The nuclear powers are constantly engaged in negotiations at varying levels over arms control. As East/West relationships fluctuate between tension, after events such as the invasion of Afghanistan and optimism when Reagan and Gorbachev met, it is often difficult to assess what real progress is being made, though the 1987 Washington Summit was indicative of what can be achieved. Michael Sheehan provides a general analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of arms control, allowing the reader to understand the negotiations, both past and present. The framework he adopts also allows an understanding of how far the debates, the manoeuvres and the rhetoric are designed to reduce the nuclear arsenals, or, on occasion, to gain political and tactical advantage. The book starts with the origins of arms control and looks at its development, the bargaining that takes place, the problems of allocating and verifying the nuclear arsenals and, finally, the political context in which the debate takes place. It includes coverage of the Washington Summit.
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