Post-Cold War control of conventional arms

Authored by: Sibylle Bauer

The Global Arms Trade

Print publication date:  December  2009
Online publication date:  May  2014

Print ISBN: 9781857434972
eBook ISBN: 9780203851456
Adobe ISBN:


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‘Hard realists’ claim, with Colin Gray, that arms control is impossible when needed and not necessary when possible – referred to as the arms control paradox (Gray 1992). Even with the fairly mixed experience of the current decade, this tool of security policy arguably remains useful, although, and maybe because, its role and specific applications have evolved and expanded considerably. Arms control refers to restrictions upon the development, production, stockpiling, proliferation, transfer, testing, deployment and usage of weapons. In addition to these hard security aspects, the arms control debate and negotiations also comprise softer elements, such as confidence-building measures, transparency, information exchange and verification.

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