In This Review

Rule of Power or Rule of Law? An Assessment of U.S. Policies and Actions Regarding Security-Related Treaties
Rule of Power or Rule of Law? An Assessment of U.S. Policies and Actions Regarding Security-Related Treaties
By Nicole Deller, Arjun Makhijani, John Burroughs
Apex Press, 2003, 263 pp.

U.S. ambivalence about treaty-based approaches to arms control and nonproliferation has in recent years turned into outright skepticism -- and, in some quarters, utter hostility. Paradoxically, this ambivalence has made the United States one of the greatest champions of cooperative security but also one of its great defectors: it has frequently exerted tremendous energy negotiating an arms control treaty only to abandon it in the Senate. This useful handbook by arms control proponents surveys the lost opportunities and unfinished agenda of reducing security threats through negotiated agreements. In detailed summaries of the major arms control treaties -- most notably, the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, the abm treaty, and the Chemical Weapons Convention -- the authors identify and lament a pattern of noncompliance and double standards. The United States advocates intrusive inspections of others but resists transparency when it comes to its own programs. Ultimately, the authors make a good case that the treaty-based approach to threat reduction is in serious trouble; unfortunately, they never actually argue its merits.