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Defending Against New Dangers: Arms Control of Weapons of Mass Destruction in A Globalized World

Major John A. Nagl, D.Phil.

International Studies Association
41st Annual Convention
Los Angeles, CA
March 14-18, 2000

Executive Summary

Thomas Schelling and Morton Halperin, in their classic book Strategy and Arms Control, first published in 1961, use the term "arms control" to include "all the forms of military cooperation between potential enemies in the interest of reducing the likelihood of war, its scope and violence if it occurs, and the political and economic costs of being prepared for it." 1 This paper updates their definition of arms control and refocuses it for the post-Cold War world, arguing that arms control in the twenty-first century can remain an important component of U.S. national security policy if defined broadly and applied innovatively. Traditionally an element of nation-to-nation relations and usually conducted bilaterally, in the next century arms control will be an increasingly multilateral affair. Threats to U.S. national security in the next century will increasingly shift from other states to individuals and small groups–sub- and trans-national threats. Defending against these threats in the conventional sense will be difficult, and the focus of arms control will shift to preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction to these groups. It is conceivable that both the parties to arms control agreements and provisions for their enforcement will similarly shift to non-state actors, including multinational corporations.

The paper begins by reviewing the definition and components of arms control, attempting to update both for the demands of the new millennium. It then speculates about the future of U.S. national security to the year 2025, examining contemporary national and international trends and evaluating their impact on the environment in which security policy will be made in the next century. It finds a disturbing array of potential threats, none with the ability to completely destroy the United States and its way of life, but many with both the ability and the desire to substantially harm U.S. interests. It argues that the identification and control of these sub- and trans-national threats will be a much more complicated task than was containing the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

The paper discusses future nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons of mass destruction (WMD) threats to the United States, and also evaluates the possibility of using arms control in the field of information operations or "cyberwar", described by Lynn Davis as "a weapon of mass disruption". The author contends that information warfare is an increasingly real threat to U.S. national security, and one that has not been adequately examined in the context of arms control to date. 2 Disturbingly, this cyberwar threat is both the most likely and the most difficult to control through negotiated agreements, whether with other states or with non-state actors. Because of the dual-use nature of chemical, biological, and especially information warfare technology, it will be essential to include multinational corporations (MNC’s) in future arms control agreements. MNC’s can help to discourage proliferation of technology to non-state users, can provide intelligence on states, groups, and individuals that have dangerous technological capabilities and the desire to use them, and can assist in the creation and improvement of defenses against chemical, biological, and information warfare.

The paper suggests some ways in which arms control regimes may be useful for reducing the likelihood of conflict involving the United States and the extent of the damages which conflict will cause if it occurs, but so doing will require some flexible thinking about the nature of arms control and about emerging threats to U.S. national security in the new century.

I. A Brief Discussion of Arms Control

Thomas Schelling and Morton Halperin, in their classic book Strategy and Arms Control, first published in 1961, use the term "arms control" to include "all the forms of military cooperation between potential enemies in the interest of reducing the likelihood of war, its scope and violence if it occurs, and the political and economic costs of being prepared for it." 3 They were concerned with the fact that nuclear weapons were inherently escalatory; that is, that the possession of those weapons by the United States and the Soviet Union created pressures for "first use"–using nuclear weapons against the enemy before he used them against you. Their book focused on the need to evaluate all actions taken in the name of national security in terms of whether they made the state more or less secure in light of adversaries’ actions taken in response to American actions. The situation they abhorred has since become known as the "security dilemma": one in which actions taken by your own state, intended to increase the security of your citizens, result in an adversary taking countervailing actions which ultimately diminish the security of all. 4 Schelling and Halperin believed strongly that "Adjustments in military postures and doctrines that induce reciprocal adjustments by a potential opponent can be of mutual benefit if they reduce the danger of a war that neither side wants, or contain its violence, or otherwise serve the security of the nation." 5

This paper takes a similar position, believing that arms control is of no merit in and of itself, but only insofar as it diminishes the chances or the costs of future conflict or the costs of preparing for the same. This paper also argues that the definition of arms control must be extended to include not only military, but also political and economic actions, intended to accomplish those objectives. It further extends the definition to include cooperation between friends as well as potential enemies in the interest of reducing the likelihood of war–for in the post-Cold War world, very often potential enemies will not be other states, but individuals and sub-state groups with interests inimical to those of the United States. Many states share a common interest in minimizing the likelihood of war or conflict initiated by these actors, its scope and violence if it occurs, and the political and economic costs of being prepared for it. Even if all states are not prepared to cooperate in the effort, involving as many as possible, especially those with advanced research and industrial capacities, will help to limit the dangers of these emerging threats.

Schelling and Halperin were very concerned about the impact of technology, especially nuclear technology, on the relationship between the United States and the Soviet Union at the time when they were writing. They believed that both unilateral U.S. actions and bilateral arms control agreements could serve to increase the security of both superpowers, and strongly advocated both unilateral and bilateral arms control as a result.

In addition to what we can do unilaterally to improve our warning, to maintain close control over our forces, to make our forces more secure against attack, to avoid the need for precipitant decisions, to avoid accidents or the mistaken decisions that they might cause and to contain conflict once it starts, there may be opportunities to exchange facilities or understandings with our enemies, or to design and deploy our forces differently by agreement with our enemies who do likewise, in a way that enhances those aspects of technology that we like and that helps to nullify those that we do not. 6

These agreements need not be formal ones, signed, negotiated, and named. Reciprocal self-restraint was a common feature of US-Soviet relations during the Cold War and remains one today. In the same way, informal agreements, among adversaries or friendly states, which serve to accomplish the three purposes of arms control listed above, will continue to play a large–and perhaps an increasing–role in U.S. security policy for the foreseeable future. These agreements can accomplish the objectives of arms control by decreasing the benefit to states of getting more armaments, by increasing the cost of getting more armaments, by increasing the costs of using these armaments, or by decreasing the benefits of using them. 7

Principles of Arms Control

Arms control agreements are of value to the extent that they can be verified and to the extent that violations of their provisions can be punished. Verification and enforcement mechanisms have been developed over time which have increased the effectiveness of arms control regimes, and they will continue to evolve with changes in both international politics and with developments in technology.

The inclusion of new weapons systems into the national defense arsenal generally proceeds through a series of defined and reasonably discrete steps: Research and Development, Testing, Acquisition, Production, Deployment, and Employment. To control these arms, it is necessary to intervene at one or more of the steps in this process. Where on this continuum you attempt to intervene determines which policy tools will be appropriate. 8 Limitations become easier to impose and verify as one moves closer to the actual deployment and employment of weapons systems; as Schelling and Halperin noted, "Limitations on research are difficult to enforce because it is never really clear what sort of research is going to lead to useful military techniques. There is also the problem of preventing military development while permitting peaceful development." 9

True of nuclear research, this is even more true of chemical, biological, and information systems research and development, but there is also a qualitative difference between nuclear weapons research and that of other forms of WMD: nuclear systems require a huge and readily apparent infrastructure with fairly limited commercial use. The same cannot be said of chemical, biological, and information systems weaponry, which also have far greater peaceful civilian applications and are known as "dual use" technologies. Therefore, verification of limits on the development, testing, and production of these systems is far more difficult, leading one expert in the field to argue that "There’s no way to enforce a Biological Weapons or Chemical Weapons convention. You can’t do it, period. Verification of Biological Weapons and Chemical Weapons conventions is impossible." 10 Another expert agrees, but sees different implications. 11 Greg Rattray argues, "We have to build stronger norms against the use of biological weapons and chemical weapons, because there’s no way to limit the proliferation of technology."

A Brief History of Arms Control 12

Although there were negotiations between Athens and Sparta on limitations of fortifications in the fifth century B.C. 13 , arms control as it is now understood was largely a product of the Cold War and of the fear that mankind would eradicate itself unless political limits were imposed upon nuclear technology. The 1968 Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and 1972 Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) attempted to eliminate classes of weapons; they were followed by the Strategic Arms Limitations Talks (SALT), which focused instead on increasing strategic stability between the United States and the Soviet Union. During Ronald Reagan’s presidency, the emphasis again shifted to the elimination of classes of weapons, such as the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty of 1987, which eliminated an entire class of nuclear weapons delivery systems.

Further talks on Strategic Arms Reductions (START) were underway when the collapse of the Soviet Union fundamentally changed the international security system. First President Bush, then Soviet President Gorbachev promised to destroy their countries’ stores of nuclear artillery rounds, ended bomber runway alerts, and in general decreased the alert status of their nuclear forces. By the terms of the START Treaty, signed on July 31, 1991, both countries pledged to reduce their total number of deployed warheads to 6,000 each. Agreements on further cuts in Russian and U.S. nuclear weapons, including sharp reductions in the number of destabilizing missiles with multiple independently targetable reentry vehicle (MIRV) warheads, were agreed to in the START-II Treaty, which has been signed by both countries but not yet ratified by the Russian parliament.

Much of the focus of arms control in the years since the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War has been on dealing with the strategic arsenals of the two superpowers. Arms control played an important role in increasing the security of the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War, minimizing the chances of thermonuclear conflict while reducing defense expenditures on both sides. However, the world has changed dramatically over the past ten years, and there is now considerable disagreement about the changing relevance of arms control in the post-Cold War world. Ambassador Robert Joseph argues for dramatic changes in U.S. arms control policy, stating that "The way we’ve done arms control with the Soviet Union should not be the way we do arms control with Russia." 14

Dramatic changes in the international security environment may portend similarly dramatic changes in the threats to U.S. security policy writ large, with arms control as just one component of that complex whole. The next section of the paper will examine U.S. national security in the world of today and evaluate the forces currently driving change in the system. It will then make some predictions about the configuration of the international system and the resulting threats to U.S. national security in the first few decades of the twenty-first century. Only then will we be able to return to the subject of arms control to think about the future role of military, political, economic, and diplomatic cooperation among states "in the interest of reducing the likelihood of war, its scope and violence if it occurs, and the political and economic costs of being prepared for it." 15

II. Globalization and National Security to the Year 2025

It has been ten years since history ended with the verdict that free-market capitalism was the only viable means of allocating resources at the state level, and in those ten years the outlines of the new world order have emerged. 16 Firmly convinced that before one figures out where one is going, it is first essential to know where one is, this paper will begin by describing the two-tiered world of today. It will then examine some of the forces of change driving us toward the world of 2025, paying special attention to the concept of a "globalized world", before examining what this author believes will remain a two-tiered world in 2025–but a very different world of two rather different tiers. Finally, the section will conclude with an analysis of the national security implications of this vision of the future.

The twentieth century was well described as "the American century", for in the one hundred years since America stumbled into an empire in the wake of the Spanish-American War the United States has clearly emerged as the dominant international actor. This paper will argue that the next century will also be an American one, but in a fundamentally different way than was the last. Changes in both the international system and in America itself will necessitate a very different understanding of national security in the new millennium–and arms control, as an instrument of national security policy, will also be very different.

A World of Tiers

Donald Snow is one of the most innovative thinkers writing today about "the Shape of the Future." His book of that title 17 provides a framework that is a useful way to make sense of the rapidly changing world in which we live, although he is far from the only scholar who divides the world as it currently exists into several tiers. 18

Snow is in many ways a structural realist who believes that the structure of the international system matters and that the number of pole states in the system affects much of what happens in the world. Snow looks at the world in the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union and finds just one superpower, forming what Ken Waltz would call a unipolar world. Snow argues that the United States has shaped much of the world in its own image through its economic hegemony and regime formation, helping to create what he calls the "First Tier" of economically advanced liberal democracies. Michael Doyle refers to this same group of states as a "Zone of Peace" within which war is essentially inconceivable. It is difficult to overstate the importance of this development; for the first time in history, the "great powers" of the international order have essentially renounced the use of force against each other as a means of settling disputes. Much of this change is based on the shared economic systems of the industrialized democracies. Francis Fukayama has gone so far as to describe the triumph of liberal capitalist democracy as "The End of History", arguing that this system has proven so successful that there is simply no imaginable alternative to it. 19

However, the First Tier comprises only about one-seventh of the world’s population. The rest of the globe--ruled by governments which are either not fully democratic, do not have industrialized capitalist economies, or both–does not enjoy the same freedom from concerns about warfare among states or inside their own states. Instead, traditional balance of power politics, mercantilism, and instrumental nationalism continue all too often to make life "nasty, brutish, and short." The primary problem of international relations for the foreseeable future is how the states of the First Tier will deal with those that languish in the Second Tier. Under what circumstances will the industrialized democracies of the world intervene in conflicts among Second Tier states--or within them? Will the people of the First Tier support intervention in conflicts on the periphery when the vital interests of their states are not affected? Will they demand such intervention when through the miracle of cable television they see and hear horrible atrocities inflicted upon innocent people? These are vitally important questions, and ones which the countries of the First Tier have not yet conclusively answered–although the Clinton administration is moving toward the formulation of a Clinton Doctrine which will attempt to answer them. It will likely argue that the First Tier should intervene in Second Tier conflicts when:

Figure 1 illustrates National Security in a World of Tiers.

Figure 1: National Security in a World of Tiers

While it is possible to argue with the exact definition of each of these criteria, it is likely that some variety of the Clinton Doctrine will continue to govern First Tier decisions to intervene in Second Tier conflicts for the foreseeable future. Although the presumptive Clinton Doctrine criteria may remain constant, that future will change dramatically, driven by a number of forces of change to which we now turn.

Forces of Change

There are a number of study groups contemplating the shape of the next twenty-five years, from the National Security Study Group (NSSG) to the Center for Strategic and International Security (CSIS) 20 to the Joint Strategy Working Group. The JSWG has identified several trends that it believes will shape the global security environment of 2025: demographics, politics, economics, energy, environment, technology, information, and military patterns of change and continuity. This paper will take a quick glance at each, drawing largely but not exclusively from the Joint Staff’s work. 21

Demographics: Although world population growth will continue to slow down, the vast majority of world population growth will come in the underdeveloped regions of the world. The vast majority of population growth will occur in urban areas, which will become far larger and more crowded over the next twenty-five years. By the year 2020, more than half of the world’s populations will live in urban areas.

Politics: In the words of the Joint Staff, "The concept of ‘democracy’, that is, some sort of participatory system accountable to the people and responsive to public opinion, increasingly forms the basis of government in the world. The nation-state remains the principal actor in global politics, though there has been a concurrent rise in the power of non-state actors." Inter-state wars continue to decline, especially between the major powers, while intra-state wars are increasing in both number and ferocity of violence.

Economics: The world economy is becoming far more integrated. Transnational corporations now control over a third of all world production; 40% of world trade occurs within TNCs. While economic conditions have improved in a number of second-tier nations, many of the poorest countries have fallen even further behind, and risk being completely marginalized from the mainstream of global economic progress. About 30% of the developing world’s population, or some 1.1 billion people, live on less than a dollar a day.

Energy: World demand for petroleum has increased by 1% annually since 1975, with the fastest growth in demand occurring in China and East Asia. The United States imported 48% of its oil in 1997, 17% of that (8% of total U.S. demand) from the Persian Gulf. Total imports provided came from Venezuela (18%), Mexico (14%), Canada (15%), Nigeria (7%), Angola (4%), and Norway (3%). The Persian Gulf is the single most important source of world oil, with 64% of world reserves and 26% of world production. Japan now imports 70% of its total demand from the Gulf.

Environment: Resource scarcity is an increasingly important problem, and will impact upon national security in ever more pressing ways. The world’s supply of water per capita in 1994 was one-third of what it had been in 1970; wars over water may occur in Southwest Asia and elsewhere over the next thirty years. Desertification affects up to 70% of potentially productive drylands, according to the United Nations Environmental Program.

Technology: The majority of all research and development is now done by the commercial sector, rather than by the government and the military. Civilian research and development has increased the availability of militarily significant dual-use technology to far more actors in the system.

Information: Advances in information technology have increased both the availability and speed of dissemination of information to a far larger percentage of the world’s population. Imaging technology is now widely available. In 1996, the commercial space industry outspent government spending on space; space-based systems will become increasingly important. We have become dependent on information-based technologies and will not be able to function as societies or as militaries without them.

Military: Technological advances and proliferation have enabled many countries and some individuals to improve their military capabilities relative to those of the United States, especially in the areas of chemical and biological weaponry. Developing countries focus their purchases on air defense, missile technology, and aircraft. Their defense expenditures are declining, albeit at a slower rate than those of developed countries, with the exception of Asia, which is currently experiencing 2.5% real growth in procurement budgets annually. The proliferation of WMD and long-range delivery systems is enabling countries to threaten others at greater ranges with more accuracy and lethality. The United States leads the pack and is pulling away in information technology, doctrine, joint integration, communications, general research and development, advanced aircraft, and miniaturization.

A Global World

In thinking about what the first three decades of the new millennium will look like, and what challenges and opportunities they will present to the American national security system, this section draws heavily upon the assumptions listed above and on Thomas Friedman’s The Lexus and the Olive Tree: Understanding Globalization. According to Friedman, "the post-Cold War world" can be better defined as a "globalizing" world. Globalization is "the overarching international system shaping the domestic politics and foreign relations of virtually every country." 22 It "involves the inexorable integration of markets, nation-states and technologies to a degree never witnessed before", 23 and it "means the spread of free-market capitalism to virtually every country in the world." 24 As Francis Fukayama noted, there is simply no viable alternative to free-market capitalism in the wake of the Soviet collapse. 25

This fact has implications far beyond trade policy, for, as Michael Mazaar and many others argue, "Free markets generally produce free polities." Particularly in the post-Cold War world, the demands of competing in the global economy create compelling pressures for free transfers of information in the economic realm–and systems which transfer information on prices and economic demands also carry political demands. While not an absolute correlation, "the resulting trend in the direction of democracy is undeniable: from almost zero several hundred years ago, the percentage of countries in the world that could roughly be described as democratic may exceed 80 percent by the year 2005." 26 This trend is likely to continue as globalization continues.

One primary driver of globalization is information technology. Friedman believes, like Heidi and Alvin Toffler, that the third great revolution of human existence is information technology, and that it will transform human life as dramatically as did the invention of agriculture some 5000 years ago 27 and as did the Industrial Revolution two centuries ago. We are at a very early stage of the Information Revolution, and its impact on our lives over the next thirty years can barely be imagined, but it is already opening up the world in many dramatic ways. As Dale F. Eickelman recently noted of the Muslim world, "Quite simply, in country after country, government officials, traditional religious scholars, and officially sanctioned preachers are finding it very hard to monopolize the tools of literate culture. The days have gone when governments and religious authorities can control what their people know, and what they think." 28

The United States is uniquely well positioned to take advantage of the information revolution. For a number of reasons ranging from labor mobility to tax structures to immigration policies, the United States is well out in front of the race for superiority in the Information Revolution–and its lead is increasing. This fact has profound implications for the national security of the United States over the next three decades. The United States will set global standards for information technology--in fact, it already has--and also for global taxation policies, financial accounting rules, and for transparency in financial transactions. This "soft power" 29 will immensely broaden both the reach and the grasp of the United States in the world. A globalized world will increasingly look and act American–a fact which is, in almost all ways, a good thing for U.S. National Security. Michael Mazaar notes the effect of a world that increasingly follows the same economic rules: "Finally, it is worth pointing out the effect of socioeconomic convergence on the likelihood of war among the converging powers: It makes war less likely." 30

However, the era of globalization has complicated the national security equation immensely. While during the Cold War the focus of international relations was on the interactions between states–especially the military relations between the two superpowers–more actors now play a role in the globalized system, and will have to be considered in the formulations of security policy. While relations among states remain important in the globalized world, Friedman argues that "the United States is now the sole and dominant superpower and all other nations are subordinate to it to one degree or another." 31 The United States has always enjoyed an enviable degree of security because of its geography; that advantage is now being multiplied by its strengths in electronics and "soft power." In terms of state-on-state relations, the United States has the greatest power differential in the history of humankind since the Roman Empire 32 –and that lead will increase, not decrease, in the next few decades.

This is not to say that the traditional components of national power are now irrelevant. The United States will continue to use its nuclear and conventional arsenal to deter attacks on its homeland and allies, and will rely upon diplomacy and arms control to retain good relations and diminish threats internationally–but, unlike the past 223 years of U.S. history, inter-state threats will not be the primary concern of U.S. policy.

Instead, the focus will be on the second and especially on the third "balance" of the globalization system. 33 The second balance, between nation-states and global markets, is again one that the United States dominates, and it will be an increasingly effective arena of U.S. foreign policy. Instead of the threat of use of nuclear or conventional forces to get other states to accede to U.S. wishes, the carrot and stick of IMF bailouts will be used to convince other states to act in ways which will advance U.S. interests–and ultimately, their own.

The third balance of the globalized world is the one between nation-states and individuals and trans-national actors. The very globalization of the system, its increasing interconnectedness, is a huge source of vulnerability. Individuals and small groups will increasingly be able to access the technology and information that holds the key to the entire system. Those with the desire to do so may turn the key and bring it all crashing down. This paper will later deal with those individuals and present an analysis of both their increasing power and their motives.

The Two-Tiered World of 2025

The trends we have examined thus far lead to several tentative conclusions about the shape of the world in 2025. 34 Speaking most broadly, it appears likely that Don Snow’s division of the world into two tiers–one composed of democratic, industrialized countries with free markets, the other composed of countries which are either not liberal democracies or not industrialized capitalist states–will continue to describe the world of 2025. In the words of the National Defense University, "The other great economic powers, the European Union (EU) and Japan, despite occasional friction, are close and trusted allies and friends of the United States. Together, the three have built a democratic, free-market core, which is now spreading throughout the Americas, Europe, and Asia. Consequently, an expanding area of the globe is increasingly peaceful and prosperous. The flow of goods, capital, and know-how throughout this area is growing and being freed from barriers and threats of interruption." 35 If current trends continue, the First Tier will thus be larger, with the current G7 joined by South Korea (or a unified Korea led by the South), Australia, Brazil, South Africa, Argentina, Taiwan, and conceivably several other states. The Second Tier will bifurcate, with a number of states attempting to climb into the First Tier through the development of democratic governments and free-market economies, and some others sinking farther and farther behind. The resulting trends are summarized nicely by the National Defense University: "There is no sign that great-power rivalry will displace comity as the essence of U.S.-European or U.S.-Japanese relations, despite the collapse of the Soviet Union. The three largest states outside this core--China, India, and Russia--have embarked on a transition of economic reform and integration. They know that cooperation with the leading core democracies is key to national prospects. By contrast, rogue regimes that reject the norms of the core must rely on oppression to survive and therefore face a bleak future." 36

The Global Marketplace will both create and enforce regimes, not just governing international trade, but also rules of economic transparency and increasingly governmental transparency as well. This development will be quite largely in our interest, and will promote an international acceptance of norms that will remake the world in our interest. This trend is already at work. "The globalization of both production and markets, enabled by information technology and fostering economic and political reform, is working its way (somewhat unevenly) through Eastern Europe, Latin America, and Southeast Asia. As it does, it is improving living standards, political legitimacy, stability, and security in regions previously among the world's most troubled. Most of the states of these three regions are poised to join the core. From Chile and Argentina to the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland, to Malaysia and Thailand, the roots of reform have grown sturdy, and acceptance of core norms has solidified. The United States has an interest in making these gains irreversible and, in time, getting these emerging nations also to accept greater international responsibilities--that is, to become new core partners." 37 In an interesting illustration of this point, the citizens of Uzice, a Serbian town which was bombed during Operation Joint Venture, expressed no displeasure at NATO. Ljubise Maksimovic, a 46 year old railroad foreman, explained his feelings about the Western alliance: "They bombed us because our wrong policies are not in accord with the rest of the world." 38

Governments will increasingly rely upon the support of their citizens to govern. In The Commanding Heights: The Battle Between Government and the Marketplace that is Remaking the Modern World, Daniel Yergin and Joseph Stanislaw propose five tests which government will have to meet to retain the support of their citizens. 39 States which do not do so will face pressures from their citizenry to reform; citizens who feel that their states do not meet these tests may rebel against their own state 40 , or against the entire international system which imposes these demands.

The first demand is that states Deliver the Goods in measurable economic terms, including employment and economic growth. The second is that the distribution of those goods be perceived to be Fair, with no excessive concentration of wealth, an effective legal system and transparency of economic rules. The state must continue to maintain a National Identity so that members continue to feel a loyalty to something they believe in; this is the "Olive Tree" of Friedman’s book title. States must protect the Environment; this need is most pressing for 4.75 billion people who live in the developing world, and this issue is a possible fault line for future North/South conflict. Finally, states must deal with the challenge of Demographics. This is a very different problem in the two tiers of states; the Aging population in the First Tier contrasts sharply with the increasing percentage of young people, and hence demand for employment, in the Second Tier, although gradual decreases in population growth will mitigate this issue somewhat over time.

Governments will have to succeed in all of these areas to meet the expectations of their people. Those that do not may face riots in the streets, terrorists attacks, or both, as the government is not perceived as legitimate by empowered individuals who decide to take action against it. Already, terrorist assaults against the United States have been committed by those who felt that the United States was attacking their national identity (Usama bin Laden), destroying the environment (Unabomber), or treating its own citizens unfairly (Oklahoma City bombing). These attacks from without and within are likely to continue. Because of the proliferation of technology, these attackers may also have the ability to accomplish their desires to bring down the system that is providing health and wealth to an ever-increasing number of their peers around the world. They will present the most serious national security challenge to the United States in the year 2025, and beyond–not because they will be able to destroy the United States or the international system, for they will not.

However, the diminished incidence of war among states in the First Tier, the increasing number of liberal democracies in the world and hence increasing size of the First Tier, and the fact that the United States maintains a substantial national security apparatus to deal with state-on-state threats, lead this author to believe that these sub-state threats will become relatively more important in the next century. Unfortunately, we are sadly unprepared to deal with them. As Ralph Peters has noted, "The U.S. military is magnificently prepared to defeat soldiers. America's forces have the technology, training and raw power to shatter conventional enemies. The threats we face today, though, and are likely to face in the coming decades do not arise from other soldiers, with the disciplined professionalism that term conveys, but from warriors-individuals of volatile allegiance, who are habituated to violence and have no stake in civil order." 41

The rising tide will not lift all boats. Those who do not want to join the globalized world, or who are unable to do so, will almost invariably blame the United States, as the point of origin of much of the structure and content of the New World Order. Those who are left behind–both internationally and in the United States–will have a real desire to damage or destroy the system. As Michael Mazaar reminds us, "Coping with change is never easy; coping with the sort of accelerated, comprehensive change that we face today could turn out to be the severest test that history has ever imposed on human psychology." 42 Many who fail that test will take out their resentment on America. In the words of David Kay, "The United States has overwhelming power in the world and we’re going to remain overwhelming. There is a body of resentment that is going to increase because of who we are. That resentment is a reservoir and breeding ground for terrorist organizations." 43

The Secretary of Defense agrees. "As the new millennium approaches, the United States faces a heightened prospect that regional aggressors, third-rate armies, terrorist cells, and even religious cults will wield disproportionate power by using–or even threatening to use–nuclear, biological, or chemical weapons against our troops in the field and our people at home." 45 He is 44 supported in this fear by the Deutch Commission, which recently stated that weapons of mass destruction "pose a grave threat to the United States and to our military forces and our vital interests abroad. The most serious threats are:

The globalized world referred to by Friedman makes this concern even more serious. "In the core countries, and more and more over the globe, economies and infrastructure are increasingly integrated and people move more or less freely across borders. Mischief initiated in one place thus can now ripple across oceans and continents (e.g., an attack on information systems in the United States could be felt in Europe and Asia). This increased vulnerability magnifies the power of nonstate actors, making cooperation among the core countries against potential threats more desirable than ever." 47

One of the key threats will be the nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons which are left over from the Cold War, particularly those in the uncertain hands of the Russian military. According to Leon Sloss of the National Defense University’s Institute for National Strategic Studies, the Russians retain thousands of non-strategic nuclear weapons. Lax Russian control over the weapons and the resulting fear of accidents and of leakage to third parties alarms many observers. 48 As one scholar notes, "The Cold War is over, but the triple threat of chemical, biological, and nuclear proliferation will be with us for a long time to come." 49 Three prominent defense experts make the point even more starkly: "The danger of weapons of mass destruction being used against America and its allies is greater now than at any time since the Cuban missile crisis of 1962." 50

Most experts agree that it is only a matter of time until terrorists use weapons of mass destruction. The World Trade Center bombing of 1995, in which terrorists used a fertilizer and diesel fuel truck bomb in an attempt to kill 60,000 people, indicates that that threshold has already been crossed. Ambassador Joseph agrees, stating: "Terrorists will acquire these weapons. Arms control may be one tool worth considering" in making that task harder for them. 51 And Dr. Jim Smith, Director of the Institute for National Security Studies at the U.S. Air Force Academy, recently agreed at a conference on the confluence of terrorism and weapons of mass destruction: "We are rethinking arms control and trying to extend arms control. It’s still in the conceptual phase–but to the extent that terrorist weapons mimic state weapons we do need to consider non-state mechanisms for arms control." 52

In addition to the threat of terrorist use of weapons of mass destruction, we must also be aware of terrorist attacks upon our information infrastructure, including through offensive use of computers–‘cyberwar’. This is another threat that is upon us now. U.S. State Department Counterterrorism officer Tom Hastings recently recalled the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs’ no-notice exercise in May of 1997, during which "hackers" employed by the Department of Defense enjoyed great success breaking into the classified "SIPRINET" computer network. 53 Information attacks are in many ways a terrorist’s dream weapon; a recent RAND study noted that, "Unlike traditional weapons technologies, development of information-based techniques does not require sizable financial resources or state sponsorship. Information systems expertise and access to important networks may be the only prerequisites." 54

This is another fertile arena for arms control in the mind of some experts in the field. Notes U.S. Air Force Major Greg Rattray, "While the benefits from an interconnected global information society are numerous, vulnerabilities to information infrastructure have been created that threaten the well-being and security of states and societies. Existing international mechanisms and laws do not satisfactorily deal with problem, not do they create enforceable norms of behavior regarding use or disruption of the global information infrastructure." 55

The emerging international environment poses increased dangers of non-state and substate actors using new technologies to strike an increasingly vulnerable West. It is well worth exploring the potential of arms control to limit these dangers. Table 1 summarizes the WMD threat in the next century.

Table 1: The WMD Threat in a Globalized World

  Nuclear Chemical Biological Cyberspace
Number of Participants

P5 + ?




R&D Limits

ABM Treaty, CTBT

No Testing

Testing Limits



Declarations, Limits,




Launcher Limits


Warhead Limits





1993 Ban

1972 Ban

Barriers to Entry




Very Low



Limited Military Effectiveness




Very Difficult





Relatively Easy


More Difficult

Very Difficult

Dual Purpose




Very High

Role of Non-State Actors




Very High

Another View: Danger from the East

A influential counterpoint to this generally optimistic view–at least as far as state-on-state violence is concerned--is provided by Paul Bracken, who believes that rather than viewing recent history through the lens of the Cold War, we should examine Asian history from the perspective of Asia. Seen from the East, the most important trend of the past fifty years has not been the collapse of Communism and the Soviet Union but the decline of Western power in relation to that of Asian countries. Bracken sees this trend continuing with potentially dire implications for the security of the West. 56 Although most observers, including this author, do not share his fears, the fact that East Asia is the only region of the world demonstrating real increases in defense spending does lend some credence to the argument, and suggests that it be taken somewhat seriously. 57 This paper discounts those fears, agreeing with Bill Perry and Ashton Carter in that it "recognizes the malleability of China’s future course and the potential for America to influence it through engagement." 58 If the United States and its allies choose the right approaches, they will be able to influence China away from policies inimical to those of the United States–and in the direction of policies that further U.S. interests.

Neither Russia nor China are likely to become a "peer competitor"–that is, to have the military technology and global reach that today characterize U.S. military capabilities–for at least several decades. 59 Instead, the danger is that either, both, or several "rogue states" could adopt asymmetric strategies including the use or threat of use of weapons of mass destruction to deter U.S. involvement in their regions. 60 Indeed, the two "Major Regional Contingencies" which anchor current U.S. defense planning–wars on the Korean Peninsula and in the Persian Gulf–may also involve the use of WMD. In the words of Perry and Carter, "We cannot count on either of the two ever-present, major regional contingencies to be ‘symmetric’ conflicts in which the aggressor relies only on conventional weapons to attempt to prevail against America’s superior conventional forces. The next major conflict involving U.S. forces will be against an opponent armed with nuclear, chemical, biological, or ballistic missile weapons–or all of them." 61

It is essential, therefore, whether our next conflict is against another state or against a substate or transnational actor, to consider whether and how we can use arms control to reduce the threat of conflict, the costs of conflict once it happens, and the costs of preparing for, deterring, or preventing that conflict. As the National Defense University recently argued, "the United States should also be motivated by an affirmative goal for the century to come. In essence, it seeks an expansive community of responsible

democracies, bound together by the free flow of goods, resources, and knowledge, encompassing all the world's great powers, and safe from rogues with hostile ideas and dangerous technologies. Whether such a vision is realistic depends on the skillful use of U.S. influence." 62 One of those tools of influence should continue to be arms control. It is to a consideration of the role of arms control in this New World Disorder that we now turn.

III. Arms Control of WMD to the Year 2025

I believe the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction presents the greatest threat that the world has ever known. We are finding more and more countries that are acquiring technology — not only missile technology — and are developing chemical weapons and biological weapons capabilities to be used in theater and also on a long-range basis. So I think that is perhaps the greatest threat that any of us will face in the coming years.

-- Secretary of Defense William Cohen
January 1997 63                 

Arms Control worked to improve U.S. national security during the Cold War largely because of the bipolar nature of the international system. The threat was clear and relatively easy to monitor, while the two countries which really mattered in terms of international security recognized that each had both a great deal to gain if arms control worked and, particularly in the wake of the Cuban Missile Crisis, both also understood that they had even more to lose if arms control failed. None of these facts remain true today. In the uni-multipolar world of the early 21st century, the number of threats and their variety, as well as the vastly more difficult tasks involved in tracking the more complicated WMD systems of today, mean that arms control as it has traditionally been understood is much less useful than it has been.

However, broadening the definition of arms control increases the relevance of the concept. Originally intended to include "all the forms of military cooperation between potential enemies in the interest of reducing the likelihood of war, its scope and violence if it occurs, and the political and economic costs of being prepared for it" 64 , the definition became more constrained in practice during the Cold War, to include only negotiated treaties between adversaries. Today, the threat and thus the response must be much broader. Arms control now includes confidence-building measures, cooperative threat reduction, nonproliferation, export controls, and conventional arms control in addition to strategic control of weapons of mass destruction, including chemical and biological weapons.

In a world of tiers, arms control–and security policy in general--will have to be conducted differently in relation to each of the tiers that will comprise the new world order. States within the first tier of liberal democracies--and, in the case of chemical and biological weapons, multinational companies within them--can be expected to both set and enforce regimes that limit the proliferation and use of weaponry;/65/these states will also attempt to bring second-tier states into the first-tier "club". Moves toward civilian control of the military and toward democratization within the Eastern European states that seek membership in NATO and the EU are examples of this process at work today. Those second tier states that refuse to adhere to arms control regimes must be deterred from using them by more effective nonproliferation regimes and through the old standby of deterrence. While cheating is always a risk, the increasing marginalization of rogue states that fail to follow norms and the guarantee of swift and severe punishment for violations will make it increasingly less attractive for state actors.

The real concern, then, is non- and sub-state actors, whose actions are impossible to control through either negotiations or through deterrence as it has conventionally been known. Although it is true that on average more Americans are killed by lightning strikes or deer accidents each year than are killed by terrorists, 66 this fortunate trend is unlikely to continue without a more concerted effort at prevention of terrorist efforts to acquire weapons of mass destruction. Current efforts at arms control and at threat reduction must be aimed more explicitly at tightening control over WMD technology and weaponry to prevent their acquisition by sub-state actors–and states must be held liable for terrorist actions committed with weapons of mass destruction acquired through their negligence. Table 2 summarizes suggested uses of arms control, nonproliferation, and criminalization of actions to enhance U.S. national security in the next century.

Table 2: Arms Control in a World of Tiers

  Nuclear Chemical Biological Cyberspace
First Tier

Arms Control/


Arms Control/

Nonprolif (MNC Help)

Arms Control/

Nonprolif (MNC Help)

Mutual Defense/


Second Tier








Non-State Actors











Changes in Arms Control

In addition to this broadening of the nature and of the scope of arms control from the Cold War era to today–a broadening which will only continue over the next several decades–it is possible to discern several other trends in the changing role of arms control. 67 These include a greater focus on morality and the role of moral example in furthering arms control, substantial success in nuclear arms reductions, an increasing shift in focus from deployed systems to control of technology with a corresponding increase in the collaborative role of commercial enterprises in arms control efforts, growing difficulty in confirming compliance with arms control regimes, a change in the enforcement mechanisms for arms control agreements, and increasing attention to regional rather than global arms control regimes. The paper will briefly discuss each of these changes:

A greater focus on morality and the role of moral example in furthering arms control. Unless the great powers make some real efforts at disarmament, they will be unable to convince the rest of the world to accede to their demands for stricter nonproliferation regimes. As generational change in political leadership occurs and as the era of long peace continues, Western leaders may become more willing to make substantial reductions in their deployed arsenals. The increased role of Non-Governmental Organizations in supporting arms control regimes will lead to much more public attention on issues such as land mines and to greater pressure on governments to respond to humanitarian and environmental concerns. Note, for example, the role of NGOs in creating and promoting the Ottawa Treaty to ban anti-personnel land mines, which the United States has to this point refused to sign. 68

Substantial success in nuclear arms reductions. The most successful arena for arms control during the Cold War because of the relative difficulty in production of nuclear weapons and the relative ease in tracking them, there has been a freeze in progress since START I. While START II remains in abeyance for the present time, some observers talk of bypassing it to move directly to START III. Once the number of warheads possessed by the United States and Russia has declined below 1000 each or so, it will be necessary to multi-lateralize the process, bringing in China, Britain, and France. Although this will complicate the process, it is not unreasonable to suppose that arms control in the nuclear arena could make further progress over the next 25 years, leading to a verifiable level of perhaps 2000 warheads in existence worldwide, with observers and other intrusive verification means designed to ensure not just that no state cheated on numbers, but to reduce the chances of false alarms–a dramatic improvement in U.S. national security from the present day. 69

Meanwhile, however, arms control techniques that were effective during the Cold War in an era of mutual assured destruction may no longer serve to enhance U.S. security, and may even diminish it. The 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty, for example, is a relic of the Cold War that limits the ability of the United States to deploy or even to develop a national missile defense system that is far more necessary in the post-Cold War world than it was in the era of MAD. Some recent analysis indicates that the United States is no longer bound by the ABM treaty as a result of the dissolution of the Soviet Union, one of the parties to the agreement. 70

An increasing shift in focus from deployed systems to control of technology with a corresponding increase in the collaborative role of commercial enterprises in arms control efforts. Arms control may become an increasingly collaborative effort between the U.S. government and private industry, particularly in the areas of chemical, biological, and information warfare. 71 Unlike nuclear weapons, which require substantial (and relatively easily monitorable) infrastructure to develop and deploy, the creation of chemical, biological, and particularly information warfare weapons requires only readily available commercial technology. Export controls will be an increasingly unreliable means of limiting proliferation of this technology; instead, the U.S. government will have to rely upon the assistance of multinational companies to police themselves, to report unusual users of their technology, and perhaps even to investigate and punish those who use or attempt to use these weapons. One conclusion of those who study the post-Cold War "globalizing" world is that the most essential factor to ensuring economic growth in a country is the existence of the rule of law to establish and enforce contracts. Governments that provide and enforce this rule of law enable the economic progress of their citizenries, and companies rely upon them to do so. The partnership will become ever closer in the industrialized world over the next twenty-five years, developing into a more symbiotic relationship. Companies will depend on governments to provide a climate for enterprise, including safe borders and good laws; governments in turn will increasingly rely upon makers of chemicals, biological products, and computer networks to safeguard their own technology–safeguards on which all of us will depend in the years to come. Export controls will also have to be carefully monitored as technology improves at an ever-faster rate; computers that were prohibited from export just a few years ago may now be the commercial standard.

Growing difficulty in confirming compliance with arms control regimes. Largely a bilateral exercise during the Cold War, arms control will have to become increasingly a multilateral effort. It will be essential that first tier countries cooperate in the twin efforts to deny WMD capabilities to rogue states and to preempt them from using such weapons against civilian or military targets. Intelligence sharing will have a large role to play in this effort. Three prominent experts have suggested that because of the widely dispersed nature of the threat, "The U.S. Government should therefore have the authority to monitor any group and its potential state sponsors that might have the motive and the means to use weapons of mass destruction. In order to detect such weapons anywhere in the world, the United States should utilize remote sensing technology and cultivate global sources of information. Necessary measures include clandestine collection of open sources…as well as a full exchange of information with key allies." 72

A change in the enforcement mechanisms for arms control agreements. Rather than convincing prospective enemies to demobilize their weapons systems so that they could not shoot them at us, we must instead convince them to demobilize them so that they do not trickle into the hands of rogue states, individuals, or sub-state groups which would then fire them at us, or at least threaten to. To do so, we will increasingly rely upon economic and political means of persuasion, resorting to blockades, embargoes, and military compellence only when economic coercion fails. The globalized world economy should make this enforcement mechanism more powerful over time; increased transparency as communications become ever more effective and available will allow both national and international pressure on states which flaunt international arms control regimes. While it is obviously more difficult to enforce regimes against individuals, Harvard biologist Matthew Meselson has suggested that any individual involved in the production of a biological weapon be held liable as an international criminal liable to prosecution anywhere in the world, as is currently the case for pirates and airplane hijackers. As the locus of warfare shifts from states to individuals, so the locus of reprisals should shift from holding governments responsible by international law to holding individuals responsible by national criminal law. 73

Increasing attention to regional rather than global arms control regimes. 74 Arms control policy is a subset of national security policy. As we turn away from the strategic Soviet-American conflict, and as we achieve success in limiting the proliferation of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons, the next frontier will be regional conflicts that increase pressures to proliferate conventional as well as NBC weaponry.

This increased focus on regional arms control does not mean that multilateral efforts to control or even eliminate arms will diminish; indeed, we have already noted the important and increasing role which non-governmental organizations have played in current arms control agreements, and this author is optimistic about stricter future controls on nuclear weapons. However, there are limits to what can be accomplished, and the success of both the Chemical Weapons Convention and the Biological Weapons Convention in not just controlling but legally eliminating these two classes of weapons is a dramatic achievement. Progress in chemical weapons arms control beyond the CWC is more difficult to envision, if still possible with imaginative and thoughtful approaches. These will require the involvement of the chemical industry to act as watchdogs. Because it will be impossible to completely prevent the proliferation of these weapons, it will be essential to improve defenses against their use, as the Secretary of Defense has recently argued. 75

It is far harder to see much hope for arms control of biological weapons. Scientific progress is too rapid; verification too difficult; the dual uses of technology too vast to provide much hope for either traditional arms control or non-proliferation techniques to have much effect. And if it is difficult to conceive of arms control regimes on biological weaponry, it is nearly impossible to think of effective limits on information technology. Limitations on research and development, production, or deployment of computer network attack tools would be unverifiable; individuals acting alone can produce such tools or download them over the Internet. Trying to impose limits on CNA tools would be akin to banning personal computers or the Internet. In fact, the United States could well resist controls, as it is the clear leader in this area and is likely to remain so. US superiority will allow it to impose its will at low cost, and it will be unwilling to surrender its advantage without hope of reciprocal gain. Instead, it is likely that the United States will adopt measures to increase public-private cooperation for national defense of cyberspace like those advocated by Ashton Carter, John Deutch, and Philip Zelikow. 76 Rather than making unenforceable and unverifiable arms control agreements with other states, the U.S. must develop stronger systems and make attacking them more dangerous, not least by relying upon existing international law which classifies attacks on another nation’s computer networks as hostile or criminal acts. 77

Policy and Organizational Implications

These trends in both arms control and in the larger forces driving the future of international relations lead to several policy suggestions and several ideas for change in our national security structure to make it more effective in deterring and responding to the threats we will face in the next century.

The Cooperative Threat Reduction Program currently in place is a good beginning that should be furthered strengthened and funded. 78 This change has been understood by, of all people, the Department of Energy, which has a Director of Arms Control and Nonproliferation–the correct combination for the threats we now face. 79 However, not enough resources are currently being devoted to this program; far more could be done to reduce the dangers inherent in unguarded weapons of mass destruction and unemployed scientists with knowledge of how to build them, all for sale to the highest bidder. As Perry and Carter note, "Without a forceful ‘reinvented’ effort at cooperative programs like Nunn-Lugar, and a clear new direction for arms control, terror might again return to the headlines." 80 Senator J. Robert Kerrey’s recent attempt to reduce American nuclear stockpiles as part of the Fiscal Year 2000 National Defense Authorization Bill, though defeated in the Senate, is one example of a good place to start. 81

Senator Kerrey suggested using the money saved by decreasing America’s unnecessary stockpile of nuclear weapons to improve America’s intelligence operations. Given the dispersed nature of the threats we will face, not just from states but also from non-state and sub-state actors, the demands on intelligence collection and analysis will increase dramatically. Ashton Carter and Bill Perry therefore suggest the creation of a National Terrorism Intelligence Center, under the control of the FBI, which would "be responsible for collection, management, analysis, and dissemination of information and warning of suspected catastrophic terrorist acts." 82

The Commission to Assess the Organization of the Federal Government to Combat the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction, chaired by John M. Deutch, described current American organization for counterproliferation as "a Cold War structure for a post-Cold War mission." The panel recommended the creation of a new cabinet secretary for counterproliferation, including the defense of cyberspace. Deutch was quoted as saying, "The Government must reorganize itself if it’s going to meet the more dangerous proliferation threats we now face" 83 , and this paper agrees.

Just as important as changes in organizational structure–and far harder to accomplish–are changes in organizational cultures. The Department of Defense must change its pattern of thinking about the future of conflict and the nature of the threats it will face in the next century. 84 It is largely uninterested in the new old warfare of insurgency and terrorism, even if those old campaigns are now being waged with new weapons of war. It must begin to prepare itself now, to make itself a harder target to hit and to increase its ability to hit back, preemptively if possible, at those individuals and rogue states that would do it harm. 85

The paper also suggests that future administrations look closely at all future arms control agreements, thinking through the costs as well as the benefits of signing and adhering to them. It must examine them both from the perspective of creating norms which the majority of states will follow, and from the sure knowledge that there exist states which will not follow the regime, but will use it as cover behind which to develop banned capabilities. In some cases, the creation and maintenance of the norm may be worth the risk of rogue state cheating–but that is a decision that should be made each time an agreement is negotiated and verification and enforcement regimes are considered. 86

Finally, the paper urges that the United States Government adopt a "No First Use of Weapons of Mass Destruction" policy. Given American conventional superiority, it is very difficult to imagine a situation in which the United States would resort to first use of nuclear weapons; it has already renounced the possession as well as the use, even in retaliation, of chemical or biological weapons. Even during the Persian Gulf war, when the United States government made broad hints that it might respond with nuclear weapons to an Iraqi use of chemical weapons against U.S. forces, conventional weapons were sufficient to deter Iraqi chemical attacks. 87 It is almost inconceivable that the United States would ever again use nuclear weapons in warfare. U.S. leadership in this area would immensely strengthen the creation of an international norm against the use of weapons of mass destruction, and this paper strongly encourages that course of action.

IV. Through a Glass, Darkly

In the year 2025, if man is still alive, if woman can survive, they may find… 88

…that although the world is a greatly changed place, human nature is very similar to what it is today. Schelling and Halperin noted some forty years ago that they did not believe "the problems of war and peace and international conflict are susceptible of any once-for-all solution. Something like eternal vigilance and determination would be required to keep peace in the world at any stage of disarmament, even total disarmament." 89 Former Ambassador Robert Joseph agrees, seeing arms control as one of many tools in that long struggle, and one that must be evaluated carefully: "You have to look at each case and you have to look closely at each case. Arms control is not an easy solution. There are no easy solutions." 90

We are not likely to hammer our swords into plowshares in the next quarter-century. We may, however, with vigilance, determination, and a little luck, manage to create a world in which the likelihood of war is diminished, its scope and violence are limited, and the costs of preparing for it are minimized. If we manage to do so, an effective use of both formal and informal cooperative agreements with both our allies and our enemies will have played a major role in achieving that fortunate outcome.

Interviews Conducted

WMD Curricular Working Group, National Defense University, December 10-11, 1998.

Defense Threat Reduction Agency trip to U.S. STRATCOM, 9 April 1999.

Council on Foreign Relations visit to CIA Headquarters, Langley, VA, 24 May 1999.

Dr. Jim Miller, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy, Requirements, and Counterproliferation, 11 June 1999, 21 July 1999, 30 July 1999.

LTC Bob Butler, U.S. Air Force, Office of the DASD for SR&CP, 14 June 1999.

LTC Jim Player, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Air Force Nuclear and Counterproliferation Directorate, 15 June 1999.

LTC Cindy Jebb, U.S. Army Military Intelligence, 22 June 1999.

Nonproliferation Policy Education Center and U.S. Army War College Department of National Security and Strategy Seminar on Competitive Strategies and Nonproliferation, U.S. Army War College 22-25 June 1999.

LTC Rick Reese, USMC, Joint Staff, 23-24 June 1999.

LTC Peter Hays, USAF, School of Advanced Airpower Studies, 23-24 June 1999.

Colonel Don Snider, U.S. Army (Retired), 12 July 1999.

Captain Ike Wilson, U.S. Army, 12 July 1999.

Major General John Landry, U.S. Army (Retired), National Intelligence Officer for General Purpose Forces, 13 July 1999.

Mr. David Gordon, National Intelligence Officer for Economics and Global Issues, 13 July 1999.

LTC Jon Hardwick, USMC, 21 July 1999

Dr. John Hillen, National Security Study Group, 21 July 1999.

Dr. Lynn Davis, RAND/National Security Study Group, 21 July 1999

Bill Vogt, Army Staff (DAMO-SSD), 22 July 1999.

MAJ Michael Shinners, Army Staff, 22 July 1999

Ed Reynolds, Army Staff, 22 July 1999

John Humpton, SAIC, 22 July 1999

Dr. Jane Holl, Carnegie Endowment, 26 July 1999

COL (Ret) Tom Leney, Carnegie, 26 July 1999

Ambassador Robert Joseph, National Defense University Center for Counterproliferation, 28 July 1999

Matthew S. Martin, Defense Staffer for Senator J. Robert Kerrey, Hart Building, 28 July 1999

Senator J. Robert Kerrey, 28 July 1999.

LTC Tom Lynch, USA, Joint Staff, the Pentagon, 29 July 1999.

MAJ Greg Rattray, USAF, Air Staff, the Pentagon, 30 July 1999.

Mr. Mike Fitzgibbon, Directorate for Non-Proliferation Policy, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy and Threat Reduction, 30 July 1999.

Ms. Lilia Shevtsova, Carnegie Endowment, 24 September 1999.

Dr. Cynthia Roberts, Columbia University, 24 September 1999.

Dr. Thomas Sherlock, West Point, 24 September 1999.


Note 1: Thomas C. Schelling and Morton C. Halperin, Strategy and Arms Control. New York: Pergamon-Brassey’s, 1985, 2. Back.

Note 2: The seriousness of the threat may be inferred from the annual conference on Information Warfare, InfowarCon, sponsored by the MIS Training Institute. Details on the 1999 conference are available at Back.

Note 3: Thomas C. Schelling and Morton C. Halperin, Strategy and Arms Control. New York: Pergamon-Brassey’s, 1985, 2. Back.

Note 4: The principle is brilliantly illustrated in Dr. Seuss, The Butter Battle Book (Random House, 1984). Back.

Note 5: Strategy and Arms Control, 143. Back.

Note 6: Ibid., 3-4. Back.

Note 7: LTC Tom Lynch, J-5, Pentagon. Interview on July 29, 1999. Back.

Note 8: Dr. Jim Miller, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy, Requirements, and Counterproliferation, 11 June 1999. Back.

Note 9: Strategy and Arms Control, 37-38. Back.

Note 10: Ambassador Robert Joseph, National Defense University Center for Counterproliferation, 28 July 1999. Back.

Note 11: MAJ Greg Rattray, USAF, Air Staff, 30 July 1999. Back.

Note 12: This section draws heavily upon the National Defense University’s Strategic Assessment 1996: Elements of U.S. Power, Chapter Eight: Arms Control, available at Back.

Note 13: Gregory J. Rattray, "Introduction", to Jeffrey A. Larsen and Gregory J. Rattray, Arms Control toward the 21st Century (Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, 1996), 1. Back.

Note 14: Ambasador Robert Joseph, 28 July 1999. Back.

Note 15: Thomas C. Schelling and Morton C. Halperin, Strategy and Arms Control. New York: Pergamon-Brassey’s, 1985, 2. Back.

Note 16: Francis Fukayama, The End of History and the Last Man. (New York: Avon, 1993). See also his "Second Thoughts" and the responses thereto in The National Interest 56 (Summer 1999), 16-44. Back.

Note 17: Donald M. Snow, The Shape of the Future: The Post-Cold War World (New York: M.E. Sharpe, 1995). See also Snow’s National Security: Defense Policy for a New International Order, 3rd Edition (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1995). Back.

Note 18: See the Institute for National Security Studies of the National Defense University’s Strategic Assessment 1998. Back.

Note 19: Francis Fukayama, The End of History and the Last Man (New York: The Free Press, 1992). Back.

Note 20: See Michael J. Mazarr, Global Trends 2005: The Challenge of a New Millennium. Washington: CSIS, 1997. Back.

Note 21: Appendix 1, Joint Strategy Review: 1998 Report (Secret), (Washington DC: Joint Staff Back.

Note 22: Publishing, September 1998). See also "The Road to 2050: The New Geopolitics", The Economist, (31 July-6 August 1999), 1-16. Back.

Note 23: Thomas Friedman, The Lexus and the Olive Tree: Understanding Globalization. (New York: Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 1999), p. 7. Back.

Note 24: Ibid. Back.

Note 25: Ibid., 8. Back.

Note 26: Francis Fukayama, The End of History and the Last Man (New York: Free Press, 1992). For his most recent commentary, see "Second Thoughts: The Last Man in a Bottle", The National Interest 56 (Summer 1999), 16-33, and commentary following. Back.

Note 27: Michael J. Mazarr, Global Trends 2005: The Challenge of a New Millennium. Washington: CSIS, 1997, 13-14. Back.

Note 28: Jared Diamond, Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies. (New York: W.W. Norton, 1998). Back.

Note 29: Dale F. Eickelman, "The Coming Transformation of the Muslim World", Foreign Policy Research Institute WIRE Volume 7, Number 9, August 1999. See also Barbara Crossette, "Out of Control: The Internet Changes Dictatorship’s Rules", The New York Times Week in Review, 1 August 1999, 1, 16. Back.

Note 30: Robert Keohane and Joseph Nye, Power and Interdependence. (New York: Addison-Wesley, 1989). Back.

Note 31: Mazaar, 14. Back.

Note 32: Friedman, 11. Back.

Note 33: For one recent argument which supports this point, see Carla Anne Robbins, "To All but Americans, Kosovo War Appears A Major U.S. Victory", The Wall Street Journal, 6 July 1999, A1, A8. Back.

Note 34: Friedman, 11-12. Back.

Note 35: Hamish McRae, The World in 2020 : Power, Culture, and Prosperity. Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 1994. Back.

Note 36: National Defense University, Strategic Assessment 1998: Engaging Power for Peace, available at Back.

Note 37: National Defense University, Strategic Assessment 1998: Engaging Power for Peace, available at Back.

Note 38: National Defense University, Strategic Assessment 1998: Engaging Power for Peace, available at Back.

Note 39: Blaine Harden, "In Provincial Town, a Chorus of ‘No’ to Milosevich." The New York Times, 7 July 1999, A1, A12. Back.

Note 40: (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1998). The five tests are listed on pages 382 to 387. Back.

Note 41: See Elaine Sciolino, "Shadow Drama in Iran: For Once, the Veil that Hides Conflict Slips", The New York Times Week in Review, 18 July 1999, 5. Back.

Note 42: Ralph Peters, "Fighting for the Future", The Washington Post, Sunday, March 7, 1999, Page B01. Back.

Note 43: Mazaar, 32-33. Back.

Note 44: David A. Kay, Center for Counterterrorism and Analysis, SAIC, at the INSS "Terrorism and U.S. National Security" Conference, National Defense University, 28 July 1999. Back.

Note 45: William Cohen, Proliferation: Threat and Response. Washington, D.C.: Office of the Secretary of Defense, November 1997, iii. Back.

Note 46: Report of the Commission to Assess the Organization of the Federal Government to Combat the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction ("The Deutch Commission"), available at Back.

Note 47: National Defense University, Strategic Assessment 1998: Engaging Power for Peace, available at Back.

Note 48: Leon Sloss, "The Current Nuclear Dialogue", Strategic Forum 156 (January 1999). Washington, D.C.: National Defense University Institute for National Strategic Studies, p.4. See also Rensselaer W. Lee III, Smuggling Armageddon: The Nuclear Black Market in the Former Soviet Union, and William J. Broad, "Finding Penance in Going Public About Making Germs into Bullets", The New York Times Week in Review, 27 June 1999, 7. The severity of these concerns among Russians was confirmed in an interview at West Point on 24 September 1999 by Russian political analyst and Carnegie Fellow Lilia Shevtsova, author of Yeltsin’s Russia (Washington: Carnegie Endowment, 1999). Back.

Note 49: Allan S. Krass, The United States and Arms Control: The Challenge of Leadership (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1997), 205. Back.

Note 50: Ashton Carter, John Deutch, and Philip Zelikow, "Catastrophic Terrorism: Tackling the New Danger", Foreign Affairs 77,6 (November/December 1998), 81. Back.

Note 51: Robert Joseph interview, National Defense University Counterproliferation Center, 28 July 1999. Back.

Note 52: Dr. Jim Smith, Director, INSS, at the National Defense University/INSS Terrorism Conference, 28 July 1999. Back.

Note 53: Tom Hastings, at the National Defense University/INSS Terrorism Conference, 28 July 1999. Back.

Note 54: Roger C. Molander, Andrew S. Riddle and Peter A. Wilson, Strategic Information Warfare: A New Face of War (Washington, D.C.: RAND, 1996), 15. Available online at Back.

Note 55: Greg Rattray, "The Emerging Global Information Infrastructure and National Security", The Fletcher Forum of World Affairs 21, 2 (Summer/Fall 1997), 97. Back.

Note 56: Paul Bracken, Fire in the East: The Rise of Asian Military Power and the Second Nuclear Age. New York: HarperCollins, 1999. Back.

Note 57: See Stephen J. Blank, "East Asia in Crisis: The Security Implications of the Collapse of Economic Institutions." Carlisle, PA: U.S. Army War College Strategic Studies Institute, 1999. Back.

Note 58: Preventive Defense, 104. Back.

Note 59: Patrick E. Tyler, "Who’s Afraid of China?" The New York Times Magazine, 1 August 1999, 46-49. Back.

Note 60: Leon Sloss, "The Current Nuclear Dialogue", Strategic Forum 156 (January 1999), p. 4. Washington, D.C.: National Defense University Institute for National Strategic Studies. Back.

Note 61: Preventive Defense, 132-2. Back.

Note 62: National Defense University, Strategic Assessment 1998: Engaging Power for Peace, available at Back.

Note 63: Department of Defense Plan for Integrating National Guard and Reserve Component Support for Response to Attacks Using Weapons of Mass Destruction (Washington, D.C.: January, 1998), available at Back.

Note 64: Thomas C. Schelling and Morton C. Halperin, Strategy and Arms Control. New York: Pergamon-Brassey’s, 1985, 2. Back.

Note 65: Zachary D. Davis, "The Convergence of Arms Control and Nonproliferation: Vive La Difference", The Nonproliferation Review 6, 3 (Spring-Summer 1999), 98-108. Back.

Note 66: John and Karl Mueller, "Sanctions of Mass Destruction", Foreign Affairs 78, 3 (May/June 1999), 44. Back.

Note 67: Much of this discussion is drawn from Jeffrey A. Larsen’s concluding chapter, "The Evolving Nature of Arms Control in the Post-Cold War World", pp. 285-292, in Larsen and Gregory J. Rattray, Eds., Arms Control Toward the 21st Century. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, 1996. Back.

Note 68: See the "Safelane" web site at and in particular Canadian Foreign Minister Axworthy’s speech on "humanitarian security" at Harvard University on April 25, 1998, available at Back.

Note 69: See Gwendolyn M. Hall, John T. Cappello, and Stephen P. Lambert, "A Post-Cold War Nuclear Strategy Model", U.S. Air Force Institute for National Security Studies Occassional Paper 20, July 1998. Back.

Note 70: George Miron and Douglas J. Feith, "Memorandum of Law: Did the ABM Treaty or 1972 Remain in Force after the USSR Ceased to Exist in December 1991?", Center for Security Policy No. 99-P11. Available at Back.

Note 71: I am grateful to LTC Jim Player of the U.S. Air Force Nuclear and Counterproliferation Directorate for this insight in an interview conducted on 15 June 1999. Back.

Note 72: "Catastrophic Terrorism", 83. Back.

Note 73: Ibid., 86. Back.

Note 74: I am grateful to LTC John Spinelli of the Army Staff for making this point in an interview in Washington on July 23, 1999. Back.

Note 75: See the DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE REPORT TO CONGRESS, Volume I, Domestic Preparedness Program in the Defense Against Weapons of Mass Destruction (Washington, D.C.: 1 May 1997), available at Back.

Note 76: "Catastrophic Terrorism", 87-88. Back.

Note 77: Major Greg Rattray, USAF, at the INSS Terrorism Conference, National Defense University, 28 July 1999. See Rattray’s Strategic Information Warfare: Challenges for the United States (Ph.D. Dissertation, Fletcher School of Tufts University, May 1998), or the forthcoming book of the same title from MIT Press. Back.

Note 78: See Back.

Note 79: Leonard S. Spector as of the time the paper was written. Back.

Note 80: Preventive Defense, 91. Back.

Note 81: "Kerrey Offers Amendment to Reduce Nuclear Threats to U.S.", 28 July 1999 Press Release available at See also "Toward a New Nuclear Policy: Reducing the Threat to American Lives", Prepared Text of a Speech to the Council on Foreign Relations, 17 November 1998, available at Back.

Note 82: Preventive Defense, 160-162. Back.

Note 83: See Eric Schmitt, "Panel Urges Plan to Curb Proliferation of Weapons", The New York Times, 9 July 1999, p. A13. The Deutch Commission report is available at Back.

Note 84: John A. Nagl, "Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife: British and American Army Counterinsurgency Learning during the Malayan Emergency and the Vietnam War", World Affairs 161/4 (Spring 1999), 193-199. Back.

Note 85: Jim Wirtz, Naval Postgraduate School, at INSS Conference, 28 July 1999. Back.

Note 86: Ambassador Joseph Roberts, NDU, 28 July 1999. Back.

Note 87: BBC Documentary on the Persian Gulf War, Televised Interview with GEN Colin Powell. When asked whether the United States would actually have used nuclear weapons against Iraq in retaliation for chemical strikes, General Powell relied that it would have instead used precision-guided conventional missiles to destroy the dams over the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, putting all of Baghdad under seven feet of water. Back.

Note 88: Zager and Evans, "In the Year 2525 (Exordium & Terminus)", available on Billboard Top Ten Hits (1969). Back.

Note 89: Strategy and Arms Control, 5. Back.

Note 90: Robert Joseph interview, National Defense University Counterproliferation Center, 28 July 1999. Back.