Disarmament Sketches

Three Decades of Arms Control and International Law

Thomas Graham, Jr.

  • Published: 2002. Paperback September 2015
  • Subject Listing: History; Politics
  • Bibliographic information: 382 pp., 36 bandw illus., 6 x 9 in.
  • Territorial rights: World Rights
  • Published with: Institute for Global and Regional Security Studies, Jackson School of International Studies
  • Contents

Thomas Graham Jr. played a role in the negotiation of every major international arms control and non-proliferation agreement signed by the United States during the past thirty years. As a U.S. government lawyer and diplomat, he helped to shape, negotiate, and secure U.S. ratification of such cornerstones of international security as SALT, START, and the ABM, INF, and CFE treaties as well as conventions prohibiting biological and chemical weapons.

Graham's memoir offers a history of the key negotiations which have substantially reduced the threat of nuclear war. His is a personal account of bureaucratic battles over arms control in six administrations, navigating among the White House, Congress, cabinet secretaries, and agencies with overlapping responsibilities and often competing interests. No comparable text brings together detailed analyses of so many pivotal documents in the history of the Cold War; it offers abundant primary source material for historians, international lawyers, and arms control specialists around the world. Disarmament Sketches also charts the rise and fall of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, the only U.S. government agency with primary responsibility for arms control policy, and lays out an agenda for continuing progress in reducing weapons stockpiles around the globe.

Throughout his career, Graham has worked tirelessly to reverse the nuclear arms race and to persuade leaders around the world to make their nations safer by renouncing and reducing their weapons of mass destruction.
Ambassador Thomas Graham Jr. is president of the Lawyers Alliance for World Security, based in Washington, D.C. He served as general counsel of the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency for fifteen years. As President Clinton's special representative for arms control, non-proliferation and disarmament, he led the successful U.S. government effort to indefinitely extend the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. In 1996, he led a worldwide effort to successfully support the conclusion of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty negotiations. He has taught at Stanford University, University of Virginia, Georgetown University, and University of Washington.

"For thirty years, [Thomas Graham] has been an indefatigable warrior for the true and just in the long battle to reduce the risk of nuclear war through equitable and verifiable arms control measures. The issues surrounding that battle have been serious and complex. Some have been among and within the executive agencies; others among the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the government; and others have involved continuous coordination with and among our allies. Tom hasbeen at the center of those controversies longer than anyone else. He has known the history, the semantics, the ambiguities, and the politics of these issues."
-Ambassador Paul Nitze, from the Foreword

"Thomas Graham was at the center of all the controversies surrounding national security and arms limitation through the dark days of the Cold War and he continues in that position today as the world community now searches for a new world order. To understand this subject, crucial to our historical era, this book should be read."
-Robert S. McNamara, former U.S. secretary of defense

"Graham, based on direct and significant personal experience, has catalogued and explained the effort to achieve a more secure world over the past thirty years. This is an important book."
-Lloyd Axworthy, former foreign minister of Canada

"Tom Graham, in a sense, was present at the creation of much of modern arms control. I commend his book, Disarmament Sketches, for the insights that it contains and the dedication of its author to a process so important to our national security."
-General John M. Shalikashvili (USA-ret.), former chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff

"I have been privileged to be associated with Ambassador Thomas Graham in many multilateral disarmament endeavours and have always been impressed by his diplomatic skills, wise judgment, and total dedication to the cause of disarmament and non-proliferation."
-Jayantha Dhanapala, undersecretary general for disarmament affairs, United Nations, New York

Foreword by Paul H. Nitze
1. Politics, Louisville and Washington, D.C.
2. Chemical and Biological Weapons
4. SALT II, Part One: The Nixon-Ford Years
5. SALT II, Part Two: The Carter Years
6. The Reagan Revolution and the INF and START Treaties
7. The Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty
8. Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty
9. Survival of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency
10. Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty
11. Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty
12. NPT Aftermath and the End of the ACDA

"Graham's book is both a memoir and an excellent history of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, with which he was involved for more than 30 years. . . . [I]t is an intimate history of events in which he was a major player."

"The SALT, the START, the ABM-Graham had a role in them all, and his detailed descriptions of the skirmishes among presidents, cabinet secretaries, and members of Congress through six White House administrations make for a comprehensive history of American arms control."
-Publishers Weekly

"Provides a fascinating composite picture of the limits and possibilities of the legal-diplomatic approach to security and arms control. Graham and his colleagues were constantly forced to maneuver between their determined Soviet counterparts and the equally strong-willed politicians and bureaucrats in Washington. . . . Also illuminating are his chapters on the failed SALT II during the Carter and Reagan years and the rise of hard-line critics of arms control, showing the origins of the split in American strategic thinking that continues today. More optimistically, Graham concludes by pointing to the most lasting arms control success: the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which made the acquisition of nuclear weapons an act of international outlawry."
-G. John Ikenberry, Foreign Affairs

"[This book] is a very important historical document and will undoubtedly be consulted by historians of arms control and American foreign policy in the late twentieth century. Students of bureaucratic politics and organizational behavior will also find in this book a rich mine of ase study material."
-Political Science Quarterly, Winter 2003-2003