Program on Global Security Cooperation by bronbron

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									                       Program on Global Security & Cooperation
                              Social Science Research Council

                            The Future of Multilateral Arms Control

                                        Paris, June 27-28


        The war in Iraq has once again raised fundamental questions about the viability of the
multilateral arms control regime worldwide. By circumventing longstanding rules and protocols
about problems of compliance, the U.S. Government has weakened the Nuclear Non-Proliferation
Treaty, the decision-making mechanisms of the IAEA and the U.N. Security Council, and
associated agreements and treaties such as the Chemical Weapons Convention and the Missile
Technology Control Regime. Iraq’s wavering response to the inspection demands of the United
Nations was also a source of erosion of confidence in the arms-control process. The Program on
Global Security & Cooperation of the Social Science Research Council is convening a workshop
in Paris to explore these troubling events for their larger and more durable implications.

While weapons of mass destruction have not yet been discovered in Iraq, the U.S. military victory
may nonetheless collapse the multilateral arms-control regime altogether. Even an ambiguous
outcome with respect to Iraq's possession of WMDs has impacts on the arms-control regimes,
because the decision to wage war is the "fact on the ground" that will affect perceptions of the
health and utility of the NPT, CWC, etc. If any evidence of WMDs is found, it could be held that
the NPT, the IAEA, and the U.N. Security Council were inadequate in preventing Iraq, despite
repeated warnings, inspections, and diplomacy, from attaining a lethal WMD capability. (Even
the discovery of some chemical weapons would affect the entire multilateral regime beyond the
CWC, to which Iraq was not a party.)

Current concerns with Iran’s nuclear program and the stated intentions of North Korea may further
undermine the integrity of the arms control process, though for different reasons: Iran is
developing nuclear energy sources legally; North Korea has already violated NPT restrictions and
has withdrawn from the regime. India and Pakistan remain outside the reach of the regulatory
institutions, as does Israel. Previous Bush administration actions—withdrawal from the ABM
Treaty, and blocking efforts to strengthen the Biological Weapons Convention—have also
contributed to the decline in the vitality of arms control.

Given these fundamental challenges, can the institutions and treaties of arms control be revived
sufficiently to be in any sense meaningful? In what ways does the Bush Doctrine of pre-emption
undermine or implicate these institutions? Do the origins of these institutions—e.g., heavily
influenced by the major powers, and limited to technical issues—make them weak instruments
when the “rules” of international relations change? For example, the legal development of nuclear
technologies by Iran becomes a problem when set in the context of its support for Hezbollah, a
consideration outside the purview of the NPT and unlikely to be engaged by the Security Council.
The U.S. military victory in Iraq also has other implications. The Atlantic institutions, while not at
risk as much as the specifically arms-control institutions, are likely to come under new pressure as
the United States becomes emboldened in its unilateral posture. These trends could also bring the
United States and Russia into a new period of confrontation, particularly with respect to Iran. How
does the European Union conceive of its global security role in the face of U.S. unilateralism? Is
NATO, in particular, a viable institution? Is the Bush administration's assertiveness on Iraq likely
to be sustained in other policy arenas, such as trade, or in security cooperation, as with the "war on
terrorism"? In what ways is U.S. foreign policy now an extension of a particular view of global
affairs and America's place in the world?

Finally, if the formal, legal institutions of arms restraint are fatally weakened, can we imagine and
describe new forms of restraint on weapons proliferation, deployment, and use that do not depend
on military power?

The SSRC workshop will bring together about fifteen scholars from around the world and a range
of academic disciplines and practitioner experiences to consider these and other questions. A few
participants will be asked to prepare memos for discussion. The group will be comprised of arms
control experts, international relations scholars, and area experts. The workshop is expected to
lead to new inquiries, and will produce a report and other public documents.

								
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