From conflict to cooperation: the on-site inspection agency as a model for international arms control organizations
Traurig, Robert E.
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An international system is necessary in a multi-polar world. The problem for today is learning how to develop cooperation, not just assume it. Most striking was the level of cooperation involved in the area of nuclear weapons. The United States and the Soviet Union signing of the Intermediate- Range Nuclear Forces Treaty in 1987 ushered in an unprecedented acceptance of intrusive verification measures. The puzzle surrounding this historic event is how the two sides managed to move from conflict to cooperation, from a zero-sum game to positive gains for both sides. Solving this puzzle may provide lessons that can be applied today to organizations such as the International Atomic Energy Agency and the United Nations Special Commission on Iraq. Solving this puzzle will also help students of international relations to better understand how nations learn to cooperate. The search for a new strategy in the post-Cold War era shows that reality is more complicated in a multi-polar environment. The simpler assumptions that explained the antagonistic situation no longer apply. An attempt must be made to find and develop those structures which may foster overall cooperation. Nations can learn to work together in an area vital to national security, arms control, by working together. Nations can learn by doing if the structure of the organization does not hinder the process. Sustained cooperation, therefore, can be a product and precondition of the organization through the structure of a given treaty.
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