In This Review

Arms Control And Confidence Building In The Middle East
Arms Control And Confidence Building In The Middle East
Edited by Alan Platt
United States Institute of Peace Press, 1992, 160 pp

The beginning of multilateral arms control talks in the Middle East, although little noticed, is one of the more hopeful developments since the Persian Gulf War. This volume should serve as an excellent primer for the negotiators. Each chapter is co-authored by an expert on some aspect of past East-West arms control negotiations, particularly European, and another with expertise on the Middle East. Subjects covered include aerial inspection and the proliferation of ballistic missiles and chemical weapons. Middle East political leaders and diplomats have paid scant attention to arms control, and the authors are correct in making only modest proposals, chiefly involving confidence- and security-building measures as first steps. Of course the arms control process cannot run ahead of the peace process in this terrain of deep animosities and rivalries. While recognizing this limitation, the book does a superb job of commencing a serious analytical discussion of arms control possibilities for this conflicted region. Congratulations are due to its sponsors, the United States Institute of Peace and the Henry L. Stimson Center.