Control and reduction of NBC weapons
The Federal Republic of Germany first renounced nuclear, biological and chemical weapons in the 1950s by signing the Western European Union Treaty (WEU Treaty) banning their production. Later came the Two Plus Four Agreement in 1990 (“Treaty on the Final Settlement With Respect to Germany”, concluded between the then two German states and the four victorious powers of World War II). This agreement, which accompanied German reunification, marked another arms control commitment. Both agreements were intended to prevent Germany from having its own weapons of mass destruction.
Arms control processes can help to create a more predictable and reasonable approach to competing destructive capabilities and impose formally agreed limits on military expansion so that the arsenals pose less of a threat to world peace. Arms control processes of this kind include:
agreements on confidence-building measures, such as exchanges of data aimed at greater transparency,
agreements to improve communication and crisis management, such as establishing a permanent telephone hotline between superpower leaders,
agreements on bilateral or multilateral restrictions on specific weapons systems,
treaties to prevent the spread of the technologies used in NBC weapons and their delivery systems, such as the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Whether arms control or disarmament, both objectives can be achieved by various approaches. One approach is via bilateral or multilateral talks aimed at concluding an international law treaty to make specified weapon capabilities transparent and calculable or to limit, reduce or even eliminate weapons. Another approach is for a state to start with unilateral disarmament steps.