Arms control is at an inflection point. The existing architecture is in decay at the same time that political leaders are setting out ever more ambitious demands for future agreements. This page presents a collection of key resources for those attempting to chart a course forward. It is organized into four sections:
- Debating the Aims of Arms Control
- History of Arms Control
- Verification and Monitoring
- Solving Contemporary Challenges
Thomas C. Schelling, “Reciprocal Measures for Arms Stabilization,” Daedalus 134, no. 4 (1960): 101-117.
Schelling sets out the key concepts that form the foundation for modern arms control theory.
Thomas C. Schelling and Morton H. Halperin, Strategy and Arms Control (New York: Twentieth Century Fund, 1961).
Schelling and Halperin’s classic volume articulates enduring goals for strategic arms control and many practical considerations that are still relevant today.
Robert Jervis, “Arms Control, Stability, and Causes of War,” Political Science Quarterly 108, no. 2 (1993): 239-253.
Jervis examines how arms control can affect crisis stability, military doctrine and the likelihood of states going to war.
John Maurer, “The Purposes of Arms Control,” Texas National Security Review 2, no. 1 (2018).
In a contemporary work that presents an in-depth case study of the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty, Maurer argues that arms control has often served multiple ends at once.
David Grahame and Jack Mendelsohn (ed.), Arms Control Chronology (Washington, D.C.: Center for Defense Information, 2002).
This index puts the history of arms control negotiations and agreements in a chronology with developments in nuclear policy, strategy, and world politics.
Lisa Schenck and Robert Youmans, “From Start to Finish: A Historical Review of Nuclear Arms Control Treaties and Starting over the New START,” Cardozo Journal of International Law & Comparative Law 20 (2012): 399-436.
Schenck and Youmans provide a comprehensive overview of the history of nuclear arms control accords.
Leonard Greenhalgh, “Relationships in Negotiations,” Negotiation Journal 3 (1987): 235-243.
This article shines a light on the importance of personal relationships, specifically in the context of arms control talks.
Abram Chayes, “An Inquiry Into the Workings of Arms Control Agreements,” Harvard Law Review 85 no. 5 (1972): 905-969.
Chayes’s classic analysis examines how arms control agreements produce compliance and the role of verification.
Allan S. Krass, Verification: How Much is Enough? (London: Taylor & Francis, 1985).
This book significantly contributes analysis of the politics surrounding the seemingly technical issue of verification sufficiency while also examining verification technology.
Verification Technologies: Measures for Monitoring Compliance With the START Treaty, OTA-ISC-479 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Office of Technology Assessments, 1990).
This report discusses many of the technologies used for verification of the START Treaty and their associated trade-offs.
Joseph P. Harahan, On-Site Inspections Under the INF Treaty (Washington, D.C.: On-Site Inspection Agency, U.S. Department of Defense, 1993).
This in-depth official history details the challenges and successes of on-site inspections in implementing the INF Treaty
Nancy W. Gallagher, The Politics of Verification (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999).
Gallagher focuses on political disputes about verification and their effect on domestic debates about arms control agreements in the United States.
National Research Council, Monitoring Nuclear Weapons and Nuclear-Explosive Materials: An Assessment of Methods and Capabilities (Washington, D.C.: National Academies Press, 2005).
This report presents a comprehensive overview of available technology and procedures for monitoring nuclear weapon stockpiles and fissile material.
Arms Control Security Glossary (Washington, D.C.: Defense Threat Reduction Agency, 2009).
This resource defines many key terms in arms control agreements.
Rudolf Avenhaus and Morton John Canty, Compliance Quantified: An Introduction to Data Verification (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009).
Avenhaus and Canty explain the mathematics underlying verification.
Richard L. Bernard, Telemetry Intelligence (TELINT) During the Cold War (Fort George G. Mead, MD: National Security Agency Center For Cryptologic History, 2016).
Bernard shines a light on the importance of telemetry data for monitoring and verification.
VERTIC, a nongovernmental organization focused on monitoring and verification, provides access to an extensive collection of research and analysis.
James M. Acton (ed.), "Beyond Treaties: Immediate Steps to Reduce Nuclear Dangers" Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, October 2012.
Authors from three countries propose short-term steps the United States and Russia could take to reduce nuclear threats in the absence of further formal arms control treaties.
James M. Acton and Michael S. Gerson, Beyond New START: Advancing U.S. National Security Through Arms Control With Russia, a report of the CSIS Next Generation Working Group On U.S.-Russian Arms Control (Washington, D.C.: Center for Strategic & International Studies, 2011).
This report outlines potential next steps in U.S.-Russia arms control following New START.
The Arms Control Association, which promotes promoting public understanding of and support for effective arms control policies, publishes a variety of materials on nuclear arms control, including the monthly journal Arms Control Today.
Alexey Arbatov, “Mad Momentum Redux? The Rise and Fall of Nuclear Arms Control,” Survival 61 no. 3 (2019): 7-38.
Arbatov reviews the recent history of strategic arms control and outlines some of the key challenges and opportunities for China, Russia, and the United States.
Rose Gottemoeller, “Speech by NATO Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller at the Swedish Institute for International Affairs” (Stockholm, Sweden, September 10, 2019).
This speech, delivered by the then NATO deputy secretary general Rose Gottemoeller, outlines a new approach to arms control for the alliance.
Vince Manzo, "Nuclear Arms Control Without a Treaty? Risks and Options After New START" (Washington, D.C.: CNA, 2019).
This report analyzes how Russia and the United States might respond if the New START Treaty lapses. It includes an appendix on China’s possible reaction.
Pavel Podvig, Ryan Snyder, and Wilfred Wan, "Evidence of Absence: Verifying the Removal of Nuclear Weapons" (Geneva: United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research, 2018).
Podivg, Snyder, and Wan discuss the challenges involved in verifying the removal of warheads and identify some scenarios in which it could occur.
Nikolai Sokov, "Avoiding a Post INF Missile Race" (Monterey, CA: James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, 2019).
This article details a proposal for the United States and Russia to limit their intermediate-range missiles in the wake of the collapse of the INF Treaty.
Tong Zhao, “Opportunities for Nuclear Arms Control With China,” Arms Control Today 50, (2020).
Zhao argues that there are growing incentive for China to engage in arms control and suggests two concrete approaches.
Heather Williams, “Asymmetric Arms Control and Strategic Stability: Scenarios For Limiting Hypersonic Glide Vehicles,” Journal of Strategic Studies 42, no. 6 (2019): 789-813.
Williams outlines the concept of “asymmetric arms control” and uses it to identify approaches for managing hypersonic glide vehicles.