The secrecy surrounding new weapons developments leads the nuclear powers to infer the 'worst case' and to overreact; thus the arms race is accelerated. The risks involved in the current technological arms race derive mainly from: enhanced accuracy and yield (mainly due to multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicles) of anti-intercontinental ballistic missile weapons, thus jeopardizing intercontinental ballistic missile invulnerability; anti-submarine warfare developments jeopardizing the submarine launched ballistic missile 'leg' of the strategic triad; shrinking warning time due to forward basing (efforts to counter intercontinental ballistic missile vulnerability by reconsidering possible ballistic missile defence measures may be misunderstood by the opponent); and even if the strategic systems are not as vulnerable as some observers assume, the mere perception of their vulnerability may lead to misjudgement and miscalculation. A grave threat is posed to the invulnerability of command, control and communications systems; this may offer temptations to launch a pre-emptive first-strike attack or to adopt launch-on-warning policies and predelegation measures, which aggravate the risk of unauthorized initiation of nuclear war. To a considerable extent the arms race is progressing on an incremental step-by-step basis lacking proper national and international control. It thus produces results that are often highly dysfunctional to both national security interests and international concerns for strategic stability.