An accelerated arms race in the Middle East will continue unless political initiatives are taken to stop it. The past record on regional arms control is not good, but new circumstances in the international environment provide a unique opportunity to explore more far-reaching policies. The realistic goals and limitations of arms control must be examined against a backdrop of competing policy priorities and a long history of regional conflict.

The completion of this study coincided with the failed Soviet coup against Mikhail Gorbachev in the last days of August 1991. Several minor changes were made to the text of The Control of the Middle East Arms Race to take into account uncertainty about future U.S.-Soviet cooperation on regional conflict and arms control; however, the basic thesis of the book remains unchanged: supplier agreements to impose arms control regimes on the MIddle East can only work in the long run if they are supported by key regional countries and are ultimately part of a broader agenda on conflict resolution.