Iklé, Fred Charles
January 1961
Foreign Affairs;Jan1961, Vol. 39 Issue 2, p208
The article focuses on arms control and disarmament. According to the author, a potential violator of an arms-control agreement will not be deterred simply by the risk that his action may be discovered. What will deter him will be the fear that what he gains from the violation will be outweighed by the loss he may suffer from the victim's reaction to it. The West has paid insufficient attention to the stratagems which a detected violator can pursue to avoid or mitigate whatever action an aroused world opinion might take. To be effective, a sanction must be applied as a result of governmental decisions by the injured countries. In democratic countries, government decisions are influenced by active public opinion, or, more precisely, by the conception of public opinion held by the government leaders. It has been argued that all countries will be deterred from violating a major arms-control agreement in present circumstances because to do so would set off an unrestricted arms race that would eventually lead to disaster for the guilty as well as the innocent.


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