The MTCR, the post-modern state, and deterrence

Missile proliferation is an old issue dating from the late 1970s. The various bilateral responses developed by the United States led gradually to the establishment of the MTCR in 1985. It developed rapidly until the early 1990s when the inclusion of former target countries of the MTCR in the system itself required the revision of some of its guidelines. MTCR expansion has slowed down since the mid-1990s, but this is explained by the fact that there is little ambiguity remaining about the identity of the 7-8 States that have active missile development programmes Beyond the MTCR the United States uses bilateral diplomacy to reach non-partners, such as in the cases of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and India, with more or less success Ballistic missile proliferation has resulted in a major change in policy and outlook in the United States, in favour of ballistic missile defences. The MTCR will play an important role in the future, though the author contends it cannot be converted as it is into an international treaty. The author concludes that reliance on missiles will only be reduced when reliance on deterrence is reduced.

Related Subject(s): Disarmament
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