Introduction and Background
Disarmament is the act of reducing, limiting or abolishing weapons. Disarmament generally refers to a country’s military or specific type of weaponry. The most common form of disarmament is abolishment of weapons of mass destruction such as nuclear arms. General and complete disarmament refers to the removal of al weaponry including conventional arms from the possession of states and other entities, groups or individuals capable of aggressive behaviour. Generally speaking, disarmament means the reduction of international tension and threats of systematic reduction or total elimination of the stockpile of arms, especially of mass destruction.
More broadly considered, disarmament is a tension relating, confidence building, and threat-reduction measure aimed at encouraging the development of positive interaction between states. Such interaction is aimed at social, political, economic and cultural co-operation and the universal acceptance of the rules of international law as the supreme code of behaviour between states.
            Disarmament can be contrasted with arms control which essentially deals with the act of controlling arms rather than eliminating them. Arms control deals with co-operation between potential and known opponents through mutual deterrence by regulating the acquisition, maintenance and use of armaments. Arms control is a process. It is a policy that has incentives for peace and co-operation as well as disincentives for war and aggression. A distinction could be made between disarmament as a process (the process of eliminating weapons) and disarmament as an end state (the absence of weapons). 

Disarmament has also come to be associated with threatens, none of which relates to the systematic and comprehensive reduction of weapons. These are:
1.         The aforementioned arms control which is not associated with a schedule of gradually reducing and thus eliminating major weapons system.
2.         Nuclear disarmament which does not address civilian weapons and military system whose firepower and extent of damage can be considerable. The war in Iraq led to the death of tens of thousands of civilians. In Korea, hundreds of thousands died. In the “New War” scenario in Africa, Middle East, Latin America, Eastern Europe and other conflict zones around the world, millions have died. Yet even though nuclear weapons were not used in any of these cases, the extent of both civilians and military casualties have been considerable, surpassing by a wide margin, the damage the deaths caused by the atomic bomb in Hiroshima and Meyasaki during World War II.
3.         Unilateral disarmament which seeks to reduce weapons systems in either an adhoc fashion or based on initiatives within one nation. This approach fails to leverage reduction in one country for reductions in another, or series of countries. Furthermore, unilateral disarmament fails to assuage the concerns of ‘realities’ about the dangers of weapons systems and power projection by other countries.
            Philosophically, disarmament could be viewed as a form of demilitarization. It is part of an economic, political and technical and military process of designed to reduce and eliminate weapons systems. Thus, disarmament is a part of a set of other strategies like economic conversion which aim to reduce the power of war-making institutions and associated constituents.
            In his 19h century classic Carl Von Clausewitz, Prussian General and German military theorist stated that “War is not merely a political act, but also a political instrument, a continuation of political relations, a carrying out of the same by other means”. Thus, war and the threat of war was an effective means of extracting concessions from adversaries. War was, at times a sport at other times a game which Princes and Monarchs engage in periodically for personal amusement and a sense of adrentine.
            The First World War changed all that. War has become a serious and dangerous business. War has become a threat to human civilization. Great advances in science and technology have changed that narrow conception of war in the age of nuclear weapons and other dangerous equipments created by man’s inexhaustible ingenuity, continuing our political differences by other means will amount to mutual suicide and complete annihilation of the human race. The non win situation, which the act of war now represents is the foundation upon which the nations of disarmament and arms control are based.
            According to Richard Nixon, nations only resort to violence when they believe they will profit from it and when they believe they would win. Conversely, nations and their leaders will shrink from aggression of that profit is taken away form it, if nations realize that they will lose more than they stand to gain, they would look for more reasonable ways of resolving their differences. Disarmament therefore is primarily aimed at taking the incentives out of war.
            The history of the world is replete with conflicts, war, destruction and conquest. Form the beginning, man have understood the evil repercussions of conflict, and in his helplessness have sought to attain some level of sanity in the system. According to recorded history, the first negotiation on disarmament and arms control took place in 431BC between Sparta and Athens. The bone of contention was the unusual length of Athens defensive walls which threatened to ulter the balance of power between the two sides. Over the years, several disarmament conference have been held in mankind’s effort to rid the globe of the destructive influence of war and establish a workable and more realistic basis of relationship. A few of these a brief mention here.
1.         The Hague conference 1899
2.         World Disarmament Conference 1932-34
3.         Ten Nations Disarmament committee 1960
4.         Eighteen Nations Disarmament Committee 1962-1968
5.         Conference of the Committee on Disarmament 1969-78
6.         Present Conference on Disarmament 1979.
            The Un has worked hard for nuclear disarmament since its first resolution in 1946 entitled “The establishment of a commission to deal with the problems raised by the discovery of atomic energy”. The UN has been less successful because the issue of disarmament borders on the primary interests of the powerful states. In 1954, India became the first country to seek a complete nuclear ban.
            As earlier noted, the quest for disarmament and arms control is as old as the weapons of destruction. History is replete with treaties, summits, covenants and agreements, broken and dishonoured in the quest to establish a tension – free world. Yet, despite these failures and setbacks the search for sanity continues even as tension continue to remain part of human nature. Hostility, aggression, conflict and war are parts of human relationship, one with another.
            Apostles of disarmament, otherwise known as political idealists argue that arms are destructive, expensive and psychologically harmful even when they are not put to effective use. The opponents of disarmament the political realists argue that the were acquisition of arms creates a greater sense of security than its absence, and helps in preserving the peace. They contend that nuclear weapons may have made both nuclear war and large scale conventional war between nuclear powers too dangerous to fight. The realist argue that the presence of these dangerous weapons is the hawks of states would act as the greatest crusader for peace. As Winston Churchill put it, “safety will be the child of terror and survival the twin of brother of annihilation”. The realist school further argue that eliminating or substantially reducing nuclear weapons level would decrease security and make wars more possible and more tempting.
            The idealist school further argue that armaments create fear and insecurity in other countries and causes them to acquire more arms, thus leading to an arms race and the escalation of the arms race. The escalation of the arms race leads to escalating tension which, ultimately, may lead to war. According to this line of thinking, the mere existence of weapons, even without deliberately putting them to use constitutes grave dangerous on their own. A spark could ignite a fire. There is the risk of such weapons falling into wrong hawks. Such wrong hawks could be suicidal nationalist leaders, religious fundamentalists or terrorists. Accidents and radiations emanating from the stockpile of weapons have caused injury and death. There are serious health hazards posed by waste products of Nutonium and uranium production as well as other nuclear test fallouts. The Chernobyl accident of 1986 in the USSR is a case study.
            Hans Morganthan, a political realist, stated that “men do not fight because they have arms, they have arms because the fight”. In other wards, man must fight. Man by nature is violence, prone and countries are prone to aggressive behaviour and this inevitably makes arms desirable. Policy makers may argue that weapons are necessary for survival in a predatory world stiffly embedded in ht appurtenances of the state of nature.
            It is argued that armament affect the economic wellbeing of the entire world and in particular the countries involved because arms are very expensive and as a result constitutes great burden on the national treasury. They argue that if the world military expenditure were re-directed into schools, hospitals, economic and social development programmes, the global human condition would have considerably improved especially in the less developed countries where the cost of arms is overwhelmingly corrosive. The global military expenditure stood at $1 trillion in 1990 and this has quadrupled in the last 20 years. In 1994, the countries of the third world spent a total of $120 billion on arms procurement, a figure ten times higher than their domestic social expenditure. This is the classic choice between gun and bread. Escalating military expenditure also leads to unemployment because large military expenditure is capital intensive which require large sum of money but employ few people to produce few goods.
There are different types or levels of disarmament. The sentiment molarlying arms control is whether to disarm, to what degree, or not to disarm at all. The level of attention with regards to disarmament are as follows:
1.         Unilateral Disarmament: The unilateral approach relies heavily on moralism and a deliberate refusal to fight. This theory believes that countries non-threatening posture will secure it from the threat of others. This approach believes that arms causes tension and the absence of arms will logically lead to the absence of tension. The only countries that practice this principle are Switzerland and Sweden. They not only do not keep organized armed forces but also do not spend money on armaments. President Nixion in 1969, announced that the US was renouncing the use of biological warfare and unilaterally destroying its bacteriological weapons.
2.         Categorical Disarmament: This is a variant arms control based on the elimination of certain classes of weapons. There have been common convensions towards eliminating biological weapons starting form the Geneva protocol of 1925 which banned the use of gas and biological weapons. The protocols was signed by 125 countries. The 1975 biological weapons convention completely banned their production and possession. Every current producer signed the treaty except Israel. The use of landmines was also banned on February 26, 1999, although some countries refusal to append their signature.
3.         Negotiated Disarmament: This is an agreement that exist between tow or more countries. Here, a belief in the necessity of war is maintained. The danger and threat of war is also recognized, but no one country is likely to adopt a pacifish attitude. The theory of negotiated disarmament disagrees with unilateral disarmament. It believes that one sided disarmament connotes weakness and could expose the pioneer to unacceptable risks. A balance therefore must be maintained at all levels if the safety of all parties must be adequately guaranteed.
4.         Arms Reduction: This approach is aimed at reducing the number and types of weapons in existing inventories. Advocates of this approach argue that the level of existing arms is so dangerously high that the more limitations of new arms is not enough. It was based on this view that Ronald Reagan changed the substance of US-Soviet strategic negotiation form SALT to START. Strategic Arms Limitation Talks to Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty. This approach is also known as quantitative and qualitative disarmament.
5.         Geographic Reduction: This variant of disarmament is aimed at scaling down forces in a particular area. The aim is to reduce tension and threats especially in areas where the great powers have particular interests or considers to be of special strategic interest. During the Cold war, there were proposals from the Soviet side to de-nuclearise Europe. Other areas suggested for targeted de-nuclearization include the Middle East, Africa, and parts of Asia.
Disarmament and arms control could be under taken through different processes and approaches. Some of these methods include
1.         Arms Limitation: The most common approach to disarmament and arms control is trying to limit the development and deployment of future weapons system. The benefits here is that it solves the problem of trying to scrap existing weapons with its attendants problems and complications.
2.         Nuclear Freeze: This approach advocates an immediate halt to the development, production, transfer and deployment of all nuclear weapons and delivery systems. This approach is seen as a confidence building measure that it adopted by one country will break backbone of the arms race by encouraging others to follow in the same direction.
3.         Research and Development: One effective means which have been suggested by analysts and the proponents of disarmament is to proponents of disarmament is to practice scientists do not begin the gestation period. This process is seen as step designed to stop the arms race before its starts became once and R and D begins, the process takes on a life of its won and must go full circle, and the other side would have no option but to follow suit.
4.         Testing: Another angle at which weapons can be checked in the testing stage. This though a part of R and D is critical because the process is no longer on the drawing board. Restraints on testing can be effective because the complexity of modern technology demands that unless a weapon is tested, their reliability and authenticity remain highly questionable.
5.         Budgetary Limits: This approach relies on the control of military spending rather than the weapons itself. The logic here is that if little money is allocated to the military establishment it because an automatic check on their activities. Without enough funds to support their scheme, the high command would not be in the financial position to authorize rigorous, complex and expensive research and development of dangerous weapons.
6.         Arms Transfer (Proliferation): This approach calls for limits on buying, selling or simply giving out weapons on the technology to create weapons to the other countries, form the nuclear capable to the non-capables. In the last 60 years, more than ten countries have acquired nuclear weapons capability. These are US, USSR, UK, France, China, India, Pakistan, South Africa, North Korea and Isreal. Some other countries Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, etc have been pursuing similar objective for many years.
            Some analysts however believe that nuclear proliferation will not increase the chances of their use. They argue rather than creating a nuclear checkmate system will further enhance the prospects for peace in a tension saturated world. The opposite view insists that some states, depending on the mentality of the leadership are ready and willing to use nuclear weapon against their enemies irrespective of what the consequences would be. The united opposition, especially among western nations, against the Iranian nuclear project, is based on the belief that Iran would not hesitate to use nuclear weapon against Israel whenever it has the capacity to do so. The Iranian rhetorics against Israel under the presidency of Mahmard Amdeinjab is taken seriously by Israel and some western countries, particularly the US.

            The political and economic barriers to disarmament are considerable. They are mostly based on the concentrated power of those supporting militaristic approaches to foreign policy. In a world system dominated by “global punks” and convoy statement” national arrogance and power intoxication are bound to take precedence over reason and morals. This inevitably creates problems to the goals of disarmament and arms control. One key barrier here is ideological. Many foundation and universities have refused to support research in disarmament, instead favouring more adhoc and limited approaches like arms control, conflict resolution, and limits on weapons system in specific countries. Part of this may be pragmatism, but often it is the result of “limited understanding of the history of disarmament” attempts to restrict nuclear proliferation are a necessary but there is a link between military intervention and nuclear proliferation.
1.         National Pride: National pride is the primary drive behind armaments and arms buildup countries see the nuclear club as an organization north belonging to and most states are ready to go to extraordinary length to satiate that national ego.
2.         Dispute Over Political Military Tension: There are different schools of thought involve here. One argues that arms are a product of irreconcilable political differences and tensions and unless such political issues are resolved, the issue of arms controls and disarmament cannot work. They argue that once political problems are resolved, armaments and the threat it poses will decline.
            Another contention holds that arms provide stability in a dangerous political unstable world. They hold that ordinary arms reduction may destabilize political relations and led to conflict.
            The third school believe that should arms limitation become an acceptable international norm, an aggressive spirited nation may secretly arm itself and become a threat to others who might have acted in god faith.
            Again there is a link between military intervention and nuclear proliferation. Many countries, fearful of invasion, say by the US, or other powerful enemy states have tried to secure or develop nuclear weapons to act as a security buffer. As a result, policies aimed at limiting military intervention/invasion may be a part of a larger demilitarization programme.
3.         Complexity of Weapon System: The extreme complexity of the weapons system involved is another barrier especially with respect to nuclear weapons. How does one compare apply and oranges? Technologically, a missile is not a just a missile. How do you address the issue of number, sophistication, accuracy, vulnerability, capability and quantity? How do you achieve parity between a US ICBM missile which is less powerful but more accurate with the soviet gargantuan but less sophisticated SS-18. The result is that negotiation becomes extremely difficult, time consuming and frustarating.
4.         The Need to Test: Despite the ban on production, development and testing of nuclear explosives, testing continues with the argument that nuclear warheads must be periodically tested to ensure their safety and reliability. The comprehensive test-ban treat which the non-aligned countries introduced in Belgrade in 1989 was frustrated because it failed to receive the blessing of the US, Britain and France.
5.         Suspicion and Distrust: Doubts over the real intention of the other sides is a prime barrier to disarmament and arms control efforts. There is the tendency, to view the other side’s offer as a charade designed to lull the opponent into a false sense of security in other for them to lower their guard. An opponent’s offer may seen as effort to gain undue advantage. US-Soviet Arm Tacks was, over the years frustrated by mutual suspicion and distrust.
6.         Cheating and Cove raps: As a follow up, a country may actually try to cheat by not placing all its cards on the table during negotiations. In the same way, a dishonest party may decide to hide some of her possessions in order to gain undue advantage over the other side when such cases are proven, the issue of bad faith is established and the negotiations becomes imperilled.
7.         Verification and Inspection: There are serious issues related to the problem of inspection and verification. The problem of inspection and verification may constitute serious obstacles. Reliability, capability and limitations of the inspection team is a key factors to the success of the mission, weak inspection procedures lead to cheating and misrepresentation. The technical difficulties involved in the excessive may be too complex and too unfathomable. Verification may also be impeded by political consideration. In 2003, the IAEA inspection team, led to the Hans Blix encountered serious political problems in inspecting the weapons positive of Saddan Hussein. The governments in Washington and London wanted to go to war to effect a regime change policy in Iraq. As a result, intelligent reports were doctored to paint a picture that wasn’t really there. In the end, the responsibility demanded in the Iraqi affair was sacrificed for political expediency.
8.         Domestic Factor: A number of domestic considerations may undermine arms controls efforts economically, arms are big business and economic interest groups exerts enormous pressure on their governments to build and sell weapons. American industry is a strong believer in military spending and some major industries and companies stand to lose billion of dollars if defense spending are reduced.
9.         The Military Establishment: Many countries have highly influential and powerful military establishment with active political power and influence over decision makers. With such immerse power at their disposal, the military class can successfully resist or frustrate policies aimed at arms reduction.
10.       Accessibility and Proliferation: Another impediment to successful nuclear weapons check is the ease with which they are made. The basic principles of physics that make nuclear weapons possible are widely understood by governments, scientists, terrorist organizations, research institutions and even university undergraduates. The material for making them are also within the grasp of any government or group if they try hard enough.

Arms control is one the strategies meant to break the security dilemma facing the international system. It also aims at mutual security between partners and overall stability of all participants within the system. Arms control also aims at cost reduction and damage limitation. It is conceptually different from disarmament since the maintenance of stability might allow for mutually controlled armament. Arms control is a defensive strategy in principle since transparency, equity and stability do not fit into an offensive strategy.
            Arms control is an umbrella tern for restriction upon the development, production, stockpiling, proliferation and usage of weapons especially weapons of mass destruction. Arms control is typically exercised through the use of diplomacy which seeks to impose limitations upon consenting participants through international treaties and agreements. It may also compromise efforts by a nation or group of nations to enforce limitations upon non consenting country. On a national or community level, arms control can amount to programmes to control access of citizens to weapons. This is often referred to as “gun policies” as fire arms are the primary focus of such efforts in most places.
Agreements and Treaties: Arms control treaties and agreement are often seen as ways to avoid costly arms races which proves counter productive to national aims and future peace. Some are used as ways to stop the spread of certain military technology such as nuclear weaponry or missile technology in return for assurance to potential developers that they will not be victims of those technologies. Additionally, arms control agreements are entered to limit the damage done by the warfare, especially to civilians and the natural environment, which is seen as bad for all participants regardless of who wins the war.
            While arms control treaties are seen by many peace proponents as a key tool against war by the participants, they are often seen as simply ways to limit the high cost of the development and building of weapons and even reduce the cost associated with war interest. Arms control can even be a way of maintaining the viability of military action by limiting those weapons that would make war so costly and destructive as to make it no long a viable tool for national policy.

Enforcement: enforcement of arms control agreement has proved difficult over a period of time. Most agreement rely on the continual desire of the participants to abide by the terms to remain effective. Usually, when a nation no longer desires to abide by the terms, they usually will seek either conveniently circumvent the terms or simply end their participation in the treaty. The Washington Naval Treaty (1923) and the London Naval Treaty (1930) whose aims was to regulate submarine warfare and limit naval ship building were violated in one form or the other by all the participating members (US, UK, Japan, France, Italy) the nations which violated the terms of the treaty did not suffer any great punishment for their actions.
            The Geneva protocol (1925) fared better. The protocol prohibits the use of chemical and biological weapons. It however remained silent on the production, storage, transfer of same. It lasted long and was more successful at being respected. Nevertheless, it was violated at will when nations felt the need to do so. Enforcement of the Geneva protocol has been haphazard with measures more a matter of politics than adherence to the term. Sanctions and other measures are advocated against violations by their political enemies while openly ignored or at best paid token attention by political adversaries.

Verification: Verification is the process of determining whether or not a nation is complying with the terms of an agreement. It involves a combination of refase of such information by participating as well as some way to allow participants to examine each other in order to verify their information. In some cases, question of verification have led to the breakdown of treaty negotiations. The comprehensive test ban treaty was plagued by the delicate problem of verification.
Sabotage: Nations way remain in a treaty while at the same time seeking to break the limits of that treaty as opposed to simply withdrawing from it. There are tow reasons for this:
a.         To openly defy an agreement is often seen in bad light and this can attract political repercussion in diplomatic circles.
b.         Remaining within the treaty compels opponents to remain within their obligations of the treaty making it impossible for them to engage in open defiance of agreement.

History of Arms control
Like disarmament, arms control has a long and complicated history. One of the first recorded attempts at arms control was a set of rules laid down in ancient Greece by the Amphictyonic leagues. The rulings specified how war could be waged and breaches of this could be punished by fines or by warfare.
There were few recorded attempts to control arms during the period leading up to the pre-eminence of the Roman Catholic Church. The Church used its position as a translational organization to limit the means of warfare. In 1027, the “Truce of God” tried to prevent violence between Christians. The “Second Lateran Council” (1139) prohibited the use of cross bans against other Christians though it allowed its used against non Christians.
The development of firearms led to an increase in the devastating of war. The brutality of wars during this period led to efforts to formulize the rules of war. Areas of great attention include human treatment of prisoners of war or the mounded as well as rules designed to protect non-combatants and also to prevent the pillaging of their property.
In 1675, the “Strasbourg Agreement” was concluded. It became the first international agreement limiting the use of chemical weapons, in this case, poison bullets. The treaty was signed between France and the Holy Roman Empire. In 1817, the Bush-Bagoh Treaty between the US and UK was signed becoming the first arms control treaty of the modern industrial era. The treaty conceived the demilitarization of the great lakes and Lake Champlain regions of North America.
The industrial revolution led to the increased mechanism of warfare. Rapid advancement in the development of firearms were made. The increased potential devastation and destruction of war also became manifest. In 1899, Tsar Nicholas II of Russia convened the leadership of 26 nations for the first Hague Conference. The conference led the signing of the Hague convention in 1899. the conference tried otset down rules governing the conduct of warfare and the use of modern weaponry. The permanent court of Arbitration was also set up at the conference.
A second Hague conference was called in 1907 leading to additions and amendments to the original 1899 agreement. A third Hague conference took place in 1915 but had to be abandoned due to the outbreak of the First World War. At the end of the war, the League of Nations was set up with attempts to limit and reduce arms. Enforcement however remained problematic. The 1925 Geneva conference led to the banning of chemical weapons such as toxic gases.
After the World War II, the United Nations was created as a body to promote world peace. In 1957, the International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA was set up to monitor the proliferation of nuclear technology. In 1968, the nuclear non proliferation treaty was signed aimed at preventing further spread of nuclear weapons technology to countries outside the five that already possessed them – US, UK, USSR, China and France. Despite these efforts however, more countries have acquired nuclear weapons while others are still aspiring to do so.
The Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT) between the US and the Soviet Union, spanning the 1960 and early 1970s lead to further weapons control agreements. The SALT I talk led to the Anti Ballistic missile treaty signed in 1972. SALT II talks lasted between 1972 and 1979 when the US pulled out of the talks at the signature stage as a protest against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. The principles of the agreement however was honored by both sides.
Intermediate range nuclear forces treaty was signed between two super powers in 1987 and this led to an agreement to destroy all missiles with range from 500 to 5,500 kilometres. In 1993 the chemical weapons convention was signed banning the manufacturing and use of chemical weapons. The Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty START I and START II were also signed by the United States and the Soviet Union restricting the manufacture, stockpiling or use of a wide range of weapons.

Conclusion: The issue of disarmament and arms control remain a delicate and complicated international issues and the problems associated with it will not easily go away. However, disarmament, arms control and world peace need not be a “Utopian” project nor would it be considered as misguided or na├»ve. The end of the cold war and the persistent East. West conflict, hostility and Arms race has halted. International conflict on numerous other forms remain dire. This means that the end of the cold war is not necessarily a guarantee of peace nor does it usher in an era of arms agreement. In the middle east, India-Pakistan straits and the Korean Perrusula, the arms continues inabated. Terrorists groups and “rogue” states have also joined in the quest to acquire nuclear weapons. All these combine to create a predatory and querulons international environment. As such, nations cannot afford to let down their national security system guard nor could the good will of others be taken for granted. These are many clouds on the hon zone. The hawks continue to hove. All these give cause for concern. The domestic instability that resulted form the collapse of the Soviet Empire created an ungovernable climate of uncertainty which left many dangerous weapons and the recipe for producing them largely unaccountable. Some of these have found their way into the wrong hands and more can predict the use ot which they might be put when the leadership of Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah, etc declare the destruction of Israel as a policy option, such threats ought to be taken seriously. When Al-Quada sees the destruction of America or other western nations as “an act pleasing the God and religion” such declaration must be taken seriously. When many able bodied men and women are willing to be recruited as suicide bombers to work as chains in the destruction process, such situation much be approached with great solemnity.
            The International system is undergoing a peculiar transitional period. There is no doubt that signs of lessening tension and arms reduction are there but there are also signs that lasting peace and security is not imminent and cannot be taken for granted. The truth is that the world remain a dangerous place and a country should use its arms with caution at the same time it should not lay down its defences whimsically. Disarmaments and arms control must remain a process. National leaders must continue to work hard to provide various strategies that can be used to promote the political, economic, social and media power necessary for greater demilitarization objectives.
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