The Future Of Arms Control

Dossier: The future of arms control

Cooperative arms limitations and reductions in times of global change

The Heinrich Böll Foundation in Berlin held an international expert conference on the “Future of Arms Control”, jointly organized with the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) and the Institute for Peace Research and Security Studies (IFSH) at the University of Hamburg.

Around 20 speakers from 13 countries and some 30 more practitioners and academics came together to discuss the conditions and options for modern arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation.

The conference debated what functions arms control can fulfill under the changing conditions of the 21st century as well as the interests of key actors. Additionally, the participants discussed how disarmament, arms control and non-proliferation instruments can be made more effective. 

The Heinrich Böll Foundation and the IFSH are now pleased to publish the conference proceedings. We thank our authors for the eclectic and fruitful contributions and hope to help continuing and deepening the important debate with this publication.

Gregor Enste, Anne Finger, Götz Neuneck

  • Short Biographies
    The future of arms control. International expert conference September 9-10, 2013

Proceedings of the conference

North Korean border soldier
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The US and its allies have engaged in efforts to stop North Korean nuclear program at least three times, every time ending up with a sense of betrayal. Now, it has become clear that North Korea did not really have the intention to abandon its nuclear program.

Babar Cruise Missile
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For three years, Pakistan has single-handedly – and successfully – blocked the Conference on Disarmament (CD) in Geneva from discussing an effort that would put a cap on fissile materials.

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Dealing with Non-stated armed groups (NSAGs) is a highly complex job. For that reason, this article tries to conceptualize the special arms issue and deliver internvetion points.

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Are we in need for new ethics in warfare? Current military technologies enable unmanned drones and killer robots to cause heavy damage, however are far from regulation.

Protest against nuclear weapons of mass destruction
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The United States and Russia are implementing the New START Treaty, which requires that each side reduce to 1550 deployed strategic warheads on 700 deployed strategic missiles and bombers by 2018. The Obama administration would like to go further. Doing so, however, will require that Washington address several related issues, first and foremost missile defense.

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New weapon technologies may lead to insecurity in the Middle East. Therefor both Disarmament and Arms Control are indispensable in the region.

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A chain of events could lead to a new scenario of arms build-up in international politics. Russia is upgrading its conventional fire power while some NATO members think about improved nuclear deterrence.

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Building and keeping peace is intrinsically tied to disarmament and arms control. Thus international trade and flow of weapons needs to be monitored when human rights and security are endangered.

Hypersonic Test Vehicle (HTV) 2
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The United States intent to deploy a new Conventional Prompt Global Strike (CPGS). This short paper assesses the chief challenges the United States faces in allaying Russian concerns about about CPGS deployments.

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Besides threats to effectiveness, the multilateral export control system for nuclear weapons faces a separate challenge of political will and legitimacy.

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Ben Coetzee reminds "that the proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons were left unchecked and unregulated until it reached a point where it is costing the world billions of dollars to mitigate the damage caused by these weapons."

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The global system of nuclear security has many gaps and weaknesses. Des Browne points out why Russia is a key player and what needs to be concentrated on at the Nuclear Security Summit in the Netherlands in 2014.

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"At its simplest, evolution in this field seems to be responsive to two sets of forces in the environment: the economics of fear and the economics of economics."

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"At the heart of the problem is the existence of two competing logics for how arms control discussions in the Middle East should proceed: immediate focus on the elimination of Israel’s assumed nuclear weapons (Egypt’s view), or dealing first with the very problematic context of inter-state relations in the Middle East, creating essential channels of communication and dialogue, and establishing a basis of mutual confidence and trust (Israel’s view)."

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"In May 2010, the 189 members of the Review Conference to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons endorsed holding a Middle East Conference (MEC) in 2012 whose aim would be to create a zone in the Middle East 'free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of destruction' (WMD)."

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Conference Videos

International Politics

After the end of the cold war foreign and security policies have been subject to rapid change. This development has been further accelerated after September 11. Traditional security policies such as deterrence and containment have been replaced by risk prevention, crisis intervention, and preemptive policy measures. Increasingly questions of foreign, security, and developmental policy have become intertwined. The debates surrounding the war on Iraq have brought to the surface tensions between the USA and Europe – as well as within Europe itself. Against this background we would like to continue the debates on the future of transatlantic relations - and this against the background of new security policy risks, crisis prevention, and preemptive policies.

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