This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), a voluntary arrangement founded by seven countries in 1987 to prevent the spread of longer-range cruise and ballistic missiles with the potential to carry weapons of mass destruction. Today, the MTCR has 35 member states, and while containing cruise missile proliferation has proven difficult, it has effectively slowed the spread of long-range ballistic missiles.
With any regime focused on controlling specific technologies, though, there is always a risk that advances in the field will outstrip the initial regulatory framework. Unfortunately, that is exactly what has happened to the MTCR in at least one respect. When the regime was set up in the 1980s, remotely-piloted aircraft—better known as drones—had a lot in common with missiles. They were generally either target drones with limited utility, designed for one-way missions to test missile accuracy, or very short-range surveillance platforms. The MTCR was therefore set up to control them too.
Read the full article in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.
More from CNAS
CommentaryAre AI-Powered Killer Robots Inevitable?
In war, speed kills. The soldier who is a split second quicker on the draw may walk away from a firefight unscathed; the ship that sinks an enemy vessel first may spare i...
By Paul Scharre
CommentaryNow is the time for an economic stimulus in artificial intelligence — or the US could fall behind
The COVID-19 virus has inflicted significant pain on the US economy as airlines have cancelled thousands of flights, restaurants and retailers have shut down, and sporting eve...
By Tony Samp
PodcastThe Cyberlaw Podcast: The (Almost) COVID-19-Free Episode
If your podcast feed has suddenly become a steady diet of more or less the same COVID-19 stories, here’s a chance to listen to cyber experts talk about what they know about – ...
By Elsa B. Kania
CommentaryFaux News Articles and Social Media Posts Will Haunt This Election
Last September, an image of a New York Times headline began circulating online, claiming that Abdullah Abdullah, a candidate for the Afghan presidency, had taken millions of d...
By Chris Estep & Megan Lamberth