A couple of years ago Michael Krepon wrote a short article comparing the process of arms control to gardening. (here) In the face of frustrations -and sometimes glacial progress- it isn’t difficult to become discouraged about the prospects for arms control to actually make a difference. “Optimism and perseverance are keys to the twin enterprises of arms control and gardening.” A neat thing about spending time around farmers is that a different sense of time and control is imposed on them by the nature of their profession. There is an amount that can be done to make things grow- beyond that you have to wait and see.

I was reminded of all this by an article from NTI  reporting on the imminent signing of the Additional Protocols by Myanmar. (article here). This pretty big news both because it illustrates the significant shift in their place in the international community, and marks some progress for international arms control. Large shifts such as this seem to happen a little at a time for years and then all at once. A few years ago Burma would have been high on my list of countries of proliferation concern. Now…? I like Mr. Krepon’s call for optimism – gradual progress is progress.

(also I’ll be very interested to see what else we learn about the “box of bombs”- there are several articles on armscontrolwonk and other places discussing this-  here here here and here are a good start)

thanks to the Global Security Newswire.

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