Policies for Chemical Weapons and Chemical Arms Control

Policies for Chemical Weapons and Chemical Arms Control

Since the end of World War I, chemical weapons had eluded the persistent efforts of governments to ban their production and stockpiling through formally negotiated agreement. The Academy hosted a conference to allow scholars an opportunity to systematically analyze the critical issues involved with chemical weapons policy and to develop a framework for official deliberations among nations. Participants included persons with broad experience in defense and arms control, as well as those with special knowledge of chemical weapons. While no unanimity was sought or reached, some specific measures that could form the core of an arms control agreement were examined. An arms control agreement based on these measures would: 1) prohibit the production and possession of chemical weapons; 2) provide for mutually observed destruction of existing stocks and the dismantling or conversion of chemical weapons-production facilities; and 3) create a permanent commission to foster communication and cooperation in problems of toxic waste disposal.

Resulting Publication

  • Chemical Weapons and Chemical Arms Control, ed. Matthew Meselson. New York and Washington, DC: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 1978. (out of print)

Project Data

  • PROJECT DATE: 1977-1978
  • PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Matthew Meselson (Harvard University)
  • SOURCES OF FUNDING: Johnson Foundation, Ford Foundation, Program for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University
  • COLLABORATING ORGANIZATION: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace


Project Leader
Staff Coordinator