It's never easy to negotiate an arms control agreement. But it's often just as difficult, if not more so, to carry one out. In this month's issue, several experts look at the successes and pitfalls of some recent agreements, as well as the prospects for a new one.
In our cover story, Matthew Bunn analyzes how Washington and Moscow can finally move forward and eventually move beyond a 2000 agreement to dispose of excess weapons plutonium. The agreement has been held up for years by bureaucratic delays, diplomatic wrangling, and shifting disposal strategies in Russia and the United States . Bunn suggests ways both countries could more effectively dispose of the dangerous material and urges that far more of it be made unusable for weapons than originally envisioned.
The Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), outlawing chemical arms, entered into force 10 years ago this month. Rogelio Pfirter, director-general of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which implements the CWC, talks to Arms Control Today about the successes and challenges the international community faces in implementing the treaty.
China 's January test of an anti-satellite weapon raised concerns about an arms race in space and the threat that crucial civilian satellites could be damaged by debris from such actions. In a feature article, Geoffrey Forden proposes a treaty that would seek to prohibit future tests of this sort by banning spacecraft from maneuvering at excessive speeds near other orbiting spacecraft.
Our news section this month contains an in-depth look at European reaction to the tug of war between the United States and Russia over basing U.S. missile defense interceptors and a related radar in Poland and the Czech Republic . It also includes the latest news about negotiations to roll back North Korea 's nuclear weapons program and efforts to pressure Iran to restrain its nuclear program.In our “Looking Back” this month, Waheguru Pal Singh Sidhu examines the record of the 20-year-old Missile Technology Control Regime, which aims to impede the spread of ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons. As with many such agreements, Sidhu finds that the implementation scorecard is a mixed one.