While proposals to unilateral disarmament in the nuclear weapons age gather considerable popular support, official enactments for these purposes are not debated in national legislative bodies or introduced there as alternatives to the nuclear arms race.
Elected legislators and other elected officials frequently feel little direct, personal political support from the peace movement. The motives, however, of chauvinism, profit-making and exaggerated conservatism are well represented. In some countries, international cooperation for any purpose is suspect and nuclear disarmament is considered, from militarist perspectives, to be bordering on the treacherous and cowardly. Nuclear weapon obsolescence may eventuate to shift the problem into other dimensions.
Prior to the dissolution of the USSR, strategic imbalance would occur if any one of the key members of NATO or the Warsaw Pact, other than their leaders, would unilaterally disarm and thereby render its strategic commitments nil. An East German or United Kingdom unilateral disarmament, for example, (if they were possible and if the GDR possessed its own nuclear weapons) would have been disastrous. In the NATO case, nuclear weapons would have to have been re-deployed on the continent to make up for the UK loss. Such redeployment, closer to the Warsaw Pact, could have only been provocative of counter-measures.