Definitions of Disarmament
Disarmament can be contrasted with arms control, which essentially refers to the act of limiting arms rather than eliminating them. A distinction can also be made between disarmament as a process (the process of eliminating weapons), and disarmament as an end state (the absence of weapons). Disarmament has also come to be associated with two things:
- Nuclear disarmament, referring to the elimination of nuclear weapons.
- Unilateral disarmament, the elimination of weapons outside of the framework of an international agreement, i.e., they are not bound by a treaty such as START.
Philosophically, disarmament may be viewed as a form of demilitarization; part of an economic, political, technical, and military process to reduce and eliminate weapons systems. Thus, disarmament may be part of a set of other strategies, like economic conversion, which aim to reduce the power of war making institutions and associated constituencies.
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