Verification of Weapons of Mass Destruction Treaties: A Necessary Engagement in an Evolutionary Enlargement [open pdf - 5MB]
The United States has signed and become a party to more than 30 multilateral and bilateral arms control agreements since 1959. The lack of absolute effectiveness and confidence of these agreements to limit or ban WMD arsenals or to prevent WMD proliferation has caused many learned arms control scholars to question America's use of these treaties to meet national security objectives. The controversy often focuses on verification of a treaty member's compliance with the terms of the agreement. However, what seems to be a poor record of treaty compliance and adequate verification is in reality, a moderate success in stemming WMD proliferation and is indicative of the continuing evolution of compliance verification as the central factor in evaluating treaty effectiveness. The thesis of this study is that verification of treaty compliance has also evolved as the most important component of arms control, and the U. S. must remained engaged as the world leader to strengthen WMD treaties with verification procedures that provide a high probability of detection and deterrence to potential violators.