Air Sampling Sensors, the Open Skies Treaty, and Verifying the Chemical Weapons Convention   [open pdf - 16MB]

This thesis examines a novel proposal to join two separate arms control measures to achieve unique counterproliferation benefits. The Open Skies Treaty (OST) is a confidence-building measure between the states of NATO and the former Warsaw Pact. It allows aircraft equipped with sensors to overfly neighboring countries to monitor security-related activities. The Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) attempts to eliminate an entire category of weapons of mass destruction. It is verified through reporting procedures and on-site inspections. OST overflights could be used to verify the CWC, aiding CWC inspectors to plan their inspections. This cross-treaty measure could be enhanced further with the addition of air sampling sensors capable of testing for chemical weapons production, creating inter-treaty synergy. Once these two pacts enter into force and prove their efficacy for arms control, this proposal for inter-treaty coordination will receive more attention. Obstacles for this inter-treaty coordination include the lack of formal mechanisms in either treaty for a complementary role and the lack of political impetus to effect it. This coordination is a logical progression for arms control.

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