Editor's Note

Miles A. Pomper

With this issue, Arms Control Today debuts a fresh look designed to make the magazine more appealing and useful. New additions include regular reviews of important books, eye-catching graphics, a new “InBrief” section, and geographic departments that organize our news reporting in a clear and easy-to-use format.

Still, our essential role remains the same as it has been for more than three decades: to provide our readers with original, authoritative reporting and incisive commentary on nuclear, chemical, biological, and conventional weapons by our staff and outside experts, as well as in-depth interviews with leading figures in the field.

This month’s issue includes an interview with Assistant Secretary of State for Nonproliferation John Wolf. In the interview, Wolf defends the Bush administration’s controversial approach to arms control. This approach has placed far greater emphasis on punishing noncompliance with international norms by “rogue regimes,” such as North Korea, Iran, and Iraq, than on disarmament steps in which the United States and other declared major powers would be required to participate.

Our cover story touches on a key element of administration policy: the Proliferation Security Initiative, unveiled by President George W. Bush one year ago. Jofi Joseph, a former Senate Foreign Relations Committee staffer, offers the first comprehensive evaluation of the initiative, which seeks to improve intelligence sharing and coordination in order to interdict shipments of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons and their related delivery systems.

Another Bush administration policy that has sparked criticism has been the June 2002 withdrawal of the United States from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. In contrast, arms control supporters have pressed the United States to lend greater support to the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), a voluntary organization in which key exporters seek to curb certain missile technology exports. Richard Speier examines the conditions under which missile defense and the MTCR can work together and the ways in which they can conflict.

The administration’s stance on arms control has gone against the grain of public views and attitudes, argues Steven Kull in another piece. At the same time, Kull acknowledges that many voters have a poor understanding of this important subject.

Kull’s research illustrates the invaluable role that Arms Control Today and the Arms Control Association play in providing the public and policymakers on all sides of these debates with accurate information and challenging ideas.

We hope that you, too, will continue to turn to Arms Control Today in the years ahead. Enjoy the issue, and let us know what you think of the new design!