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Control of the 'weapons'

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  1. The arms control process: effective but only in specific configurations
    1. A perfect effectiveness in theory
    2. A qualified effectiveness in history
  2. Situations where arms control's effectiveness is limited
    1. The inadequacy of arms control in multipolar international configurations
    2. The importance of political determination in arms control

Arms control designates restrictions to the development, production, proliferation and usage of weapons imposed through diplomacy. The goal of Arms control are reducing the risk of war, or at least reducing the number of casualties if war cannot be avoided, and limiting the costs linked to war preparation. If arms control has existed since the Westphalian treaty in 1815, it is a concept that mainly developed in a context of nuclear proliferation, especially after the 1962 missiles crisis when the United States and the USSR realized that a nuclear war was possible, and would be very destructive for both countries. But is the process of arms control which was mainly developed during the Cold War still relevant today? While Barack Obama and Dmitri Medvedev signed an historic, and while the director of the International Atomic Energy Agency recently confirmed that Iran had succeeded in producing 20% enriched uranium without giving IAEA inspectors notice, it is time to talk about arms control and to wonder, to what extent can we consider arms control to remain effective today, considering the current international configuration?

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