Limiting the Proliferation of Ballistic Missiles

Western governments decided in the mid-1980s that the spread of ballistic and cruise missiles directly threatened their own security and that of their allies, and that these weapons were particularly destabilizing. For these reasons, the "Group of 7" leading economic powers agreed in 1987 to block such trade through the creation of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR). Now, nearly 30 governments have joined the effort, including practically all missile-producing states.

Ballistic missiles are one of only two categories of conventional weaponry currently subject to multilateral export controls (anti-personnel landmines are the other one). The success of efforts to limit sales and development of missiles over the past decade demonstrates that multilateral export controls are possible to achieve once a category of weaponry has been singled out, and its export effectively stigmatized through government, media and public pressure. In both the missile and landmine cases, the United States first unilaterally stopped exports, and then worked successfully" to convince other exporting governments to follow suit. Now no government of the world openly sells missiles, an activity that a decade ago was as common as fighter jet sales are today.

We have worked over the years in support of the Missile Technology Control Regime , and promoted it as a model for limiting exports of other destabilizing weapon systems (such as submarines). We have also promoted arms control approaches to limiting further missile development and to banning missiles outright.


1. Missile Technology Control Regime

2. Flight Testing Restrictions

3. Zero Ballistic Missiles

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