Disarmament and arms control are overlapping areas. The first is concerned with the substantial reduction or complete elimination of those weapons with which nations can commit aggression and wage war, given that the continued existence of nuclear weapons must sooner or later lead to war escalating to an unimaginable level of destructiveness. Arms control implies some form of collaboration between adversary states, involving either formal or tacit agreement, aimed at limited control in well-defined areas. The latter is considered more realistic, but it does not lead to the former. A very considerable range of disarmament proposals have been considered or negotiated with almost no tangible results, excepting a number of arms control agreements in areas of no military interest, or treaties of no significance, or having little probability of entering into force or being realistically implemented.
Some 19 protocols, treaties, agreements and other international instruments of accord have been generated in the interests of arms control since 1948. Negotiating sessions, productive and non-productive, between the super-powers alone are counted in the thousands. Strategic arms limitations talks are continuing in Geneva under the acronym "START" (strategic arms reduction talks), while nuclear and other armament is increasing and proliferating.
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