How did we get here? – PART III – Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR)

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The proliferation of third world ballistic missiles is a major concern for US government. I have already in my previous posts described how these missiles can carry weapons of mass destruction, reach target quickly and can be at times very difficult to intercept. In an attempt to slow down the spread of ballistic missiles around the world, the United States with other western countries have implemented various export control regimes.

In this regard, I was going through a paper by a senior scientist Dr. Gerald Frost and policy analyst Dr. Irving Lachow at RAND (Research and Development which is a non profit global policy think-tank founded by Douglas Aircraft company whose primary purpose was to provide research analysis and help in policy formulation for US Armed Forces).

The first regime of controls over ballistic missile proliferation was Coordinating Committee on Multilateral Export Controls (CoCom)  was established by USA and its allies after World War II to curb export of advanced technologies to eastern bock nations. Although no longer in effect, many of CoCom restrictions are are still observed by its former member. In the 1980s, leading Industrial nations agreed to establish separate export control measures for offensive missiles and supporting technologies such as guidance and propulsion. This regulatory mechanism is known as Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR). So summarising it, The aim of the MTCR is to restrict the proliferation of missiles, complete rocket systems, unmanned air vehicles, and related technology for those systems capable of carrying a 500 kilogram payload at least 300 kilometres, as well as systems intended for the delivery of weapons of mass destruction (WMD).

Condor II Program was a medium range ballistic missile development program started by Argentina with close support from Egypt and Iraq. MTCR had initial success when it was able to disrupt this program in early 1990s with multilateral pressure from member countries especially USA. This program resulted from Argentina’s dismal performance in Falklands War with United Kingdom in 1982 over sovereignty of the islands.

Only 34 Countries are party to this regime but as more as 119 countries are party to the ICOC Ballistic Missile Proliferation also known as Hague Code of Conduct which was supplemented in 2002. This is due to the fact that this additional code of conduct does not require as stringent conditions to be placed on its members as MTCR does. For more information on the MTCR guidelines – please visit http://www.mtcr.info/english/guidelines.html.

If Interested, you can actually go through the group of such similar schemes collectively called Multilateral Export Control Regime (MECR). These are Wassenaar Arrangement (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wassenaar_Arrangement), Nuclear Suppliers Group (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_Suppliers_Group), Australia Group (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australia_Group), and MTCR described above.

In the upcoming posts lets discuss how Global positioning system and similar satellite navigation systems like GLONASS (Russia), GPS Galileo Positioning System (EU European Union), CNS Compass NAvigation System (China) and IRNSS Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (India) are playing a huge part in GPS Aided Ballistic Missile Development and how shall it change the future war strategy.

For a change, The photo you are seeing below depicts those countries who have signed NPT (Non Proliferation Treaty of Nuclear Weapons) – shown in light and dark green, those who have withdrawn are shown in yellow – there is only one such country NORTH KOREA, those who never signed the treaty are shown in red – INDIA, PAKISTAN and ISRAEL. More on these LATER.

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