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(p. 212) 12. The Control of Weapons of Mass Destruction 

(p. 212) 12. The Control of Weapons of Mass Destruction
(p. 212) 12. The Control of Weapons of Mass Destruction

John Baylis

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date: 15 August 2020

This chapter examines issues regarding the control of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) and its implications for international security. It begins with a discussion of the shift that took place during the cold war from disarmament to arms control, and the shift in relative importance that occurred in the early post-cold war period from arms control to more forcible means to tackle proliferation. It then considers concerns that emerged in the 1980s and 1990s about the continuing utility of arms control as an effective means of dealing with WMDs. It also analyses new ideas that began to take shape, first during the presidency of Bill Clinton, and then under George W. Bush, about more militarily driven approaches, associated with counterproliferation. The chapter concludes with an assessment of ‘the return to arms control’ by the administration of Barack Obama and the challenges presented by new geopolitical tensions.

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