Containing Missile Proliferation

Strategic Technology, Security Regimes, and International Cooperation in Arms Control

Dinshaw Mistry

  • Published: 2003. Paperback 2005
  • Subject Listing: History; Politics
  • Bibliographic information: 264 pp., bibliog., index, 6 x 9 in.
  • Territorial rights: World Rights
  • Contents

The proliferation of ballistic missiles that can deliver weapons of mass destruction halfway across the world is a matter of growing urgency and concern, as is the fate of agreements limiting the development of such deadly weapons. The Bush administration's scrapping of the ABM Treaty and pursuit of a huge National Missile Defense initiative are dramatic evidence of this concern. Yet there remains much uncertainty about the viability of missile defense. If defenses fall short, strong security regimes will be necessary to contain missile proliferation.

Since 1987, more than thirty states have agreed to restrict their transfer of missiles and related technologies under the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR). During the MTCR's first decade, several regional powers were thwarted from advancing their missile ambitions. Subsequently, however, states such as North Korea, Iran, Pakistan, India, and Israel have tested medium-range missiles and others have expanded their missile arsenals.

Dinshaw Mistry critically examines the successes and limitations of the MTCR, and suggests five practical ways to strengthen the regime. The author's exhaustive research offers new and detailed insights on the technology and politics of missile programs in Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Pakistan, India, Israel, Egypt, South Korea, Taiwan, and other countries. Mistry also shows how international cooperation, security regimes, and U.S. foreign policies of engagement and containment with these states can halt their missile programs.

Mistry's book is the first comprehensive study of the MTCR and of international efforts to contain missile proliferation. Policymakers, scholars, and the general reader will find this book a valuable contribution to the subjects of arms control, ballistic missile proliferation, multilateral cooperation, and international security regimes.

For the author's update, go to
Dinshaw Mistry is assistant professor and director of Asian studies at the University of Cincinnati. He has written extensively on technology and politics, regional security, and international cooperation in The New York Times, Security Studies, Contemporary Security Policy, Asian Survey, Pacific Affairs, and other publications.

"This is an important book. Mistry has produced both an authoritative analysis of long-range missile programs in emerging military powers and a creative analysis of the role that arms control agreements can play in constraining those programs."
-Scott S. Sagan, Co-Director, Center for International Security and Cooperation, Stanford University

"How do we explain the decline in American and international interest in regimes and treaties to contain weapons of mass destruction and missile delivery systems? Professor Mistry's book presents a rigorous and detailed answer to this question. Besides providing a wealth of information about the spread of missiles, it offers a sobering analysis of the difficulty in maintaining such regimes, and presents an original explanation of their rise and decline. This book is a must-read for everyone concerned about the proliferation problem, and will be of great value to scholars and policy-makers alike."
-Stephen Philip Cohen, Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy Studies Program, The Brookings Institution

Regimes, Technology, Politics, and Proliferation
Building a Supply-Side Regime
Argentina, Brazil, South Africa
South Korea, Taiwan, Arab States
Israel, India, Pakistan
North Korea and Iran
Toward a Treaty Regime
Appendix: Technical Notes on Missiles

"Dinshaw Mistry, the director of Asian Studies at the University of Cincinnati, has written a timely and important evaluation of the Missile Technology Control Regime..We owe a debt to Mistry for producing what probably to date is the most comprehensive analysis of the missile nonproliferation regime."
-Perspectives on Political Science

"In this well-researched and timely study the author has provided a wealth of information and thoughtful analysis about the current state of missile proliferation."
-Virginia Quarterly Review

"Analysts will find this a valuable compilation. . . . A highly-indeed uniquely-useful reference."
-Comparative Strategy