Cover: The issue of nuclear test cessation at the London Disarmament Conference of 1957

The issue of nuclear test cessation at the London Disarmament Conference of 1957

A study in East-West negotiation

Published 1961

by Ciro E. Zoppo

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The presentation of the argument that negotiations can be important and decisive even when they do not result in agreement, and that this has been especially true of contemporary negotiations on arms control. For example, the 1957 London conference of the U.N. Disarmament Subcommittee ended without a formal agreement, but these negotiations set the stage for the subsequent test-ban talks at Geneva. The Soviet Union never modified its basic objective throughout the 1957 discussions (that of the immediate negotiation of test ban separate from other arms control measures). The USSR sought this objective through a combination of flexible negotiatory tactics and extra-negotiatory propaganda. In this way the Russians weakened the logic used by the West to support its position that a test ban should be tied to a first-step agreement that included a cutoff in fissile-material production for military uses. What occurred in London in 1957 contributed to the undermining of Western policy on testing, so that the West was eventually induced to negotiate on a nuclear test ban independent of other arms-control measures. (See also RM-3286-ARPA.)

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