Stimson in the News

THE GOLDEN AGE OF NUCLEAR ARMS CONTROL by Michael Krepon

in Program

The thirteen-year period from 1987 to 2000 was the golden age of nuclear arms control. This golden age began when two risk-taking leaders cast off the spell of deterrence orthodoxy to sign the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty. When Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev declared, quite sensibly but still remarkably, that a nuclear war could not be won and must not be fought, and then backed up their words with the INF Treaty, they broke the back of the nuclear arms race.

Washington and Moscow subsequently agreed to two strategic arms reduction treaties, a treaty mandating deep cuts in conventional forces in Europe, an “Open Skies” Treaty permitting cooperative over-flights from Vancouver to Vladivostok, a treaty banning the production, possession and use of chemical weapons, and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, banning nuclear testing in all environments for all time.

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