Cover: The politics of arms control and the strategic balance

The politics of arms control and the strategic balance

Published 1982

by Alan Platt

Purchase Print Copy

 Format Price
Add to Cart Paperback28 pages $20.00

If strategic arms control is to play an important role in American defense security policy in the future, it is crucial for policymakers and the attentive public to understand the precise reasons why the SALT II Treaty acquired such a poor reputation during the years of the Carter Administration and ultimately was not ratified by the Senate. This paper contributes to such understanding, first by examining recent popular American attitudes toward strategic arms control, and then by analyzing selected aspects of the Carter Administration's management of the politics of SALT during 1977-79. The discussion of the Carter Administration, while largely critical, is intended to provide useful lessons for future efforts at strategic arms control. The paper concludes with a discussion of some of the policy implications of these lessons.

This report is part of the RAND paper series. The paper was a product of RAND 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.

This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit

RAND is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.