THE ADVOCATE 939
VOL. 76 PART 6 NOVEMBER 2018
By R.C. Tino Bel
By David W. Mossop†
All arms races lead to war, it is said, the inference being that if
we had arms control and disarmament we would have peace.
History teaches a different lesson. The track record of international
arms control is not significantly better than the track
record of arms races in preserving peace. Our forefathers tried arms control
and failed because they failed to pay the price of peace—political accommodation.
This is the precondition to successful arms control.
Arms control is not new. There have been attempts at arms control
throughout history. Efforts were made to control grape-shot during the
Napoleonic Wars. During the Middle Ages, attempts were made to ban the
new terror weapon, the cross-bow. Of course, this ban was completely successful;
the cross-bow is not used by any modern army except the Canadian
Army. Another interesting historical example is the 1899 Hague Conference.
It was called by the Czar of Russia who, among other things, proposed
a ban on all technological advancements in weaponry. The Americans
rejected this idea as it would interfere with the creative genius of their people.
Star Wars revisited?
Yet, you say, things are different now. First, we are smarter. (Children are
always smarter than their parents.) Second, you can’t compare the Napoleonic
Wars to nuclear war. A nuclear war can cause massive destruction.
* Reprinted from (1986) 44 Advocate 691.
†Mr. Mossop was at the time of writing with the Vancouver Community Legal Assistance Society.