A Long-Term Solution, a Medium-Term Compromise, and a Short-Term Stopgap
Our overall conclusion is that if humankind does not drastically alter course, sooner or later nuclear war will come. We looked at arms control as a way of avoiding nuclear war. Our conclusions were fairly optimistic. First, useful agreements on arms control have in fact been reached, especially since the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Second, the outlook over the next few years for reaching even more significant agreements seems good. Third, the sum of these developments should reduce the likelihood of nuclear war.
But we also concluded that arms control agreements will not by themselves solve the dilemma posed by nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles so long as war remains part of international politics. Even the best of arms control agreements would do nothing to preclude international crises and sooner or later one or another crisis will get out of hand. Arms control agreements may reduce the number of nuclear weapons the great powers have on hand at the beginning of a war and may even succeed in abolishing nuclear weapons from the world's arsenals, but the great powers can build new stockpiles in the midst of war. The United States, after all, created nuclear weapons from scratch in the midst of World War II, and the task will obviously be much easier now that everyone knows that it can be done and most nations have a corps of scientists who know exactly how to do it.
Next we looked at the possibility of establishing a world government. If war between sovereign states is frequent but civil war within established states is relatively rare, then the most obvious way to reduce the risk of nuclear war is to establish one government for the whole of the planet. However, the obstacles to