The Collapse of Arms Control: Implications and Consequences

Oct 23, 2019 |
Washington, D.C.
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On October 23, 2019, Project Chair Steven E. Miller led a Congressional Briefing on Capitol Hill to discuss “The Collapse of Arms Control: Implications and Consequences.”

The purpose of this event with Members of Congress and their staffs was to highlight the perils associated with the decline and potential collapse of arms control and underscore the urgent need for dialogue among the key protagonists, particularly the United States and Russia.

As such, the discussion was focused on the following questions:

  • What are the most important arms control priorities?
  • Can arms control be revived, and if so, how can it most effectively be reconstructed?
  • If negotiated arms control cannot be reconstructed, how could the nuclear relationship be prudently and safely managed in its absence?

The discussions raised several important points for consideration:

  • Knowledge and expertise of arms control within Congress has diminished, and needs rebuilding. 
  • Staffers expressed interest in what would occur if the U.S. pulls out of the Open Skies Treaty, including the implications for Congress and for US policy responses.
  • If future arms control moves away from the traditional bilateral, numbers-based limits, what role would Congress have to play in this new approach?
  • How can the topic of arms control, and its potential absence, be made a salient public issue again?