To fully understand conventional arms control we need to view its history. The chronology outlined in Figure 1.1 allows the reader to visualize events over time, and it presents a picture of international events that have had a direct impact on the conventional arms control process and in confidence building among the members of NATO, the Warsaw Pact (WP), and Neutral and Nonaligned Nations (NNA).
Modern conventional arms control had its genesis in ideas expressed as early as the 1950s, but it was not until the NATO ministers' report (known as the Harmel Report) in December 1967 on the future tasks of the Alliance that the process began to move toward a conference with the East. The report recommended that NATO try to arrange a forum for mutual arms reductions. In 1968, NATO ministers formally proposed force reduction talks with the East.1 Although the Pact showed no enthusiasm for arms control, the United States and its allies in NATO would not agree to the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) unless the East agreed to meet in the Mutual and Balanced Force Reduction (MBFR) forum.
Various coincident pressures and events moved both sides to MBFR in addition to the quid pro quo for the CSCE. First, Senator Mansfield introduced legislation in 1966 designed to bring about substantial U. S. troop reductions in Europe;