New Article: Disarmament is Good, but What We Need Now is Arms Control

I wanted to post a link to my new article entitled Disarmament is Good, but What We Need Now is Arms Control.

It is currently posted to SSRN.

I wrote this piece to clarify what I perceive to be enduring and relevant confusion about the character and substance of treaties regulating nuclear weapons. Especially with the adoption of the TPNW, I find observers often misusing terms like disarmament, arms control, and nonproliferation as they apply to the obligations contained in nuclear weapons treaties. Especially now when New START, the last nuclear arms control treaty in force between the US and Russia is due to expire in 2026, and has already been suspended by Russia, it seems like a timely moment to clarify the character and role of nuclear weapons related treaties.  In this piece I try to clearly lay out a taxonomy of legal obligations related to nuclear weapons in international treaties, and the relationships among those categories. I then examine the TPNW and consider how it should be understood to fit within this legal context.   I conclude that, while the TPNW should be welcomed as a contribution to nuclear disarmament law, it should not be confused with nuclear arms control treaties which are distinct in role and purpose. The article concludes that at the current moment of crisis in nuclear arms control law, a refocusing of attention is needed to conclude a successor agreement or agreements following on to New START.

I hope you find it useful.