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11.5: Other Arms Control Treaties

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    There have been many other arms control agreements. The 1899 Hague Convention banned chemical weapons, hollow point bullets and bombing from balloons. The 1907 Hague Convention clarified rules of land and naval war. These included rules against attacks on merchant ships without warning, rules which were widely violated by German subs in WWI. The 1921 and 1930 Naval Treaties reduced the number of warships, the high tech weapons of that time. After the use of mustard and chlorine gas in WWI, the 1925 Geneva Protocol banned all forms of chemical warfare. More recently there are the:

    -1972 Biological Weapons Convention. This treaty bans all forms of biological weapons except for small amounts to be used for research, countermeasures, etc. However, there are no inspections or other enforcement. After the Cold War, it was revealed that, contrary to the treaty, the USSR had made and stockpiled large amounts of biological weapons. These have now supposedly been destroyed.

    -1993 Chemical Weapons Convention. This was a new ban on all chemical weapons, signed after Iraq and Iran used them extensively during their eight-year war in the 1980s and Saddam used them on the Kurds in his own country in 1988. The Bush administration refused to allow treaty inspections in the U.S., claiming that it would compromise proprietary information about chemical companies’ technology. Fortunately, there is little use of chemical weapons. (Syria is the only exception.)

    -1994 Convention on Anti-Personnel Mines. This is an example of the power of NGOs. A coalition of activists connected by the Internet agitated for a ban on anti-personnel mines, which have been deployed by the millions, even from airplanes, and which linger on to kill and main civilians for years afterward in countries such as Cambodia, Afghanistan and Somalia. The treaty has greatly reduced the production and dissemination of anti-personnel mines, but the task of neutralizing the millions already in the ground will take decades. Jody Williams, the woman who led the coalition with nothing but her laptop, got the Nobel Peace Prize for her work. However, the Bush administration refused to sign the treaty because it said it needed anti-personnel mines on the border with North Korea.


    1. Briefly explain Balance of Power Theory. List two criticisms.

    2. Briefly explain Hegemonic Stability Theory. List two criticisms.

    3. What is the world system structure today? (e.g. bipolar, multipolar, mixed) Explain.

    4. Why has NATO expanded? Who opposes it and why? What new missions have occurred?

    5. List 5 nuclear arms treaties and briefly explain what each one does.

    6. List 3 other recent arms treaties and briefly explain what they do.

    This page titled 11.5: Other Arms Control Treaties is shared under a CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Lawrence Meacham.

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