Controls on the export of military and dual-use items were fundamental to international efforts to constrain Soviet military capabilities during the Cold War. While essential to combating the proliferation of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons, these controls also impose severe costs on national economies. Also, conflicts over export control policies often mar relations between the executive and legislative branches of government as well as between the United States and other countries. This text explores how and why the United States came to adopt its export policies by examining the administrations of four presidents: Truman, Eisenhower, Bush, and Clinton.
Richard T. Cupitt is Associate Director at the Center for International Trade and Security at the University of Georgia. He is also the Center's liaison to Washington, D.C. His books include U.S. and Japanese Nonproliferation Export Controls (1996) and International Cooperation on Nonproliferation Export Controls (1994).