Deterrence, Disarmament, and Arms Control
In an April 2009 speech in Prague US President Barack Obama spoke of a world free of nuclear weapons. Obama stated that the United States would maintain nuclear deterrence during the disarmament process. This presentation discusses the limitations and deficiencies of the traditional mutual nuclear deterrence and assesses why progress in nuclear disarmament since the end of the Cold War has fallen short of expectations. Comprehensive deterrence is more complicated than normally assumed. It covers not only nuclear weapons as such but consists of several categories of nuclear and conventional weapons that are related. Arms control issues are linked although they are dealt with in separate arms control fora. An arms control and disarmament approach has to be applied broadly and should cover all or most of them. Transparency and confidence building measures cannot be improved unless they cover the interconnected arms and arms control issues including strategic, non-strategic, deployed, non-deployed and conventional weapons as well as missile defense.