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The treatment of long-range, land-attack, sea-launched, and air-launched cruise missiles has been and will continue to be a major stumbling block in negotiations aimed at controlling strategic nuclear weapons. The existence of both conventional and nuclear variants is a frequently mentioned reason, since it is impossible to distinguish the two types except by close inspection. However, a more fundamental problem is that cruise missiles are carried by platforms — ships, submarines, and bombers — that have many important roles, mostly unrelated to nuclear capabilities, that are the subject of strategic nuclear arms control. This report examines options for controlling both air- and sea-launched cruise missiles within strategic arms control treaties. It assesses these options by the extent to which they provide easily verifiable limits on nuclear cruise missiles, allow substantial deployments of conventional cruise missiles, and avoid operational restrictions on conventional military forces.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Report series. The report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 1993 that represented the principal publication documenting and transmitting RAND's major research findings and final research.

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