CRS on the Decline of Arms Control

02.12.07 | 1 min read | Text by Steven Aftergood

The decline of arms control as an instrument of policy in the Bush Administration is charted in a new report (pdf) from the Congressional Research Service, which surveys the evolution of the field over the last several decades.

“The Bush Administration has altered the role of arms control in U.S. national security policy,” the CRS report states.

“The President and many in his Administration question the degree to which arms control negotiations and formal treaties can enhance U.S. security objectives.”

“Instead, the Administration would prefer, when necessary, that the United States take unilateral military action or join in ad hoc coalitions to stem the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.”

“The absence of confidence in arms control has extended to the State Department, where the Bush Administration has removed the phrase ‘arms control’ from all bureaus that were responsible for this policy area.”

See “Arms Control and Nonproliferation: A Catalog of Treaties and Agreements,” January 29, 2007.