffering, embodied in the St. Petersburg Declaration, has influenced multilateral arms control negotiations. After extensive use of chemical weapons in World War I had led to some 1.3 million casualties and 100,000 deaths, the International Committee of the Red Cross stated: “We wish to-day to take a stand against a barbaric