Chem/Bio Weapons Control

Strengthening Non-Proliferation & Disarmament Regimes

Proliferation of catastrophic weaponry threatens peace in our age. At the millennium's end, with the bipolar superpower confrontation fading into memory, dozens of nations have or are pursuing catastrophic weapons. The flow of advanced weapons technology and the advent of chemical and ballistic missile programs warn of impending global violence. It is time to rethink nonproliferation efforts - it is time to take rigorous legal steps to shut down the international market in catastrophic weapons.

Restricting the international trade in catastrophic weaponry will substantially limit their proliferation. Accordingly, pursuit of strategic security in the coming era should include legal efforts to regulate weapons technology by stipulating penalties for merchants of mass destruction. Strengthening and integrating nonproliferation efforts therefore requires a commitment to employ legal structures and legal process. The new strategic era demands adoption of the regulatory approach.

What is needed now is the contribution of substantive legal expertise: the knowledge of how institutions are structured and operate, a familiarity with and respect for established procedures, experience with regulatory and licensing systems, and commitment to the concept that law can work only when those who violate it are held accountable for their noncompliance.

Clausewitz's maxim that "war is the extension of diplomacy but by other means" is out of date. War is now the extension of industrial regulation but by other means. Weapons proliferation is too important to be left to the diplomats. The legal profession must shoulder the responsibility to build a true strategic defense initiative: an international regime for controlling militarily critical items. Only the rule of law through formal institutions offers a meaningful opportunity to corral the masters of war.

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