INTRODUCTION Worldwide interest in naval arms control and disarmament has risen to a level not seen since the end of the First World War, when the remaining "great powers" tried to control the growth of each other's navies. The circum- stances that are driving the present situation are very different from those of 70 years ago. At that time, naval power was concentrated in the hands of relatively few states, fleet structures were essentially compatible, and naval weaponry was generally less destructive. Today's world, on the other hand, is marked by a destabilizing proliferation of naval power and widespread access to highly destructive weapons. This does not mean, however, that we cannot learn from the experience of the interwar years. Unfortunately, those lessons alone will not provide a complete solution for controlling the present proliferation of naval arms. The complexity of today's international system and the way in which the oceans have been milita- rized since the 1960s requires a broadly based approach to future naval arms control initiatives if they are to be more than just tokenism. Also, because so many states and organizations now have genuine concerns in the outcome of new naval arms control regimes,
Ocean Yearbook Online – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1991
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