Timelines :: Arms Control Treaties

act-tlArms Control: For over 100 years now man has attempted to find ways to reduce the chances of warfare. Because he refuses to seek God’s help, the Bible predicts man’s efforts at arms control will eventually fail.

First Geneva Convention—Establishes guidelines for the treatment of battle-wounded soldiers.

St. Petersburg Conference—A declaration renounces the use of certain explosives projectiles in war.

An International Peace Conference is held at the Hague, which gives birth to regulations concerning the laws and customs of war on land; the adaptation to maritime warfare of the principles of the Geneva Convention of 1864; the prohibition for five years of launching projectiles and explosives from balloons; limits on the use of asphyxiating gases; and limits on the use of expanding bullets.

A Second International Peace Conference at the Hague establishes several other conventions relative to the opening of hostilities.

Protocols are established prohibiting in war the use of asphyxiating, poisonous gases, and bacteriological methods.

A major diplomatic conference is held in Geneva, which establishes the Convention relative to the treatment of prisoners of war.

The Antarctic Treaty internationalized and demilitarized the Antarctic Continent and provided for its cooperative exploration and future use.

Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, signed in Moscow by the U.S., USSR, and Great Britain, prohibits testing of nuclear weapons in space, above ground, and under water.

Hot Line Agreement, a bilateral agreement, establishes a direct communications link between U.S. and Soviet heads of state for use in “time of emergency.” It seeks to reduce the risk of a nuclear exchange stemming from accident, miscalculation, or surprise attack and states that both sides will be connected by transatlantic cable and radio telegraph circuits for continuous direct communications.

Outer Space Treaty, a multilateral agreement, is signed and ratified between the U.S., USSR, and UK banning the placement of nuclear weapons or weapons of mass destruction in orbit around the earth. It also prohibits installation of nuclear weapons or weapons of mass destruction on the moon, any other celestial body, or in outer space itself, as well as bans the use of the moon or any celestial body for military purposes, including weapons-testing of any kind.

The Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America obligates Latin American parties not to acquire or possess nuclear weapons or to allow other countries to store or deploy nuclear weapons on their territories.

Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons Treaty, with U.S., USSR, and Great Britain as major signers, limits the spread of military nuclear technology with an agreement not to assist nonnuclear nations in getting or making nuclear weapons.

Sea Bed Treaty prohibits the placement of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction on the seabed, ocean floor, and subsoil.

Biological Weapons Convention prohibits the development, production, and stockpiling of bacteriological (biological) and toxic weapons.

SALT I (Strategic Arms Limitations Talks) agreement, in negotiation since 11/17/69, is signed in Moscow by the U.S. and the USSR. In the area of defensive nuclear weapons, the treaty limits antiballistic missiles to two sites of one hundred anti-ballistic missile launchers in each country (this is later amended in 1974 to one site in each country). The treaty also imposes a five-year freeze on testing and deployment of intercontinental ballistic missiles and submarine-launched ballistic missiles. An interim short-term agreement putting a ceiling on numbers of offensive nuclear weapons is also signed. SALT I will remain in effect until October 1977.

Threshold Test Ban Treaty, a bilateral, unratified agreement between the U.S. and USSR, prohibits underground nuclear weapon tests with a yield above 150 kilotons. Compliance is monitored through the use of national technical means (e.g., seismic stations outside the testing country). A protocol to the agreement specifies that tests take place in strictly defined testing sites and that upon ratification technical information be exchanged to improve verification procedures.

Protocol on anti-ballistic missile systems (ABM Treaty Revision) and a treaty and protocol on limiting underground testing of nuclear weapons (Threshold Test Ban Treaty) are signed by the U.S. and USSR in Moscow.

Vladivostok Agreement is announced establishing the framework for a more comprehensive agreement on offensive nuclear arms, setting the guidelines of a second SALT treaty.

Peaceful Nuclear Explosions Treaty, a bilateral agreement between the U.S. and USSR, prohibits peaceful nuclear explosions that were not covered by the Threshold Test Ban Treaty (TTBT), with yields exceeding 150 kilotons and group explosions having an aggregate yield of over 1,500 kilotons, no one of which can be more than 150 kilotons.

Environmental Modification Convention, an agreement with forty-eight signatories, prohibits the hostile use of weather modification.

SALT II, signed in Vienna by the U.S. and USSR, constrains offensive nuclear weapons, limiting each side to 2,400 missile launchers and heavy bombers, with that ceiling to apply until January 1, 1985. The treaty also sets a combined total of 1,320 ICBMs and SLBMs with multiple warheads on each side. Although approved by the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the treaty never reaches the Senate floor because President Jimmy Carter withdraws his support for the treaty following the December 1979 invasion of Afghanistan by Soviet troops.

Inhumane weapons convention signed by thirty-five nations restricts the use of certain conventional weapons that may be deemed excessively injurious or to have indiscriminate effects

Ronald Reagan proposes a two-step plan for strategic arms reductions and announces that he has proposed to the USSR that START (Strategic Arms Reduction Talks) begin in June.

The INF (Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces) Treaty is signed in Washington, DC, by USSR leader Mikhail Gorbachev and U.S. President Ronald Reagan dismantling all medium- and shorter-range nuclear missiles. It is ratified with conditions by the U.S Senate on May 27, 1988. It bans all US/USSR ballistic missiles and U.S. GLCM w/ ranges b/t 500 and 5500 Kilometers and provides for the destruction of all such existing weapons (only cuts nuclear arsenals by 4 percent)

Ballistic Missile Launch Notification Agreement, a bilateral agreement between the U.S. and USSR, requires each nation to notify the other party “no less than twenty-four hours in advance, of the planned date, launch area, and area of impact for any launch of a strategic ballistic missile.”

Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) is signed in Moscow by Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and U.S. President George Bush to reduce strategic offensive arms by approximately 30 percent in three phases over seven years. START is the first treaty to mandate reductions by the superpowers. (The treaty will enter into force in December 1994.)

The Open Skies Treaty, a complex agreement, allows for the exchange of observation flights over the territories of nations that are members of the pact.

START II is signed by Bush and Yeltsin calling for both sides to reduce long-range nuclear arsenals by approximately one-third over the next decade and will entirely eliminate land-based, multiple-warhead missiles. Action on START II must wait until START I enters into force, and then START II must be approved by the U.S. senate and the legislature of Russia.

The Trilateral Nuclear Agreement, a trilateral statement signed in Moscow in January by the presidents of the U.S., Russia, and Ukraine, details the procedures to transfer Ukrainian nuclear warheads to Russia, along with associated compensation and security assurances.

Treaty of Pelindaba Multilateral agreement is signed by forty-nine of the fifty-three members of the Organization of African Unity, pledging not to conduct research on, develop, test, or stockpile nuclear explosive devices; to prohibit the stationing of nuclear devices on their territory; to maintain the highest standards of protection of nuclear materials, facilities, and equipment; and to prohibit the dumping of radioactive waste.

Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, a multilateral agreement signed by the U.S., CIS, UK, and ninety non-nuclear-weapon states, bans any and all nuclear tests, big or small, above and below the earth’s surface. It establishes a worldwide monitoring system—including 170 seismic stations—to check air, water, and soil for signals that someone set off a nuclear explosion.

Convention is held on the prohibition of the use, stockpiling, production, and transfer of anti-personnel mines and on their destruction.

President Bush formally announces that the United States is withdrawing from the Anti-ballistic Missile Treaty that it signed with the Soviet Union in 1972.

May 24—The Russian Federation and the U.S. sign the Treaty on Strategic Offensive Reductions (SORT) at the Moscow Summit, agreeing to reduce and limit strategic nuclear warheads to 1700–2200 for each party by December 31, 2012.

June 13—The unilateral withdrawal of the United States from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty comes into effect.

June 14—In response to the U.S. withdrawal, the Russian Federation announces that it will no longer abide by the terms of START II.

November 4—Cuba accedes to the NPT as a non-nuclear-weapons state.

November 25—The Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation (HCOC) is launched. Under the code, states make politically binding commitments to curb the proliferation of WMD-capable ballistic missiles and to exercise maximum restraint in developing, testing, and deploying such missiles. It also introduces measures such as annual declarations and pre-launch notifications regarding ballistic-missile and space-launch programs.

January 6—
Libya ratifies the CTBT and accedes to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC).

January 10—The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea announces its withdrawal from the NPT.

March 10—Libya signs the Additional Protocol with the IAEA.

June 1—SORT comes into force.

On November 15, Iran signs an agreement with France, Germany, and the United Kingdom, in which Iran states its decision to continue and extend its suspension of all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities.

On July 18, President George W. Bush and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announce their intention to enter a nuclear agreement in Washington.

On May 7, Iran’s Parliament says in a letter to the United Nations that it may have to withdraw from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty if pressure to end its nuclear program escalates.


On December 1, Russian President Vladimir Putin signs a law suspending Russia’s participation in the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) treaty.

In December a new international group called Global Zero, which is committed to 100 percent elimination of nuclear weapons over the next twenty-five years, enlists world leaders including former President Jimmy Carter; former Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger; former Defense Secretary Frank Carlucci; former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev; Shaharyar Khan, a former Pakistani foreign minister; retired Air Chief Marshal Shashindra Pal Tyagi of India; and Malcolm Rifkind, a former British foreign secretary. There are roughly 20,000+ nuclear weapons in existence globally.

On July 25, Russia says the next round of negotiations with the United States on a new deal to replace the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) will take place by early September.The leaders sign a statement instructing negotiators to finalize a replacement for the START 1 treaty. The agreement provides for a reduction of warheads from 2,200 to a range of 1,500 to 1,675 and reduces launch vehicles from 1,600 to a range of 500 to 1,100. (VOA)

The Washington Post reports on July 6, 2010, that the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New-Start) with Russia could be the president’s worst foreign policy mistake yet. New-START impedes missile defense, our protection from nuclear-proliferating rogue states such as Iran and North Korea. It explicitly forbids the United States from converting intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) silos into missile defense sites. New-START gives Russia a massive nuclear weapon advantage over the United States, strongly compromising U.S. missile shield defenses. The treaty ignores tactical nuclear weapons, where Russia outnumbers the U.S. by as much as 10 to 1. New-START Treaty passes in the U.S. Senate on December 22 by a vote of 71-26 and is ratified over Republican concerns and objections.

Despite much opposition to the bill, President Obama signs the New-START Treaty on February 2, reducing U.S. capabilities for self-defense.


July 25—Fox News reports that the UN Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) could lead to perpetual attacks on the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment and American foreign policy.

July 27—Investigative reporters for Ammoland expose previously unpublished (hidden) documents showing that the controversial ATT, also known as “the small arms treaty,” “includes gun control for private small arms and light weapons,” as U.S. gun owners feared. ATT has been controversial from the start. Gun-rights activists say that the treaty is an attempt by the Obama administration to implement gun control without having to go through Congress to do so. Fifty-eight senators, including thirteen Democrats, sign a letter in opposition to the treaty.

July 28—Fox News reports that the UN has failed to reach a deal on the global arms trade treaty, and that the impact of the opposition by U.S. senators has had a marked effect on the inability to pass the treaty. But this is still an ongoing issue, according to the UN.

On November 20–24,
Iran and five permanent members of the UN Security Council meet in Geneva with Iranian Minister Javad Zarif to hammer out a plan of action on Iran’s nuclear program. The agreed-on accord lays out specific steps for each side in a six-month, first-phase agreement and the broad framework to guide negotiations for a comprehensive solution. (http://www.armscontrol.org/factsheet/Timeline-of-Nuclear-Diplomacy-With-Iran)

An article published in the May issue of Arms Control Today finds that the world’s nine nuclear-armed states still possess more than ten thousand nuclear warheads combined, and are all seeking to modernize their arsenals. According to the article, the trend has riled a growing number of signatories to the 1968 nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which obligates states to eliminate their nuclear arsenals. (https://www.armscontrol.org/subject/60/date)

In July, the U.S. administration and the P5+1 powers incomprehensibly make a deal with the terrorist state of Iran. As a result, the White House will begin assisting the Iranians in furthering their nuclear ambitions and will enable $150 billion to flow into the hands of this terrorist state.

On October 27, the United Nations adopts a resolution to launch negotiations in 2017 on a treaty outlawing nuclear weapons. This is an attempt to ban nuclear weapons from all nations, including peaceful ones like Israel, which is threatened with extinction daily. The UN does not have power over sovereign nations.

Just hours before leaving office on Friday January 20, former President Barack Hussein Obama quietly releases $220 million to the Palestinian Authority, funds likely to be used for arms to attack Israel. This is American taxpayer money that the Republican members of Congress had been blocking because of the tyrannical record of the Palestinians. President Donald Trump immediately freezes the release of the money through the State Department.

Russia violates the INF Treaty by developing and deploying a prohibited intermediate-range cruise missile. In October, President Trump announces that the U.S. will terminate the treaty; NATO backs that decision.

Trump’s 2018 announcement that the U.S. would terminate the INF Treaty signed by President Ronald Reagan and Soviet Leader Mikhail Gorbachev signed in 1987 became a reality; the U.S. also stated plans to test a missile in the coming weeks that would have been prohibited by that Treaty.

In February of 2020, a year before the expiration of the New START nuclear arms pact with Moscow, National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien said the Trump administration will soon begin negotiations with Russia regarding whether the treaty will be extended.