Negotiated Arms Control Agreements and the Possibility of Disarmament
The end of the Cold War in 1992 when the Soviet Union collapsed marked a decade of continuous global efforts to rid the world of the weapons scattered all over the globe. These weapons were mostly in the hands of regimes that have been either pro-Soviet or pro-US at the height of the nuclear stand off. The divided political landscape was rugged with the excesses of the arms race. The efforts of current governments through several agreements on the reversal of the arms proliferation seem to give an impulse on the movement to minimize the possibilities of armed engagements and violence.
The First World War saw the horrors of the uncontrolled manufacture of military equipment and this industrial boom in the field of defense nevertheless gave rise to aggravated contradictions between countries that by the start of the second decade of the 20th century war have broken out between the old monarchies and republics of Europe and the United States. As a result of this armed engagements the international community was alarmed by the capability of modern weapons so them immediately made conditional agreements to control the size and strength of conventional armies, hence the Geneva Protocol was born. Signed in June 17, 1925, the Geneva Protocol was the first of its kind to aim to reduce, control arms proliferation and set out the guidelines for a “humane’ warfare and taken into considerations the legalities and parameters of armed engagements to preserve, protect and uphold human welfare and civilian safety from the ravages of armed parties. As stated in the Geneva Protocol:
… the use in war of asphyxiating, poisonous or other gases, and of all analogous liquids, materials or devices, has been justly condemned by the general opinion of the civilized world… the prohibition of such use has been declared in Treaties to which the majority of Powers of the world are Parties…to the end that this prohibition shall be universally accepted as a part of International Law, binding alike the conscience and the practice of nations. (United Nations, 2008)
With such precepts from the convention of agreement by nations concerned arms control has started to kick off until the Second World War broke out and the world was again caught in the middle of polarization by the military powers of Europe, the United States and Asia. After that war, the some successful disarming and arms control like what happened in Japan. But it was possible for Japan to be deprived of such military capacity because the United States was there with enough supply of weapons to deter Japan from wandering away from the agreement. So in essence, the disarming process of Japan became an excuse for the United States to create more arms and arm itself. Such situation was futile on the part of arms control because there was really no disarming but a shift of who possessed arms. The present negotiated arms control agreements are somewhat beginning to move towards that same path. In 2001 the United States could have made it possible to render the previously held arms agreement in favor of deviating from conventional warfare to nuclear defense technologies after the War on Terror was declared (The Washington Post, 2008, p. A12). It was a sign that at present global condition, nuclear and other non-conventional weaponry remained to be at the choice of superpowers. That motive which was sought to be employed against terrorists and rogue regimes accused of harboring weapons of mass destruction. The development of non-proliferation treaties was somewhat unimaginably ineffective in addressing the serious problem of weapons control. This arms control can always have serious implications on the political and economic landscape at present given that the former superpowers, Russia and the US are now disagreeing on certain issues like the Iraqi invasion issue. Simply put, arms control can benefit those who could not be controlled by mere treaties while maintaining original weapons and even more potent ones.
There are a number of arms control agreements restricting the deployment and use of nuclear weapons, but there is no conventional or customary international law that prohibits nations from employing nuclear weapons in armed conflict…Nuclear Weapons-Free Zones prohibit the stationing, testing, use, and development of nuclear weapons inside a particular geographical region. This is true whether the area is a single state, a region, or land governed solely by international agreements. There are several regional agreements to exclude or preclude the development and ownership of nuclear weapons. These agreements were signed under the assumption that it is easier to exclude/preclude weapons than to eliminate or control them once they have been introduced. (DASD, 2008)
As a matter of fact, it would be impossible to continue any existing arms control agreement when a certain party maintains a huge arsenal to be able to implement these working policies through force. The fact that these agreements exist gives us the real picture that there could only be a reachable arms control if the contradictions, the main cause of why conflicts occur could be solved. Weapons could be effectively used by aggressors in subjugating other nations and these weapons are at the same time the defense and only material for the liberation of oppressed peoples and nations. The gravity of this issue would not only be enough to lead us conclude that like what has happened with nuclear non-proliferation treaty, the United States was somewhat exempted from the provisions giving it the freedom to develop and maintain its nuclear arsenal. This is a very biased implementation of arms control. It is an unfair exercise of restraint and showing such attitude the US only promoted a hostile attitude among other nations capable of securing their own nuclear arsenal.
Matters, O. o. t. D. A. t. t. S. o. D. f. N. (2008). International Treaties and Agreements. Journal. Retrieved from http://www.acq.osd.mil/ncbdp/nm/international.html
Nations, T. U. (2008). The Geneva Protocol. Journal. Retrieved from http://disarmament.un.org/peace/disarmament/thegenevaprotocol
Post, T. W. (2008). A Return to Arms Control. Journal, (June 2, 2008), A12. Retrieved from http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/06/01/AR2008060101881.html