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This paper reviews some of the proposals for arms control which have been in the past. It is shown that although some progress has been made in indicating means for reducing the effects of some of the peripheral causes of war, no plausible solution has yet been discovered for the central problem. Even the definition of the objectives which should be set for an arms control process is obscure. A brief review of the statistical incidence of war by magnitude and severity indicates that the trend to large wars of increasing severity has existed for almost a hundred years, culminating in the availability of nuclear weapons. A recognition of the possible consequences of this trend, intensified by the knowledge of the capabilities of nuclear weapons, has produced the current growing effort to understand the problem and to find acceptable arms controls.