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This Note is one in a series of six RAND examinations of issues, options, and relevant considerations in East-West naval arms control. Other parts of the study seek to better understand what U.S. policy toward naval negotiations might be in the future by probing the strategic rationality and political desirability of alternative approaches. This Note is concerned exclusively with matters past — not with what U.S. policy ought to be but with what the policies of the United States and other naval actors have been in the past, why, and to what result. The discussion traces and explains major developments in the negotiation of naval limitations over the course of more than 150 years, placing particular emphasis on the experience since the turn of the century. Though the legacy is richest before the onset of World War II, the reconstruction of events continues through the postwar period to the mid-1980s.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Note series. The note was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1979 to 1993 that reported other outputs of sponsored research for general distribution.

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