8 Thus arms control and disarmament are deemed to be philosophically distinct

8 thus arms control and disarmament are deemed to be

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internationally exercised upon armaments policy – not only in terms of the number of arms but also their character, deployment or use.8 Thus, arms control and disarmament are deemed to be philosophically distinct. At the same time though, t here is a blurring that occurs in the discourse between arms control expressed as an alternative to disarmament understood solely as GCD (which has been a failure and thus discredited ) and arms control as a practice, of which disarmament initiative s such as the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) or the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) are represented as a subset . Indeed, there is often a double blurring at work , becaus e disarmament’s link with GCD is often used to damn disarmament as utopian in principle and unachievable in practice, whilst arms control’s association with really existing disarmament treaties is used to demonstrate its greater realism and (potential) relevance . We can see these processes at work in the quote from Buzan above, but a more recent example is from Larsen who notes that: . . . arms control should be distinguished from general and complete disarmament. Proponents of disarmament [note the move from GCD to disarmament] see the goal as simply [so naive, so crude] reducing the size of military forces, budgets, explosives power and other aggregate measures. . . . Disarmament has a longer legacy than arms control..[but] 1960s international security specialists believed [disarmament] lacked precision and smacked of utopianism.9 Despite the above conclusion from Larsen, just a few lines later on, t he second kind of blurring occurs: ‘advocacy of disarmament [can also be] part of a state’s arms control policy ’. As evidence of this, Larsen cites US negotiation of conventions on biological and chemical weapons, noting (not incorrectly) that ‘The US decided in both cases that maintaining such weapons would not enhance its security’.10 Thus, for mainstream strategic and security studies, disarmament is simultaneously distinct from arms control and a utopian project characterised by failure whilst also a subset of arms control that has produced concrete results. The effect is to neatly condemn ‘disarmament’ as both an activity with a long record of failure and as a project suitable only for naive ideali sts . However, as I intend to demonstrate below, if GCD is understood as merely one kind of disarmament activity (some of which has a decidedly non-utopian flavour to it) then it becomes clear that, at least when judged against the kind of criteria set by the disarmament negotiators of the 1950s and 60s, a great deal of disarmament can be said to have occurred – much of it quite successful. What are the different kinds of disarmament activity that can be identified? 20
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Planet Debate – Disarmament Good/Bad-- September/October 10 L-D Critiques of “Arms Control” This means the plan would be a unique change to the status quo that would disarm the alternative. Arms controls will win out – the inclusion of the plan activates a powerful discursive tool that paints disarmament as utopian and doomed to fail.
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  • Spring '17
  • John Smith
  • Cold War, ........., Nuclear weapon, Nuclear disarmament

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