Cruise missiles recently made the front pages when President Vladimir Putin marshaled impressive audiovisuals to hype Russian strides in developing new and sinister military technologies. Cruise missiles were included but concerns regarding them didn’t just arrive with his speech. They have figured prominently, for just one example, in the current Canadian and American intention to replace the Arctic-based North Warning System.1 Cruise missiles pose a two-fold challenge: the unavoidable reality that there is no credible defence against long-range nuclear-armed cruise missiles; and, the related and equally inescapable reality that the only way to manage them in the long term is through internationally negotiated control agreements. The latter challenge is obviously made all the more daunting by a current political climate that is less than conducive to anything quite that rational.
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