Home / Articles / The War on Terror and the Nonproliferation Regime
After 9/11, it seemed almost axiomatic that multilateralism would be the preferred U.S. approach to arms control, disarmament, and nonproliferation. In the war on terror and WMD, it was assumed, the United States would need to strengthen the transatlantic alliance, hold together the loose counterterrorism coalition in the Middle East and Asia, and forge new relationships around the world.
Instead, evidence soon mounted of growing U.S. unilateralism. Rather than finding a new equilibrium between the tools of national and international security, Washington appeared to be actively undermining most of its international agreements in favor of unilateral solutions. By September 2002 it had removed the head of the Chemical Weapons Convention implementing organization, rejected an international agreement to add monitoring capabilities to the Biological Weapons Convention, and weakened the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).