Deterrence, Arms Control, and Disarmament: Toward a Synthesis in National Security Policy

By J. David Singer | Go to book overview

9 Elimination of Existing Weapons

The previous chapter dealt with the extremely complex problem of multilateral prohibitions on nuclear-missile production. This one will attempt to deal with the even more complex one of eliminating existing weapons. Whereas production and preproduction bans are directed toward non-existent stockpiles -- and there are a multitude of points along the line leading from experiment to deployment at which controls could be established -- bans on weapons that are already produced and deployed offer no such possibilities.1 Moreover, as difficult as nations find it to give up weapons that have not yet even been produced, their reluctance to part with existing ones is nearly insurmountable.

In this last main chapter, we come as far along the arms policy continuum as possible, unless one wants to consider unilateral disarmament. And as I tried to suggest at the beginning of Part III, this problem is dealt with on the assumption that both major powers are rather thoroughly committed to competitive coexistence, in which each hopes to rule out nuclear war as one of the realms in which such competition will occur. Whether

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1
Except in so far as post hoc inspection of a production process indicates what types and quantities then exist.

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