Could a nuclear arms freeze be negotiated?

by Kevin N. Lewis

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This paper looks at the nuclear freeze issue from a negotiator's point of view. A nuclear freeze treaty would be more than a list of principles. It must also address a number of technical issues. Even if the technical aspects of verification can be agreed upon, both sides must be able to precisely define what is to be verified. Although many people advocate using the freeze as the basis for future negotiations, a number of key factors probably would prevent the successful conclusion of a meaningful treaty. The most important question to be resolved relates to timing: do we freeze now, talk later, or what? The author talks about the consequences of failure. His final admonition is that we must look before we leap.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.

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