In This Review

The Opportunity: Next Steps in Reducing Nuclear Arms
The Opportunity: Next Steps in Reducing Nuclear Arms
By Steven Pifer,Michael E. O'Hanlon
Brookings Institution Press, 2012, 160 pp

Nuclear arms control played an important role in stabilizing U.S.-Soviet relations and ending the Cold War. Negotiations over nuclear weapons reduced the risk of war and also provided a diplomatic framework for managing global affairs. In the last 20 years, however, the nuclear arms control agenda has all but disappeared, even as nuclear weapons have spread to more countries and regions. In this useful little book, Pifer and O’Hanlon call for reviving nuclear arms control, arguing that Washington should build on the 2010 New START agreement, between the United States and Russia, by ending its nuclear testing, engaging Russia on the issue of missile defense, pursuing a moratorium on the production of enriched uranium and fissile material, shrinking its stockpile of nuclear warheads, and bringing other countries, particularly China, into the nuclear arms reduction process. The book makes clear that nuclear arms control is still a core U.S. interest and must be extended beyond the United States and Russia to include newer nuclear states. In a multipolar nuclear era, multilateral arms control will be essential.